Puppet? Or Puppeteer?

Are you the puppet of someone else’s idea of what you should be doing? Or are you the puppeteer making the decisions about what you should be doing? We can take courses, attend webinars, listen to gurus, read books and try to replicate the recipe they are selling. In my experience that does not lead to success. Their recipe worked for them. I’m different. It probably will not work the same for me. Almost, maybe, but perhaps just enough differently that I never get there.

My only hope for success comes when I take all that I have learned from courses, webinars, gurus, and books, and assemble them into my own recipe. I did not say reinvent the wheel or start your recipe from scratch. I need to use all the wisdom that has been shared with me about what works and put those pieces together intentionally, knowing from their training why what I have chosen will work. It’s more about the mindset than what you assemble. Is my mindset that I am trying to copy someone else’s path to success (follower, robot, puppet)? Or is my mindset that I am designing my own path to success, using the best information I can find (leader, entrepreneur, puppeteer)? By designing my own, I move out of the “victim” space where I can blame someone else if I am not successful. I move into the “victor” space where I take charge of my ultimate success. Victors win. Victims do not.

My problem has never been lack of knowledge about what to do to succeed. It has been that I was not sufficiently confident I could pull it off. I believed I needed to know all the details about how they made it work and then do it exactly that way. My faith was in the “recipe.” I did not believe in myself, in my ability to draw on the assembled wisdom of all that learning in the moment I needed it. I doubted that I could make the right move, say the right thing, choose the right path. I wanted templates, examples, more training, samples, case studies, study guides, cheat sheets. Looking back, the list of what I thought I needed was actually endless. No matter what I had, I was convinced I needed more, because I did not yet have it down perfectly. Worse yet, I was afraid to launch out and do something I did not understand perfectly, because I believed I did not yet know enough to do it right. Sure, I tried. I went through the motions, perhaps even believably. The problem was not the motions. It was the mind behind the motions. It was convinced those things I did not yet know held the key to success. All the while, the key to success was to believe I already held the key to success!

So, how about you? How much do you believe in yourself? Are you willing to take that scary leap and do something you’re not sure you can do? Do it and you will amaze yourself. Humans are generally capable of much more than they attempt. It was and is true of me. I suspect you are human, too. Your path to success starts with that next scary step, whenever it shows up in front of you. Be brave! Use all the wisdom you have gathered to take it wisely, but take the step. Your life will never be the same!

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

“You keep saying it is a decision! Everything cannot be about a decision.”

Oh, really! If you fall out of a tree and break your arm, how was that not related to your decision to climb the tree? Or to not be as careful as you could have been about where you put your foot? If you did not make that last sale, how was it not related to your being just unprepared enough so you were unable to meet that client’s needs or to address their objections or to know how to match the benefits to their needs? No matter what you are experiencing in life, if you trace it back, you can find a decision fork where you chose the path that brought you to it instead of taking a different path.

Where you are in life, what you are currently experiencing, whether success or failure, is indeed because of decisions you have made, whether you happen to believe it right now or not. You say you got rear-ended this morning while sitting at a red light and that was NOT because of your decision? Okay, how about this: If you had decided to leave 3 minutes sooner or 3 minutes later, where would you have been when that driver got to that intersection? Probably not in front of him.

That’s a tough one to swallow, isn’t it? However, your willingness to accept your personal responsibility for the things that happen to you empowers you to believe you can do what it takes to be successful, too. That’s the “victor” stance! Your unwillingness to accept that responsibility allows you to blame someone or something else and leaves you in the “victim” stance. Victims never win. Success or failure? Victor or victim? It’s your choice!

(And there I go again!)