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Getting Out of Your Own Way – Part 5 of 6

In order to fully pursue the purpose God has placed on our lives, we are looking at how to avoid self-defeating behaviors.  Each week for six weeks we’re looking at one of the following:

To get out of you own way, you need to remember…

1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing 
3. …your purpose 

4. …the people 

5. …to be strategic 
6. …the outcome

This week:

REMEMBER TO BE STRATEGIC

Let’s look at two areas where you need to be intentional:

  1. Time
  2. Opportunity
TIME

It’s easy to get stuck and unable to move forward in your purpose when you don’t have a plan to reach that purpose.  When your approach is to work on it when you have a chunk of time or when a prospect presents itself or when the spirit moves you, you are dead in the water before you even begin. No matter what your purpose is, you need a PLAN.  Yes, that means goals and objectives.  Yes, that means a to-do list.  Yes, it means tracking your progress.

You have been given a talent.  It’s your obligation to share it with the world. There’s no need put it on the back burner of your life.  Have a plan, work on it a little bit each day.  If you don’t, you ARE sabotaging yourself.

strategy quote

OPPORTUNITY

I have a friend who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.  She has met celebrated people and had incredible offers fall into her lap.  However she never learned how to be strategic with these opportunities.  She assumed this run of good fortune was how her life would always be.  Rather than realizing that these events were stepping stones to create a path to her success, she thought that they were success in themselves.   She didn’t realize she needed to develop relationships and connections with and through these events.  I’m sure you know what happened next.  The well dried up.  Opportunities stopped presenting themselves.  Because she had depended on them to keep her moving forward, she had no plan for what to do next.  She sabotaged herself because she only thought about and reacted to things as they came along and didn’t think about developing them for the future.  Had she been strategic she would not be where she is now:  hoping that “God has something out there somewhere… eventually.”

You cannot depend on one source to provide everything you need – not one person, not one organization, not one opportunity – no matter how wonderful or permanent it may seem.   It’s important to network – both with people and in ideas.   When an opportunity comes along or a new relationship presents itself, look beyond the immediate/obvious benefits.

You can read my previous post on Being Intentional and Networking by clicking here.

Next week:  REMEMBERING THE OUTCOME

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Part 4 of 6

In order to fully pursue the purpose God has placed on our lives, we are looking at how to avoid self-defeating behaviors.  Each week for six weeks we’re looking at one of the following:

To get out of you own way, you need to remember…

1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing 
3. …your purpose 
4. …the people 
5. …to be strategic 
6. …the outcome

This week:

REMEMBER THE PEOPLE

Your purpose in life is never all about you.  While you discover your purpose by considering your own abilities, passions, and desires, gratifying those traits is not what it’s all about.

Focusing only on you – what you are doing and what will benefit you – may be one of the reasons you find yourself frozen and unable to move forward.

A business or organization may focus their mission statement on marketing a product, but they cannot lose sight of their customer.   Your purpose – whether written on paper or on your heart – cannot lose sight of those who will benefit from your commitment to your purpose.

When you take what you are doing out of the realm of self-fulfillment and consider the influence/support/service/relief/comfort you provide others through it, you reshape the nature of your approach and your expectations.

Thinking about the needs of those you impact can often give you the kick you need to lift yourself out of those self-sabotaging behaviors of procrastination, lack of focus, perfectionism, fear, etc.

chalkboardpurpose

Next week:  REMEMBERING TO BE STRATEGIC

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Part 3 of 6

In order to fully pursue the purpose God has placed on our lives, we are looking at how to avoid self-defeating behaviors.  Each week for six weeks we’re looking at one of the following:

To get out of you own way, you need to remember…

1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing
3. …your purpose
4. …the people
5. …to be strategic
6. …the outcome

This week:

REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE

When people talk to me about feeling blocked or frozen in pursuing their purpose, about 99.9 percent of the time it boils down to having unfulfilled or distorted expectations of what the road to their purpose is supposed to look like. They have an idea in their heads of exactly how everything is supposed to be, forgetting that there are many ways an objective can be accomplished.  When their anticipation of a smooth, effortless sail into how they expect things to go doesn’t happen , they are caught up short.

They didn’t think they would have:

  • to work so hard
  • to pay out so much (financially or emotionally)
  • problems convincing others
  • to try things a different way
  • so much competition
  • to make hard decisions
  • to change priorities
  • to give up things they enjoy
  • people stab them in the back
  • people try to deceive them
  • people try to stop them
  • to face fears they didn’t know they had
  • problems in other areas of their lives
  • so many twists and turns and choices
  • to continually fight for what they truly want

They forget that their purpose is not about making them rich or well known or well respected, or making them/others feel good about themselves or their place in the world.

Our purpose is to know God and make Him known. (see this thought expanded in the “Purpose” section of my October 15, 2011 blog)

Many Plans

Next week:  REMEMBERING THE PEOPLE

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Part 2 of 6

In order to fully pursue the purpose God has placed on our lives, we are looking at how to avoid self-defeating behaviors.  Each week for six weeks we’re looking at one of the following:

To get out of you own way, you need to remember…

1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing
3. …your purpose
4. …the people
5. …to be strategic
6. …the outcome

This week:

REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE DOING

While your identity is not wrapped up in the things you do, your purpose is wrapped up in the things you do. It’s where (to use a very old cliché) the rubber meets the road. Every action you take is either moving you towards your purpose or away from it. Not allowing self-defeating behaviors to sidetrack you takes very hard work.

