Rarely has a single success I have had guaranteed me happiness. It takes work. Commitment. It takes confidence in what you’re working through to believe it’s the right thing. Even at the very best peaks in my life, things can always give me a feeling that something is off. The problem is do we set aside some serious time to really ponder what it is we want to be doing. Or, do we just drift along with the pace and get carried away by the currents.
To avoid the drift our first work starts with being proactive. You’re not drifting along if you’re giving yourself the space to look down the road, planning next steps, and plotting a way forward. Change is almost always painful, or it wouldn’t be called change. How we get into a proactive flow is realizing we need to pause to get perspective.
Living in a predictable life, day in and day out, is a dangerous way to live. If you have an ambitious attitude like I do, predictability is death. It’s the same feeling I get when I run on the treadmill. It’s predictable because I’m running, but only in one place. I get board and it really makes me less inspired to run. I have to balance my treadmill days with outdoor runs. Outdoor runs engaged me with scenery, people, and unexpected things that crop up along the way. Why do we end up in this trap of predictability? I feel like I’ve figured out, it’s at the cross roads of limitless belief vs limiting beliefs.
How many times have you used “should” in sentences as you go about your day? I “should” have gone for a run outdoors. I “should” have given my wife feedback so she knows I care about her. If you have been saying “I should” a lot, you’re in the swamps of limiting beliefs. Change the “shoulda” into “I will” statements. Then tag a date on it. I will go running outdoors for 2 miles, twice this week on Tuesday and Thursday. There is no “should” in those statements, only a can do.
“Trapped’ is what you feel when you are living into a future of more of the same.”
Fear is another powerful emotion that keeps us locked into the status quo. The unknown was something that sacred me. Now I love to run into it. It shakes things up when I do face it head on, and it certainty isn’t predictable strategically. It can be an awakening. Awakening improves my self-awareness and increases my mindfulness. Becoming aware is the best way to start to face the things that make us unhappy so we can change them. Move out of the drift. Move into seeing your potential self and potential of your future selves. Stop the auto pilot.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”
Challenge your habits. Why do you do them? Is it the right habits? Are you finding yourself surprised by the habits that you have been doing and how they make you feel? We need to disrupt these ingrained habits we have constructed around ourselves in order to find the ones that are going to contribute to a more rewarding life. I had an ingrained habit of snacking at night from 9PM to 12AM daily. Once I challenged that habit, deciding to not snack after 9PM, I shed about 10-15 lbs. of weight. Letting the drift carry me around I would not have found that out. Continuing to drift I would have continued to create deterioration in my overall health with the extra weight.
Focus on the one. The chosen one goal. Bring a singular focus to your efforts. I’m a high achiever and used to give myself a ton of goals to go after. I found disappointment in myself when I couldn’t achieve them all. Challenging my habit to create so many I found I didn’t need to create all of them. I could simplify the goals to a big 3 each day and feel much more accomplished. Focusing on one target at a time made me much more intentional with my work. I produced a much higher level of quality too.
“We cannot do everything, but we can do everything we can.”
We can find ourselves stuck in predictability very easy. What we need are challenges, change, and excitement. Shake things up! Challenging our habits, staring fear down, and being aware of predictability that has settled into your life are just some of the strategies that can help you move out of drifting. Your hidden potential is so much more than what you think it is. Find it!