It happens to us all. We get to that point in our lives where we feel as though we have weights tied to our feet. Despite our best intentions, we can't take one step forward. We cry. We complain. We blame others. We feel helpless. Until someone or something snaps us out of our funk and calls us back into action. Practice these four habits to avoid falling victim to that unstuck feeling and propel yourself towards your full potential.
Habit #1: Move past perfection to achieve progress.
I can't tell you how many times I have felt paralyzed with the burning desire to make something perfect before releasing it out into the world (or just sharing it with a client or colleague). As an entrepreneur running a small business, I have had a crash course in experience that has taught me that I simply will not survive if I let perfection stand in the way of making progress. Taking a play out of the design thinking mindset where you create, gather feedback and continually prototype incorporating the feedback and new ideas that surface, I have come to appreciate that my work is always evolving. When we adopt a growth mindset, we seek to continually learn from our experiences and those of others. We apply the lessons that we are gathering to our actions and step by step, we evolve each day into the best version of ourselves.
Habit #2: Create your daily roadmap to success.
Have you ever been sucked into the social media abyss? Hundreds of tweets and dozens of LinkedIn posts later, you surface for air and recognize that hours have passed. Your well intentioned plans of starting your day productively have been kidnapped by a little blue birdie promoting lots of catchy headlines and compelling graphics. So here's the secret. Performance coach Brendon Burchard advises us to create our priority list each morning before we even turn our computers on. By focusing on the top 3-5 projects on our plate, the people we need to connect with and our top priorities for the day, we give ourselves the roadmap to our own success. Make this practice a habit. We can train our minds to focus on priorities and to avoid all other distractions.
Habit #3: Step away and free your mind.
One of my worst habits is that I become all consumed by my work and often forget to hit the pause button. I used to dismiss the idea of taking a mental break and called it a waste of time. While I still struggle at times, I have come to value the walk around the neighborhood, a coffee break, watching an inspirational video or grabbing lunch with a friend. When I free my mind, I'm amazed sometimes at what fills the space - creative ideas, new perspectives, and connections between unlikely things. Most importantly, I gain an energy boost that propels me forward and keeps me focused on achieving my priorities for the day.
Habit #4: Be your biggest fan.
There's this voice inside of our heads that tends to tell us that we aren't good enough, that we don't have the time or the resources or the connections, that our plans are impossible, or that we lack skills. It is that voice that we need to train to get unstuck. Our own deficit-based thinking holds us back; instead we must train our internal voice to call into action our strengths, to remind us every day that we are capable of achieving whatever we put our minds to. Zig Ziglar reminds us that "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." As we climb the ladder of success in life, we will encounter enough critics and naysayers that we should do everything in our power to be our biggest fan.