6. Get out of your way!
I’ve heard a saying many times throughout my personal growth journey that where ever you go, there you are. This couldn’t hold more truth as you work to establish your foundation and develop your self awareness as most if not all of your existing habits, biases, language, fears and beliefs are going to present obstacles. If your entertain them, you will most certainly get in your own way.
What once served you is not going to work here. Look at the evidence – doing what you have been doing has led you to exactly where you are. It will take a varied and different approach to navigate your way forward and towards where you want to be.
Perhaps, a more concise way of sharing this is that you need a new map. Your existing map led you to where you are. You are ready to move towards something bigger and this requires a new set of directions.
I couldn’t resist doubling down on the navigation metaphor and it feels like a map truly would be the best tool to help you forward.
It just so happens that I also have a compass for you too (it’s really my Priority Wheel worksheet). It comes with a full set of instructions and it helps you get prospective and create awareness around your current levels of satisfaction relating to Nutrition, Calmness + Sleep, Movement + Exercise, Time in Nature, Inspiration and Learning, Building your Village, Having Fun and being Creative. I have chosen these as they collectively bring balance (they stop the wide swings of the pendulum) while improving both our physical and mental wellness. It’s important stuff!
I promised you a compass and I can also promise that when the wheel is used correctly it will show you what areas of your life require your attention to keep the momentum going. Investing in the areas of the wheel will keep you out of your own way as its designed to narrow your focus to simply what’s essential.
Thankfully, staying out of your own way is actually simple. Well, at least the idea of it is. The action of it is a little harder as much of what you will need to leave behind are views, beliefs, habits, etc. that you held most of your life. These are going to be sticky and hard to shake. This is where developing your awareness really turbo charges the process as the more you see and know the more informed you can be about what you are choosing and how you are showing up.
With the insights gained from completing the Priority Wheel worksheet you can use this map (it’s really my Recipe for Change worksheet) to outline your path forward. It can be used with the Wheel or without (this remains a choose your adventure) and the worksheet allows you to clearly outline and track your areas of focus for the week which would ideally improve/maintain your results in the desired areas. I promised it was simple. The results are also profound. This is my go-to resource for anytime that I am trying to create a level of change in my life through a series of new actions or habits. Put it up on the bathroom mirror so you see it and you see yourself seeing it. It works!
In addition to further developing your awareness, here is a list of important action points that will help you stay out of your own way
Get enough sleep. Being tired makes life hard and when your tired you are not going to make great choices. Sleep carries the greatness importance to me as the quality of it influences absolutely everything from diet, to energy, to how I show up and how I think about things. It especially impacts how I feel about taking action and I don’t need anything else working against me. Pick a bed time and stick to it. Practicing to do less but better is the best way to make this happen. I’ve got two little dudes under 3 – I hear your excuses but YES, it can be done.
Drink Less. Alcohol is your frenemy. It’s comforting and will certainly loosen you up but it’s going to impact your quality of sleep which puts it immediately on my watch list. It also makes you little lazy, impairs your thoughts and it truly has nothing constructive that it adds to your life. I’m no advocating for zero but given even the smallest chance, it’s going to get in your way. I’ve shared this is a choose your adventure so pick the ingredients that are going to support you and your goals.
Make good choices easier. Choose environments that align with and support what you want. Choose to meet at a coffee shop over a pub. Meet up for breakfast or lunches instead of dinner and drinks. Invite friends, family and colleagues to join you on a walk or to try out your favorite hobby with you. Actively seek opportunities where others have shared values or goals, this makes your choices easier.
Learn from others and their mistakes. People love to share their lessons learned and getting these insights and having access to the experience and wisdom can save you lots of pain and reduce the twists and turns that your path would have undoubtedly taken without their guidance.
Build your Village. Connect with others who are doing what you want to be doing. You will find this encouraging, insightful and motivating.
Acknowledge your humanity. None of us are perfect and it’s helpful to expect that you are going to mess up, get parts of the adventure wrong and feel absolutely lost at times. It happens to all of us – especially, those of us who are courageous enough to push past what feels comfortable into the realm of uncertainty and well . . uncomfortableness.
Be kind to yourself. Be compassionate, patient, understanding and loving too. Be your biggest fan and your biggest cheerleader. You can certainly do this! Woo-hoo to you!
Be curious. There is always more to know and an endless amount of space for you to grow. Remember, this is just the start of a long journey. Always assume there is more to learn, be curious, remain open and I can promise you that you will find what you are looking for.
Do less. When we do less of what’s not important it leaves more space and time for what is important too us. We can focus on doing what we commit too even better. When we take on more, it requires that we do more and if we are honest it’s unlikely that we are going to be able to successfully do that over an extended period of time. Doing less keeps the momentum and it mitigates burnout and exhaustion.