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?
In my younger years, I strived for perfectionism. Everything in my life, both work and personal had to be perfect. I worked long hours, cleaned my home before the cleaning lady came, did my hair perfectly before going to the hairdresser....the list goes on and on.
Why do people feel they have to do things perfectly? Judgement mostly. Judgement comes from 3 sides....the perfectionist judging themselves feeling nothing is being done good enough, the perfectionist thinking that no one can do something as well as they can, and "thinking" there is judgement from others that everything has to be perfect. This puts so much pressure and stress on the perfectionist they can't keep up with themselves.
Another challenge is procrastination can set in. Because the perfectionist has to do things so perfectly, quite often they delay getting a task started, because they don't have all the answers and haven't got it perfectly planned out in their mind, they keep delaying getting started.
People that are close to someone that is a perfectionist very often feel inadequate. This person feels like they couldn't possibly do things as well as the perfectionist, even though they are fully capable. This can also affect families because the perfectionist often criticizes everything other's do believing it isn't as good as they could do themselves.
People may express their perceived inadequacy to the perfectionist. They very often feel that they wouldn't want to do the task the perfectionist is so good at because they can't do it as well. Doing things at the perfectionist level is not maintainable long-term.... I remember many years ago speaking to some junior people in a company I was working with. I was encouraging them to move forward in their career and follow the path I had taken. They said they would never want to do what I did because it was too much work. This was a huge wakeup for me. The perfectionist is actually robbing people of living into their potential by the over the top example they are setting.
Perfectionism is exhausting, stressful, and comes from the insecure mindset.....a belief that nothing is good enough and everyone is judging them. A better alternative instead, is to strive for excellence. Accept that it is ok not to be perfect. It is freeing! Letting go of perfectionism and striving instead for excellence will positively change every aspect of your life.
Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader