Do you feel like you have to have everything perfectly figured out in advance? Do you find that you procrastinate and don't take the actions you know you should? Would you consider yourself a perfectionist? Do you analyze everything to death? Do you feel like you are often stalled and taking no action is the result because you have so much analysis going on in your mind? How many times have you been stalled in the action steps you should be taking because you are attempting to figure out every possible step and outcome in advance? Something I have learned to do is to always just take the next step to bring you closer to where you want to be.
We can't predict what the future is, or what taking a particular step will result in. We can pre plan it in our mind, but very often it is not quite what we envisioned. It is during the process of taking the step that we often figure out the next step to take, as a result of something that may have happened during that process. For instance, we decide to contact someone as our next step and during the conversation with that person, you learn some valuable new information, that gives you a new step to take which you couldn't possibly have known to take in advance. Sometimes, it is a course correction that you couldn't have known to take, without this new information you gained from the last conversation.
As I have taken these steps consistently, I have often paused to look back and thought I couldn't possibly have imagined these new steps would present themselves as opportunity. Some of the things that have happened have amazed me, and I didn't imagine would have come along. Very often, I didn't even know these new things I have come across existed until I got to that spot of learning and being introduced to the new idea. Understanding this concept takes the pressure off of pre planning and feeling like you have to have the whole picture figured out perfectly. And very often it turns out better than you even imagined when you first started out towards the goal. Just taking the next step with intention reveals the next step to take. So simple, it is often overlooked.
How have you seen this play out in your action steps?
Isn't in interesting how often people want to give us advice that are not qualified to give us that specific advice, yet before we understand this concept, we often have the experience where we give in to their beliefs instead of our own.
Here's an example: A young woman wants to start her own business and leave her nursing career, but a "well meaning" co-worker is attempting to discourage her stating that most businesses fail. This is an employee giving advice on what it takes to be successful in business. This person has never been a business owner, yet is attempting to advise on this subject. She is not qualified to give advice, and has no experience or credibility in the subject area. She is giving advice based on what she has "heard", not on what she has experience in. Yet, this happens to people every day....they take "well meaning" advice from people in their lives that have no business giving them advice because they have not had success in that area.
So many people are talked out of their dreams every day because of this type of "well meaning" individual. It is such a simple concept - only take advice from those that have had success in the area you want to improve upon. If you want to build a stronger more loving marriage, ask the couple who has the best relationship you know. If you want to advance in your career, ask the person that has done what you want to do. Learning not to take advice from these stoppers in our lives is one of the best ways to build trust in your own decisions.
Without identifying specifics, share what category your biggest stopper was -
-a family member
-an educator or coach (sports or other)
This will assist others in recognizing how we are surrounded by stoppers in our closest circles, but despite that, we can choose to step outside of the advice they give and create success anyway.
Many years ago, I learned a concept called Know For Yourself. Know for yourself is learning to break the habit of needing other people's opinions and approval, and learning to trust your own internal judgments.. You learn to build autonomy, and move away from masses thinking, because imitating the masses builds a life of conformity.
Know for yourself is a concept that I feel I had been searching for all my life. I have always had my own thoughts and opinions, but I felt that I wasn't capable enough to really accept my thoughts as being correct for me.
This really comes from all the past conditioned beliefs we are taught growing up. We are taught to take certain experts words and advice as the only correct answer. Much frustration can set in for individuals when you feel deep down your intuition is telling you something, but you are overriding it because a perceived expert or guru knows better.
An example may be something as simple as your doctor telling you to get the flu shot. There has been so much fear instilled into society over the last few years about the need to get the flu shot. Doctors suggest it every time you are in the office. The drug stores offer it, there are ads in magazines, tv, etc. There are signs everywhere you go, including the airport! People line up for hours to get their flu shot because someone in a white coat has told them they should, and without question, they buy into it.
I have an uncle that had the flu shot when it first came out, and within days he became a vegetable, at age 60, and has been in a nursing home ever since, barely recognizing anyone and unable to care for himself. This, along with my understanding of know for yourself, was a re-confirmation that despite what a Dr. may tell me I need, I do my own research and take full responsibility for my health. Whenever I have anything at all that needs to be addressed with my health, I fully research online to read and educate myself on all the possibilities and solutions before I walk into a Dr.'s office. I want to be as informed as possible before I simply "accept" the recommendation given, so that I can ask informed questions, and make my own choices. The interesting thing I have observed, is every year my Dr. asks me if I want the flu shot. Every year I remind him about my uncle. Every year it is like I am telling him this story for the first time. I look at the generation before me, and how many never think to question a doctor. People are told to take medication and in many cases, they have 6-8 bottles of pills sitting on their counter and have no idea what any of them are for, and why they are taking them. It is a lack of personal confidence and not realizing they can ask questions. Many feel that they could never question someone with "authority". No one will ever care about your own health and well being as much as you. Taking full responsibility for our health is just one more area of life that the principle of know for yourself comes into play.
