What is the longest river in Africa….Denial!

I decided to use one of the many corny jokes in my back pocket for this post.

One of the things I focus on is building strong relationships with people.  I think that extends to the relationship you have with yourself.

In any relationship, there are some common elements that must be present to have a healthy relationship: trust, honesty, communication, shared common interest.

Honesty is a big one in any relationship.  While I don’t believe people intentionally lie to themselves, we all tend to use some form of denial or rationalization for behaviors, thoughts and actions that we know aren’t good for us.

Denial is a dangerous one.  Denial is a passive form of not accepting a truth.

For me, it was my weight and health.  Being a former college football player and generally bigger guy, I always told myself it was ok to not strive for optimal health.  Sure, I would go to the gym and go through the motions but I wasn’t really pushing myself or working towards my best self.

I told myself it was ok.  I didn’t need to lose weight to be confident or successful.  I was in complete denial of a truth, your health is the cornerstone of your very being.  It is the foundation, the source of energy and is an immediate signal of your self respect, self discipline and your overall ability to control your  impulses.

One week into my marathon training, I’m having breakthroughs in confidence, self esteem, energy levels and overall excitement about where I’m going in life.  Imagine what this will be like when I cross the finish line!

Denial flows into many areas of our lives.

Maybe you’ve heard or used some of these:

  • I don’t need to work hard the last hour of the day
  • It’s ok if I skip this one workout
  • My girlfriend understands that I’m too busy right now to spend time with her
  • It’s ok that I’m $15,000 in credit card debt, I know people who are far worse than me
  • It’s ok if I skip my kids soccer game to have a drink with the guys

The list goes on and on.  These type of thoughts are dangerous thought patterns that not only directly impact that area of life, it flows through your entire being.

Are you the type of person who follows through on their commitments?  The type of person who lives within their budget and saves?  The type of person who goes to the gym when they know they should but really don’t want to?  The type of person that shows the people they care about how much they mean to them through their actions and not just their words?

If you are guilty of this, don’t beat yourself up!

Recognize the problem and tackle it.  Odds are if you’re feeling some form of frustration in your life, you may not be living up to your standard or ethos.

This is why having accountability partners is so important!  Confidants who know you, know what your about and will hold you to your own standard.  They’ll tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.  They will help you identify blind spots.

Accept the truth of the situation and devote yourself to changing it.  To fitting it to match your own moral compass.  To align with your hopes and dreams.

The very act of taking action and modifying the behavior is empowering and uplifting!

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Posted in Character, Confidence, Focus, Goals, Health, Leadership, Motivation, Performance, Planning, Purpose, Relationships, Self, Success | 2 Comments

This is such a great post that it needed to be shared! Great post Laura!

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BHAG’s: Big Hairy A** Goals

Goals

When I first heard the term BHAG, my mouth about the floor.  I couldn’t believe the speaker used that term at a business meeting!  Was it even appropriate to say?

I struggled with the title of this post and decided to roll with it because of the shock value and because it drives home the point.

What I’m about to share with you goes against the advice of anyone that helps people set goals.  You’re supposed to set SMART Goals.  I even use the term.  The letter R stands for realistic.

What is realistic?

When JFK challenged our nation to be the first to the moon, it was BHAG.  It had never been done before and quite frankly, at the time, it seemed next to impossible.

I just set a personal BHAG.  I will be running the Nike Women’s Marathon in October.  I currently can run around 3 miles.  Between now and then, I will have to figure out how to run 23 miles more than I currently can.  While I know it’s not impossible, to many, it seems unrealistic.  That’s ok.

Every now and then it’s good to push so far out of your comfort zone to see just what your capable of.

An old business coach of mine used to say, optimal motivation is reached when there is a 50% chance of failure and a 50% chance of success.  The problem for many of us, is we don’t know where that threshold is.

Staying inside your normal range of what’s possible will keep you from truly defining what that threshold is.

What is possible?  For most people, that’s defined by society, friends, family and even your own limiting beliefs.

