“I wish I could be that person”
“I really want to do x but xxxx”
“It’s on my bucket list”
“One day I’d love to…”
If you’ve ever overheard yourself saying any of these things, maybe it’s time to change your perspective?
We all have choices and it’s never too late to take a first step towards a different path. So if you want to change jobs, learn a language, leave a relationship, pick up the ukulele, the only thing standing in your way are the barriers you impose upon yourself.
So ask yourself ‘what’s holding me back?’, ‘what am I afraid of?’, ‘what if I fail?’
But also ask yourself ‘but what if I succeed?’
That said, it IS sometimes hard to know where to start. Maybe you don’t actually even have a goal in mind, but you just know you can’t stay as you are.
There are still ways to create momentum.
I (unknowingly) used physical training as a means to build up my mental and emotional reserves, so that I felt strong enough to change my course. I now know this as ‘General Physical Preparedness’ – not training for anything specific, just generally for life. And as I became stronger, I was able and wiling to take on challenges (creating peak experiences) that showed me what my capabilities were.
I showed up to training sessions every time (often on my own) until I was lucky enough to have opportunities cross my path that eventually lead to a World Record. I didn’t just wake up one day and say ‘I’d like to row an ocean’ and then work out how to do it. But I did address a general feeling of dissatisfaction in my life, a sense of unease that I knew I couldn’t live with any more, and I started to ask myself difficult questions about what I was holding myself back from – and why.
I think there are 3 key pillars you need to have in place to create a plan for change:
- People – we never really do anything alone. Think about who is in your A-team, do they listen to you? Do you listen to them? Do they challenge you? What support are you lacking?
- Preparation – you have to be self-disciplined enough to do the due diligence. Break down the seemingly insurmountable obstacles into easily digestible chunks. If all you ever focus on is the end goal, you’ll find yourself disheartened before you’ve even started. Immerse yourself in the detail and the process. The rest will follow.
- (Self) Provocation – this is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, finding new edges from which to grow. Reminding yourself that you are capable of a LOT more than your brain gives you credit for. Go out looking for the ‘hard stuff’ – that’s where you’ll find real growth.
I’m not saying it’s easy, very far from it. But the trick is to just create momentum. To get going – you can’t eat the whole elephant, but you can eat lots of frogs. By which I mean, the overall goal may seem overwhelming if you attempt to tackle it whole, but if you break it down and focus on doing the ‘boring’ repetitive tasks, without fighting the tedium, you’ll find yourself in a process that will inevitably lead somewhere.
Because the one thing that unites most successful athletes, no matter what their chosen discipline, is not talent, knowledge or even hard work. It is mastery of the mundane. Admin, discipline, showing up is everything. If you care about the small stuff, if you perform tedious, daily tasks WELL, you form successful game-changing habits that lead to excellence in performance.