Successful people all have one thing in common. They understand how they operate. Whether you call it self-awareness or self-discipline, every person who has risen to a level of success in their life, in business, athletic performance, career, parenting, leading social change or any other area (AKA – gets what they want in life) has had to REALLY get to know themselves, be honest with themselves and self correct how they handle things.
So if you want something MORE in your life..more money, a new or better relationship, to travel the world, a promotion at work or even just to feel like you accomplish something, ask yourself these questions:
- What is your Modus Operandi?
- When you lose momentum, what derails you?
- What is the most frequent way you sabotage yourself?
Your answer to those questions will show you a Life Skill you need to develop.
You might find that your M.O. is to quit when there is a problem or things get too hard. Once you know this about yourself, you can build your skills around solving problems. That’s a big one! Life is a series of problem solving!
Or maybe you can’t make a decision. There is NO bigger energy drain mentally and physically than walking around in indecision. This is something you can practice and learn-decision making skills.
You might be someone who looks for a quick fix. If something doesn’t happen immediately, you give up. You need to build your “Stick with it to the end” muscle.
Another common M.O. is to jump ahead. You might always be thinking about the next thing before you’ve finished what is right in front of you. It would be extremely valuable for you to learn to stay in the moment – only think about the next 2-3 steps.
Are you someone who can’t say no? Do you take on responsibility for the actions, behaviors or emotions of others? In talking about the dynamic with her husband, a client recently put it this way “I find the solution that will only impact me and not the kids.” As if the impact on her is tolerable. If you live this way, taking the brunt and putting out fires to keep peace in the family or the office, I PROMISE you this will catch up with you physically and emotionally. This is a recipe for Adrenal Fatigue, Hormone Imbalance, Brain Chemistry Depletion, Burn Out and Break Down.
Do you not ask for what you need yet expect others to give it to you? They can’t read your mind! This is another common cause of stress related illness..RESENTMENT. If you want your spouse or partner to take on more responsibility in the family, YOU HAVE TO ASK THEM! If you want your kids to clean up after themselves, express it and expect it. Side note – if you think as a parent, you cannot practice these life skills with your children because they won’t respect it or like it, guess what? It is your JOB to model these life skills so they don’t have to struggle at your age to learn these skills!
Closely related resentment is what I call the “White Knight Syndrome.” Are you waiting for someone to come along and change your life FOR you? Are you avoiding personal responsibility for the situation you are in and resenting the universe because “life is not fair?” Life Skill Needed: Maturity and Taking Action.
These are just a few examples of Life Skills that allow you to create the life of your dreams.
Here’s the thing about dreams and desires for life – If you don’t master these Life Skills, you won’t be able to HANDLE success even if you achieve it.
When you realize THAT it’s easy to understand why you don’t have those things yet, isn’t it? For example, if someone suddenly dropped a load of cash into your bank account and you could live the lifestyle of your dreams and you hadn’t developed these Life Skills, you would not be able to sustain that lifestyle. Just like the lottery winners who can’t say no to family, can’t make a decision on investments, make purchases without thinking, etc., – you’d end up losing the money.
So, how do you figure out your M.O.?
Start to pay attention to the way you do things.
The way you start a detox or a fitness program, is the way you handle your money. The way you FINISH a detox or fitness program, is the way you handle a project at work. The way you interact with your boss is the way you interact with your partner. The way you discipline your kids is the way you hold yourself accountable. These are your patterns, your triggers and your habits built on neural pathways.
Once you become aware of your M.O. you can begin to change it! The amazing thing about your brain is that is fluid…we call it neuroplasticity. Simply by thinking a new thought or taking a different action, you begin to literally, physically change a neural pathway in your brain. Every time you practice (exercise that muscle) the pathway becomes stronger, more engrained. Over time, your new Life Skills become your new default.
If you aren’t sure what your patterns are, the best way to find out it to start something new. Take tennis lessons, volunteer to lead a group at church, run for local office, learn a new hobby.
Change brings out ALL of our triggers and habits so get started and pay attention. Keep putting yourself in new situations until you build the skills.