Right now, today, are you where you’ve aspired to be in your personal and professional life? Most people would answer “No” to this question. This can often lead to disappointment and resentment which can rob of us of a positive mindset that affects our performance in our professional and personal lives.
If you are one of many who answered, “No,” to the question above, where have you compromised? What circumstances have set you off course? Where have there been opportunities to disrupt your default future and create the life and business you want? The question is whether we’re actively looking for those opportunities.
I say “look” because without the active pursuit, we won’t develop the muscles to enhance our self-awareness. You see, our brains are wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Therefore, it is no surprise that we hate change and love to be comfortable – even if being comfortable means staying in a place of stagnation.
One of the biggest obstacles to increasing self-awareness and transforming our futures, is that we are on auto-pilot and don’t realize it. We’ve programmed our lives with our habits and routines, to have to think as little as possible. Then when we’re ready to unplug and relax, we tend to stay plugged in to electronics. We look at our phones when we eat dinner, listen to media on our walks, binge on Netflix in the evening. These are distractions, a way to escape the challenges of everyday life. Now there is nothing wrong with that… the question is whether we are in control of those distractions or whether we are on auto-pilot. Distractions and staying busy can often be an unconscious way to avoid responsibility (yes, this includes working too many hours). They are a way to protect ourselves and disconnect us from others. Often these distractions can cause us to become numb to our feelings that would spur us into action if we were attuned with them.
On the bright side, our habits and routines serve us and allow us to focus our decision-making energy on more critical or higher priority items in the day. However, sometimes these habits and routines end up controlling us rather than us being in control. Introducing new habits that allow us to be intentional at managing our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being, through a regular assessment can allow us to create a structure for high performance, which will simultaneously provide us with more freedom and satisfaction in our lives.
The new habit I refer to is REFLECTION. Reflection allows us to develop insight that can provide us with the space to generate an objective perspective and create openings for new action that elevate our performance. Yes, it takes discipline to schedule some quality time to slow down and reflect on where we’ve been and how aligned we are with our goals.
The first step is to create intentionality in your personal and professional life. Answer these questions and see what you discover:
• What is your personal WHY and life’s purpose?
• What are areas that you want to have growth, in pursuit of this purpose?
• What are the areas in your business and personal life that are working and not working as well as you would like?
• What are the items you would add to a checklist for a 6-12 month focus? Choose those items that best drive you toward your purpose.
The next step is to create daily habits and lifetime routines to support you. Here are some that we coach Members in our Peak Performers on:
1. Reflect: Start and/or end your day with some quiet time reflecting on your day, being thoughtful and seeking new insights for effectiveness. Find what works for you. This can be quiet personal meditation time, a walk, journaling, etc. The key is to have it on your schedule to occur at the same time each day.
2. Integrity: Integrity is a state of being whole and complete to provide workability to our lives – it is not morality or right and wrong. What are the areas in your life and business where there is a lack of integrity? What can you do to bridge the gap on unfulfilled promises you make to yourself and others? What is the experience of yourself when you honor your word?
3. Unique Abilities: Discover what your core strengths are and focus on increasing the time you spend each day on these activities.
4. Leverage: Determine the key activities that allow you to leverage your time for the highest contribution and velocity towards your goals. Often it is about learning to say “no” AND focusing on the essential few rather than the trivial many.
5. Learning: I don’t mean the traditional formal education route. There is a difference between informative learning to develop new skills vs. having a mindset of being a lifelong learner for growth. This is an opportunity to be exposed to new ideas, thoughts and perspectives… to train your brain and transform your world view. See what new possibilities can present themselves for you as a result.
6. Get Comfortable… Being Uncomfortable: There is no growth available when we stay in our comfort zone. And, if we’re not growing in this ever-changing world, we’re shrinking. You’ve probably heard the adage: do one thing that scares you each day. The purpose being to get comfortable, with being uncomfortable. What habits can you introduce to push you outside your comfort zone?
7. Outward Mindset & Connection: Our success is not individual, it’s a collective group effort. Therefore, developing an outward mindset and increasing our social and emotional intelligence is key.
8. Community: What community or master-mind group can you tap into or join/create that will support you in developing insights and uncovering blind spots to further help you on your journey? The more we access a collective consciousness, the speedier our progress.
Please share in the comments any other tips or strategies you have used or use, to curb distractions, detox digitally, increase your presence and develop self-awareness.
Practice Leadership Coach
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128