Personal Inventory

Lately I have been experiencing the empowerment that comes from the skills in taking an effective personal inventory. There is: Satisfaction in effectively Observing my life, seeing what isn't working, then Being Willing to think creatively of options for improvement, then doing them; Respect and Kindness towards myself and others while being Honest and Transparent in finding failures.

The Skills: Satisfaction, Observant, Being Willing, Respect, Kindness, Honesty, Transparency. 

Why: Here's the kicker . . . if you don't take effective Personal Inventories on a regular basis you will spend a lot of wasted time on things that don't work, which leads to anger, frustration, dissatisfaction, frustration, which can lead to depression and inertia. All people with effective, productive lives take inventories. As you learn you will find a way that works for you and it will change your life. 

Stuck: I wasted years of my life frozen in fear and anger, feeling really bad about myself. I regularly found myself on the floor in my closet bawling my eyes out, alone and depressed. Thankfully I got fed up. One day I sat up, and yelled, "I'm done with this!" I challenged myself to get up, get out there, try things that scared me until I found the answers that made me want to live, really live. 

A thought: It is possible that those who have become obsessed with zombies struggle with feeling lost and dysfunctional, which is zombie like: You feel dead, but just don't die. 

As soon as I tried to make changes I heard voices in my head that were critical, humiliating and mean, "Why try, you are a failure, You'll never measure up, You're stupid." I had to make up what I wanted to hear and repeat it in my mind, silently yelling down the mean voices. I started with, "I have courage to start over. It is an adventure to find what has been holding me back. I can get better at anything if I am willing to try," and, "it's OK if I don't know how, I can learn." "It's OK to be scared, I am going to do it anyway." Are you stuck?

Gift: Right at that moment in time I heard that it had been scientifically proven that fear and excitement are virtually the same emotion. That statement electrified my consciousness, inspiring my mantra that it was OK if I was scared, I was going to do it anyway. 

I met with people that were committed to helping me including counselors, recovery groups, church, and I went back to college. I had to learn that satisfaction basically means contentment and it only lasts a day. And, the choice to learn to feel satisfied it is my responsibility. I asked questions like, "What if I make this choice instead? Then I tried that choice at the next opportunity and found the circumstances didn't scare me nearly as much. I discovered what satisfaction felt like as I tried things and was still alive at the end of the day. 

Because I had so much to relearn (my childhood didn't provide the necessary life-skills that healthy, loving families provide), it took me a few years to become proficient at taking my daily personal inventory, but I did learn. 

One year into my challenge I realized significant changes had taken place, such as: I wasn't angry or depressed all the time, in fact I often found humor in even difficult circumstances; Sarcasm and cynicism were morphing to encouragement and appreciation; The more I respected and gave grace to myself, the more I extended it to the people around me. All a cogent reminder that You Are What You Do. I had overcome what I thought by doing something different. 

[Related: the two previous posts on "Whose Responsibility Is It." and "Big Feelings & Emotional Capacity."]