When was the last time you got out of a warm bed at the crack of dawn to sweat on a treadmill – with eagerness? Or relinquished the beach on a gloriously sunny Saturday to do tax preparation? Or gladly put your openly introverted self in front of a group of 300 peers to give a lecture? You may have done all or any of these things, but chances are that you had to push yourself out of your comfort zone to do them in the name of some kind of benefit or reward. If, on the other hand, you’ve made a habit of staying in your womb-like routine without taking any risks into the unfamiliar, then you’ve probably missed out on some novel experiences, learning, excitement and rewards.
So, if you’d like to be less risk averse and get better at pushing yourself to do new things, here are a four of my seven tips and tools I’ve developed from my years of working with individuals and couples in therapy:
- Create a clear vision for your goal, defined specifically. (Ex: By tax time in April I will have all my financial data tabulated and formatted, ready for the accountant in Quickbooks).
- Identify your potential saboteurs and what your options are to head them off at the pass. (Ex: Self, wanting to do more fun stuff. Fix: Reward self with the fun stuff after I’ve done the work each week).
- Formulate a clear action plan for the “Push,” defining it specifically and behaviorally. (Ex: I will do two hours of Quickbooks entries every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM regardless of the weather or invitations I’ve received to do fabulous things).
- Identify the intrinsic and concrete rewards to yourself / others in making this effort to move out of your comfort zone. (Ex: I will feel more organized, centered, and prepared for tax time. My accountant will appreciate the timely, orderly data. My friends and family will get to see a cheerier version of me more frequently on weekends).
For more free tools and tips about this and many other issues, subscribe to my list on the right. “Pushing Yourself” is the 92nd free article you will get about all kinds of issues related to the relationship with yourself and with others.
In addition, if you’d like individual help with self-motivation or any other dilemma, feel free to contact me at my Portsmouth, NH office anytime for an appointment at: 603-431-7131. I’d be glad to help!
Don’t miss my next 45 minute BlogTalk Radio episode, “Life Your Way” – A Talk with Author Amy Wood.” We’ll discuss this prize-winning, vital book which provides a compelling approach on how to manage the constant “Go! Do! Be Better!” stresses of 21st century American life.
Get some really useful insights on how you can use your instincts and intuition to find balance and confidence, and how to move more intentionally toward a happier, more fulfilling life.
Call toll-free 877-497-9046 to join us on the air with questions or comments, or to just listen and benefit from the conversation about such an important topic.
Can’t make the live show? Catch the recording afterward at: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager
If you live in New England as I do, unless you’ve been hanging out under a rock, you’re probably aware of the enormous drama playing out between the employees of the Market Basket supermarket chain and the corporate players who orchestrated a hostile takeover of the company, away from Arthur T. Demoulas, the beloved CEO of many years.
Apparently, a relative, Arthur S Demoulas, was instrumental in the takeover, playing out an old, generational financial feud with the Arthur T. side of the family. The feud has unfolded now into the current vision for the supermarket chain, with Arthur T. representing a more humanistic, personal, more employee-friendly and neighborhood-friendly mission for the company, while Arthur S. is viewed as the embodiment of corporate greed, planning to radically raise prices, and streamline employee policies, among other things.
What has been amazing to watch as a consumer and as a therapist, is the level of love, loyalty and support this ousted family-friendly CEO has garnered from not only employees, but shoppers all over New England. The unfolding “strike” among non-unionized workers, and the boycott of all the stores, lobbying for Arthur T.’s reinstatement, has been an awe inspiring example of what can happen when people have felt respected and cared about – how they will risk everything to stand up for people who represent ideals which are important to them, especially when those values are now threatened. This unfolding drama also illustrates how much difference one person can make in a system, how much impact we all potentially can have!
I would think it would be a wake up call for all employers about the huge impact treating their employees well can have, not only on morale, but also on the profitability of their businesses. Happy employees = good business. Employers who think they can motivate their staff with bullying, intimidation, and punishments are themselves relics of the Dark Ages. Inevitably, they will fail because employees need to feel appreciated, respected and defended, otherwise they will understandably be disloyal and unproductive.
