‘How do I sort my life out?’: Awareness, Acceptance, & Action


How To Sort Your Life Out

If you’re trying to change or sort your life out then this article will offer you an effective structure that you can walk yourself through.

It’s universal enough to apply to all of us (literally) but also fluid enough to be able to allow you to make sure that you’re truly working on your own terms and in the context of wherever you happen to be internally (mentally, emotionally, psychologically, etc.) and externally (your life situation at present).

It’s a process that I’ve refined over the years as a result of writing my books and thinking about this kind of ‘thing’ (human growth and getting RESULTS in a REAL way) but also from practically applying it as a structure to the relationships I’ve had with my coaching clients:

Awareness -> Acceptance -> Action

Before we get started though, you need to know about ‘The Gap’:

The Gap: Letting Your Goals Change You

The ‘process’ that we’re talking about is the process of CLOSING THE GAP between where you currently happen to be (whether you know it or not) and where you ‘think’ you want to be in the future (which may change as you take action, move forward, and learn more about yourself, the world, and reality).

The fact that it deals with something as contextual as ‘The Gap’ is what makes the process so universal – no matter who you are or what you’re trying to achieve in life you WILL find yourself standing at one side of ‘The Gap’ between the current version of yourself and the next.

The key point that needs to be made here is that – if you’re doing it ‘right’ – then by the time you’ve got to the other side of ‘The Gap’ then you’ll be more REAL as a result of doing the necessary work to raise your awareness, work on your strengths, and to allow some of the hidden ‘parts’ of yourself to emerge from the SHADOW of yourself as you use your creativity to change your life.

This is one of the biggest ‘secrets’ about moving forward in life and getting REAL results: the goals that mean the most and change your life for the better are the ones that TURN YOU INTO A DIFFERENT PERSON – a version that’s always more REAL.

Here’s a fancy diagram from the 7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose that shows what we’re talking about:

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that the goals that will have the biggest impact on your life are the goals that will CHANGE YOU(for the better by allowing the REAL you to emerge).

The first step towards changing your life (or just ‘sorting’ it out) is to commit to allowing this change to take place. If you don’t, then you just end up BLOCKING things with your ego (and the fear, pride, and desire that beg you to keep seeing yourself in a certain unreal light) and you won’t get the RESULTS that you want.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re trying to do – ‘The Gap’ applies to everybody (purely because of how time, space, and the law of cause and effect applies to all of us here on good old planet Earth).

Your basic task is to figure out what’s on the other side of The Gap (and to make sure it’s something REAL so you’re not wasting your time), ask yourself what’s stopping you from getting there (and doing something about it), and then asking yourself “WHO DO I NEED TO BECOME?” in order to get there (which almost always involves cultivating new QUALITIES (or allowing them to re-emerge) and developing new SKILLS).

As you go about doing the work of closing ‘The Gap’ you can make your life a lot easier by following the universal path of Awareness, Acceptance, and Action.

I call this a ‘path’ as ultimately it’s a linear process that builds on itself but – in truth – you can always go deeper into reality and so you will continually uncover new layers of yourself as you move forward that will bring new insights and fuel for growing REAL.

The other thing, of course, is that once you get to the other side of one ‘gap’ you ultimately realise that you’re at the starting point of another one – this is just the nature of life and being a human being: you can always go deeper and nothing really ever ends (until you die at least and even then it’s debatable).

Everybody’s path is different but the building blocks are the same.

Even though all of our lives are ‘different’ because we’re all dealing with our own ‘stuff’ and have experienced life in our own unique ways, the building blocks and the underlying structures of our lives are all the SAME.

This is what makes the human experience the human experience. I’ve talked about it already on this site and in my books but the short-version is that we are all born WHOLE, become fragmented by the world and its conditioning, and then go through a process of waking up and becoming more or less WHOLE (REAL) again (if we’re lucky and/or do the work – some people spend their whole lives being FRAGMENTED/UNREAL because they get too caught up in their IDEAS about themselves and the world).

It goes like this:

Stage 1: Childhood (wholeness) – In which we are still relatively ‘unconditioned’ by the world and its fragments and are free and spontaneous in our REALNESS.

Stage 2: Unreality (fragmentation) – In which we have become conditioned by the world and hypnotised by our own emotional ‘stuff’ to believe that we’re something other than what we really are (and so we do things like end up in the WAGE CAGE, detach from our true purpose, don’t know how to have meaningful/intimate relationships, etc.).

Stage 3: Realness (wholeness) – In which we start to do the work of facing our emotional ‘stuff’, bringing our SHADOW LIFE to the surface, expressing who we really are in the world, moving towards our true potential, and shifting into a way of being and doing that is more REAL (not everybody CONSCIOUSLY makes it to this stage but everybody can).

