What does it take to do anything well?
Man, that seems like a loaded question doesn’t it?
I don’t know about you but there have been MANY occasions where I’ve thought to myself, and even worse actually said things to myself like:
- I never do anything right
- Damn, I’m such a sh*itty writer. My grammar and punctuation sucks!
- There’s no way I’ll ever be able to do this.
- I’m just too busy to worry about even trying that right now.
Maybe you’ve told yourself what a poor student you are. How you’ll never be good at this subject or that subject. Or maybe you’re a parent and are second guessing your parental skills.
Or just maybe you’re stuck in a plateau on your health and wellness journey and keep thinking to yourself that it’s pointless to even try anymore.
All of these thoughts, words, and expressions are not unique to you. We’ve all been there, said this, thought that, and have had similar experiences. The on key difference between those that are able to push through these things and those that do not is the way respond to them.
There’s good news, you can learn to respond more positively to these things today.
Learning to do anything well starts with your attitude
Gary Faris a corporate trainer and running enthusiast was struck by a truck going 60mph while training for a race. Gary was severely injured and never expected to walk, let alone run again. While in recovery Gary discovered 6 characteristics of a positive mental attitude that not only helped him walk again but to race again as well.
1. Inner Motivation: Moving towards very specific positive goals and away from very unpleasant consequences.
Your positive goals should be extremely personal to you and not based on someone else’s expectations of you or what is best for you. They also need to be very specific and time sensitive that focus on behaviors you can control instead of outcomes that you cannot.
- Outcome based goal: I want to lose 20 pounds. When thinking about this ask yourself once you’ve achieved this what will it do for you (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually)?
- Behavior based goal: I will wake up 30 minutes earlier on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each day to get in my workout.
Make sure to align your behaviors so that they are consistent with your values. When you do this you will experience greater self-fulfillment. Your values are those things that are non-negotiable, they’re so important to you that giving them up or going against them would be painful.
When doing this it is important to remember to separate yourself from who you are and what you currently do. You are not your behaviors, these are things that you can change. Always remember that 🙂
- Take action: What is one outcome based goal you want to achieve? What are three behaviors you can do right now that will get you one step closer to that goal?
2. High Standards: Anything less than their goals was unacceptable. Now you might be thinking this could really wear you out or turn into a detrimental obsession. But the truth is as humans if we give ourselves a little wiggle room we’ll take that wiggle room and more than often try to take a little more.
This is why setting yourself for success by making the good things easier and the bad things harder to do is so essential; such as performing a kitchen makeover when trying to establish healthier eating habits.
- Take action: Think about your outcome based goal and behavior goals from up above. How can you eliminate “ the wiggle room?”
3. Chunking Goals Down: It’s often not that easy to accomplish big things. Starting your own business takes hard work, losing 20 pounds takes hard work, running your first marathon, building strong and healthy relationships can all take some hard work.
You may experience some discomfort, frustration, and general unpleasentness. Envisioning the bigger picture of all the things you’ll have to do can seem overwhelming.
Breaking down your goals into smaller and immediate actionable steps helps to avoid those feelings of being overwhelmed and help to eliminate procrastination. It’s far easier to work on one thing at a time, measure your progress, and see improvement when only working on one specific thing as opposed to a million.
Lets say you want to do the Paleo thing. You start asking questions like what food can I eat, what supplements should I take, how much protein, carbs, and fat do I need, is this Paleo, is that Paleo, how can I find time to cook, what about?….The list goes on.
What if you just focused on eliminating sugar for a week or two? You could track your progress, see how did and if you were consistent in practicing that habit maybe move onto another like removing grains.
Whewwwww! Much easier right? All you have to do is focus on sugar. That’s it!
Concentrate more on daily tasks, hell, hourly if you need to in order to hold yourself accountable now, not tomorrow.
- Take action: What is the one behavior you can practice this week that create the biggest dent towards reaching your goals?
4. Present & Future: The ability to set realistic goals that have a good chance of being accomplished in the short-term and also having the foresight to see the future rewards or benefits even in the event of short term sacrifices.
Thinking only about the future can be discouraging. It often feels so far away, it often seems uncertain with no guarantees, and it can feel pretty overwhelming sometimes.
Become aware of any self-doubt. Take notice of how you’re talking to yourself. Are you asking questions like these?
- What if I put in all this work and don’t see results?
- What if I fail?
- Are people going to make fun of me or give me a hard time?
- I just don’t have the discipline, motivation, time, etc…
Time to take some action instead.
- Take action: What are three immediate benefits you can see, feel, or experience from pursuing your goal? What are the future rewards for your consistency, discipline, and hard work (think 3 months, 1 year, and 5 years ahead).
