How to Get Out of Your Own Way

By , October 9, 2013 10:48 pm

WhichWay_210x210“My life is one long obstacle course, with me being chief obstacle.”

Jack Paar

I’ve come to realise that success is NOT about doing more. It’s about taking consistent action towards your goal and completing things.

And often, the ONE THING that gets in your way of your success… is YOU!

Why do we get in our own way?

Why do we sabotage our own success?

Life is busy and it’s hard to stay focused with so much going on. It’s difficult to be fully present and focused on what’s important when you have so many demands on your attention.

Distractions steal your time and lead you further away from your goal. It’s easy to use them as an excuse (or a convenient alibi) for your lack of success. Over time your goal remains just another idea as things begin to fall away.

Here’s a real life example…

Jenny started our first coaching session by describing how disappointed she was with the progress of her year so far. She’d had great plans… but everything had fallen away since setting her goals in January.

She’d not made any meaningful progress and was stuck in the same old story cycle, blaming everyone and everything for her lack of progress. Deep down she was feeling sorry for herself that she had no time to make anything happen.

She blamed constant interruptions for her lack of productivity.

This year wasn’t going the way she had wanted.

Then she started ‘should-ing…’

Her conversation was peppered with phrases like:

I know I should be more…”

“I should have started earlier…”

“I should have focused on my goals and not allowed myself to become distracted…”

She was too busy wrapped up in her own excuses. Our excuses are convenient external justifications for not getting things done, that we share with everyone else.

Jenny was also exerting a lot of effort and energy to maintain her alibi and at the same time creating self-imposed disappointment and grief. Her alibi had become more attractive than taking the harder path towards achieving her goals. She’d put extra demands on herself and then baled out with excuses instead of taking action.

Most of us are undisciplined in our approach and it’s easy to become distracted and unfocused. When we’re under pressure we move out of our left-brain – logical thinking, into the right brain – emotive thinking, and it’s difficult to be rational from this place.

I helped her realize that she’d just got stuck in some bad habits, a lack of boundaries and she wasn’t being selective about where to put her attention.

Here’s how to make meaningful progress and get BACK ON TRACK:

  1. Re-align to your goal – Get clear on WHAT you want to achieve and WHY you want to do it. Write down your intention and keep this in a place where you can see it regularly.
  2. Stop avoiding – Decide that you’ll no longer use excuses to keep you from your goal. Look out for convenient excuses that have taken you off track in the past. Do something that you’ve been avoiding today! Write down your excuses and turn them around with an action step instead, then go make it happen!
  3. Not interested in the easy way out – Let your sub-conscious know that you’re no longer taking the path of convenience. Be your own cheerleader and congratulate yourself for having the courage and determination to move into feeling uncomfortable. Be open to making difficult choices rather than the usual easier ones. This is how you’ll create success.
  4. Create a process – Write down what needs to be done. Create a system or process for things to happen – one step at a time. The only way you’ll be successful is to have a plan and follow the plan. What is the next step? Have discipline to follow the steps one at a time, as this will create momentum.
  5. Take conscious action – Take small action steps consistently and make it a habit. Consciously check in weekly with your progress and schedule dates and times in your planner to keep things moving – little and often.
  6. Get some support – Shifting habits and creating new ways of working requires discipline and persistence if you’re determined to achieve your goals. In other words – you have to do the work! Hiring a coach is like investing in your success. A good coach provides a high level of support and guidance to help you get BACK ON TRACK as you get clear, claim your power, take action and create new outcomes in your life and work.

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