I know spring has arrived when Robin returns to my window. He perches on a limb close-by and for long stretches stares at his reflection in the glass. At some point Robin flies to the edge of the window and begins to gently bump up against the glass. After a bit he returns to the branch, stares at the image of himself, and repeats this over and over for days.
Robin’s behavior is explained as his attempt to mate with a perceived female or to chase what appears to be a competing male from his territory. Robin’s instinct is to nest and mate. His behavior supports his instinct.
Robin’s drive to mate is greater than Robin’s ability to recognize the futility of his efforts. His glass reflection could be understood as his vision, albeit an inaccurate one. Furthermore, each time Robin repeats his efforts to be with his vision, opportunities to achieve his authentic vision are lost. Of course, Robin’s authentic vision is procreation with a mate, not the image in the window. Pursuit of Robin’s inauthentic vision is contrary to him achieving his authentic vision.
Are you chasing an illusionary vision? Have you identified your authentic vision and what may block you from achievement of your intrinsic desires? What is your glass window? What may we learn from Robin?
Your authentic vision
Let’s start with what we mean by authentic vision. For Robin, his authentic vision would be a real life Robin. However, Robin’s internal programs override reality. Robin visualizes a reflection, which is similar to instinctual information about seeking a mate. Robin acts on this information, which is contrary to Robin’s authentic vision.
What is your authentic vision? Is your vision based on information provided by others, prior learning, or internal programs similar to Robin caught in the reflection? Or, does your vision:
If you resonate with these questions, recognize your authentic vision.
Let’s assume you have completed the hard work to find what’s important for you. Your next step is self-awareness. You want to know if your life is directed toward your authentic vision.
When we are self-aware we are in touch with what’s happening in the present moment. With self-awareness, we recognize our environment and how we react. We want to know if our behaviors support our authentic vision. Routines may be deterrents to our authentic vision.
Letting go of what is familiar
Robin returns to the same branch, and repeats his behavior. Do you revisit the same activities or life style and replicate behaviors, which are not aligned with your authentic vision? If so, what prevents your flight to another limb to get a different perspective? For Robin, a move to a different branch might change everything. On a new limb, Robin may not experience an inaccurate vision in the window. Or, Robin could leave his familiar tree and fly to unknown territory on the lawn. On the grass, an actual Robin might be difficult to find. If a real Robin appears, there could be competition from others. It’s understandable why Robin returns to his familiar branch.
Do you hide in your comfort zones? Have habits or fears of unknown locations or activities blocked you from your authentic vision? Are you busy with safe, routine tasks? Is busy productive? Are you consumed with what is right for you or are you busy doing it right? Are routines an excuse to avoid change? If so, it may be time to change unproductive behaviors.
When we fly out of our comfort zone we break a preference for the status quo. When we reject sameness we choose creativity. What does it take to pick creativity? Return to Robin who failed to show up at my window this week. Robin will continue to pursue his inaccurate vision until something in the environment changes. When spring progresses, the sun’s angle elongates, and it shifts Robin’s reflection. His reflection becomes less familiar. At the same time, Robin’s biologic clock pushes him toward more creative solutions to find a mate.
What changes in your environment, or within you, make your habits obsolete or unproductive? Are you ready to recognize your failures with old performance and futility of detrimental routines? Are you ready to create new behaviors, which support your authentic vision? It’s your choice.
Recognize new pathways
When we choose behaviors that support our authentic vision, we accept change as a result of abandonment of habits, which hold us back. When we break routines, we leave a place of perceived security, our familiar branch, our comfort zone, which has low risk and small potential rewards. When we aspire to new places of higher risk and greater possible benefits, we find pathways toward our authentic vision. In this place of uncertainty, we create new ways of thinking and innovative behaviors to improve clarity of our authentic vision. As we improve clarity, we recognize other inaccurate visions and focus on our authentic vision.
What would happen if you left your comfortable branch and followed your path toward your authentic vision? Are you ready to find your own way?
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Life Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.