Have you stopped believing there's more for you? Have you ever felt like every area of your life was like a treadmill? You run and run but get nowhere?
A lot of times that happens when we stop believing that there actually is more for us to go achieve. I was listening to a couple podcasts on dating your spouse the other day - and the content overlapped on a really great point:
Date night can be ANYTHING, it just can’t be your normal routine!
So date night can TOTALLY be just hitting the couch after kids go to bed with a nice bottle of wine watching The Office - UNLESS that sounds a lot like a normal evening for the two of you.
So I took that advice in planning a date night with my wife - and we went to a friend’s empty house with some take out food and some wine. I brought my laptop, microphones, and mixer, and I had downloaded this list I Googled “20 Great Questions to Ask Your Spouse” and I spent the next hour and 15 minutes just interviewing her as if we were being broadcast to a huge audience.
At one point she stopped and just thanked me for never giving up the pursuit of an amazing marriage! A couple years back when I would argue that I didn’t want just a good marriage, I wanted an AMAZING one - she admitted she would roll her eyes thinking I had believed an unrealistic fairy tale. Like I was just watching too many Hollywood movies. That amazing marriages didn’t really exist, and therefore it was pointless to push for them.
There’s more for you in your business and your life - but you’re going to have to get off the treadmill and start ACTUALLY gaining some ground.
I’m going to offer three simple tricks to help you do just that.
1. Don't get overwhelmed by the entire task, just ask "What's the next step?"
When faced with a large task, it's super easy for us to throw our hands up and say "I don't even know where I'd start" - not because we've thought intentionally about where to start, but because the task seems so large we're overwhelmed. And when we're overwhelmed, we almost never press in, we shrink back. But if we calmly ask the simple question, "what's the next step" we can systematically move forward where otherwise we'd just stay stuck.
Here's what that looks like:
I was told a few years ago that I should write a book. I had no idea how to write a book or even where I'd start. But rather than just say "I don't know how", I asked "what's the next step?"
And determined that I could at least create an outline of content so I would have an idea of what the book would say. So I did that.
Still didn't know how to write a book. So what's the next step? Well, I guess I could take that outline and turn it into chapters, and fill out the story line.
Guess what? I still didn't know how to write a book. All I had was like a long document on my computer. It's not like you can just press "print" like you're in college. What's the next step?
I continued this process until I released my first book and now it's collecting dust at houses across the country.
It would have been so easy to just decide from the beginning that I didn't know what or how to accomplish the total job. But I didn't need to accomplish the total job, I just needed to take the next step each time. And you'll find - you ALWAYS have what it takes for the next step.
2. Don’t ask “CAN I…?” ask “HOW can I…?”
This might seem too easy - but it’s amazing how powerfully it works. When you’re looking at the next step to take, if you ask “CAN I DO IT?” you invite fear, doubt, and insecurity to have a seat at the deliberation table. And whether you answer YES or NO depends an awful lot on your level of self confidence, your level of self development, and your belief in yourself to drown out those natural voices that keep us from pursing our potential.
Simply asking “HOW CAN I DO IT?” shifts your brain into problem solving mode and because “I CAN’T” isn’t even a logical response to the question, you naturally don’t even entertain it as an option.
Here's what that looks like:
"Can you find a sitter this weekend so you and your wife can get some alone time?"
"NOPE! I am way too busy to make any calls"
"How can you find a sitter this weekend so you and your wife can get some alone time?"
"Hmmm... I could text Gary and Jen and see if either of their sitters were free. That would only take a couple seconds"
3. Don’t determine you CAN’T do something without offering an alternative that you CAN do.
We’re an efficient species. We like to finish things and move on, so when we’re faced with an option - we often prefer to simply determine we can’t do it rather than think of ways we can - simply so that it seems solved in our mind and put to bed. Does that make sense?
Now, determining you can’t do something never moves you forward in life - but it does check boxes off of your TO-DO list which is why it’s tempting to conclude. And it's the reality a lot of times.
I’m not the guy who screams: “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!” because there are legitimately things you cannot do. Now, when we’re faced with those things, it’s easy to say “Sorry, I can’t” and then be done. When we do that though, over and over, we build a body of evidence that we’re people who “can’t” do things. And there's a finality to can't.
The minute we use that word, we stop trying to find solutions, again, because it seems settled in our minds. If we use this ninja trick and stop ending our sentences with can't and we start ending our sentences with what we can do instead, we cast votes and build a body of evidence that we are a person who CAN do things - and no matter the situation we face, we’re finding some way to proactively move forward instead of shrinking back.
Here's what that looks like:
My daughters came home from school a few weeks back with a flyer advertising for “DONUTS WITH DAD”. It was an event during lunchtime on a Friday when the Dads were invited to the school to see their kids and enjoy donuts with them.
Sounded awesome! Except… I was traveling out of town that morning for the weekend, so I couldn’t be there. I didn’t want my daughters to have memories of the things that Dad couldn’t do. I wanted them to have memories of all the things I COULD do.
That required me to be honest and say “Sorry girls, I can’t be there, BUT here’s what I can do instead… I can totally come to your classrooms on Wednesday and bring donuts for everybody! How does that sound?”
So that’s what I did, and instead of being the dad that missed an important morning, I was the ROCKSTAR dad who did something that none of the other dads did.
But becoming "Awesome Dad" required that I STOP, get creative, and think of what I COULD DO instead of settling my mind with what I COULDN'T.
There is a TON more available for you in business and life than you’ve achieved, and when you start asking "WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP" & “HOW CAN I TAKE THAT STEP?” and you start approaching obstacles with solutions like “WHILE I CAN’T DO THAT, HERE’S WHAT I CAN DO…” you’ll find yourself gaining way more ground than allowing fear, doubt, and insecurity to force you into saying you “CAN’T” and then settling to accept your current reality as if there’s nothing more available to you.