I’ve found when working with people that they often struggle to move forward because the perceived gap between where they are now, and where they want to be is too big. Inside they’re saying “Oh, I’ll never be able to do that” (bridge that gap). Invariably this is in any area of their life including relationships, personal development, work, money, … “I’ll never be able to play guitar like that”, “I’m happy just cruising because I’ll never be able to do that”, “I’ll never have a relationship like they have”, “I wish I had a life like that, but I’ll never achieve that” … Sometimes these thoughts don’t surface to a conscious level they’re so ingrained. Sad.
First the obvious question. Why do I need to bother being better? This is a big question and worthy of much more discussion. Besides the old adage, if you don’t use it, you lose it – which refers directly to your abilities, the very very short answer is – you’ll feel better. Much better.
And how you feel drives so much of your life.
When I work with people I often use a measuring system of numbers and emoticons (sad to happy faces) because it helps give us a reference point. You know how you want to feel. You know how you do feel. If we can gauge the perceived size of that gap then there is something we can prioritise on, and understand what strategy and actions required are needed.
Remember nothing is absolute. Everything is relative. There are no absolutes in life. How you feel about where you are in a certain aspect of your life is different to how you felt a month or year ago – yet nothing in that life domain has seemingly changed. You may be feeling better about your work now than you did, however that may be partly because your relationship feels better, and nothing directly related to your work environment. Everything is related.
Similarly, when you are looking at where you’re at in a certain domain of your life such as how you feel about your relationships or your work. You might say, “Oh I feel like only 4 out of an ideal 10”. Cut yourself some slack. 10 is a dream aspirational – Gold Medal – state. And sometimes the 10 is a comparison against how you see others.
Like athletes who can only improve on their own performance, the rest is out of their control. What is in your control is how you perform. Your effort. And only you can take responsibility for that.
Visualising yourself going from 4 to 6 is something that is achievable. There are practical steps that you can take to make that improvement. When you get there, who knows? Let’s reassess then. Check out www.ekoyou.com for our personal growth tools that support providing clarity to bridge the gap.
It is like the athletes at the Olympics, or wherever. When you hear their results being reported it is often “they did a personal best”. The reason for this is partly motivation.
You can’t control what others do. A personal best is something you can achieve.
You make the world a better place by being better
In most cases there is no “best” – except in your efforts. No one is the “best” at relationships, personal development, work, money, however there is always opportunities to improve.
Life is not a win-lose where you’re comparing yourself to others. It isn’t like the Olympics where you’re competing to win a gold medal. And even at the Olympics, if you don’t win a gold medal but still achieve a “personal best” – that is great. Keep notching the bar up a little at a time. It’ll dramatically improve how you feel about yourself, others, the world.
I’m not saying being better is easy. There is effort and commitment involved. Conscious effort.
How do you measure this?
It is not tangible. It is how you feel. It is so subtle you barely perceive it is affecting your thinking.
What can you do?
1.Reduce comparative thinking. We all naturally compare. It is in our DNA as part of our risk management system. Compare our current environment with what we expect it to be for threats. Natural. The problem is we do it unconsciously, when we shouldn’t – and it stops us. Bring this comparative thinking into the light. Do it less. (Note I’m not saying stop it completely. That is unrealistic. Be better, by reducing it). You can’t compare yourself to anyone – because you’re unique. Unique abilities, talents, qualities, aspirations, thoughts and feelings.
2.Narrow the gap. Always dream big. Aspire for great things. When you look at the detail, close the gap to make it easier on yourself. Don’t make your next step a massive one, because it’ll de-motivate you and you’re more likely to stall.
I’m interested in knowing:
•What do you feel about closing the gap?
•What are you doing about it?
•What is working for you?
•What support do you need?
Give me a yell. Keen to hear. Keen to understand. Keen to help. Keen to see you excel!