Once we’ve experienced a little success it’s very easy to backslide and self-sabotage in our discomfort with being in a new place as a result of our success. All of us deal with this regardless of if you are the janitor or CEO. Our human inclination is to go backwards to what we've previously known versus going forward into what is unknown and unexperienced. We can begin to question our ability to sustain growth or even our worthiness of the success we are experiencing. Doubt loves to gently creep into our minds. In the past it’s made me try to cling to success more, but not in a way that leveraged my technique or the tools that helped generate my success, rather in a way that focused on my fear. There is a popular folly in our culture that so long as we hold success in our minds, we will be successful. My past experiences have shown this not to be so.
Beware, it’s coming…
This weekend as I was relaxing at home a wave of concern crept over my mind. I am having a strong month revenue-wise, approaching a monetary level that I’ve never previously experienced. I’m feeling mentally and physically strong. I felt this twinge of doubt enter, skeptical of this entire ‘rouse’. It wondered whether I could go on in this way. Then the other side of my self talk responded ‘of course we can’, but with a slight bit of tension and not fully self-assured. Now the process begins - I’m in my head and not as relaxed as I had been.
But here’s the thing - this is completely normal!!
Here’s what I’ve learned through life experience and reading: We normalize ourselves to certain standards of living based on personal limitations we impose on ourselves. We are constantly setting our own limitations and when we lean against those we experience a type of sub-conscious mental resistance almost like the reflex from putting your foot in bath water that is warmer than expected. It’s of course not until you give yourself permission to try the water again, perhaps adjusting the temperature slightly that you will slowly be able to adapt to the water.
The approach to moving forward in our minds is very similar. Instead of getting tense and worrying we always have the option of engaging technique. With a well defined technique, you will find your way. Through a solid technique you can journey beyond the initial knee-jerk reaction that is trying to limit you to what you’ve known versus journeying into warmer water.
Musicians, athletes, dancers all lean on their technique to get them through those pivotal moments where they very well may be exposed and nervous, but need to perform at a high level.
How does one develop technique?
It’s a very simple process of slowly and steadily practicing what’s important. It’s deliberate time and focus on what you want to grow. If you want to develop a technique around let’s say money - put time to it, get to know your thoughts, study other people’s thoughts and practices via (reading, videos, conversations) and slowly work at it like learning an instrument. A little bit at a time. To increase your progress sometimes a coach is helpful. Take note of what you are learning, keep what works and throw away what doesn’t. I say this process is simple, because we’ve been educated this way. We don’t jump from basic addition to calculus. We learn in little bits and develop a way of thinking and acting over time and effort.
Try it for yourself. Instead of worrying or trying to grasp onto the idea of success use your technique? Focus and utilize your personal routine, enhancing it, going deeper in it, leaning on it despite your fears and feelings. Don't leave your success to the whims of conditions, rather commit to process, techniques and well defined habits to get you through.