“Practice makes perfect” – so practice being proactive about your life. Does that sound scary? Just start by making small choices that are different from the ones you usually make and don’t feel threatening. What if you took a different route to work in the morning? What would happen if you went to a different branch of your financial institution? What if you changed what you usually order at your favorite restaurant? Simple, and perhaps silly, but taking small, safe-feeling steps will increase your confidence and lead to more and eventually larger steps. Don’t worry if it takes some time, you’ll get where you’re going. This is not a race, it’s living your life – better.
I wasn’t exuding a sense of excellence earlier this week. Illness kept me in bed for several days and I discovered that when I’m feverish and exhausted, I am not a positive thinker. I thought about what I am trying to do here and the “who am I kidding” and “is it worth it” and “what if I fail again” moments were like bricks that wouldn’t stop assailing me. As I started to recover I found those bricks laying at my feet – still demanding to be answered, but not breaking me any longer.
Achieving excellence is not just about doing excellent things and thinking excellent thoughts and achieving excellent goals – that’s just one part. The other part is what happens when the things you do are not up to par, what happens when your thinking is garbage, and what happens when you discover that lofty goal isn’t going to cut it. What do you do when doubts and fears are overwhelming and you feel like bailing out?
Why don’t you cut yourself a break? When those bricks were slamming me I thought to myself, “I’m sick. I’ll deal with this next week when things better.” What would happen if, when those bricks come flying at you and you begin to doubt yourself, you cut yourself a break and say, “I’m frustrated/ stressed/ fearful/ unsure. I’ll deal with this particular question in a couple of days when things are better”?
If it’s something serious that still needs adjustment when things are better, find someone you trust to talk it over and you can deal with it. If it’s just the typical ups and downs of being a human being in search of excellence, your confidence will probably return and you can address them easily and move along.
In last week’s blog I suggested developing a list of your individual gifts, talents, skills, abilities, tastes, desires, interests, affinities – things that bring you satisfaction and make you feel alive. I’m assuming that you have listed at least two things. This week, I would like you to take at least two things from your list and do something with them. Block out two 5-minute blocks of time this week – that’s 10 minutes out of the 10,080 minutes you’ll have available – and think about those two things exclusively. You don’t have to do anything about them, just think about them. Imagine yourself doing them and pay attention to how it makes you feel.
And if you’d like to share… I’d love to hear from you in the comments section…