What this specifically looks like in the context of your life will be different to what it has looked like in anybody else’s – for example, the goals you set yourself or the obstacles you’re facing will be different (along with a million other things like your personal skills, qualities, story, etc.).

The biggest GAP that most of us will ever cross is the one between Stage 2: Unreality and Stage 3: Realness but even once that’s crossed life will still be a series of gaps that need to be traversed in order to make the most of it and keep growing real.

This is where Awareness, Acceptance, and Action comes in:

Awareness, Acceptance, and Action are the full package

Awareness, Acceptance, and Action will give you everything that you need as you go about the process of closing ‘The Gap’ in your own life.

Whatever you’re trying to achieve or wherever you’re trying to go they will SERVE you on your journey.

Here are some simple definitions:

Awareness: Means gaining insight of anything that will expose the gap between yourself and reality.

All this ultimately means is that you take yourself through a process of exploration so that your understanding of real and unreal increases and that you become AWARE of ‘the Gap’ by becoming aware of what ‘reality’ actually is (or isn’t).

Acceptance: Means removing your judgement of whatever it was that caused you to CHOOSE this gap between yourself and reality.

What this ultimately means is that something caused you to keep choosing an UNREAL LIFE in the first place. Usually, this is because we have learned to JUDGE certain parts of ourselves as being ‘unacceptable’ and sent them into the SHADOW TERRITORY (to use language from the book ‘Shadow Life: Freedom from BS in an Unreal World’).

Acceptance is the process of flipping the script and removing judgement and its impact on our lives (Acceptance is the opposite of judgement because the only thing you can do with reality is ACCEPT it – your judgments don’t affect it in any way).

Action: Is kind of self-explanatory but just means DOING whatever it takes to close the gap by unblocking yourself and taking action.

Without taking ACTION things will continue to change around you (that’s just how life is) but you won’t make the kind of progress that you want to be making.

The short-version is this:

Awareness: Increases your understanding of REALITY.

Acceptance: Working to stop JUDGING reality.

Action: Actively working WITH reality.

The final point to be made here is that you need ALL THREE – this is because they build on each other and are interconnected.

If you only (or predominantly) focus on one of the stages then this is what ends up happening:

Only Awareness –  You become self-obsessed and nothing ever changes and the gap between you and reality gets wider (you just need enough awareness, not total).

Only Acceptance – You become passive and life just becomes something that happens to you.

Only Action – You become controlling and don’t take the right actions or get results because you lack understanding (that you get from Awareness and Acceptance).

This is why you need to take yourself (or if you need further support get in touch about working one-on-one) through all of the stages one after the other.

Here’s some practical stuff you can DO at each stage:

What you can DO at each level in order to improve your life

Ultimately, the only ‘rule’ about what to do at each of these levels is this: “Whatever works” – it’s your life and your ‘stuff’ that you’re dealing with.

As long as you understand the FUNCTION of each phase (as explained above) you can use your creativity to keep moving forward and closing ‘The Gap’.

Here are some ideas and principles for each stage:


At the ‘Awareness’ stage you need to be doing anything that increases your awareness of REALITY by helping you to either see where you’re blocking your view (because of illusions etc.) or by acquiring new knowledge (about how life works – not just trivia for the sake of ‘knowing’ things).

Some things you’ll need to do:

Asking the right questions: Learning to expand your awareness of yourself, the world, and reality by testing your CURRENT ASSUMPTIONS and seeing what’s real and what’s not.

Being present: Learning to see how you’re holding yourself back from the present moment (where you always find reality).

Exploring the reasons behind your ‘goals’: To make sure that the life and version of yourself you perceive on the other side of ‘The Gap’ is aligned with your true VALUES and INTENTIONS.

Becoming AWARE of your true vales and intentions in the first place: Which are often hidden beneath decades of conditioning and BS (which you also need to become aware of).

Testing your thoughts, values, and beliefs: Making sure that you haven’t just picked up a value and belief system from the world arbitrarily and that it’s actually aligned with the real you (a great starting point is figuring out your REAL values and seeing if they’re in your life)

Seeing how you’re blocking self-expression: Maybe you have certain sides of yourself or points of view (etc.) that you keep finding yourself holding back. You need to be AWARE of this so you can ensure that they get expression on the other side of ‘The Gap’.

Becoming aware of how life actually works: Uncovering and taking the relevant RED PILLS so that you don’t have any illusions or BS holding you back in the areas of health, wealth, and relationships (and life in general).  For example, you may need to become aware of the fact that you’ll be DEAD one day and so your time, energy, and attention are the most valuable things you have.

