To get better results in business, career, or life in general, we have to dig deep and find the areas about ourselves that need changing. Sometimes it feels easier to try to change the things outside of ourselves, but this approach usually fails and comes back to bite us in the worst ways. The bottom line is, if we want better results in our relationships, finances, or any area where we feel improvement is necessary we’ll have to dig deep and commit to trying something new. We already know that doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results is equal to insanity. I tend to have an OCD repeat offender kind of brain so I have to work really hard to do things differently. It’s not easy for anyone to just reset and change the style of how they do things, but it is possible. People change everyday and make incredible progress but this sort of thing doesn’t usually happen overnight. We get to witness the end results of changes that lead to success in all areas without really knowing how much work goes into this. I’ve had to work diligently to change my outlook on different situations so I could begin to think, feel, and respond in ways that line up with the outcome I’m reaching for at any given time. The more I practice being someone other than myself the easier it is to adapt to the changes I’m trying to effect.
I do a lot of reading and studying to try to better understand why we are the way we are and the reasons are not as simple as we tend to make them. Most of us think we’re a product of our experiences, or doomed to our genetics, or just like our parents and to an extent we are, but none of these things hold us to our old unproductive habits with more force than our own system of thoughts.
System of thoughts – the ideas we formulate about the situations, environment, and people we deal with on a day-to-day basis. These are the mental systems that keep us trapped within the same habits that reinforce the way we see, feel, and do things. Our mental systems also heavily influence all of our outcomes. I had to learn how to step outside of myself and be an observer of my own thoughts and actions, hindsight was not enough, I needed to be able to catch myself in the act so I could redirect behaviors or thoughts that needed shifting. I find that “in the moment” mental self-checks are the best way to get a clear idea of what could be done differently, and it gives me an opportunity to make adjustments to my attitude or feelings on the spot if they aren’t attracting an easy flow. Let’s call this what it is – Self Awareness – and it’s the key that opens the jammed tight door where real change lives. The possibilities are endless when we take a few internal steps back and be honest with ourselves about the things we see. It’s a self-check process that has to take place for any kind of change to be enforced.
Meditation, Sitting Still, and Quieting down isn’t something that is only done on the mat. Meditation, or whatever you would like to call this process of awareness, is an act that I do while being fully active and engaged because that’s how I record behaviors and habits I want to change about myself so I can write them down. It’s not always a great feeling when you catch yourself doing things that you know are counterproductive to your goals but a heightened sense of self-awareness pays back high dividends that are well worth any discomfort for doing the work. In another article I will go deeper into the physiological things that are happening in our brains and bodies when we respond in ways that feel normal (habitual), but for now I’ll try to bring comfort by letting you know that those things can be tweaked and changed for the better, too.
I was one of those people that knew how to get anything I wanted but at some point I would always lose it all and have to start again. After years of dealing with this problem I finally realized that I was the reason I couldn’t hold on to anything and that I needed to change the way I felt about wealth, relationships, and my own self-worth. I went through a lot of blazing fires before I realized I was the one with the match and the gas so I could no longer pass the blame to anyone else. The way I crush the bad habit of being the same is a process with no end, only improvements and adjustments as I go along. As humans, we’re never done with self-improvement. The moment we stop evolving we cheat everyone and ourselves out of the amazing potential we stall to tap into. We should always be striving and gently pushing ourselves to reach newer and exciting versions outside of our old self. Not to sound morbid, but this year I’ve experienced multiple losses of childhood friends who died way too young and it always causes me to stop and ask myself:
“Self, what are you doing to help change the world and how is the world changing you? If you died today, what would they say, and how did you affect the people who knew you? If today was your last day would you be satisfied with who you are and who you allowed yourself to be?”
These are the questions that encourage me to evolve no matter how difficult or challenging the road ahead might seem. Upon answering, I gain a fresh perspective each time and feel confident that I am walking and living in purpose, even if things are not perfect. While many parts of me stay the same at the fundamental level, it is my duty to always be changing and growing mentally, psychologically, and emotionally in relationships, business, finances, and every part of my life that I can fit into our limited schedule. Here’s a snippet of what I do nearly each day, and sharing it with you will hopefully provide you an outline that you can take and develop into your own unique style for implementing a practice of crushing the habit of being the same on your own.
- Identify the stumbling blocks permitting you from reaching your goals and take responsibility for them one by one.
It could be anything from trying to close a deal with a difficult prospect or making sure to exercise at least 3 times per week. Give it your attention and figure out what you’re doing and what could be done better. Try it and apply it. I shine a light on myself and accept the feelings I have about the situation. I don’t let the feelings own or consume me, but I do acknowledge them – then I let them go. I realize my feelings are just that, feelings that need to be processed so I could move on to the next step.
- Plan a detailed new course of action.
I accept that I need to do things differently and I also clarify with myself why I took the previous action to help raise my level of awareness about how I’ve been responding. I know that for me to change the way I think, feel, or respond to an obstacle or challenge, I first have to be aware of how I’ve responded prior. Releasing denial helps to move us forward to a place where we can be honest and truthful about the automatic habits we have. Doing this also puts you back in charge of yourself and in a good position to influence the outcomes you’re after.
- Be Kind to Yourself No Matter What.
Life is a somewhat complicated experience that even if we’ve been here many times before, we were delivered into this one with very little memory. Lol.. I find this hilarious because whether or not I’ve been here before is a real debate I have with friends and myself every now and then. Aah, so many untold mysteries.
You don’t always know for certain what you could do better until after you do it, that’s why it’s called experience, wisdom, and being good at it. With self-awareness and consistent practice of these steps you will get better at creating the outcomes you want. People give up because they’ve been too hard on themselves or expect to be perfect the first few times or even twenty times. The idea is to never give up on yourself or your objectives, see the tweak and change process as perfectly normal. It’s okay to mess up, to get it wrong, to miss the mark, to not know what the hell you’re doing and lose to win. That’s the process we go through to eventually become like magicians at reaching the outcomes we want. Your mistakes don’t make you any less worthy than anyone else but they do make you stronger, wiser, and more knowing than before you made them. Be grateful for the opportunity to experience error, that’s how you can measure how actively you’re participating in your own self-development. If you were always getting everything right, you would probably not be experiencing all of this change and growth. I’m praying for you in real time, just like I pray for myself. We are all capable of shedding old skin that no longer serves us so we can show off the newer layer just below the surface, and of course this process can be difficult and uncomfortable, but changes that are truly worth it usually are as hard as they are worth it. Choose the you that’s always willing to change so it can serve you better.