Do, too.

Last time we talked about “know” and “be.” We cannot forget “do.” If you do not practice with integrity what you know, you will still not be successful. It takes all three.

But guess what? It sounds easier than it is. Distractions. Conflict. Fear. Excuses. Procrastination. Rationalizing. Shiny, new things. There are all kinds of things that prevent us from doing what we know we need to do. Do you know your favorites? It is important that you figure them out and overtly do something to eliminate their ability to stop you.

It takes discipline to be successful. How much discipline can you muster to stick to your plans, pursue your goal without giving up, to resist your favorite ways to avoid doing what you know you need to do? If you are not getting the results you want, the answer is, “Not enough.” It’s a decision. How much do you want those results? Enough to make the decision to be more disciplined? If not and you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. Will you be satisfied with that?

Decide today what you REALLY want: Success or what you are now getting. Once you know the answer to that question, you will know what you need to do. So go do it!

Know. Be. Do.

The American military apparently has used those 3 words in their training of troops. They are also the keys to our success.

Your knowledge is but one contributor to your success. It is relatively easy to acquire, but you must keep acquiring it.

Who you are is another important contributor to your success. You need to be yourself. People buy from people they like and trust. Are you trustworthy and likable? The problem with many of us is that we pretend to be who we think we are, not who we really are. It takes some people years of therapy or coaching to help them figure that out. You may be fortunate in having a good friend who regularly tells you the truth in love, while you willingly accept it as such and choose to do something about it. Either way, you need to actively work to learn more about who you really are and to be that person. You will NEVER be as trustworthy and likable as you need to be if you are faking it. Other people can see through pretense.

Here’s a test: When you are with family and something does not go your way, how do you respond? If you are willing to accept that how you do one thing is how you do everything, you can use that response as a warning about the real you at this point in time. The form of your response to the family may be different from your response to a client or a stranger, but the emotions, attitudes and beliefs behind that response will be the same and are the real you right now. Do you like that person? What are you willing to do about it (including seeking outside help from a friend, coach or therapist)?

On A Scale of 1 to 10…

When you go to the doctor or a hospital with pain, they ask you to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst. I believe it is as much a test of your attitude as it is of the pain level. My wife’s 10 is probably the equivalent of my 50 or 100. She knows pain and lives with it every day. I do not. I’m not quite at the level where a sliver in my finger ranks as a 10, but I’m sure my idea of bad pain does not compare at all to what she knows.

None of likes pain, but the level beyond which we believe it is not bearable, is a decision. It is an attitude we have about how much pain we should have to tolerate. It is a sort of negative entitlement. “I am entitled to not have pain that is like that.”

I have determined that “hard work” is a pain. It’s not a physical pain, but I think it acts like physical pain relative to our tolerance for it. My attitude determines what level I’m willing to tolerate. Am I going to be like my wife and be quite happy to work as hard as it takes to meet my goal, even if it is painful? Or am I going to take the easy route, “self-medicate” by choosing to not work any harder than I think I can get by with? Mere adequacy when it comes to hard work is the road to failure. Doing enough so I feel I’ve done what I need to do is not the same as doing enough so I get the results I want.

In that regard, hard work is nothing like pain. You cannot calibrate your pain level 10. You can calibrate your hard work level 10: Are you getting the results you want and need? If not, tune your hard work scale down. That “10”-level hard work may actually be only a 2 or 3. Step it up! Step it up until you get the results you want. Set that as 7 or 8. That leaves you room to stretch into even more success!

Based on the results you have been getting, on a scale from 1 to 10, how would you realistically rate your hard work level? What are you willing to do about it?

Not Good Enough

Have you ever wondered if that is true about you? That you are not good enough to succeed, or to tackle something you’ve never tried, or to share what you’ve learned with someone else, or whatever it is you deep down inside wanted to do, but were able to convince yourself that you were not good enough? I suspect it has happened to more folks than just me.

I looked around and saw people succeeding at what I wanted to do. What did they know that I did not? What were they doing that I was not? I could not make sense of it other than to believe that in some way I did not know, I was just not good enough. Worse yet, I was afraid I’d never figure out what it was. Maybe I was a fraud, pretending to be something I was not, or to knowing something I did not.

That is a place you do not want to wallow for very long. That’s what it is, wallowing. I was wallowing in self-pity rather than seeking help to figure out a solution. Fortunately, I knew I was wallowing and that I needed to get up out of the pity and do SOMETHING, anything, to move in the direction I wanted to go…despite how I was feeling. Get help!

In my case, I had stepped into a pity pool before and had friends that cared enough about me to intervene. I consider those friends to be some of the best I have. They made a difference. They ordered me to meet them for lunch the next day…and then spent 90 minutes disabusing me of my feelings of inadequacy. That was over 10 years ago. I use memories of that session to pick myself up, dust myself off, and DECIDE to stop wallowing and to start solving.

That’s what it is, a decision. The barriers between you and your goal are generally mental rather than real obstructions. You just need the guts to call your situation what it is and DECIDE to change it, to go after that goal no matter what.

Do you have what it takes to DECIDE to change? Then you ARE good enough! If you can control your brain enough to make that switch, then you can do whatever else you need to do to get to your goal! You will learn what you need to learn, do what you need to do, and be who you need to be.

And as Winston Churchill once famously said, “Never give up!”