Why can’t we all stick to schedules?
You know that bit of you that doesn’t like being told what to do?
I know it well, it’s a part of the reason I’m self-employed. Well do you think that part of you likes being told what to do by YOU anymore than it likes being told what to do by anyone else? Could that explain why a lot of your best intentions for yourself never quite come off…?
…Geoff thinks on Monday that he should do some sales calls every day of the week. However he doesn’t take into consideration how he is going to feel on say Thursday. If doing sales calls feels like a good idea on Monday, that’s a good time to do some sales calls. On Monday! Whether Geoff does sales calls on Thursday or not will depend on how he feels, what he’s thinking and how much he is buying into different ideas of what are important ways to spend his time. He’s not going to take what Geoff on Monday thought he should do on Thursday any more seriously than say his old school teachers telling him not to tip back on his chair.
Thought is constantly changing, so what feels like it’s a great idea one minute can feel like a crushing burden the next. Only so far as we buy into our thoughts being true and real…
What things have you set out for yourself that you should be doing? What state were you in when you decided you should do those things? What state are you in when you think about them now? And at the time you are meant to do them? Is it the same state every time? Of course not. Our state of mind constantly fluctuates. This is totally normal. It’s the human condition. So if we don’t feel like doing something on the Thursday that we set out for ourselves to do on the Monday, does that mean that we should beat ourselves up for not being motivated? If something else feels more important, should we beat ourselves up for not being disciplined enough to stick to our plan? If we are just feeling totally ‘meh’ and end up not doing anything at all, does that mean we should beat ourselves up for not using our time productively…?
No to all of these.
Consider what could happen if you said yes though…? Does this feel helpful? How about we just understand ourselves instead. Understand that we are humans beings who are prone to fluctuations in mood. When we treat ourselves with understanding we tend to perform better.
What if we go a step further and recognise what these thoughts and feelings that sway us into what feels like more negative behaviour are actually about (although of course we can never know for sure that it is negative. We don’t get to see the Sliding Doors scenario of what the rest of our lives would be like if we’d done the ‘positive’ behaviour). In short, all of them can be drilled down to the notion that we might not be okay…
“I can’t phone that client, they might not be very nice to me and I won’t be okay if that happens”
“I can’t go for a run, it’s cold outside and it makes my lungs burn. I’ll be much more okay if I stay in my centrally heated office”
“I can’t speak to my colleagues about my ideas on the way I think the processes could be run. I’m not as experienced as them, they might laugh at me and I wouldn’t be okay”.
All of these ‘not okay’ thoughts are the same.
They are all falsely pointing to the idea that our okayness comes from something external. That isn’t true. The okayness is always there and has always been there. In your moments of total elation and darkest despair. And in those ‘meh’ moments too. A fundamental knowing that you are always okay. When you look for it, you know it’s there. You can feel the truth of it.
Something that happens to people who delve into this understanding is that the sense of knowing that they are always okay seeps more and more into the foreground and the “I might not be okay” thoughts fade into the background. As a result, things can feel lighter and behaviour changes…
There’s a chance to learn more about this understanding…
On Monday 30th April, 09.00 – 12.00 in Leigh on Sea, I will be joined by Garret Kramer, author of “Stillpower” and “The Path of No Resitance” to give a seminar on State of Mind & Performance to professionals locally.
More information and tickets are available here.
Want to know more about how I can help? Drop me a line or give me a call. A successful coaching relationship depends upon a great rapport, so it’s important to talk. I want to get to know you, see inside your world and we can assess how we’d go from there!