July 1

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Roundabout Position – Starting the Journey

By Deborah

July 1, 2022

get unstuck, just start, new beginning, podcast, roundabout, starting the journey, summit, traffic circle

Where Are You?

Along the journey of life, we experience unexpected delights and disappointments. At times, our route is clear, smooth, and obvious - and then there are other times when our path is uncertain, muddy, and completely unclear. Sometimes we are moving forward with lots of momentum, but then we either hit a plateau or reach a roundabout and get stuck, not knowing where or how to exit.

We may find ourselves in frantic motion but going nowhere fast. Or, perhaps our today is very different from our yesterday - but we have no idea how we got here. Fortunately, with a few tools, insight, and a little guidance, we can deliberately choose the current steps we take to climb closer to our desired destination tomorrow.

While our endpoints may vary, we all aspire to be happy, healthy, and content in our relationships, our vocations, and the legacies we will leave. We seek connection and meaning as part of actively living our best life.

I find immense satisfaction in helping others uncover their purpose and move toward their summits, especially if they’ve been stuck circling on a roundabout, seeking a new direction and positive forward motion.

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Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Roundabout Position: Starting the Journey 7-5-22
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If you are feeling stuck or in need of a little boost to propel you forward, I have created a series of articles that may help you. In these articles, I discuss Position, Perspective, and Purpose as part of a journey of positive discovery, and I offer tools, suggestions, and stories to help you assess your starting point, elevate your perspective, and identify your purpose (or purposes) in life.

Starting with Position, here I will share insights on:

  • Why assessing your current position in life is important.
  • My HALFERS Model which is an assessment tool that you can use to determine your current position.
  • Why an honest evaluation of your current position is vital, and
  • Why it is important to approach this assessment with a forgiving and compassionate attitude toward yourself.

In the subsequent two articles, I will share how you assess your current position, how you determine where you want to be, and how to map out the path that connects from here to there. 

Let’s begin.

Why Assessing Your Current Position is Important

Part of being human is knowing how to navigate complex directions from one place to another. Most practically, this entails us moving physically from location Point A to location Point B. As children, we learned to find our way to our elementary school classroom or our friend’s home down the street.

As we matured, we employed our brains, time, and efforts to move from Point A to Point B. In school, we received a writing assignment from our teacher at time Point A, and some days later, we submitted our work at time Point B. In between, we progressed through the steps of ideating a topic, conducting research, creating an outline, writing the paper, and reviewing our work.

In our adult lives, we create action plans every day to accomplish our work. In managing projects, we pair tasks and timelines to plan how to move efficiently and effectively from our current position at Point A to project completion at Point B.

In most things we do, we are in motion, going from where we are to where we want to be.

On our life’s journey, knowing where we are - defining our current Point A - is the first step in planning and executing the process of how we will get to our destination, our Point B.

We need to identify where we are to create the path to where we wish to go if we’re going to develop a life-changing plan.

How the HALFERS Model Can Help You Identify Your Position

Halfers Model-Roundabout Hero

At the times when I’ve been most motivated to make changes in my life, I had a clear understanding that my current position was neither where I needed nor wanted to be.

Now, I take stock of where I am in relation to where I wish to be on an ongoing basis, and I strongly encourage you to create the same routine. Conducting a thoughtful, honest, and compassionate assessment of where you are today is a crucial part of getting on the path to your desired position, your summit.

So, let’s start with what determines your current position.

I have been a teacher in some capacity for most of my adult life, and I like to provide techniques to aid in memory, including the mnemonic device I will share here. Here is one that may help you.

In assessing my point A, the HALFERS Model assessment tool is the one I use. This framework represents the seven essential aspects of our lives that exert immense influence on how satisfied (or unsatisfied) we feel. They impact how successful we will be in achieving our personal goals.

  • Health
  • Attitude
  • Learning
  • Finances
  • Employment
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality

These HALFERS Model facets are not listed in order of importance. Only you can decide how important each facet is in your life.

Imagine that I ask you, “How are things going in your life?”

How would you respond?

You perform a quick assessment and may respond, “Pretty good, Deb.”

Overall, you feel content. You are generally happy with your life, though there are times when you do feel tired and down.

With your general comment, you have subconsciously scrolled through the facets and generated a quick conclusion. Something is weighing you down a bit, but you haven’t figured out exactly what that pain point is and how to address it.