And so, hats off to Arthur T., and to all you Market Basket employees for your courage, tenacity, and loyalty, in standing up for what your deserve and what you value. May you and Arthur T. prevail! ….And may all the rest of us take inspiration from your example.
I spent all day today taking an online social media training. I think I learned a lot, but it’s hard to say, as I’m now in “brain scramble” mode. Is it just me, or do any of you get totally overwhelmed when you learn a bunch of new, foreign things? I end up feeling excited/inadequate/determined/bewildered/curious, etc. It’s odd, because when I teach people in relationships new skills I always encourage them to not get too fancy or hard on themselves – to incorporate and practice baby steps until they get more proficient, and to congratulate themselves on little pieces of progress.
I think I’ll try to take my own advice, and not stay up till the crack of dawn attempting to master the new information in one fell swoop. So, if my Instagrams appear upside down, or my Facebook posts show my own “likes,” or my Tweets have five redundant hashtags, please be patient while this old dog learns some new tricks. And I’ll try being patient with myself… 😉
Among the 10,000 other things I’ve been working on, I’ve been writing two books for the past eight or so months. They’re the first two in a series of Couplespeak™ guides about surviving and thriving in relationships. One is done, and in the complicated process of being properly formatted for publishing, and the other is soon to be born. I think they’ll both be wonderful – that is, if I don’t give up.
I’ve wanted to give up for the past few months, because of all the hassles and challenges of the project, and my wise, almost 25 year old son Alec says, “Mom, don’t give up! You’re about 85% of the way there!”
He’s right. It’s like deciding you might not want to have the baby when you’re entering your ninth month of pregnancy, and there’s nothing wrong with the baby! You wanted this baby. You planned it, did everything right. Now you want to bale?
The logical, mature therapist part of me knows this is probably “Fear of Success.” Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? We’re all familiar with “Fear of Failure,” but why would anyone fear success? And yet, most people have, at some point in their lives, hesitated or sabotaged themselves around some important project or dream, or most commonly, sabotaged a good relationship. That I see every day! People on the threshold of really positive developments, and they can’t integrate it psychologically, because it doesn’t jive with all their negative self scripts, so they just give up.
I saw a TV interview with the Principal of an inner city high school who talked about his daily battle to keep his students on track, competing with the lure of gangs and drugs. When asked if he ever felt like giving up, he laughed and said, “Of course! I actually do give up for a period of time every day. Then I go back, and continue to fight the battle.”
Maybe that’s the clue. Let yourself give up when you need to, then remember why you’ve been in it, and go back to your dream.
Giving up – for now,
P.S. The name of the book is, “I’m Talking! Are You Listening?” Fix Communication Problems With Your Partner In No Time Flat! (Coming out next month, if I give up just a little each day).
We’ve all been glued to our TV’s watching the devastation to lives and landscape after the tornado in Missouri. It’s been equally as amazing to see the resolve and resilience of the victims in their determination to rebuild their lives and their community! They do some things which I think are critical to psychological and physical reconstruction, and which we could all take as important examples for “moving on” after any trauma:
- They grieve their losses together.
- They value what’s most important from the wreckage.
- They celebrate what’s indestructible – the bonds with loved ones.
- They help each other to take the beginning steps of rebuilding.
- They share their stories.
- They ask for help.
Hats off to the people of Missouri for their model of courage, determination, and humanity in this crisis!
Don’t ask what I’m doing up at this ungodly hour…. I’ll tell you anyway. Just finished an interview for The Union Leader Sunday News (in New Hampshire) about why couples are living together outside of marriage and even having kids, without getting hitched. As usual, I had lots to say, so look for it online this Sunday, 10/10/10!
Also, as a testament to dogged determination I just uploaded my first YouTube video introducing myself and my Couplespeak business. Mind you, the first two uploads I didn’t get quite right, so all you saw was my frozen smiling head– no action, no sound. Even so, I thought for a technically-challenged, right-brained person, it was quite a feat to make the video, caption it and get it online. So what if I was just a frozen head, we all need to celebrate the small victories where we can find them! With the help of my in-house, tired “tech support” it’s been taken down and the new Talking head has replaced it! I say, the longest journey starts with the smallest step. If I can do it, you too can face down your boogeymen!