Ask anyone who trains car drivers on safety courses what happens if you tell a new driver to avoid the witch’s hat and they will say the same thing. The driver hits the witch’s hat.
The drivers move towards what they are looking at.
It can take five or more times for the driver to move their focus from what they don’t want to hit to where they want to drive.
These drivers are a great metaphor for what can happen in our lives. We can be going for a goal and then notice an obstacle or a challenge. Instead of remaining focused on the goal, we shift our focus to the obstacle. In life, like with the driving course, what you focus on is what you move towards.
Imagine you’re going for a goal, say to weigh your ideal weight. You’re doing the right things, making some progress, then you seem to plateau and no matter what you do, nothing seems to be shifting. The going gets tougher than it had been where you started, some of the fun of the new exercise regime is starting to fade and frankly it’s getting tough to say no to the dinner invitations.
You tell yourself you’ve done pretty well, or that its okay to carry some extra weight at your age or with your work load or with kids to look after.
You give up the dream because you rationalise your lack of success. You made it okay to settle again for the poor results you were getting.
We do this all the time. Think about a time you wanted a pay rise, a date with someone or a bigger savings account. We don’t get what we want in the time frame we’ve made up for ourselves and we’re often not even aware of it, we rationalise our lack of results.
And so it goes. We rationalise ourselves into mediocrity, until the next cycle of pain hits and we have to act. We take a few steps, get results, notice a plateau and the going gets a little tough… and the rationalisation starts again.
The problem with this strategy is each time we do it we shave a little more off our self-esteem. We trade in our self-belief for settling. We drop our standards because we don’t want to be disappointed the next time. This is what most people do in life…..BUT now that you are armed with the problems of this specific strategy and can recognise it…… you can implement plan B.
Plan B is simple. When you hit the plateau, you raise you standards. You ask more of yourself than you normally would and ask more of yourself than people around would. You don’t settle, you step up!
It sounds so ridiculously simple that you’re probably questioning if it is worth the investment or effort. Let me tell you it is!
Most people experience a sit back and give up. People who live their ultimate vision for life don’t give up. They keep going… even harder. They focus on where they are going and not on what is holding them back!