5. Personal Involvement: Actively participating in your own success. Actually DOING the work as opposed to expecting someone else do it for you. Taking responsibility for your choices, actions, and having confidence that you are capable and in charge of your outcomes through the behaviors you elicit consistently.
Often when I’m working with clients they expect me to do the work for them. Unfortunately that’s not how it works. They have to participate, they have to hold themselves accountable and show up. I’m only there as a resource, to give them the tools and resources to succeed and to be a helping hand when questions arise.
“Do not passively place yourself in the hands of an expert.” Participate in your success.
- Take action: When thinking about your goal where have you been expecting others to do the work for you? How can you take responsibility and use them as a resource instead of a solution.
6. Self to self comparisons: The ability to avoid comparisons to others and seeing that their accomplishments are visions of what is actually possible in your own life.
I use to do this all the time in many different areas of my life. When I first started in the health and fitness game I’d compare my body, exercise style, and eating habits to those I idolized or looked up to. Different celebrities, friends, online personalities, etc…
I still catch myself doing this now as I try and grow Limitless365 and its community. I’ll compare myself to friends like Joel, Chris, David, and Srini. I’ll wonder why I am not as popular as James, as intelligent as Brene, as successful as Pat, as cool as Jacob, or as cute as Amy (hey now, she’s married… hi Amy and Rick.)
…At a young age we are taught that other kids are smarter, more athletic, better-looking, way cooler, more talented, or have more potential than us. In some instances you might have been the one rated highly in a few of those categories, while in others you may have found yourself a little lower on the totem pole… – NLP: The New Technology of Achievement
Instead of comparing yourself to others start comparing yourself to…. yourself. Are you a little bit better today than yesterday, than one week ago, than 6 months ago, than a year ago, than 10 years ago? Why or why not (take responsibility when thinking about this. Avoid blaming others, environment, or circumstances.)
- Can you lift one pound more?
- Can you run a mile 2 seconds faster?
- Are you half a pound lighter?
- Did you just take your first dance class?
- Have you recently embraced a fear?
- Have you learned to speak another language?
- Play a new instrument or acquired other skills?
Lets get to stepp’n!
- Take action: Use others as an example of what is possible? List three people you admire and avoid comparing yourself to them but instead thank them for showing you what is possible (actually thank them, email, tweet, Facebook, in person), Now take a look at your own life for a moment. How have you progressed over the last 3 months, year, five or even ten years?
GETTING YOUR MIND RIGHT
One of the most important things you can master when trying to do anything well is understanding that as humans we respond to our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of reality and not necessarily ‘reality.” The way you interpret events in your life will decide how you respond to them.
For instance if you constantly view events and experiences in a negative light you will respond to them in a negative way. If you’ve been on your nutrition game for two weeks solid and out of now where ate a couple cookies and view it as the end of the world all you’ll do is beat yourself up about it. Most likely adopting an “Ah F*ck It!” attitude, eating some more junk and deciding to start from scratch on Monday.
Instead, take negative thoughts and spin them into positive language. Often what happens in instances like this (and I know cause I’ve done it too) is you start to think to yourself.
- I’m the worst
- I have no discipline
- I lack motivation
- I’ll never be able to do this
Your mind and body are one. If you keep telling yourself these things your body responds accordingly. Change your thoughts and your abilities will follow.
Responds to these instances with positive affirmations like:
- I am capable of….
- I have the ability to learn…
- I can strive to be…
- I can learn to…
A good example for you ladies: I am an efficient, energetic, strong, healthy, and fit woman who can handle anything that arises today.
- (Guys you can use this too… just swap out the woman 🙂 )
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
The talent to do anything well isn’t something you have, it often takes practicing the most important aspects of a particular mission you are looking to achieve. It’s that whole 80/20 thing. 20% of your efforts often lead to 80% of your result. Outlined in this post are six key habits you can practice that have been shown to produce results.
Every memory and experience you have ever had can serve as building blocks for achievement. Use them to learn from and to help shape yourself as you go forward.
- If you are lacking confidence in an area look to a previous experience or memory in which you displayed confidence
- If you’re searching for more positive relationships in your life look to past memories and experiences in which you had them.
- If you’re pursuing optimal health look to previous memories and experiences in which you were the healthiest version of yourself.
We live in an age where every resource you need is at your disposal. There is no such thing as excuses anymore, we all have an opportunity to succeed.
Get clear on what it is you want by viewing yourself at the end of your life. What have you accomplished? What do you still want to achieve? This will take you to a place that helps you to discover what is really important to you.
How can you begin to create life instead of letting life happen to you?
BIG TIP: By changing the way you evaluate what happens to you. #positiveexperiences
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