Day 13. September 13, 2021. Welcome back to our 30-Day Micro Leadership Course.
“A change will do you good,” sings Sheryl Crow. She’s right.
That doesn’t make it popular or easy. Transforming ourselves is arduous work. I suspect many people rather enjoy being stuck because it’s comfortable. “The devil you know” and all that.
Change involves embracing the unknown, but it also involves the pursuit of the ideal outcome. YOUR ideal outcome. That should excite you.
We want to get better. We just don’t want to change in order to do it. 😉 It’d be easier if others would change so we didn’t have to.
Here’s my 3-step approach to how we can foster growth and improvement.
One: The power of the corner
My coaching obligation to every client is to help them paint themselves into the corner where the magic happens. It’s not my job to paint them in a corner – which is a metaphor for eliminating all the excuses. My job is to help them paint themselves into the corner because they’re ready or preparing to get ready to change. They want to grow and improve but may be struggling to figure out how.
The corner literally puts our back against the wall with nowhere to go except forward. No more backing up. No more wiggling out of it. Time to face the realities of where we are and where we most want to go.
Until we suck all the oxygen out of the room where our excuses live, they’ll continue to thrive. That’s the power of the corner. We have willingly go there though. It’s unprofitable most of the time when others attempt to paint us in the corner. Self-improvement is how we refer to the work. For good reason. It’s something we must do for ourselves! Sure, others can help us, but helping and telling are different things.
Today, I encourage you to look at the corner not as a place of punishment (like a doghouse) but a place you can finally – at long last – you can move forward. Maybe in an unprecedented fashion.
Two: The power of the mirror
Once we’re in the corner, ready to ditch every excuse it’s time to grab the mirror and stare intently into it. It’s time to come face-to-face with ourselves. To look at our weaknesses, strengths, challenges, and opportunities. Self-examination is required, but there’s much more to it. Accurate self-examination. Merely looking at ourselves isn’t enough. It’s urgent and critical for us to make sure we’re seeing ourselves accurately. Remember my definition of understanding —
Understanding is accurate comprehension.
Self-examination is worthless unless it’s accurate.
The mirror also represents our commitment to look squarely at ourselves and avoid blaming others. Or blaming circumstances. We refuse to hold the mirror up to others. It’s for our use only.
As we stare intently into ourselves we acknowledge whatever we’re thinking, feeling, believing, and doing as our responsibility. It’s not about assigning blame. Blame doesn’t matter. This isn’t a fault-finding exercise. It’s time to let all that go. Forget about it.
Instead, focus on accepting responsibility for everything. And I do mean everything.
Here’s what happens when you do – you empower yourself. You give yourself permission to control whatever you can. That frees you to change anything having to do with your own choices – which includes quite a lot of your life. More than you may have earlier thought.
Three: The power of getting out of the corner.
Once we come face-to-face with ourselves and accept responsibility for our ideal outcome – or whatever outcomes have occurred up to this point – now we’re ready to move forward. The power of the corner isn’t found in staying there, but in going there and staying long enough to rid ourselves of making excuses. It takes however long it takes. Spend whatever time in the corner with the mirror until you see things clearly and accurately. And until you willingly say, “If it is to be, it’s up to me!”
Only then you can move forward and escape the corner.
Everybody needs redemption. Think of your forward progress out of the corner as redemption. It’s your get out of jail card where you can at long last be in more control over your life.
Now you’re not running from anything. Instead, you’re running toward something – YOUR IDEAL OUTCOME.
It’s not my ideal outcome. It’s not anybody else’s ideal outcome. It belongs to you and you alone must figure out what it’s going to be. And it’s not static. It’s always subject to change because you’re now fully committed to growth, improvement, and transformation into a better version of yourself. That’s not being fickle – that’s adjusting your ambitions to more ideally suit what you most want to happen. And as a result, you adjust your thoughts, beliefs and actions to make it come true.
No, there are no guarantees. You might achieve your ideal outcome. You might not. And you might change things up realizing what you thought you wanted wasn’t what you wanted after all. You can change your mind. You can change your life. All for the better. It’s your life and you can direct it as you’d like.
Just remember, you’ve now accepted responsibility for everything. All of it. Failure. Neglect. Achievement. Constraints. Opportunities. You own them all, which means you have a large degree of power over them.
Can you overcome all of them? Maybe not. But the ones you can’t overcome…they can be endured.
Influence as much as you can so have the life you want. Hardships will come. And those will be your chief learning opportunities. That’s how it works. Don’t resent having tough times. See them for the chances to grow stronger because that’s what they are.
So get busy thinking about how quickly you want to get to the corner and rid yourself of all the excuses you’ve been making for why you don’t have the life you want – or why you’re not the person you’d most like to be.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!