something to be done with deciding what to do. She gave up worrying about what direction to take and instead began a process to brainstorm possibilities. That was a start.
It's important to know what decisions you need to make today and which decisions you can mull over. Taking time to make the best decision is not procrastination; it's making time for consideration.
What you say to yourself is vitally important in these situations. What you say to yourself will either stop you or guide you forward. Having a healthy inner coach is crucial when you start to doubt yourself. Your inner coach knows the difference between procrastination and careful consideration. So, I shared this 4 Step Self-Coaching process with my friend, which I use when I need my inner coach to set me on a fulfilling path.
Step One: What do I want to do?
Let yourself ponder this question. Is there something that you love to do that you are not doing now? Answer it honestly but not quickly. Take some time to sit with this question and explore what's possible. Creating a suitable action plan and practice to accomplish new goals starts with your visualization of a life worth living. When your vision is clear, there's no hesitation deciding on a plan of action. As coach Bill Sparkman reminds us, success is not just about the will power to get it done; it's engaging your why power. Know what you want and why you want it, why it matters to you. If you can't answer the question of why you're setting a goal and understand the vision behind it, pause and let your inner coach ask, "What's missing here?" If you select a goal that you want to do, you'll do it. Once you know what you want, write it down and begin the next step.
Step Two: How do I begin?
Start where you are. That means right here, right now. Even if you're starting over, you can only begin where you are now, not where you were yesterday or where you imagine you'll be tomorrow. Keep going by taking one step at a time. And remember, it's not the length of your practice that fuels accomplishment; it's the consistency that keeps you on course. Your consistency of practice will bring refreshing fulfillment and inner peace. Consistency is practicing 1000 days, but no one said that's 2 hours or 10 minutes per day or every day. Give as much time to your practice as you can, and it will naturally expand.
Step Three: What do I need to support my goal?
Take a moment to look around. Are your surroundings set up to support what you want? Your surroundings could include a post-it-note to remind you of your practice, an app that measures what you do, or a partner that shares or encourages your goal. You can set your alarm to get up earlier so you can get to it. My Apple watch sends me messages that remind me of my health goals, like "stand up" reminders or the status of what I have achieved so far on movement and exercise. It also reminds me of when I'm typically further ahead each day! I love my Apple watch. It's so non-defensive when I yell at the reminders that I'm tired today. It just continues to send me messages to keep going. And I do! Life is full of interruptions and unexpected problems to resolve, but my inner coach reminds me that it's an interruption, not something that blows up my practice.
Step Four: What am I complaining about, and are my complaints going to get me anywhere?
The benefit of complaining is the direct opportunity to become more aware of your inner voice. Practice turning your complaints upside down with statements that will move you forward. Complaints limit your future. And every complaint hides a request. After years of practice, my inner coach responds promptly and skillfully to any of my complaints or limiting stories.
Here are some examples:
Me: It's too late.
Inner Coach: It's never too late.
Me: I don't feel like it.
Inner Coach: Acknowledge your feelings, don’t follow your feelings.
Let your commitment guide you.
Me: I'm too busy.
Inner Coach: Make time, wake up 30 minutes earlier, and focus.
Focus fights fatigue. You'll be glad you did.
Me: It's hard.
Inner Coach: Of course, it is.
But practice will make it easier.
Inner Coach: Someday has caught up with you.
Me: They don't like me.
Inner Coach: That isn't easy, but so what!
Are you doing it for them or you?
Don't let it stop you.
Me: They won't let me.
Inner Coach: The only person that "won't let you" is you,
and that's such a relief.
Me: They'll say no.
Inner Coach: Maybe, but they might say yes.
And if they do say no, then you'll KNOW.
Not asking is an automatic NO.
Ask with no attachment to their response.
Me: They need to change.
Inner Coach: What are you looking for that you're not getting?
Turn your complaint into a request and listen to what emerges.
They might have some requests for you too.
Commit and let your commitment, backed by your vision of a life worth living, organize your actions. Weed out the reasons or complaints that may have brought you to a standstill up until now. I use the phrase, up until now, intentionally to change course on any complaint. The statement, up until now, puts what happened squarely in the past and allows the space to think about a new future. Catch yourself making statements and complaints that argue for your failure; instead, listen to your inner coach argue for your success. Listen to what you say to yourself. If it sounds limiting, change it from a reason that prevents the results you want to a statement that says, "I'm doing it anyway!" You'll realize that most battles you have are in your head. Your inner coach will fight those battles wisely, which will guide you on the field of action.
Have fun with this practice of activating your inner coach. Set your goal, set up your surroundings, and laugh at any self-limiting stories with a profound focus on what's possible instead of what's stopped you up until now.
I know you can do this!
Let me know how this practice supports you and any insights you have on your inner coach.
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis