- A Course in Miracles
Every summer holiday when I was a kid my Mum and Dad would take us to the seaside. We LOVED it! It was the highlight of the school holidays.
Being on the beach was so much fun. Driving to the beach, though, was a different story! My Brother and I dreaded the journey because it was tedious and boring. We sat in the back winding each other up and usually after only five minutes of travelling we’d grow impatient and repeatedly ask: ‘Are we there yet?!’ This trip always seemed to take forever. It was so frustratingly slow in our anticipation of being able to play on the beach!
Some of my coaching clients struggle because they want it all – NOW. During our first session they want the answer to EVERYTHING so they can just run a successful business or just get promoted into that leadership position.
“Give me the information, the tactics and I’ll rush in and get on with it!”
We live in a fast-paced world where everything is needed NOW! So there’s a lot of pressure on getting instant results – quick fixes – making money fast!
I saw this recently when coaching people in a modular business program. Two clients wanted all the content at the beginning instead of working through the program a module at a time in order to build a firm foundation. There is a difference between racing and pacing your way to success. Yet our impatience gets in the way.
As my mentor taught me: “It’s not just about information, it’s about implementation.”
Building a successful, sustainable business or becoming an effective leader takes time. You have to build the knowledge, skills and gain experience. Sometimes you need to start by creating a firm foundation and then experiencing things. It’s about creating consistent action and understanding the depth and breadth of what you are learning.
In our haste to be successful we create urgency and pressure to get it all done as quickly as possible. Racing to tick all the boxes doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome – you are missing the depth and breadth of understanding and connection along the way. This urgency gets in the way and blocks your progress.
Here’s the thing…
There is no destination… you’ll never be done! Your work isn’t about trying to get somewhere – it’s about being somewhere right now in every moment. I’ve noticed that sometimes the faster a person wants to zip through things the slower they actually move. They miss out on the experience and other messy stuff! Which is a huge part of being a leader or running a business.
They get bogged down in frustration, overwhelm and beat themselves up for not being successful. Instead of focusing on their current experience right now. It’s those little steps – one after the other – that creates momentum and ultimately completion. This can’t be taught – it has to be experienced.
If you just want to get the work over with in order to achieve your goal, then I guarantee it’ll be hard work, tedious and dull (like sitting in the back of the car with my Brother on the way to the beach!).
1. Take a deep breath – Breathe! This helps you to create a circuit breaker from your current thinking. Focus on your breathing and take your attention away from your frustration and urgency. Create some breathing space.
2. Recognise and then let go of any anger or frustration or judgments – notice them but decide that they don’t drive you. You get to choose your thinking. Look out for any resistance and let go of old stories and doubts that no longer serve you – they are not the truth. Rushing ahead isn’t always a good strategy; it’s not about ticking boxes and getting stuff done.
3. Be fully present in the moment – This moment! Focus on the scenery along the journey, not just the end goal or the length of the journey you have to take. Savor the moment. Take time to enjoy what you’re doing. This will dissolve any anxiety and boredom and neutralize tedium. When YOU show up so does everything else (trust me on this one!).
4. Keep it simple – Focus on one thing and do it well. Break things down into small doable tasks and do them one step at a time. Where you place your attention is EVERYTHING! Attention creates your experience and connection with the one thing you’re doing right now in this moment. Have fun with it. Protect your attention from any BSO’s (Bright Shiny Objects).
5. Slow down to speed up – Create the right pace for yourself. Stay grounded and re-align yourself to where you are now and check in on where you want to be. Focus on reality and know that completing the ordinary stuff makes a difference because you’re creating momentum and completion through implementation. Things are more joyful when you slow down and stop trying to kill yourself!
For me, success is all about your thinking. You are what you focus on. Choose to move away from frustration and impatience instead of rolling your eyes at how long things will take to get done!