Updated: Jan 17
As we get older we can take note of the life lessons that share the do's and don'ts of how to be successful in the areas. When we are honest with ourselves, we know there are tasks that we should do along with tasks that we need to do. Most of us, including myself, have periods in our lives where we are doing what we need to do out of immediate necessity but deep down dread the things that we would like to do out of an over exaggerated fear. In quiet moments of confidence we can see a clear picture of what our ideal situation looks like in perhaps a relationship, our work, our health or you name it. So why can we get away with not doing those daily tasks that we know are good for us or that we would love to be able to do. We all know by now that habits are the daily tools governing our productivity in any manageable area of life. We all know that changing those habits lead to an alternate outcome. You hear myself and so many others say that if you change the habits you change your outcome. It all sounds great in theory. It even seems easy to do on the surface. It's far from it for most of us and it's understandable why.
Breaking the Cycle?
When things are going well its easy to feel great about who we are and what we are doing. When life is not going so great its an opportunity to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we are doing that keeps holding us back or just fails to deliver the results we want. In most cases, we were not being accountable to our goal or the role we want to play. Being accountable means honestly assessing your efforts and the outcomes on a regular basis. This could be each day, week or month. You decide. Your experience in the management of the circumstances surrounding the goal and the specific expectations of the goal will determine the amount of accountability needed. When you are new to something, the longer you wait to do a gut check on how you are progressing the harder it is to accept the reality of your progress. The fear surrounding the honest assessment of yourself and your efforts seems like a looming tyranny when you know deep down you are not giving it your all. It builds until you no longer want to face the pain of your shortcomings. Then the pain of accountability outweighs the joys of success. Succeeding feels like an illusion that we tell ourselves is not as important as we once thought.
Ask yourself, "What is my role today and am I helping my goal or hurting it?" When it comes to improving your health, overall mentality or transforming yourself physically you can start and end your day with the right questions. If you struggle to make a simple habit of checking in with yourself then invite someone else who will be honest with you. Even if it's something as simple as setting an alarm on your phone, watch or calendar you can find some support to create a practice of being accountable to yourself. It's often a critical breaking point in why people fail to succeed in any new venture. It's why people who want to change their body composition tend to get better results when they connect with a fitness professional or train with a friend. Overcoming the dread of daily accountability, with persistence, eventually transforms into measured productivity.
Building Self-Belief through Accrued Self-Confidence
As a fitness coach I am doing some form of movement most days. When I started out as a teen the exercise was fun because I could pick and choose when I wanted to do it. If things were hard I would just stop. While it was fun there were always diminished returns so it was easy to give up at any real challenge. When I trained to be a fitness coach it became more difficult because I wouldn't allow myself to be selective about what I was learning. I was open to everything and accepted the help of my coaches to bring me to task on a daily basis. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw in the towel and embrace the internal resistance I felt. Once I achieved a training goal I instinctively wanted to relax and pat myself on the back. It was always a small achievement that triggered this but I came to learn that I had been missing out on the true value of crossing those little finish lines. I was looking for a reward of some sort that validated my efforts. Society seems to raise us that way.
The eureka moment came when I noticed myself starting an exercise, struggling and then eventually being able to not only do it but go beyond my own self-imposed limitations. The process of the struggle became my primary focus instead of the feeling of comfort through achievement. The achievement of small goals began to mount a list of little confidences that were made of authentic substance vs. a bunch of theoretical what if's that I had told myself in the past. As a coach, it was easy to train natural athletes who show up ready and willing. I would initially shy away from the idea of training people who needed more understanding or help. I recognized the internal resistance that held my progress back and was encouraged to work with people of all walks of life to again push past my self-imposed limitations as a coach. When I opened myself to training seniors, children, people with physical and mental challenges and so on I felt a leap in my confidence as a coach and a human being. In reality, I was the one learning and being trained by everyone I met. Watching others learn how to build their own confidence had such a profound impact on me that one day I woke up feeling a healthy addiction to being productive. This need to be productive can feel all consuming at times but it has offered me a genuine sense of self-belief. Without a means of being accountable I would not have discovered the value of the struggle and the joys of productivity.