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  • Writer's pictureK.C. Dreisbach, LMFT

Being Powerfully Present: How Continuous Improvement Creates a Better You

Updated: Apr 9, 2022



A few weeks ago, I did a post about the Power of One. I talked about how every great change lies in harnessing the power of focusing on 1 step at a time. I want to expand on that thought for a moment, because the Power of One is truly at the core of EVERY great success. And if you can adopt this mindset and learn to work it, you’ll be AMAZED at what you can accomplish.


See, when I work with my clients, many are tormented by the past. It might be traumatic events, poor decisions (or indecision, which is still a choice), broken relationships, opportunities missed, etc. The list just goes on and on. It’s our list of regrets. We all have them… me included.


My clients come in, and they’re usually riddled with depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, negative self-talk, and some have gotten to the point that suicide starts to sound like a good option to solving their problems. And when they come to see me, they have a laundry list of reasons why they’re suffering:


“My spouse left me…” “I didn’t get the job I wanted…” “I dropped out of school…” “I didn’t have the guts to ask her out…” “I didn’t fight back…” “I just let them do it to me…” “I failed…” “I didn’t train hard enough…” “I didn’t try hard enough…” “I’m not ENOUGH…”


This list, then, becomes their reasons why they can’t rise from their own ashes. See, they begin to believe that this list is the REASON of why they live in depression, anxiety, failure, etc. This list becomes the REASON of why they can’t DO BETTER. This list becomes an anchor that keeps their ship from sailing off into the sunset. This list keeps them stuck.


Over the weekend, I was reading a book by the late Dr. Wayne Dryer. And in his book, he states that our past is nothing more then the “wake of our life.”

Have you ever seen a boat sailing on the water? Behind the boat, it leaves a trail of foaming, bubbling water. That’s called a “wake.” The boat isn’t powered by the wake. It doesn’t propel the boat forward. The boat is driven by PRESENT POWER caused by the engine burning fuel. The wake is nothing more than the trail left behind by that PRESENT POWER that moves the boat forward.


What if you saw that list as nothing more than the wake of your life? What if everything from your past is nothing more than just a trail you’ve left behind? What if what lies in front of you is nothing but beautiful blue ocean, untouched, and full of limitless potential?


See, all my clients are stuck because they mistake their past for an anchor. They think that their past is the cause for their present life and is keeping them anchored in place. In reality, the past is just the past… it’s just the wake of their life experiences.


Is it painful? Absolutely. Was it horrible, difficult, and hard to experience? Without a doubt! Was it unfair and undeserved? Probably. Does it define the future? Hell no! Because the future is not defined by the past… it’s defined by the POWER of the PRESENT.


See, when I teach new therapists how to do this work, I always teach them that change doesn’t happen in the past and it doesn’t happen in the future. It happens in the ‘here and now.’ As “baby therapists,” they’re hyper focused on the client’s past traumas, pain points, etc. They’re hyper focused on the “wake of the boat.” But there’s no power there. Nothing will change for the client by focusing on the foamy waters of the past.


Change happens by focusing on the present moment, the here and now. Because the present moment has the power to produce change. Because just like the boat, we are driven by PRESENT POWER. We have the capacity to CHANGE RIGHT NOW. It might be by turning the wheel of our life in a different direction to seek a new horizon. It might be by slowing everything down or speeding everything up, etc. The point is, the PRESENT MOMENT is where the POWER of CHANGE exists!


So many of us focus all our time and energy on the past, but you’ll find it produces little (if any) results. Why? Because it's the PAST. It's already done and gone.

Many of us focus our time and energy on the future, but that doesn't seem to produce much either. Why? Because you can plan all day on what you’re going to do tomorrow, but it still hasn't happened yet. It’s in the future and the future in unknown. Planning is not the same as CHANGE.


Change is an ACTIVE STATE. It means making an ACTIVE CHOICE in the PRESENT MOMEMT.


Let’s look at an example, shall we?


Let’s say you want to lose weight. You can meal plan all you want, but this, in itself, does not make you lose any pounds. But when you’re sitting by the TV and the itch to snack on chips or cookies hits you, that’s a PRESENT MOMENT where the OPPORTUNITY for CHANGE happens. In that moment, you have the POWER to CHANGE. And if you resist the urge to snack on that cookie or choose a fresh fruit instead, YOU JUST CHANGED. And it all happened in the here and now.


See, when we talk about TRUE LASTING CHANGE, we’re talking about sustainable life habits. And sustainable life habits only develop by consistently making a different choice in the present moment.


Focusing on the wake of your life DOES NOTHING to help you become a better version of yourself. It’s why I, as a licensed therapist with more than a decade of experience working with complex cases, spend little (if any) time focusing on my clients’ past. Instead, we focus on that PRESENT POWER. We focus on the control you have in that very moment to speed up, slow down, or turn that boat in a whole new direction.


Because in that present moment, you have the opportunity to embrace your POWER of ONE. In that very moment, you have the ability to focus on that one choice and choose smarter, wiser, more intelligently, more purposefully, more conscientiously, and more powerfully. And if you focus on CHANGING YOURSELF one step at a time, one choice at a time, you make yourself 1% better.


And if you make yourself 1% better each day for 1 year, you’ll be 37 times better off than when you started. This is the idea of “Continuous Improvement,” and it’s what the Power of One is all about!


So, today, I challenge you to see your past differently- to no longer let it be the anchor that keeps you stuck, and instead, see it as nothing more than the wake of your life.


I challenge you to harness your incredible POWER of ONE and use the POWER of the PRESENT MOMENT to make a POWERFUL CHANGE 1 choice at a time.


I challenge you to focus on the here and now- to be POWERFULLY PRESENT.

Because change doesn’t happen in the past or in the future- it happens in the here and now. Be PRESENT in the NOW, harness the full POWER of ONE choice, and be amazed by what you can become.


So harness that power and make a powerful choice RIGHT NOW. Message me, and let's talk about a plan to help you harness that POWER of ONE. Let's turn that boat around together and seek a whole new horizon. Message me. Let's do it together.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krystal Dreisbach is a licensed therapist, mindset coach, adjunct professor of counseling, and published author.  Her specialties include depression treatment, anxiety counseling, stress management support, and mindset coaching.  Learn more about Krystal and see how she can help you live a better life.

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