What area (or areas) of your life are you getting in your own way? Most people know the answer to that question or at least realize they are though may be challenged to articulate exactly where or how. How much is getting in your own way costing you? Sometimes this is known, however seems more people never even pause to consider the financial impact. The cost may be in the form of money that is going out or revenue never attained for a variety of reasons. Often there’s an interval from the cause or a stimulus before a result occurs. This lag time can leave one with an inability to correlate choices made with consequences experienced; for example, our health.
What about a habit you know is detrimental? Or a skill you’ve convinced yourself you’re unable to learn? How many times does procrastination or blaming rear their ugly head in your life?
When we put off the issue or situation begging our attention, invariably we end up having a bigger ordeal that requires more effort (and frequently more money) to resolve. Some common aspects people procrastinate:
It has been said the way we do anything is the way we do everything. Therefore, in addition to stock piling a bunch of incompletes when we postpone what we need to do, the behavior spills over and affects decisions in other areas. Then, before we know it, we’ve created a pattern (habit) that is so routine and familiar we’re convinced the circumstance is out of our control. On top of our ineffectiveness, we knowingly or unknowingly, blame or attempt to justify our behavior with “reasons” for our response or our delays.
The solutions are clear. Respond in a timely manner. Learn to prioritize. Tend to the tasks at hand. Knowing the interfering culprits; tired, “don’t know how”, too much to do, don’t feel like it etc.; still leaves many people plagued more often than claimed desired.
We must be doomed and best to throw in the towel? There are better options. That said, it won’t be easy. “What, why are you discouraging us Karen before we get started?” you may claim. Actually, the intent is to anchor the mindset to succeed. Too often we can get sucked into instant gratification philosophy. Many of us are tempted (or succumb) to quit short of the miracle. To effectively get results you desire you need to continually get out of your own way and remove your excuses; it is an on-going process!
Some ways to stay on track:
Use the www technique. No, not the internet (world wide web). WWW is my acronym for What’s Working Well. Commit daily to identifying and voicing out loud WWW. Why? How many times have you heard my message to include, wherever we put our focus we get more of that; no discrimination, expansion occurs with both the negative and the positive!
Trick yourself. Huh? Isn’t that what we do when we want something bad enough? We’ll start that adjustment in our diet tomorrow. We’ll modify our ineffective behavior as soon as so and so does. We really want that item so we buy what we have no business getting – eating out, grabbing a coffee on the run, article of clothing etc. The mind can trick us and we can trick our minds. This was a powerful take away for some participants in one of my recent workshops. Next time you’re tempted to procrastinate, “trick” yourself with a desired reward AFTER completing what you need to do. That is as long as the reward is in your means and without harm to yourself or others – heard the groans, “sure throw in that caveat!”
Remember growth and development takes time, however, time alone is insufficient. Action in an appropriate direction is required. How many times have you heard someone claim an athlete, an entertainer, or a comedian is an overnight success? A few years back there was a Pepsi commercial with the message, “Wake up people!” that is very applicable here. There is NO such thing as an overnight success. Just because any of us may be unaware of all the effort a person puts into their accomplishments is far from accurate to deduce another has it easy. Read about any person with significant achievements and we’ll learn about hard work, challenges and persistence; including people like Einstein, Edison and Rosa Parks to name a few. Amazing how when a person experiences breakthroughs the person unwilling to do what’s necessary to attain their goals uses the excuse how it’s easy for that person. Of course, functioning without goals is another issue; refer to Goal Setting for Recovering Excuse Makers e-book.
So, have you determined how much getting in your own way is costing you? Maybe you’d rather not know. Hmmm, sounds like another form of getting in your own way. We’ve all been impacted by what’s been discussed here; yes including me; as none of us are immune. The key difference is how each of us responds. And, especially in developmental phases, there will be times we act effectively while other times, well let’s say we’re less than stellar. Though initially we may have very few “act effectively” and tons of “less than stellar” circumstances, there’s only ONE way to experience the change. Begin to create the shift with moment by moment decisions that build over time. Your thoughts?