Self-Awareness 101 Episode 51: Benefits of Closure
As the Self-Awareness 101 series approaches the final episode, Willard discusses the benefits of closure and how understanding this concept can bring more peace and focus to your life.
Today we are going to discuss the benefits of closure.
Most of the time when we start to work on a specific project, we have a pretty good idea of what the end will look like in our mind. Often we have specific milestones that we set up that are going to let us know we are on track and also let us know when we have achieved our outcome. Now the challenge is that many times when we have achieved the outcome, we may not end up having the experience what we imagined or that we had expected. Meaning that we set a goal for ourselves and we create these specific expectations of what achieving that goal is going to be like. We create a vision of what we will see, the things that we believe we will hear people say about us and what we will feel like when we get to our destination. And there are times when these expectations are lived up to. There are even times we exceed them. But more often what happens is that our expectations don’t measure up to what we had planned.
The next challenge that happens for a lot of people is even though they have reached the end of the journey, if it doesn’t live up to the expectation they had created, they try to continue on that course because they have been so focused on what they believe they are supposed to be experiencing that they are not able to acknowledge that they have already reached the end. They believe that they are not finished with the journey until those expectations are accomplished.
This can happen in respect to a goal that you set for yourself, or it can be in respect to a relationship you are building or in a job that you are working on.
In each of these scenarios, there comes a point where the journey is over. Sometimes we don't want it to end, but it does. The journey has been completed, and we need to bring closure to it. This goes back to something we talked about in an episode early in the series. I'm not a real big supporter of the term "goals", because I believe to many people attach to much meaning to the goal and not the experience itself. I believe that a goal is not about the destination, it’s about who we become along the way. Who did we need to become as a person to achieve that goal? I know that in the past there have been so many times that I attached more meaning to what I perceived achieving that goal was going to be like and I often missed out on the gifts that had come through the journey of attaining that very same goal.
One of the things about understanding the benefits of closure is being able to recognize when it is time to say, "We're done. I've accomplished what I set out to accomplish.” Other times it may be that you need to recognize that the Universe is telling you "You're done. It’s time to move on.” God, your Higher Power, the Universe is often taking us on a journey that we need to go on to prepare us for something else, and when that journey is finished, the journey WILL end no matter how hard you try to keep it going.
Another one of the benefits of closure is being able to review the journey and do it as a humble observer where you are taking an inventory of yourself. Looking at the journey as a way to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Being able to notice where you excelled and where you could have done better. It’s not about beating yourself up because you didn't achieve everything you thought you were going to achieve. It is about learning from the journey so you can acknowledge the growth, and carry the lessons that you have learned forward.
There is something I discuss in a video called "The Seven Keys for Success and Fulfillment" which is only available if you sign up for our newsletter. It is something special that we've created just for our subscribers so, feel free to sign up for the newsletter and get instant access to this 30 minute video. In this video I talk about these seven key ingredients that I have found are present in everyone I know that is both successful and fulfilled, and the very first one that we talk about is called “new dreams".
People who are both successful and fulfilled recognize that this idea of creating dreams, achieving them and moving on to the next dream is a process of growth, not a process of “accomplishment“. They understand that you set a goal with the intention of growing, not of what you perceive achieving the goal will be like. They set goals because they know you have to become a specific type of person to achieve that goal. Most of the time the end result of the goal doesn't matter to them anywhere near as much as who did they have to become to achieve it.
Another thing about setting a goal and achieving an outcome is that when you begin, you are starting from a place of limited ideas in regard to your own potential and of what is possible. You also don't have much knowledge in respect to how to achieve that goal or what you may truly be capable of. And as you begin climbing that ladder on your way to “success”, you start learning new things, not just about yourself but maybe you learn more about the industry you are in or about other people that you are working with or about how to be more effective with your communication. And then you get to the place where you have achieved that goal and it is time to reflect on where you are in your life now that you have arrived. One of the benefits of closure is that when you get to this place it allows you to look at the world in a whole new perspective.
