7 Tips on How Not to Get in Your Own Way
Sometimes, our biggest hindrances are not our environment or external factors, like our boss, our job or lack of opportunity, but instead our biggest hindrance is US. Sometimes, we as human beings have a tendency to get in our way. We don’t need roadblocks or enemies because we become our roadblock and enemies. We can get easily distracted or overwhelmed or lose our focus on completing the tasks we set out to accomplish. We set goals with good intentions and in the beginning we make great strides to complete them but we quickly get off track.
So how can we get out of our own way? Here are 7 tips:
Distractions can be easy to come by, especially in today’s environment; we can go weeks without working on something that is so important to us because of the events that go on in our lives. One of the keys to staying out of your own way is to stay focused on your overall goal. Make a resolution to complete a few tasks every day or every week that helps you get closer to your main goal. In the beginning of the week set a specific time each day or week to accomplish you goals. Don’t let yourself get distracted!
2. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses
We don’t call them excuses, because if we did we would make sure we didn’t any excuses for ourselves. Instead we give ourselves reasons why we can’t do something or we give ourselves options. We tell ourselves “We’ll work on that after we get this done first” or “we will work on it this weekend” and we allow these options to help us procrastinate or to stop us from completing the tasks we need to finish in order to get to where we need to be. Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today! As speaker and author Marshawn Evans says “Stuck is not an option,” don’t make excuses or give yourself the option to do anything other than what you need to do to be successful.
3. Keep a To-do list
Sometimes we get in our own way because we are unproductive and inefficient; if you are only completing one small task a month, how long will it take you to really achieve what you are trying to achieve. What about completing a task a week? Ask yourself what does it really take to accomplish your goals? Keeping an ongoing to-do list where you keep adding and updating tasks and working on completing tasks will help you stay focused and also ensure that you keep moving forward.
4. Get an accountability partner
When I graduated from college, I had a mentor who I talked to weekly. My mentor and I would regularly go over the goals I set for myself and if I was not doing what I was supposed to do, I would hear it. But it always came from a positive place. Getting an accountability partner can help you stay on track, offer suggestions, advice when you hit a roadblock or just be there to offer some encouraging words. When you know you have someone that is there for you to help and encourage you and keep you focused, you do accomplish more. Identify someone that you can talk to regularly that will help keep you focused. Who will help you stay on track?
5. Focus on the why and not the why not
Doubt is like a disease, it starts small but slowly grows, but instead of attacking your body, it attacks your dreams. Doubt is a dream killer. It states all the reasons why you can’t do something; you don’t have the experience, education, equipment, financial backing. In order for you not to stay in your own way, you focus on why you can do something. Never entertain your why not’s, because you are already equipped to do it. Ask yourself, why can you do it? Focus on what you already have and all the reasons why you can do it. Also, asks yourself, why is this important to me? Sometimes we forget why we started the goal in the first place. What does it mean to you to accomplish this goal? How will it affect you if you were able to get it completed?
6. Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t do
Doubt has a cousin, his name is can’t. Doubt has to do with being uncertain mentally (internal), but can’t has to do with inability (external). Staying in your own way means you make can’t statements. For example, you can’t take a prep course for a test you have to take to get certify in your field because you don’t have the money. When you stay out of your own way you make “I can” statements. I can raise the money to take the training by bringing in some more income by cutting grass to make money or I can study with someone I know that already took the test instead of taking a prep course or I can practice by taking old versions of the test. The best way to stay out of your own way is focus on what you can do. Can’t is a disease and can is the cure; start today and cure yourself of the cant’s. What are some things you can do to reach you goal?
7. Picture yourself as someone you admire and ask what would they do
Sometimes when we are in a situation, we are so clouded by what is going on it is hard to see what your next action should be. It helps when you remove yourself from the situation; one way to do it is to imagine what someone you admire would do in your situation. For example, you bought some stock in a company but the stock price dropped the day after you bought it, you think it’s a good company, but what should you do? Well ask yourself, what would Warren Buffett do in this situation? Or another example is you just came up with this great idea for some new software, but you need the resources to make it; so you could ask yourself what would Bill Gates do situation? Take a moment and ask yourself what your favorite person would do right now if they were you.