I have previous entries regarding this topic.  The two most noteworthy are at the following links:  It Does Take Work and It Ain’t Easy  and A Change in Perspective or What I Learned from the Evil Baroness and Shirley Valentine

It’s important to establish who you are as separate from what you do.   But realize it is what you are doing (not your personality, good intentions, or strategic planning )that propels you forward into your purpose.

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
(C.G. Jung)

Next week:  REMEMBERING YOUR PURPOSE

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Part 1

In order to fully pursue the purpose God has placed on our lives, we are looking at how to avoid self-defeating behaviors.  Each week for six weeks we’re looking at one of the following:

To get out of you own way, you need to remember…
1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing
3. …your purpose
4. …the people
5. …to be strategic
6. …the outcome

This week:

REMEMBER YOUR IDENTITY

Your identity, your value, is neither dependent on the things you do nor on the opinions of other people.  The list of titles you hold or the roles you play do not validate who you are.  Being CEO, or manager, or movie star, or salesperson, or writer, or parent, or spouse is not the measure of your life.   Your finished “To Do” list does not give you meaning.  If you receive position, power, wealth, security, etc. from a person, then a person can take it away.  If you receive it from an event or activity, it will last only as long as that event or activity is deemed important or remembered by others.

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.

You are significant because God loves you. He called and you responded.  You cannot earn it by what you do, so you cannot lose it by what you do (or don’t do).  God gives it freely to you and will not take it away.  Mistakes, delays, failures, successes, accomplishments, advances – they do not affect His view of you or His heart for you.  Nothing can change God’s passion for you.

 Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As you pursue your purpose, you will face many challenges and roadblocks.  Don’t allow them to undermine who you think you are or who you think God is.  It is important to remember that these difficulties have nothing to do with who you are but are about what you are trying to do… which is next week’s topic.

Next week:  REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE DOING

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Introduction

On Burn Bright’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, I recently asked readers to complete the following sentence: “The biggest obstacle keeping me from truly pursuing my purpose is __________.”

The overwhelming response boiled down to just one word: MYSELF. Whether exhibited as procrastination, lack of focus, perfectionism, or fear (of change, of failure, etc.), this self-defeating behavior is a challenge everyone faces. We undermine ourselves and become paralyzed, unable to move forward.

Can we get unstuck? Yes, we can. And we must. How do we get unstuck? In order to break past our block, we have to change the way we think. Easy to say, hard to do? Yes, but as writer/speaker Denise Vaughan says,

“Moving forward, even if I’m scared, is a better feeling than being stuck – or regressing.”

From my own experiences of self-sabotage (and there have been a few), I have discovered that there are six things to consider, specifically related to pursuing your purpose, that will help you get out of your own way.

It’s a big subject, so over the next six weeks I’ll focus on one step per week, digging into detail about what each one means and how to correct the way we think about it. So bookmark this blog and come back and join the conversation.

To get out of you own way, you need to remember…
1. …your identity
2. …what you are doing
3. …your purpose
4. …the people
5. …to be strategic
6. …the outcome

Next week: REMEMBER YOUR IDENTITY

Self sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.
Alyce P Cornyn-Selby

Enjoy the Swim

GROWTH

“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
(Henry Van Dyke)

EXCELLENCE

A friend of mine posted a quote a couple of weeks ago that I can’t seem to get out of my mind:

 “Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves, that you forget, truly forget….how much you have always loved to swim.”
(Tyler Knott Gregson)

Once we have discovered how we are going to pursue God’s purpose for our lives, it’s easy to be so involved in the busy-ness and working hard to make our dream come true.

It’s sort of like planning a wedding.  There is so much to do, so much expected – both from yourself and others.  You get caught up in getting things done in minute detail.  And often what is supposed to be a fun process for a wonderful and intimate event winds up  being about treading the water and keeping your head above the waves.   For a moment you may lose sight of the fact that you chose to do this and that the future does not depend on the furiousness of the preparation.  Hopefully you slow down, readjust priorities, and get a fresh perspective.  And start to enjoy the swim again.

When we’re pursuing our purpose the flood gates open.  Everything is new and exciting and the opportunities seem limitless.   We love it.  Then as the hard work seems to get harder, or we choose to move in a particular direction and run into a roadblock, or have a major breakthrough that leads to brick wall… then we don’t love it so much anymore.  There are days when we push and push and push but have nothing to show for the effort.

So what do we do in all our human wisdom?  Tread the water. Press in harder.  Work our fingers to the bone.  Criticize ourselves for not living up to our expectations.  Start to blame someone/something else for bogging us down.  Get angry at God for not giving us what He promised.  And soon all we’re doing is protecting and defending ourselves.   We forget how much we “love to swim.”

Sure there are plenty of Bible verses that talk about fighting the good fight (swimming the good swim?) and being strong and pressing forward.  But there are also plenty that tell us to be still, and find our strength in quietness, and have peace and rest in God.

The trick is to know, when you are in over your head, whether to press in and fight or to pull back for a while.   Want to know my easy 3-step method for determining this?  I don’t have one.  I wish I did.   However, what I am in the process of learning is that when I become fixated on “the thing” that needs to get done and I think that accomplishing it is my only hope of realizing  my purpose… then I am off track.   I wish that I could recognize it before I’m actually drifting… but I probably never will.  And that’s okay.  Achieving perfection or arriving in splendor at my purpose is not what it’s all about.  It’s about making my way through the waves and the strong currents and enjoying the challenges of the swim before I reach the shore.  Come on in with me, the water’s fine!

PURPOSE

from luisagarciajr.com

from luisagarciajr.com

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