One of the things I most love about my work is that it’s not work to me; it’s a fascinating love. I’m a voracious reader and nearly everything I read is in the area of transformational life coaching or transpersonal psychology. My career is what I do for fun. That’s an awesome combination.
To stay fresh, I like to read a whole lot of various perspectives. I think it encourages my mind to expand rather than rolling down the road in the same old tire tracks. For me, stagnancy is intolerable.
An excellent read, which I consider to be one of my book-shelf classics, is “If the Buddha Got Stuck” by Charlotte Kasl, PhD. Brilliant, entertaining, and conceptually easy to follow, I feel compelled to write a Monday post inspired by this book today. The truth is, Mondays tend to invoke feelings of stuckism (yes, I’ve declared that a word) for many people who desire deep change.
So, in honor of this important day of the week that proves to be a catalyst for declaring feelings of “enough!” or “screw this!” I’m summarizing this book in an easy-to-absorb 10 steps. The 10 points are hers; the blabbing that follows each point is mine. Consider this a co-authored post. 😉
1.) Do not demand perfection.
Executive coach Michael Vandermark says perfectionism is another word for cowardice. (Hear that, all of my beloved Virgos out there? Executive coaches never mince words.) Perfectionism blooms from a fear of failure, plain and simple. The fact is nobody cares if an idea right out of the starting gate is perfect. If that were the case, innovation wouldn’t exist. No great idea starts out being even remotely close to perfect. Just stepping forward is all that matters. Perfection is in the attempt.
2.) Have realistic expectations, be flexible, and start with small goals.
Somebody said to me this weekend, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Enough said.
3.) Start with whatever is easiest.
Oldest strategy in the book… On the to-do list, we always check off that simple task first. It builds momentum. Our minds are so easily satisfied!
4.) Get help from a friend or be near other people.
Yep. Learn to ask for help! This is not easy for many of us. The truth is, being around the positive energy of others is fuel for our souls and our psyches. (Note the detail, positive energy… If being around certain people sucks your energy, if they are negative about your ideas, or chronically discouraging = find new people!)
5.) Readjust your goals.
If you’re repeatedly not meeting your goals, there’s nothing wrong with you, there’s something wrong with your goals! Reassess!
6.) Stay focused on the big picture!
Don’t get mired in the minutia. You don’t have to accomplish all of your goals overnight. Right?
7.) Hang out with your resistance.
Are you feeling anxiety? Fear? Sit with it. Ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” and then listen to your body. The answer might be nothing you’ve expected! If you tell yourself you don’t know where the origin of your anxiety is, then you haven’t listened long enough. We hold the answers right there inside of us.
8.) Take one extra step.
Nudge yourself past perceived limitations. If you commit to walking for 30 minutes, walk for 35. It’s about retraining our minds to think a little bigger.
9.) Do it anyhow. Anxiety and all.
Growth requires us to expand our comfort level. Remaining in a constant safety-zone of comfort actually increases or anxiety and stunts achievement, over time. Be gentle with yourself. Tell yourself, “I know you’re freaking-out here, but we’re going to do this anyway, and we’re going to be just fine.”
10.) Lighten up.
It’s all about connecting to our highest self. Our highest self is more motivated by joy, fun, and laughter than anything else. Laugh at yourself. Loosen your grip on life. Nobody else is taking you that seriously, why should you? Have fun with your life!
Thank you for listening today, and remember, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Mondays! If you wake up groaning at the start of every week, I call that an invitation for exploration.