Over the past week we’ve done some in depth work. We have taken steps, made decisions, accepted realities and grown. Congratulations, we are truly “Becoming”!
I know it has been a lot of information, but that’s all part of the process, while I maintain all of my previous posts available for you 24/7/365, today I thought we’d take time to review.
Not wanting anyone to be left behind, we’ll combine some major aspects, and maybe even draw a clearer picture of how all these steps come together to form the path “Becoming”.
Last week we took steps to Accept Ourselves, to Decide, to Let Go and even gave ourselves a good kick to STOP Procrastinating.
In order to be “Becoming”, we acknowledged we needed to practice acceptance.
- Accept Yourself. Embrace the ability to unconditionally love all aspects of who you are. Both the positive and negative.Do not become overly critical. It all starts with the proper attitude.
- Accept that Accepting Reality is not the easiest thing to do. However acceptance of your current scenario will ultimately make you happier in the present , which then leads to a better future. Accepting your reality will help you choose your steps properly and keep the momentum moving forward and upward.
- Accept Truthful and Complete Honesty. When you get past your ego, then you can allow for the creation of beautiful new you. Denial will not make the negative go away.
- Accept Personal Responsibility. In order to fully accept your reality, you must take ownership of any role you may have played, good or bad, in leading you to where you are. When you do, then you can work on decisions for the next steps.
- Accept Your Mistakes. You can’t fix anything until you acknowledge you have a problem. Look at your mistakes not as failures but as learning opportunities. Reky on the power within for the strength to co-create your reality.
- Accept Ownership. Own all of it. Not just the challenges but also your strengths and success. Taking ownership of all your outcomes can teach you to do better, and that overcoming leads to a learning moment.
- Accept Power Over Your Fears. Do not let fear rule. Fears of what others think of you, fear of making a decision, fear of not being popular, is all demoralizing. It adds nothing to your experience. Realize that “they” will criticize, judge you, or ridicule you no matter what, so who cares?
- Accept Goal Setting and Planning. Clearly state your intention, desires and establish standards and practices. Ensure you have small steps in the plan to allow for immediate and quick accountability. Stick to it. “Becoming” can truly begin to happen once you have a plan with specific goals.
I also shared some research on the steps to making a decision from UMass Dartmouth.
Much like “Becoming”, their steps were drawn out with motion in two directions. Forward and Upward. So let’s examine these momentum building steps:
Step 1: Identify the decision
You realize that you need to make a decision. Try to clearly define the nature of the decision you must make. This first step is very important.
Step 2: Gather relevant information
Collect some pertinent information before you make your decision: what information is needed, the best sources of information, and how to get it. This step involves both internal and external “work.” Some information is internal: you’ll seek it through a process of self-assessment. Other information is external: you’ll find it online, in books, from other people, and from other sources.
Step 3: Identify the alternatives
As you collect information, you will probably identify several possible paths of action, or alternatives. You can also use your imagination and additional information to construct new alternatives. In this step, you will list all possible and desirable alternatives.
Step 4: Weigh the evidence
Draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. Evaluate whether the need identified in Step 1 would be met or resolved through the use of each alternative. As you go through this difficult internal process, you’ll begin to favor certain alternatives: those that seem to have a higher potential for reaching your goal. Finally, place the alternatives in a priority order, based upon your own value system.
Step 5: Choose among alternatives
Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the alternative that seems to be the best one for you. You may even choose a combination of alternatives. Your choice in Step 5 may very likely be the same or similar to the alternative you placed at the top of your list at the end of Step 4.
Step 6: Take action
You’re now ready to take some positive action by beginning to implement the alternative you chose in Step 5.
Step 7: Review your decision and its consequences
In this final step, consider the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has resolved the need you identified in Step 1. If the decision has not met the identified need, you may want to repeat certain steps of the process to make a new decision. For example, you might want to gather more detailed or somewhat different information or explore additional alternatives.
I would also add to step seven. Review your decision and ask, is it worth the risk? Consider the rewards. Oftentimes we must step outside our comfort zone and take a chance in order to receive a significant return on our investment.
Every decision we make. Every action we take are all investments in our “Becoming”. Conversely every action delayed or decision not made have their consequences and those costs can and will compound greatly.
I never said “Becoming” would be easy. I never said “Becoming” would not be uncomfortable or require some risk taking. I do say that “Becoming” is worth it.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go.
Do not get stuck in the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality. Hanging onto to what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories.
If you are telling yourself you are ready to move on from a negative experience, but still are not sure how to get started, here are some steps to assist you in letting go…
- Develop Positive Self Talk
Those endless conversions that go on inside of you, and sometimes aloud when you think you’re alone are the starting line. How you talk to yourself can either help you move on or keep you bogged down.
One technique to improve your internal dialogue is to create a Reassuring, Reaffirming Mantra.