Why not step so far outside of your realm of what’s possible to better define that 50% threshold?

That’s what it’s all about.  Better defining your threshold.  So maybe I fall short on my goal to run 26.2 miles consecutively.  I will finish the distance, even if I can only run 20 miles of it.

In the process, I will lose 30lbs, be in the best cardiovascular condition of my life, set myself up for better long-term health and gain greater core confidence.  There is no failure!

The next time someone says you can’t do something, test yourself, prove them wrong and see what’s possible.  You just might be surprised!

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2 Powerful and Simple Ways to Be More Successful

Success

Success

  1. Set Proper Expectations
  2. Do what you say you’re going to do

These 2 simple things are some of the most powerful things I’ve learned in business, relationships and life.  While they’re not profound, they are so rarely done by most people, doing these 2 things will be noticed, felt and impactful.

Setting proper expectations for you everything you do in life is important.  It sets you up for disappointment or success.

Success

Ever been to a movie that was hyped up, you just couldn’t wait to see it and when you finally did, you were….disappointed?  What about that movie that you never heard of, caught late at night and now it’s one of your favorites?

Your expectation of the value being delivered and the actual value delivered leads to one of two things: being disappointed or being delighted.

This principle can set you up for failure or success in all areas of life.

Success

What if you started a diet expecting to lose 10lbs every week?

Or right out of college you expected to make $1 million per year?

Not only are those unrealistic but you would be pretty disappointed when they didn’t come true.  That disappointment leads to a negative emotion that dis-empowers us.  Setting a realistic goal and then achieving or exceeding creates a positive emotion of delight.  What makes us feel good, we tend to do more of.  What makes us feel bad, we tend to do less of.

Continuing with the theme of creating negative experiences, saying you’re going to do something and not delivering feels pretty much the same as a lie.  While many people intend well, it creates disappointment and it causes people to lose trust in you.

Success

Why would a client want to do business with you if you are constantly making promises and then breaking them?   What about the woman you are dating if you constantly are running late, don’t show up or cancel last minute?  What are you telling yourself if you make a promise and then break it?

You are sub-communicating that you are not trustworthy, you don’t mean what you say and those people are not that important to you.

Always follow through on what you say you’re going to do.  Your word is your bond.  If you can’t deliver, call your client or significant other to explain why you couldn’t and reset a new, realistic time-frame.

Start doing these 2 simple things in all areas of your life and you will be taking BIG STEPS towards being more successful.

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Breaking Through: A Story of How I Overcame my Fear of Heights

Success

Success

In January, I led the 2nd annual leadership and success retreat amongst several motivated friends who all had the same common goal, continuing to be more successful in all areas of life.

One of the core characteristics I wanted to continue to develop in myself was risk taking.  Not risk taking in the sense of recklessness, but rather pushing through comfort zones, taking the risks that are necessary to be successful.

One of the 7 common denominators of successful people is risk taking.

Risk taking isn’t just something you do in business or some of the time, it’s who you are.  Like any trait, skill or characteristic, it can be developed.  Some people are born with it or learn it at a very early age.  For me, it’s something I’m still continuing to develop.

Prior to my venture into rock climbing, you would hardly catch me climbing up a 6 ft ladder.  I was extremely afraid of heights.  Ever since falling out of a 20 ft tree as a kid and thinking I was paralyzed, this fear has held me back.

It went so far as to prevent from my flying.  After braving an airplane ride to Austin, TX in April, I decided enough was enough.  It’s time to man up and conquer this fear.

I didn’t know how I was going to do it and quite frankly, I was surprised at how quickly I did it.

Success

The first step was to follow the lead of several friends who had gotten into rock climbing.  Let me tell you, the idea of climbing up a 40 ft wall, trusting a rope and the person holding the rope was terrifying.  But I did it anyways.

My first time out was a challenge.  I climbed 15 feet,  panicked and would have to come down.  Nothing is more humbling than being a 245 lbs former football player who freaks out 15 feet up and then seeing a 7-year-old kid climb right by me fearlessly.

