Many people live in a world of shoulds. You might even be familiar with some of them yourself.
Be more successful by now
Be married by now
Leave my shitty job
Get a better job
Have gotten a promotion by now
Waste less time on the internet
Earn more money
Save more money
Have started my own business
Be more sociable
Be more confident
Go to the gym etc.
Shoulds can quickly stack up and make you feel like you’re underachieving. Especially if, heaven forbid, you start comparing yourself to other people around you who already have what you think you should have.
Have you ever felt the wrath of your inner critic beating you up over something that you haven’t done or achieved yet? Have you experienced the frustration of the Ground Hog Day that comes from thinking the same negative thoughts about the same unfulfilling situation over and over and over again?
Well here’s an easy two-part process that will eliminate a whole lot of negative energy from your brain and free you up to really go after the things that you ACTUALLY want.
Step 1: Get Real
Write a list of all of the things you’re beating yourself up about. Work your way through the list and answer the following two questions. Each time you answer ‘Yes’ put a tick next to the item you wrote down. If you answer ‘No’ then put a cross next to the item.
Is this something I honestly and genuinely want for myself?
Am I prepared to do what it takes to get it?
I should have a slim, toned, sexy body.
1. Do I honestly, genuinely want this for myself? Yes.
2. Am I prepared to do what it takes to get it? (i.e. change my diet, work out 5 days a week, give up my nightly glass of wine and eliminate processed foods) No.
Now, look over the list. Any item that doesn’t have two ticks (i.e. if you didn’t you answer ‘Yes’ to both of the above questions) put a line through that item.
Now, that feels better doesn’t it? You just wiped out a whole lot of things that you’ve been mentally beating yourself up about for who knows how long!
It doesn’t mean that you are ruling that out forever. It just means that for now, it’s not a priority and you are not going to waste any mental energy thinking about it until it has earned its place in your mind by meeting the criteria and having two ticks next to it.
THE CAVEAT: For any item that you are not yet prepared to do what it takes, you do not get to moan about it. If you catch yourself bitching or moaning about not having what you want, ask yourself: Am I prepared to do what it takes to achieve that? If the answer is ‘Yes’ – then do it. If the answer is ‘No’ then acknowledge that at this time you are actively choosing not to have it and therefore you have lost the right to complain about not having it.
Step 2: Apply Straight Line Thinking
For each item that has two ticks next to it, I want you to write exactly what you need to do in order to attain the goal. Start from the end result and work backwards, Reverse Engineering the goal if need be.
Under each of the items with two ticks next to them, I want you to write out the answers to the following questions.
What do I need to do to achieve this goal? E.g. I want to have $10,000 in savings by the end of the year. I need to put away $500 per week for the next 21 weeks.
– I need to open a savings account
– I need to set up a direct payment to take $500 out of my current account every week
– I need to make a budget and see when I can cut back on spending
– I need to brainstorm ways I can bring in extra cash
– I need to exercise self-discipline and cut back on unnecessary spending so that I can make the $500 weekly payment
– I need to review my goal in six weeks time to ensure I am on track
2.Who do I need to be to achieve this goal?
E.g. Organised, Pro-active, Self-disciplined, Focused
Now you have a road map of who you need to be and what you need to do to achieve your goal. Simple, right?
All you need to do is consistently match what you just wrote down above and you will achieve your goal.
WARNING! You will be tested along the way. You’ll have to face (and successfully overcome) temptations, unsupportive friends or relatives, your own inner critic who will be trying to drag you back to your old ways at any opportunity. Relish these tests. Greet them with enthusiasm and definiteness of purpose. Straight Line Thinking is about doing what you said you were going to do in line with your goal. If an action, thought or behaviour doesn’t align with where you said you want to go – get rid of it.
If you want more help or information on this topic, you can download our Unleash Your Greatness Webinar Series which teaches you cutting-edge Self Programming Tools to fast-track your progress.
OR… join us for our next live NLP for Personal Excellence Training September 10-16 2014. For the next 5 people that book in, for an added BONUS I’ll even through in full access to the Unleash Your Greatness Webinar series for free because life (and Peter Shaw) rewards action-takers!