There are two types of people that go to work everyday. Those that spring out of bed every morning, with a sense of purpose and can't wait to get to work. More common are those that want to sleep longer, call in sick, have a snow day or whatever it takes to get out of going to work. I have been on both sides of the table, but very grateful that many years ago I discovered what makes the difference.
"Successful entrepreneurs know what makes them get out of bed in the morning. They know what drives them to take the risks they take and to experience the results they create. They know what makes the journey, with its ups and downs and difficulties and surprises, worth the effort."
This gave me another one of those lightbulb moments. Those that are looking for every excuse under the sun to not go to work, feel this way because they see no value in what they are doing. They are often bored, disengaged and have no sense of purpose. They are just there for the paycheck. That is not enough to build ongoing enthusiasm, fulfillment or happiness.
People want to feel what they do is worthwhile. So many people in life make the mistake of choosing a career path just for the money. Although we require finances to live, it is not enough to keep our enthusiasm alive. We must have a purpose bigger than ourselves that gets us out of bed in the morning. This is the distinction with successful entrepreneurs. We know why we are doing what we do, we believe in it with all our hearts and are excited about the result it will bring. We know what we do matters, and we become self motivated. Successful entrepreneurs live their passion and do not feel controlled by outside sources. That in itself is so freeing. And the key is, this enthusiasm is fully present, consistently, BEFORE the success actually comes because the successful entrepreneur has chosen to live a life on purpose, a life of meaning, by their own design. The enthusiasm is there because you are choosing purposely and not feeling controlled, or a lack of choice. This thinking applies to both employees and entrepreneurs that want to feel this type of enthusiasm for their work.
If you can't wait for Saturday, maybe it's time to reassess what you spend 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week doing. Life is too short to spend 40 hrs week on something you don't enjoy. Over a time period of 20 yrs of age to 65 years of age, that is 90,000 hours, based on a 40 hr. work week. So ask yourself....who are you, the person that can't wait for Saturday so they don't have to go to work, or the person that is in love with their life and fully engaged in the work they do?
Change is a constant in life and in business. At the beginning of every year, people decide to make changes they state are important to them. Why then do so many fail?
One of the biggest mistakes one can make at this time of year, is to make the standard "new years resolution". Typically people make a resolution to lose weight, quit smoking, change careers, etc. In most cases, by mid to end of January, most have given up on their "resolution". The main reason for this is they were not committed to what they said they wanted.
To avoid making the same mistakes in 2014, and having the same regrets at the end of every year, instead reflect on what you want to change and more importantly WHY you want it. For instance, someone that wants to quit smoking needs to attach more emotional reasons to achieve the goal. An example would be "I am going to quit smoking once and for all because I have lost people I love to cancer, I do not want to be a statistic, and I am going to set a better example for my children. I am going to quit to improve my health so I can be here to see my children grow and experience the gift of being a grandparent. If I continue smoking, my health will be affected, and I will be robbing my loved ones of time with me. I am going to stop being selfish and buying my own excuses, and start putting my reasons for quitting in front of my awareness as I start every day"
The next steps are to change your habits. Think about the effects that cancer has had on those you love. Have you watched someone you love suffer and it tore your heart out? Imagine putting your family through this pain, and how selfish it is to not take control of this. Imagine how they would feel having to watch you go through this.
Decide what you are going to do when you "feel" like a cigarette. What safeguards are you going to put in place. Perhaps every time you feel like a cigarette, you could write a letter to those you love explaining why it was worth it to give up on your goal. Look in your children's eyes and imagine how they would feel losing you, and ask yourself if the cigarette is worth it?
This gives more emotional attachment to the goal, than making a simple statement such as "I'm going to quit smoking". When we attach real human emotion to any goal and keep it at the forefront of our thoughts every day, it gives us the strength to push through the challenges we will face. Understand there will be challenges. Any habit that we decide to change, will present challenges. It is up to us to find the strength internally to push through these challenges, without buying our own excuses. With an emotional attachment to the goal like this, it helps us push through those challenging times until the new habit is formed.
This thinking can be applied to any goal, business or personal. Nothing changes with the same thinking as we had previously. In order to make a successful change, you must change the way you think. Be the leader in your own life...start with one area, and you will learn how to apply this concept in every area of your life.....
Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader