The story is always the same but the circumstances and details may change. We start out super inspired and committed to make a change. At first everything is great. Then we miss a day. Then another. And before we know it we are back to square one. Does this story sound familiar? It is a universal story, that I am sure has effected you as well. I know I have experienced this over and over again. It used to frustrated me to no end!
I have discussed this topic before in a previous post regarding how to leverage habit formation to make positive changes in your life. While that is a very powerful tool, it is NOT the panacea to solve the inability of humans to follow through. I would like to delve into some psychological differences between those who can change and those who can not. Being successful is about showing up and being consistent. Therefore really understanding how to train yourself to always follow through may be the most important skill you will develop.
What separates those who follow through and change vs. those who are stuck in negative and self-defeating behaviors? It is what they choose to focus on and their beliefs.
“Motivation is Bullshit.” – Elliott Hulse
People who do not succeed focus on the feedback they receive from others. These people need to be “motivated” to make a change, but it will never be long lasting. Do not get me wrong motivation is very powerful but it is only a spark, commitment and discipline will help you to fight through and stick with the positive change.
How do you develop this commitment and discipline to follow through. Understanding the principles and actions I discussed in my previous post about habit formation is key. But what you focus on is just as important if not more so. You can not focus on the external outcome. In life the you are NOT guaranteed the result. The only thing you are guaranteed is the action. Those who are super successful and are able to change define their success by their actions not their results.
This is a huge paradigm shift, and it may seem counter intuitive but it is absolutely true. A great example is the story about how Colonel Sanders start Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). He had this super innovative idea to sell his amazing fried chicken recipes to restaurants instead of opening and managing his own restaurant and to receive royalties from their sales. So he went to various restaurants pitching is idea. He went to 1009 restaurants and heard NO before he got to the 1010 restaurant that said yes. The rest is history.
What must have been going through Colonel Sanders head every time he heard NO? Although we can only speculate, I am 100% confident that he was NOT judging his success based on the feedback he received. He knew that his success was defined by the quality of his actions he took. You may have heard about this concept before but it is vital that you really become clear about its ramifications. In addition, if you want to reach your full potential you must use whatever you can to internalize your concepts and change your focus from results driven to process focused. You need to learn to LOVE the process, without any expectation for the result.
-Proper Mindset is key to making long lasting change
-The most successful people judge their success by the quality of their actions not by feedback from others
-Love the process