To get to a new destination you have to know where you’re starting from.

Making powerful changes in life starts with the raw truth.

All of us want to change something about our lives. Sometimes it’s a big thing like overcoming an addiction, sometimes it’s smaller and less defined like getting healthier or having more money. Regardless of the size of the change, the first step to real change is to be totally honest with yourself about your current situation, and the consequences.

Take for example the common desire to “have more money”. It’s fairly easy to state the truth, at least in broad strokes. You might say:

I don’t have a lot of money because I don’t make enough at this job, and to be honest I haven’t made the best financial decisions in the past.

That’s about as deep as most people go. With that ‘honest’ statement in hand, they may try some new things and put some effort into changing habits for a while, and they get typical results – usually short-term progress followed by a slide back to the old ways.

The reason for this is that they haven’t been honest enough to start with. That statement is not nearly honest enough to spark real change in thinking or behavior, and therefore not nearly enough to change your results.

Here’s the kind of raw, powerful statement that’s required to spark change:

I’ve chosen to make this exact level of money, and not a dime more. I’m afraid to set my goals any higher partially because I’m afraid of failing. I’m also afraid of the time and effort involved, and not willing to give up my current level of comfort to pursue more financial gain, regardless of what I say publicly about wanting more money. I am not willing to do even simple things to improve my financial position – budgeting, planning, learning about investment or interest, or improving my own skills to add more value to the marketplace. I won’t do anything except more of what I already know, because I’m afraid of changing anything that could make me uncomfortable. I actually like being in this financial position, and I reinforce it every day with my thinking, habits and actions. I only talk about wanting to change my situation in order to convince myself and others into believing that I have an intention to change. The truth is that I’m happy right here, because I’m scared to commit to try new ways of thinking or behaving to get new results. I’m fully prepared and comfortable with accepting the consequences, which in this case means achieving and experiencing less than my potential, and creating less opportunity for myself and others I love. I’m totally willing to accept these as consequences of my fear-based thinking and decision-making.

Or something like that.

Harsh? Absolutely. But it takes brutal honesty about your thinking and decisions to spark real change. That’s the foundation on which all lasting change is built. If you’re willing to go there, everything greater is possible. If not, nothing is.