Many times what happens is that people get to their goal and think, “That's it, I've done what I set out to do in my life.” And then simply give up going any further. People who are successful and fulfilled, recognize achieving that goal just got you to a new place where you may now recognize that what you have thought was your life mission before, wasn't truly where you were headed to. The journey gave you experiences, it gave you skills, it gave you some bumps and bruises, but what it ultimately gave you was a new sense of purpose. By reaching this new “plateau” you gain a clarity that allows you to recognize that from here, rather than continuing in this direction where you thought you were supposed to be headed, you now see that the place you truly desire to go is over here in a completely different direction. But you never would have recognized it if you had not pursued the previous dream which got you to this point.
The benefits of closure allow you to say, “This project is done. This phase of my life is done. Now I can be free to move on and explore the next dream and the next possibility.” So many people re-live bad experiences over and over again because they think that the outcome that they've chosen or the meaning that they have attached to achieving it is “the most important thing”. So they will go back to an unhealthy relationship or they will stay in a job, that's not really helping them live up to their full potential.
The benefits of closure become apparent when you're able to step back and say, "OK, the time has come. Let me assess, let me review, let me look at where I was when I started and let me make note of the progress that I've made on this journey. Let me noitice where I struggled and where I may have been trying to do things that weren't really aligned with who I was. I may have thought that I had a specific strength but I didn't. Where did I struggle? What could I have done better?” You don't do this to beat yourself up, you do it so you become more self-aware so that moving on to the next dream, you know where you can really apply yourself. Become aware of what you really enjoyed, what you were passionate about and the things that really fired you up and use that as a compass to guide you to your next dream.
Understanding the benefits of closure is really being able to objectively look at who you were when you started and who you have now become.
As you may know, this series, Self-Awareness 101, we are bringing to an end. When we started filming a little over a year ago we made a commitment to ourselves and to our viewers that we were going to deliver 52 episodes, one a week and then stop and see what benefit had been created, what your response to the series would be like, what kind of community would be created and then decide where we would go from there. There are a lot of things that we learned along the way. There are some expectations that we met, some we exceeded and there were also some that we fell short on. But when I explore the benefits of closure and apply what I am talking to you about in this episode and look at the things that have happened in my own personal growth and the new understandings I have developed along the way, these are things that I never even dreamed of.
I’m going to be discussing that more in our final episode which will be next week. I guess the idea I really wanted to share in this episode on the benefits of closure is for you to recognize that everything happens for a reason, a season or a lifetime and when it has served it's purpose, when it has helped you move to the next place in your life, when it has helped you grow and learn the specific lesson it was intended to help you learn, it’s over. It's time to move on.
The sooner we learn this, the much more peaceful our lives become because we become more open to embracing new possibilities and new opportunities. Benefits of closure is about allowing ourselves to celebrate the experiences that we have had for the growth and experiences they brought into our lives. Even if you had a relationship that ended badly, the time that you were together in that relationship, if you truly look at it, you will find that there were some beautiful things that happened. Look at the benefits, look at the growth and enjoy the new possibilities. Move into the next phase of your life and carry those lessons forward.
Choose the next Episode you would like to watch from the list below:
Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus
Introduction To Self-Awareness 101: To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1: The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 2: How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3: To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4: The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5: Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6: Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7: Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8: Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9: Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10: Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11: The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12: Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13: The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14: Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15: You Always Have Choices, It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16: Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17: Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18: Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19: Questions To Ask When You Overcome An Obstacle
SA 101 Episode 20: A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21: The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22: Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23: Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24: Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25: Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26: Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27: Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28: How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29: Positive Affirmations
SA 101 Episode 30: Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31: Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32: Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33: Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34: How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35: Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36: Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37: What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38: How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39: Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40: How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41: Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42: How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43: How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44: Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45: Expectations and Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46: Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47: Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48: Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49: Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50: Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51: Benefits of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52: The Final Episode