Deconstructing your ego: You need to start understanding that the main thing holding you back is your EGO – i.e. the image you created of yourself in order to hide from your unresolved emotional ‘stuff’. You need to be AWARE of how this SHOWS UP in your life and how it’s holding the REAL you back (normally by making you passive and resisting ACCEPTANCE and ACTION – the next stages).

In short: Anything you can do to increase your understanding of yourself, the world, and reality.


As we said, ‘Acceptance’ is about moving towards a life without judgement of REALITY (because you can’t judge reality as it just is what it is). This applies to the levels of ourselves, the world, and reality itself.

This stage builds on the ‘Awareness’ stage because as you start to increase your awareness and uncover a better understanding of reality you will find yourself RESISTING because of your own ego ‘stuff’ and your conditioning from the world in general.

Only if you ACCEPT reality based on what you’ve become AWARE of can you ever hope to DO anything real with it.

Some practical things you can do:

Looking at the ego versus the shadow: If you can understand the relationship between your ego and the SHADOW parts of yourself that your ego has been CREATED (by you) in order to hide then you will gain a better understanding of what causes you to JUDGE reality instead of accepting it.

Understanding why you want to believe certain illusions: The main reason you JUDGE reality is because you want to believe in something else (the standards that your judgements are based on) – when you’ve increased your AWARENESS you’ll start to see that you were believing in FALSEHOODS.

When you ask yourself honestly WHY you chose to believe these things you’ll learn to start accepting the parts of you that you were hiding from by doing this.

Unblocking your emotional ‘stuff’: There are exercises, activities, and things that you can do to start facing your hidden emotional ‘stuff’ (almost always shame, guilt, and trauma or some cocktail of the three). Whatever this looks like in the context of your own life is up to you but the key point is that by letting your emotional stuff ‘out’ you will better be able to ACCEPT and flow with reality.

Looking at the way we think and how it reflects a lack of self-acceptance, etc.: Again, building on the AWARENESS you keep cultivating, you can start to look at how your thought patterns either reflect self-acceptance or self-judgement.

Like we keep saying acceptance is the opposite of judgement and so if you find that you’re constantly judging yourself with a harsh inner critic (for example) then you will need to ACCEPT that you have some stuff going on that is keeping you from reality.

In short: ANYTHING that helps you to move towards more acceptance of yourself (especially), the world, and reality and  that stops you from JUDGING what’s real (because that’s irrational).


Action is the most self-explanatory stage – it simply means taking all of the learning you acquire in the Awareness and Acceptance stages and making sure that you act in a REAL way without judgement.

Some practical things you can do:

Create a vision based on what you’ve learned about yourself, the world, and reality: This is the first stage of action – creating a real vision based on the AWARENESS you uncovered and a true ACCEPTANCE of yourself in reality.

This vision is essentially a picture of what the other side of ‘The Gap’ will look like. The more clarity you have here the better (whilst not forgetting that you can change this vision whenever you like and as you keep learning and moving forward).

Setting concrete goals: Once you’ve got the vision you can start breaking it down into GOALS. For example, maybe your vision involves writing a book – you can set specific goals to write a certain number of words by a certain deadline, etc.

Sorting out your habits: Looking at the ONGOING HABITS you’ll need to be able to get where you need to be by taking action every day. For example, with the ‘writing a book goal’ your habit might need to be ‘Write at least 500 words per day’.

Understanding your values and translating them into goals and behaviours: Making sure that the ACTION you take is aligned with your real values (and intentions) so that you’re actually doing something REAL and not just doing things for the sake of your ego as a way of avoiding your shadow.

Developing the skills and qualities that will let you become the person you need to BECOME to close the gap: This will be different for everybody but it basically means knowing who you need to BE in order to get what you want.

The qualities you need to develop might be things like “assertiveness”, “confidence”, “risk-taking” but it could be literally anything based on your vision for yourself and who you need to STRETCH INTO to get there (because the qualities are already in you – you just need to turn up the volume by stretching yourself).

SKILLS will also be different depending on your vision but – for example – might be things like copywriting, video editing, gymnastics etc. It literally could be anything but you need to be AWARE of it and to ACCEPT it if it’s real so you can start taking ACTION and doing it.

In short: Action is about doing whatever it takes to BECOME that person that’s on the other side of that gap waiting for you.

Final lesson: it’s CIRCULAR and so you will always be able to go deeper as you keep learning.

In short, this is a process that never really ends and you can always go deeper but if you understand the specific stages and what’s needed then you can get better RESULTS and live a better life.

To repeat the short-version:

Awareness: Increases your understanding of REALITY.

Acceptance: Working to stop JUDGING reality.

Action: Actively working WITH reality.

You need ALL THREE of these stages to close that gap and to get the life you want to be living.

It might not be easy but it’s always worth it and you’ll always be more REAL by the time you’ve finished.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

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