I didn’t let this get me down, my goal was to test my fear.  Mission accomplished!

Going into this, I knew I would have to be patient and accept small steps in personal growth.

My 2nd time out I climbed 20 feet.  It was only 5 feet more.  I was a little disappointed but I told myself, I increased my output by 33% and pushed through another mental barrier.

At this point, I had learned to trust the rope and trust the person holding me.  I just had to muster up the courage to go to the top.

Halfway up the 2nd highest wall, I felt that panic creeping in.  Not again.  The temptation was there, to just give up.  If I give up this time, in this area, how many other times and in other more important areas, would I give up on myself?  I told myself, 1 more step and then I would see how it felt.  I pushed through.  That next step lead to another which lead to another and eventually, I reached the top.

This was a big event for me.  Not just reaching the top but rather I had pushed through a mental barrier.  I overcame my fear and did what I needed to do.  This was big!

I can’t tell you where this climb is going to take me but I can tell you some of the thoughts that are going through my head.

success

Success

I am considering sky diving.

Success

Success

I am considering flying an airplane.

Success

Success

I am considering climbing a 100 ft cliff.

These are thoughts that never would have entered into my head just 4 weeks ago.

What direction would this new way of thinking take me in business, relationships, health and life?

If you have a fear that’s holding you back or even a mental barrier, use my blue print to overcome and reach a new level.

Step 1: Acknowledge the fear

Step 2: Test the fear

Step 3: Set small goals that push outside of your comfort zone

Step 4: Reach your pain threshold and go a little bit further

Step 5: Finish, no matter how long it takes you to get there

Impact28k

Posted in Character, Confidence, Focus, Goals, Health, Impact28k, Leadership, Motivation, Performance, Planning, Purpose, Relationships, Self, Success | 4 Comments

Putting Yourself in a Position to Win

An Olympic 100m sprinter spends 4 years of their life preparing for a 9-10 second window to win a gold medal.  Every thing they do, all of their hard work comes down to that tiny little window.  They are masters of putting themselves in an opportunity to win.

In our lives, our window for success aren’t as small as an Olympic sprinter but the lesson still applies.  Highly successful people spend a lot of their time preparing to win.

As an outsider, this person may appear “lucky” but truly successful people know that success comes by spending years working on yourself to be ready for the opportunity and to create those opportunities.

Will you have the confidence to start that business you think will work?

Will you risk embarrassing yourself in front of others by asking out the person of your dreams?

Will you have made the right connections to get your foot in the door for that big sales opportunity?

Every moment of your life, you are preparing yourself, for better or worse, for opportunities.  If you take shortcuts, don’t follow through, don’t have discipline in one area of your life, odds are it will flow to other areas of your life.

I should know!  My lack of discipline with healthy eating has not only stalled my weight loss efforts but I recently noticed it in appearing in my social and professional life.

What I realized is I need to attack every area of my life with the same passion, purpose, confidence and determination that I would for a big opportunity.

The reality is many of people are not ready for huge success, yet!  The key is to start building your small successes that will lead to greater successes.

One of my good friends and colleagues just finished his first race.  He went from not being able to run more than a quarter-mile and weighing over 360lbs to weighing 290lbs and running a 3.2 mile race.  He had a lot of small successes that are building into bigger ones!

As you evaluate yourself and where you want to go in life, think about the skills, traits, behaviors you need to develop or acquire to make that happen.  What things to you need to do to put yourself in a position to win?

If you’re not getting those opportunities now or you’re not executing on them, then odds are you need to spend more time putting yourself in a position to win.

Posted in Character, Confidence, Focus, Goals, Health, Leadership, Motivation, Performance, Planning, Purpose, Relationships, Self, Success | 3 Comments

Great post from Lead. Learn. Live. This is a must read!

Live & Learn

This inspiring story is about Bruce Lee, a legendary martial art master.  From: The Art of Expressing the Human Body.  (Bruce Lee, John Little).

Here’s a few excerpts:

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