Can you conclusively identify what in your current situation is causing you that anxiety or pain - or what aspects of your life you’d like to improve?

Employing the HALFERS Model can help. Exploring each of these aspects of your life individually can aid in determining the area(s) to which some additional attention may minimize or eliminate the anxiety or dull ache. It can help you determine which facet may need the most urgent attention.

As a musician, I visualize the HALFERS Model facets similar to the faders - the volume controls - on a soundboard.

A sound engineer takes the inputs of each singer and instrument, combines these tracks, then shapes the overall sound by adjusting - even ever so slightly - the fader for each input to create an exquisite piece of music.

Similarly, as the sound engineer of your life, you can mix the inputs of the seven essential facets of your life. You create a blend of these seven inputs - turn this one up at this point, turn this one down - that is optimal for what you need and what is best for you and those you love. Again, optimal is subjective. You define this.

In my next article on Position, we will go into specifics about each of the HALFERS Model facets, and I will share how to use this framework to assess your current position (your Point A). This is a critical step in getting on the path to reaching your Point B.

Why Honesty and Compassion are Vital in Assessing Your Current Position

Halfers Chart-2-Deborah Johnson Roundabout

Being honest is not easy and can even be discomforting and unpleasant. When we are honest, we must commit to being equally forgiving of ourselves to not develop a paralyzing mindset. Gentle. Compassionate.

Committing to improving our current situation is not easy. We will address (and likely need to act on) what we may have previously swept under the rug. It requires full honesty with ourselves about past decisions, choices, and mistakes. It requires us to accept that we are fallible, and no matter what image we wish present to the world, we remain human.

In determining our Point A, we examine each facet of our life. Think of the soundboard with seven fader slides labeled Health, Attitude, Learning, Finances, Employment, Relationships, and Spirituality.

Ask yourself: “For each facet, where am I now?”

With our full honesty in answering this question, we define our starting point for our journey to where we wish to be.

We have all done things that we may not be proud of. Events or actions that we never shared because of our feelings of regret, shame, or worry about being judged by others. We may feel we wasted precious time, either with particular people or through actions that created setbacks to climbing our summits.

When we own up to past events that brought us to where we are today, we reclaim the power that our past has over us. We can create a new future, lighter and more optimistic through the process of acknowledging and accepting our missteps, forgiving ourselves, and establishing new plans of ascent. While we cannot change past events, we can change how we regard them.

Lastly - and this is vital - we must be aware of the tone of our internal thoughts and words as we look more closely at our current circumstances. We can be critical of ourselves in a way that is harmful and not constructive. Or we can choose to be honest with ourselves and to treat ourselves with understanding and compassion. When our inner voice criticizes, we must change or withdraw from this conversation. Focusing on our flaws and mistakes can derail our ability to make positive changes. Focusing on our talents, potential, and small victories moves us forward along our desired path.

Conducting an honest and compassionate evaluation of our current POSITION in life is an important first step on the journey to our summits.

Looking at the seven essential aspects of our lives individually, as encompassed in my HALFERS Model, we can gain a more granular understanding of where we are now (Point A) in each facet. This same model can also be applied to help us determine where we wish to be (Point B). As mentioned, my next article on position will cover how to determine our Point A.

Like a flight plan, knowing our Point A (current position) is fundamental to getting us to our desired endpoint, our Point B. We must know our current position to determine the steps needed to navigate from our present situation to our intended destination.

Please stay tuned for my upcoming articles on POSITION that will share how you can determine your current position, your desired position, and how to map out the path between the two.

We need to identify where we are to create the path to where we wish to go if we’re going to develop a life-changing plan.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

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Deborah

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., inspirational speaker, author and international award-winning music artist, helps others get unstuck and get off a plateau by producing and executing a successful plan to make their second half better than their first. Her message builds on her unique professional experience as a headline entertainer, composer, author, and owner of several businesses. Her 5th book The SUMMIT, out fall 2021, is an inspirational allegory that takes us on an enchanted journey to reach the Summit of our Hero Mountain®, never losing hope in the capacity of the HERO INSIDE all of us.

Deborah hosts and produces the popular Women at Halftime Podcast. Up for multiple GRAMMY awards & spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she’s produced over 2 dozen albums, and 3 musicals. She is also a past president of the National Speakers Association, Los Angeles.

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