Archives for January 2013

Defining Who You Are Not

The world we live in tries very hard to define who a person is. It tries to put you in a box. Certainly it is beneficial for a person to operate in their strengths, but I can never grow by staying in my box. I want to clearly define somethings that you are not in this post. Defining who you are without limits is up to you. Take off the mask that is covering your true self.
You are not afraid. Fear is a natural reaction. It is natural to feel fear. Fear, however, is not who you are. You are not afraid, any more than you are a broken finger. You may have a broken finger, but you are not the broken finger. You may be experiencing fear, but you are not afraid. You can beat it. How do you conquer fear?
  1. Acknowledge it for what it is. Fear is a state of being that can be overcome. Admit that you have fear regarding the situation that is affecting you.
  2. Break the fear down. What is the worst possible thing that can happen as a result of your fear. Many times just stating what the worst thing that can happen as a result will get you to realize that the worst is not that bad. On the flip side, what is the best thing that can happen as a result of overcoming your fear. If realizing the worst thing is not that bad does not work, seeing the best far exceeds the worst will convince you.
  3. Believe you can overcome your fear. Have faith that you are stronger than the fear you are experiencing. Know that the fear you are experiencing is temporary and can be overcome.
  4. Overcome. Easier said than done, I know. Face your fear head on, and overcome it!
You are not a failure. Failure can be devastating if you let it consume you. If you accept that you are a failure it will make you stop. Instead, make the decision to say that the failure you experienced is temporary, stand back up, and restart the work.
You are not a fraud. Being called a fraud or fake is one of the biggest things that has kept me from stretching myself in all the areas of my life. Something in my head tells me that I am not old enough, smart enough, or have enough experience to do what I want to do. I am making a conscious decision to tell myself that none of that matters. I do not need permission from anyone except myself to step out of my comfort zone. Believing the voice in your head is believing that you are a fraud. The voice in your head is not yours and is not correct.
You are not your creation. The things that you create should not define you. You should be defined as a creator, not the thing that you create. Moving to the goals that you have requires constant creation. If you let the art you have created in the past define you, even if they are GREAT creations, you will get stuck living in the past. There is a reason the rear view mirror is so small.
What are some things that you are NOT that you struggle with?

Four Ways to Make Your Resolutions Stick

Every year countless people (me included) come up with New Years resolutions only to have them fall by the wayside in a month or less.  This can be very discouraging, so I have come up with four to help make your resolutions easier to maintain.
duct tape
 1. Believe you can do it.  It is generally easy to come up with your resolutions.  Everybody knows what they need to do to become better at whatever it is that they desire to be better at.  The hard part is not knowing what to do, the hardest thing is doing it.  The first step in actually doing it is believing that it is possible.  If you begin your resolution thinking in the back of your head that it will never last, you will be right.  As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.”  It starts deep down in your heart.  If you do not truly believe it, don’t make it a resolution or change your thinking!
 2. Write them down and put them in a place where you will see them regularly.  I have written before about the importance of writing goals down, the principles are the same.  You can find that post here.
3. Involve an outside accountability partner.  It does not matter who your accountability partner is.  It can be a spouse, a friend, minister, trainer or a complete stranger for that matter.  The key is that they are willing to hold you accountable.  They have to be strong enough to call you out when you make excuses.  We all have reason for not doing things.  Sometimes they are even valid.  If you want to lose weight, hire a trainer that is going to be calling you to make sure you are showing up.  If you are like me, when you put money on the table, you will be sure to use the service because who wants to waste money!?!  If you do not want to hire a trainer, enlist someone to work out with.  If you know someone is waiting on you, you are far less likely to leave them hanging.
4. Create a system that will help you succeed.  Now that you have an accountability partner, have written down your resolutions, put them on your bathroom mirror, and believe that you can do it, it is time to create systems that will help you to succeed.  Staying with the weight loss analogy, pack your lunch.  If you leave your house to go to work without a nutritious lunch packed when it becomes noon time you will go back to old faithful (for me this is a McDouble with no mustard from McDonalds).  That is not going to help you lose weight.  Instead of parking right by the front door at the office, park at the back of the lot, so you have no choice but to walk those extra steps.  Use the steps instead of the elevator.  The important thing is to change your behavior and to create systems around your resolutions that will help you succeed.
Remember, if you do fall, it is only considered a failure if you do not get back up.
What are some processes that you have used to make your resolutions stick?
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