The #1 thing holding us all back
I started this post last week under the title "Taking Credit." It was going to be about giving yourself credit for the things you do accomplish versus always seeming to dwell on the things we haven't done. As I sat down to begin writing though, I couldn't come up with how to begin. I started 5-6 different sentences and nothing was smooth, everything was forced. I stepped back and thought "Why is taking credit important?" as well as "What really is at work?" and I realized I was really just talking about the greatest force out there that is holding us back from the accomplishment and goals we have laid out in front of us. Namely, ourselves. A while back while in the midst of the 27 Day Blogging challenge, I touched on the notion that despite all of our talking about changing and taking steps to change, if we REALLY wanted to do so, we would have already. We constantly tell ourselves we can do better, we can be the best, we can take that risky, scary ass step, but when push comes to shove, we don't. Believe me, I am speaking from a point of experience. There are times EVERY SINGLE WEEK when I feel like I should be making the jump, being a better husband or father, selling more shoes, selling more salads, being a better blogger, hammering a certain workout, becoming more financially responsible and on and on and on.
Whether it is doubt, fear, poor planning or what, the one thing holding each and everyone of us back is looking back from you in the mirror this morning. It's not your boss, or your competition. It's not your economic situation, education or upbringing. Its you. I know for damn sure it's me.
We are incredible organisms wired with an incredible capacity to think, create, compete and do. There is much irony that the very strength of our abilities fights against us a lot of the time. Maybe it's a safety mechanism so that we don't kill ourselves, but doubt, fear, and second guessing can almost feel like a human instinct, and not free will.
GOOD NEWS! This is b.s. We do have a choice and we can overcome this. I don't have the end all be all "fix it plan" but I do have something to help. Try the following 100% satisfaction guaranteed list of "self beaters" today, and be at the least 1 step closer to hitting one of your goals.
1. Try and take credit for a success, even if only inwardly, every single day. You did something recently that you considered a success. Have you said to yourself, "Hey, nice job?" I know that this is one of my achilles heels. This doesn't mean you have to call the local news and let them know that you in fact got up and exercised this morning, but it means being proud of yourself for doing it. Taking credit for you successes daily, even for the little things, makes you feel good about the work you are doing. It makes it matter, and by making it matter, lets you build momentum. TAKE CREDIT FOR ONE THING-EVERY DAY.
2. Shut down negative self talk immediately. This one is tough because negative self talk is more than just "I can't". It also lives in the way in which we analyze choices daily. Try and turn things like "Well there is no way I am going to get through all of this today." into "I have a ton to do and in order to get some of this done, I'll start with 'x'." One positive step can lead to two and so on. "I can't," is poison. "I can!" is the anti venom.
3. PLAN-This is my other achilles heel (can I have more than 2?). One of my big weaknesses is just rolling with what the day brings me. This may sound like a really zen like approach to the work day, but let me be clear. If you don't control your day, it will control you. I am working on this. My goal is to plan nightly for the next day and on Fridays for the week ahead so that I can hit the mornings relaxed and confident with what the day will hold for me. Usually, it starts with a workout which helps to clear my mind and centers me. Pick something that gives you a success, take credit for that and keep rolling. Devise your plan with one ACTIONABLE item to move the THREE most important things you are working on every single day, or heck maybe it's one, nevertheless, plan for it and control it.
hugs + high fives pf