Instead of limiting yourself by thinking things like “Why me? Why did this happen to me!” Declare positive energy. Try something like, “I am so fortunate to be “Becoming”. Finding this new positive path in life is good for me.”
- Practice Mindfulness
The most important moment in our lives, is the one we are currently experiencing. Make the most of it. Focusing on the present moment, tlessens the possibilities for a negative impact that either the past or future can have on us
- Be Kind To Yourself
We are all our own worst critics. Now is the best time to show yourself some kindness and compassion. Treat yourself like you would someone else. Nurture, be loving, and kind. The more you are able to let self-care become an automatic habitual response into your daily life, the more you are empowering yourself. Kindness empowers.
4. Let your emotions flow freely
Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies ( and minds) as well. You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you. Do not allow them to define you. .
5. Foster Your Loving Circle
Yes it is a simple step, yet it is oh so powerful. Enlarging our circles of positive people helps to lighten your load, share the burdens and get you through a lot of pain. No one is an island. You can not live life alone. Therefore you should not expect yourself to overcome hurts alone either.
6. Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Talk About “It”
When you’re dealing with painful emotions, it is important to allow yourself permission to talk about it.Some people are unable to release it, because they falsely believe they aren’t allowed to talk about it. Find a friend, pastor, support group or therapist who are patient and accepting.
7. Forgive and Forget
This is a vital part of “becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.
It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.
To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as you practice self care and love.
So you’ve decided to take the steps, well then what are you waiting for? Do it now, stop and let’s intentionally commit to ending procrastination. Extended periods of procrastination can also lead to a complete lack of motivation, disillusionment and depression.
So how do we begin to realize if we are procrastinating or someone in our circle is in danger of earning the label of being a procrastinator? I’m glad you asked, here are some questions in which the responses could reveal the tell tale signs:
- Are you filling your day with low-priority tasks? Just doing busy work?
- Are you leaving an important or vital item or items unchecked on your to-do list for a long time?.
- Do you find yourself starting an important must do then wandering off to find a distraction?
- Are you waiting to be in “the right mood,” or the “perfect time” to get started?
Did any of those or all them, sound like you? Now let’s focus back on the path of “Becoming” and identify the three steps to overcoming procrastination.
#1: Recognize It
Realize and accept that you are procrastinating. Understand that this attitude can be overcome, and allow yourself to forgive yourself for past occurrences.
#2: Ask yourself, why am I procrastinating?
If you do not understand “why” then you can not begin to move past it. The answers here will be unlike any others. As individuals we need to take personal responsibility, accept our faults, acknowledge our strengths and determine why we may be choosing not to do right.
Are you bored? Afraid? Self-sabotaging? Allowing yourself to be overwhelmed? These are all conversation starters, but you have to have those discussions with yourself.
#3: Adopt New Strategies
Procrastination is a bad habit. Not a response, rather it is a well established negative pattern of behavior. Be overcome. Like the old adage, “bad habits only stop being bad habits when you stop doing them”.
An important first step, we’ve mentioned but it bears repeating. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Self-forgiveness makes you feel better about yourself , allows you to accept a far more positive mindset and can greatly reduce the possibility of you procrastinating again in the future. Do not be a repeat offender! Free yourself now.
Focus on doing, not avoiding, or just trying to get by. In addition to tracking the tasks you need to get done. Schedule thm. Plan ahead. Hold yourself accountable, within measurable standards. On your daily to-do list include a time to have the item completed by.
Get an anti-procrastination buddy. Find someone who is willing to assist. Ask them to check in on you and aid in your accountability. Positive peer pressure works.
Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Don’t put it off. Someday never comes and you are more than likely avoiding headaches by simply pushing through and doing it now, rather than later.
Consciously remove yourself from distractions. If you need background noise to focus, ensure it is just that. Something that can be on in the background and not something that will further remove you from your purpose.
Change your internal dialogue. Talk with yourself like a coach or mentor would. Don’t dwell on previous failures. Forget about earlier mistakes. Always decide to take steps that are momentum building. Tell yourself your steps should always be forward and upward, not sliding backwards.
And last but certainly not least, give yourself a treat. Positive reinforcement works, just ask your dog. It is more than okay to reward yourself for progress made and change accepted.
Together we have learned that procrastination is a habit. A bad habit of regularly and intentionally deciding to put off important tasks. It is far different than being lazy, which is an unwillingness to act.
Procrastination restricts your potential, delays your life, disrupts the life of your family and leads to poor spirit and even depression. The first step to overcoming procrastination is to recognize it. Then ask yourself why leading to the voluntary choice to adopt strategies to overcome it.
I pray that this review was useful. If you are new here, I hope it is a great starting point for you. This year of 20/20 + 1 can be the best one yet, with much more “Becoming” to come.