Photo By Mohamed Hassan
You know the voice.
It’s the one only you can hear.
It’s the negative whispers that emerge anytime you embark upon a worthwhile mission or endeavor.
You can horse around, goof off, procrastinate, or abandon ship to your heart’s delight, but once you’ve committed to meaningful goals, the Voice starts chattering.
And usually, it’s talking you down.
Down from pursuing your genuine calling.
Down from quitting the dead-end job you want to leave.
Down from launching the business you’ve been putting off.
Down from the health and fitness plan you’ve committed to.
Down from any goal or accomplishment that will deliver the desires of your true heart.
This is your inner critic. Everyone has one. And to achieve anything worth having, you must learn how to silence the negative speeches in your head.
This year I’ve created several goals in various areas of my life (health, business, productivity, relationships, spiritual growth, and writing).
Some of these goals are things I’ve put off for months or years. But now that I’ve started taking concrete steps toward making them happen, Big Mouth starts chiming in.
“This is gonna be really hard.” (Do you hear the whiny tone there?)
“Why bother? You’re already successful.”
“People won’t understand or like what you’re offering.”
“This probably won’t work,” and on and on the chatterbox continues, offering every possible excuse or justification to drop your personal goals and head back to the couch.
If you don’t learn how to silence that noise, you’ll constantly fall short of your aspirations and the critic wins.
You may feel that your enemy is time, money, resources, or relationships. I assure you it is not.
You have more of all of the above than you’ve given yourself credit for. And the goals that your inner chime is trying to talk you out of would undoubtedly create more of those things in your life.
The real villain is … you.
Photo By Gerd Altmann
Yes, the enemy is lurking within each of us, and the enemy is vocal. It won’t shut up. In his book, “The War Of Art,” Steven Pressfield describes this foe as “Resistance.” It’s the voice that keeps talking you out of your dreams.
And it’s relentless.
It’s like the psychotic android in “The Terminator.” You can’t reason with it. The choice is binary.
Terminate, or be terminated.
So, what do you do, now that you’ve begun your exercise program, started writing your screenplay, or decided to launch into the unknown, and the Terminator knocks at your front door?
Here’s one thing not to do—cave in.
You can’t give in to the beast, because then your goals and dreams die. Do this instead:
Understand The Game You’re In
You don’t win football games with baseball rules. You have to understand the rules of the game you’re playing to stand any chance of success.
This means knowing and confronting the enemy. Procrastination, self-sabotage, and imposter syndrome are not happening outside of you. It’s an inside job.
You must go on the offensive.
Get An Action Plan
(a) Write your goals down and review them at least weekly. Daily would be ideal, but every other day is an effective rhythm. That's not all. 👇🏽
(b) Tabulate your actions taken and record them. If your goal involved fitness, did you go to the gym?
If you did go, how many reps did you do, and how long were you there? Please write it down so you have a weekly visual tracker.
Without this discipline, you will be in no-man’s-land. Right where the Terminator wants you.
(a) Seek out a coach or mentor to keep you honest on your goals. This may involve a financial investment, but aren’t you worth it?
How long will you let the Terminator win?
When are you finally going to complete the goal?
(b) Get with a group of people on a similar journey. There’s power and accountability in numbers. There are many cohort learning opportunities for whatever it is you’re trying to do.
The group dynamic is often a missing element of success. We weren’t meant to go it alone. We need camaraderie and encouragement along the way.
Collaboration is an underrated super-power.
(c) Attack your goals publicly. This will have the joint benefits of immediate feedback and accountability. By putting your ideas out there, you invite a conversation. This may appear terrifying at first, but that shock to the system is often what’s needed to break ongoing patterns.
The key is to take action. You can’t fight the enemy with good intentions. That’s the inner critic’s game plan — to entrap you in a world of thoughts that never get acted upon, or which are sabotaged every time you step up.
You must understand you are in a fight for your life. Well, at least for the life you really want. Your thoughts alone won’t give you victory.
They are often the enemy, and they can’t be trusted.
Hey, Let's Grow Together! 👇🏽
To enable these disciplines in my life, I am considering creating a Free Cohort on each of the following topics beginning in February.
If you have any interest in being a Beta Participant, please send me a message through the link below and let me know which one.
Let’s make this our best year ever! Send me a note if you’re interested!
Quantum Action MasterMind