Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ask Yourself 'Why am I doing this?' - The Secret to Over Coming Self-Sabotage

If we do what we've always done, then we will get what we've always gotten.

Is that what you want - to continue to have what you have right now?

Are you happy with where you are?

Would you like something better?

Do you keep trying to do something different and somehow sabotage yourself every time - long before you ever get it?

Truth is, we rarely question our actions - consciously. We do what we do, because that's what we do - or have always done. You woke up this morning most likely at the time you woke up yesterday morning. You went downstairs, had a cup of coffee, maybe a cigarette, and countless other habits - because you did them yesterday . . . and the day before . . . and the day before that.

That's what a habit is.

So let me ask you, "Why are you doing these things?"

Do you want to?

Do you mean to?

Are these things helping you reach your goals?

If the answer is yes - then keep doing them. And don't sweat it.

But if you don't know why you are doing them, except to just do them, then I challenge you to stop doing them . . . and start doing something that will help you achieve your goals.

Every client I work with, before we do anything else, I ask them to sit down and figure out what they want - what they want for their business as well as their personal life - to include taking care of themselves and those that they care most about. It is a struggle sometimes, but most pick it up eventually and actually begin to embrace the idea that they can create the life they choose.

That's the easy part.

Next I ask them to start looking at what they do each and every day, and figure out how those things either directly or indirectly contribute to their goals - to their happiness or what ever it is they want from their life. This can be tough, but once you do it a couple times, you begin to look at everything you do, a little bit differently.

Now, it's not to say that you can't or shouldn't do things that have no purpose or that can't be tied to a goal. In fact quite the opposite is true. It's always nice to have some things that you just do . . . because.

However, most people have unconscious goals - goals that are driving their actions each and every day "unconsciously". The idea here is to help you figure out what you are doing and why you are doing it so that you may actually begin to control it at a conscious level and start living the life you want - as opposed to the life that just seems to be happening to you.

Literally, I ask my clients to think about their actions - before they do them. I don't ask them because I think they should change what they are doing - that is their choice. I do, however, ask them so they can choose behaviors (or not) that will result in the life that they say they want consciously instead of always doing what they've always done and continuing to get what they have always gotten - unconsciously. It is about starting to figure out how and why each of their actions are either taking them closer to or further from their goals.

For example, if one of your goals (life time goals) is to show your wife how much you love her, then it's very easy to see a direct correlation between buying her flowers and taking her out to dinner to that goal.

But what if you don't have a goal to make sure she knows how much you love her? What if you are just buying the flowers for the sake of buying the flowers? Or what if you are dong it to make up for a fight that you had with her last night?

"Why" doesn't matter! I don't care why you do things. However "understanding why" you are doing things does matter! And the difference is profound.

"Understanding Why" matters because it isn't until you understand why you take actions, that will be able to take control of the action and change it into something better - to help you achieve your goal faster . . . more efficiently . . . or more effectively.

Think about it. . . spend some time today, tomorrow, and the next day and think about what it is that you are doing, and why you are doing it.

Are you doing it for no reason? If so, then ask yourself, "Why do I keep wasting my time and energy on this?"

Are you doing it to achieve a conscious goal - a goal that you are fully aware of? Great. That's what you want! And then ask yourself, "Is this the best way to work towards achieving my goal, or is there something else I could be doing?"

Or are you doing it to achieve an unconscious goal, like maintaining the "status quo" - a goal that you really don't want but it has always been what you did so you keep on doing it? If so, then ask yourself, "Is there any reason that I can't give this up - it isn't helping me achieve what I really want?"

In these questions are the answers to taking control of your future and over coming self-sabotage. They questions may feel simple . . . but the answers may be more difficult to face than you think.

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