How to Stop Letting Yourself Off the Hook
Are you letting yourself off the hook?
In other words, are you going lighter and easier on yourself than you need to given your goals?
Are you delaying your dreams by operating in your comfort zone?
Are you playing it safe by keeping one foot on your dream and one foot in the status quo?
And are you wondering, after all of that see-saw living, why you aren’t where you thought you’d be by now?
Here’s the deal: You are exactly where you’ve decided to be by the actions you’ve chosen not to consistently take.
And if that truth offends you, stop reading now… because there’s only more truth to come.
It’s time for all of us to wake up and take a very deep, hard look into what we say we want versus where we spend our time. I went on an email rant the other day about how many people I saw on Facebook waking up at 2 am to watch a ‘royal wedding’ of two people they don’t know, will probably never meet and, yet, these are the same people refuse to wake up at 2 am to hustle and grind on their biggest dreams.
See the problem with that situation?
You can’t, on the one hand, say you desperately want this dream, goal or change in your life and, on the other, find every excuse not to do the daily work to achieve it. You might fool your friends and family into believing that you are at the mercy of life but you are not fooling yourself.
You’ve had ALL IN life experiences. You know when you’re giving your all.
And you also know when you’re letting yourself off the hook.
And here’s the thing: you are not going to achieve your biggest dreams if that’s how you are living your life.
To achieve any big dream, the possible has to become the actual… and the only way it does that is the daily, hard work of your words matching your actions EVERY time. It’s called congruence and if you don’t have that, you won’t have your dream. Much worse than that, you’ll feel like you’re living a lie… and whether anyone else finds that out or not is irrelevant. When you know you’re living a lie, you feel it and that never feels good.
How do you stop letting yourself off the hook?
So glad you asked!
1 Tell yourself the truth about why you do it
Get real about why you keep letting yourself off the hook. “I’m lazy” is not enough. “I’m afraid of failure” is a cop-out. “I don’t know” is the worst excuse ever. Let’s get real. You do know why you let yourself off the hook and it’s a combination of a few things:
- there’s a solid payoff to letting yourself off the hook (figure out what that payoff is and make sure the payoff for achieving your goal, in your mind, is WAY higher than the payoff for slacking off)
- you’re surrounded by others who have comfort zone living as a norm; they don’t want more and you like hanging out with them so you join their mediocrity by staying on their level and, yes, you have friends but do you really have a life? Think about it…
- You achieved a certain level of success and fell asleep at the wheel of life. Now, you can wait for a catastrophe or serious setback to happen so you can wake up… OR you can wake yourself up right now, right here without life having to punch you in the gut. You choose…
2 Force yourself to make a non-negotiable, unwavering decision
It’s decision time. Do you want to stay mediocre… or do you want to live awesome? Your choice… and this is not a “Would you like vanilla or chocolate ice cream?” kind of decision making process. This is a 0/100 choosing. Either you want the life you want and you’re willing to work for it or you’ll accept the life that’s being handed to you and you’re willing to tolerate all the crap that comes with it. Forget giving excuses for why you can’t have the life you want. Make a decision about what you believe is true for you and live with the consequences of your choosing.
Oh… and once you make that decision, get very clear in your mind that there is no turning back. Cut off all back door options. So long as you keep Plans B, C, and D in place, you won’t take your decision seriously.
3 Give self-discipline a new name
Self-discipline gets such a bad wrap. We talk about self-discipline as if it’s torture. No, it’s not torture. Do you know what self-discipline truly is at its core?
When I truly, deeply love myself, I do what’s best for me. I don’t settle for less than I deserve. I don’t give anything less than my best at all times. I work hard. I play hard. I give life everything I’ve got. Why? Because this is MY life and I deserve to live every second of it ALL OUT.
Self-discipline is the cost of entry to any dream you have.
Rather than fight it, rather than see it as the antithesis to freedom, change your paradigm and see it as the ultimate creator of freedom in your life. The second you do that, your limits go away. Why? Because your success is now completely and totally up to you… and you now demand more from yourself than anyone else could ever demand from you.
4 Forget about your fear; focus on your training
Fear is going to be there. It’s natural, normal and you have the power to transform it. Don’t obsess about what your fear is, what it means, and what you need to do about it right now. The only thing you need to do about fear right now is make sure it’s not in the driver’s seat of your life. It can be in the car but not in the driver’s seat. In other words, when fear comes up, acknowledge it, own the fact that it is YOUR fear and tell it to SDASU- Sit Down And Shut Up.
Your focus needs to be on training your mind, body and heart to focus on your vision, to see that vision as clear as you can see your own hand, and to do the daily work of taking action that gets you closer to the realization of that dream. There’s your work: the next step… and then the next step after that.
Forget about psychoanalyzing your fear. Do the work…
5 Be the hardest working person in the room EVERY day
This is not about competition. At the end of the day, if you want to be an Olympian, you need to be training like an Olympian before you become one. If you want to be an Oscar awarding winning actress, you need to do the training, work and prepare now like you’re already that Oscar award winning actress. The technique is centuries old. Whatever you want to be in the future, embody that completely and entirely now… AND don’t lose that sense of urgency or ALL-OUTNESS once you get there. That’s why people fall from glory.
If you want to be at the top, you have to operate (whether you are at the bottom or at the top) like the champion who is at the top- and the champion at the top doesn’t stop working, improving, growing, developing, evolving, and getting better. That doesn’t mean you exhaust yourself. It does mean you do everything in your power every day to become MORE of who you truly are.
6 Don’t stop until you get there
A lot of people start out being the hardest working person in the room… and then slack off after a few weeks or a few months when the motivation and passion die down. Here’s the deal: you can succeed without motivation. In fact, the earlier you learn how to do that, the faster you’ll get to the goal. Why? Because your stamina and longevity have nothing to do with passion or motivation or whether you feel like continuing on the journey of your dream. Your ability to endure and win will be entirely based on one thing:
Your commitment to your purpose.
How committed are you to the purpose of your goal or dream?
How committed are you to being the person who does what he says he’s going to do?
Are you interested in your dream… or are you committed to it?
That will tell you everything you need to know.
At the end of the day, we live in a world that is driven by comfort, pretends that success lives in comfort, and has, as its norm, the desire to not be too obsessed about any one thing. “Be even keeled” is the sentiment we continue to receive on the one hand and “Don’t do anything unless you’re inspired” is the sentiment we keep hearing on the other hand. Don’t believe the hype.
You want it? Go out and get it. And go ALL OUT when you do…
Ready to let go of your 9 to 5? Want to escape the corporate rat race and create your own lane?
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