So, if you’ve learned to trust that you are good enough, what would be different about you? How would your life change? For years, I believed I paid no attention to what it meant to say. Yes, I never noticed how my decisions to pursue any endeavors was based on my preconceived idea of what is or is not possible. Keep in mind I had nearly complete faith in my ability to fail and be laughed at. This approach to life is common for many people. There was no single event that changed my view of my potential. It was mastering my ability to identify successful behaviors from the past then leveraging those behaviors to grow and do different things. The big surprise was I had abilities that I’d been using all along to manage my day to day life but not necessarily grow.
The strategies I learned to cultivate and use towards accelerating my growth were already in play. I just didn’t recognize what I was doing. The most important are Adaptability, I am a master at dealing with the consistency of change. I embrace change because it sharpens my ability to find new pathways and directions for learning. If you can master adaptation you can learn to control one of the biggest roadblocks to personal growth, fear or fear of change. Adaptability has a very important upside, it builds confidence.
The reward is that you get to change your life for the better when and as often as you’d like to. Everything becomes possible when you think that you’re capable. Failure is no longer a fear but a useful tool for research that provides you with information that increases your ability to achieve rather than prevent you from moving forward. The ultimate advantage of assuming the best about yourself is you’re rarely disappointed.
The Must-Do List
I believe that success starts in the moment. I coach myself to think of myself as excellent. This sounds simple enough however there is a science to it. Everyone will say set goals and plan your strategy. It needs to be a bit more than that. It also needs to involve more of your inside view of who you are versus what you think you want. What I mean is think of how this goal will make you feel? How will it change your life? Will it impact how you are viewed? Get to the real reason for this choice. If the answers to these questions inspire you to pursue further then you are in alignment with this goal. I recommend looking at the daily achievements needed to attain this goal. What must I do each day and how must I feel in order to be motivated to do it daily? It’s this must-do list and the corresponding mood that will guide you to be more engaged in the moment and keep you in alignment with accomplishment.
The Physical Reminder
Next, you need a way to stay engaged in the moment. This is important because distractions will not stop just because you want to achieve a goal. You must find ways to snap-back into that state of excellence. This may sound odd but I use mild discomfort as a tool to remain focused on a concept throughout the day. Nothing harmful of course but a rubber band around the wrist would do the trick. I personally use my watch. I buckle the strap a little tighter than normal so that I know it’s there I associate that discomfort with the goal I am working on. So, several times during the day I touch my wrist and adjust the strap. While doing that I check in with myself and see how well I’ve maintained focus and how close I am to achieving the day’s tasks for the goal. This affords you a random audit of your thoughts and how you’re engaging in your personal view of yourself.
Finally, you must find ways that allow you to recognize your efforts and validate that achievement with some sort of celebration. This is something most people fail at doing because it seems like it would be less than modest or over indulgent. However celebrating achievements, great and small, serves as the motor that drives continuous achievement. I see it as the light at the next stop of the tunnel. Knowing that it’s not the final stop, it keeps me focused on short term successes rather than being overly concerned with what I must do next or why I don’t have to complete the journey to its successful completion. These are some of the techniques I use to coach myself and others. I hope the same is true for you.
“In pursuit of success, the only form of fear that is acceptable is the fear of regret”.
Avoid The Catastrophic View
This must be one of the most damaging dream killers known to man. When I speak with client’s friends or strangers about their dream, my favorite type of conversation to have by the way. It takes a moment or two to get individuals to share their ideas. I think it’s important to be a source of inspiration for those who speak about their dreams aloud. I noticed, however, that many of these conversations move from the desired outcome to the created list of impossibilities that paralyze the pursuit of dreams. This “dream killer” mentality is an important thing to understand. It’s a way to keep you from acting, it’s that part of your subconscious mind designed to protect you from harm in the form of failure, disappointment or embarrassment. To avoid this, start with embracing it. Yes, explore all possible outcomes. Both good and bad. The key to this approach is to think of what you could learn by failing and what you would do the next time. Create a list of possible failures and the learnings you would gain. Create a vision of this idea with perfect execution in addition to the less than positive outcome. The combination of these two creates a version with a list of possible challenges that you can build a plan. It also offers a clarified view that makes it easier to act.
Work the Problem
I once read an article about how NASA solves big engineering problems. I have since adopted this approach and feel it is one of the most important tools I use for achievement. At the start of any goal, there are problems that do not have immediate solutions, questions that are without answers. This is another road block that stops progress in its tracks. If you were a NASA employee, you would be instructed to put the unsolvable problems and unanswerable questions in an imaginary black box with the accepted belief that all problems have solutions and all questions have answers. Then work on the part of the challenge that has a clear path. What you will find is that over time the answers reveal themselves and the puzzle come together. You must keep working the problem until it is solved.
Understand Facts and Emotions
I think this is the most difficult strategy to adopt because it requires you to be present and conscious of how shortfalls or setbacks affect you emotionally. Many times, a setback, no matter how big or small is enough to slow or stop an action. Ask yourself the following questions to help manage your state of mind during this time. How does this change my view of my goal? What is it that has changed about me? What will I lose if I don’t complete this goal? Am I willing to break a promise to myself if I give up? These questions are designed to help you center yourself and re-engage your pursuit of a goal. I think part of releasing this fear is acknowledging its existence. It is perfectly fine to be afraid of a goal, some might say it’s actually a sign that you are pushing yourself to reach that full potential when you’re slightly fearful. Fear is a normal part of the process, not a reason to stop. Keep that in mind when you feel your motivation waning.