August 2019

My goal is to give you relevant information each month to help you not only overcome any challenges you might be facing but to also share tips and give you tools that will support and empower you as you are creating the life and business you’ve envisioned.

Imagine that you are driving on a road that is usually bogged down with heavily congested traffic and annoying delays. It’s a situation where you feel your frustration level rising to an all-time high. However, on this particular day, there are very few cars on the road and it feels effortless to get to your destination.

Although in large cities that scenario is extremely rare, stay with me and envision it in your head – smooth sailing all the way, blue skies, no bottleneck traffic jams. There’s no stress and you feel a peace that is usually absent.

The situation I’ve just described is exactly what can happen to you when you “get out” of your own way.

As entrepreneurs, we face gridlock and disappointments constantly. We have endless ideas swirling in our heads, not enough hours in a day, and we constantly face deadlines due yesterday.

All of these issues can trigger you; however, none are nearly as daunting as the ruthless voice of your inner critic. That judgmental voice opens the door not only to self-criticism but also distorts and magnifies the critiques from others.

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When you are triggered, do you operate from a sound mind to evaluate your situation or do you fall into the overthinking trap? Over-scrutinizing negatively impacts everything you touch and creates serious self-doubt where you are more likely to question your confidence. This puts you in a frame of mind where you start blaming yourself, others, or your circumstances.

In this newsletter, I am going to share 3 internal skills you can learn which will help you create a shift in your thinking. This shift will move you from feeling powerless to being empowered so that you can take constructive action in all your situations.

Featured Client Question

How can I achieve my goals while at the same time getting out of my own way?

3 Internal Skills to Help You Get Out of Your Own Way

Although a lot of people struggle with their mindset, the good news is that this is 100% in your control. Most everyone understands that their thoughts drive behavior but they struggle with the actual application of how to control negative thoughts which influence their choices.

Let’s look at 3 simple skills you can start implementing immediately to control your thoughts and make better choices so that you can get out of your own way and reach your goals.

Skill #1: Get a Clear, Unbiased Picture of Your Situation

Whenever you sense that you’ve been negatively impacted either by a thought, a situation, or a feeling, pretend that you are a non-judgmental bystander observing the situation from the outside. This creates the powerful force of awareness.

Awareness brings you to the present and fosters your ability to be still and to calm your mind. When you create an environment of mindfulness, you are able to observe your thoughts and feelings free from the judgment that normally distorts your perception.

This is what Peak Performance Coach and author of the classic book The Inner Game of Tennis W. Timothy Gallwey calls the art of relaxed concentration.

“The player of the inner game comes to value the art of relaxed concentration above all other skills; the secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard.” – W. Timothy Gallwey

When you ignite awareness and see yourself objectively, you are assessing the situation without partiality; like a curious movie-goer watching an epic movie.

A bonus to doing this is that you are also working with the biochemistry of your body and allowing your stress hormones to abate quicker.

Skill #2: Ask Yourself Non-Judgmental Questions

According to Marilee Adams, President of the Inquiry Institute, and author of the bestselling book Change your Questions Change your Life great results in life begin with great questions.

Adams created a system of tools based on decades of research that focuses on you becoming a Learner rather than being a judgmental Judger.

Learner questions sound like:

  • What happened here?
  • What would l like to see happen?
  • What else is possible?
  • What’s the best thing I can do now?

According to Adams, research shows that those who use Learner questions report feeling more energized, optimistic, open, relaxed and hopeful. They look for possibilities rather than finding fault and blame.

This is in stark contrast to what Adams identifies as the questions a Judger mind asks.

Judger questions sound like:

  • Why am I such a failure?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • Who’s to blame here?
  • What’s wrong with them?

As you can see the Judger mindset focuses on blame albeit self, others, or circumstances. Operating out of this mindset leaves you frustrated and negatively affects your interaction with yourself and others.

Take Responsibility not Blame

Another important concept to note is that Judger loves to blame. When you take responsibility for your thoughts and actions, you let go of blame. Blame beats you up and keeps you stuck in the past. Responsibility carves out a brighter path for a better future.

“No thought lives in your head rent-free. Each thought you have will either be an investment or a cost.” – T Harv Eker

Tool #3: Choose to Switch to Learner Mode

The goal in this process is to start training your mind to identify when you are in Judger mode and switch to Learner mode so you can ask Learner questions. This powerful skill will allow you to recognize and stop the sabotaging thoughts that you entertain and start reframing your thoughts to achieve even more positive results in life; basically, you learn how to get out of your own way.

Adams shares some examples of powerful Learner questions contributed by participants in her workshops.

  • Am I in Judger mode? (This creates awareness)
  • Is this what I want to be feeling?
  • How else can I think about this?
  • What are the facts?
  • What humor can I bring into the situation?

Some people immediately get discouraged and doubt their ability to break free from negative mindsets; they think it’s too hard. Granted, it’s not easy; switching to Learner mode doesn’t happen overnight.

However, the more you practice switching to a Lerner mindset, the easier and easier it becomes. You actually strengthen your switching capabilities and shift to Learner sooner.  It’s very similar to weight training; the more you do it, the stronger your muscles get.

“Your thoughts and ensuing choices will either destroy you or drive you to excel.” – Rita Hudgens

Hopefully, these 3 skills will help you recognize when your thoughts are deceiving you and driving you in the wrong direction. Switching your thinking will place you on that carefree open highway with no traffic where you can live a happier more energized, less convoluted life.

Stay in Touch

I’d love to hear back from you to see how you are using these new tools and the impact it’s making in your life. Please feel free to email me what works for you and share your wins.

Keep believing,

Remember: Nothing is Impossible


Recommended Reading:

Marilee Adams, Change Your Questions Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life, Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2015

Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis, Random House 2008

Rita Hudgens
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