One of the things that successful people do.
Practice, practice, practice. In fact make it a practice.
The difference between you and a successful person is very little. It of course depends on how you define successful. We are all successful at something, we usually don’t give ourselves enough credit.
So the first thing is to notice what you’re successful at.
Now give yourself a round of applause, a pat on the back – reward yourself for your success!
Consider now, this thing that you are successful at – is it a new thing, or something you’ve been successful at for some time?
If you’ve been successful at the thing for some time – great. Think about how many times you have done that thing successfully. You have some kind of system for it, a practice that you carry out in order to get the thing done successfully. You do! Even if you’ve never thought about it in this way before.
Let’s think of an example: this morning I did a pilates workout – I didn’t particularly feel like it, but my feelings about working out are irrelevant, it was on my schedule and so I did it. I felt pretty good about it afterwards and my abs enjoyed the burn!
Review my example – I’ve been practising Pilates for years, I have learnt that my feelings about it are irrelevant, and that I have to just do what I have scheduled and then it is done, I am successful in my practice. Sometimes I choose new workouts, sometimes I repeat favourites, I sometimes want to sweat and feel like I’ve ‘worked’, or sometimes I want to feel like I’ve had a good stretch and offered my body some care, so sometimes I know what I’m doing and I like to imagine I look quite graceful and other times I end up in a sweaty heap on the floor, feeling frustrated or laughing out loud…
It has become a practice. So this is what I do, I practice. I am successful at my Pilates practice. I have become successful because I kept it going. I kept it going because it ultimately makes me feel good about myself, even if before I start, I feel too tired, or if during it, I feel like a fool! It ultimately meets my needs for my body and mind, and sometimes I feel pretty super about it, like I’ve conquered something.
I definitely didn’t feel very successful at Pilates when I first started doing it, all those years ago… I felt clunky, stiff, frustrated, annoyed with the instructor (misdirected of course!) and like I might as well give up, because I was never going to be able to do it – old stories coming up, being rubbish at ‘all’ sports at school, never being picked for a team, etc. This was just going to be another physical thing that I would probably never be any good at, and I might as well give up.
But give up – I did not!
I knew that Pilates would meet some of my ultimate goals for my body and mind, and I had found a really super Instructor. I found Pilates slowed me down, was meditative as I couldn’t possibly think about anything else whilst I was doing it. I knew my Instructor had a super fit bod(!) and that would work for me thank you very much! I also needed something to stretch my muscles which were a bit tight and torn from running. So Pilates was a treat for me, I deserved it, using a foam roller could (sometimes!) feel like a massage. I was learning to care for my physical body better than I ever had.
It was worth developing the practice.
When it was new, this practice was not really a practice. I would rely on my feelings to decide whether or not I was going to get on the mat that day (invariably this meant I was off the mat more than I was on!). I would, on busy days, just not have time to get on the mat. If I didn’t do the workout first thing in the morning, then it wouldn’t get done (- telling myself a little story there about when it’s best for me to exercise – as a friend of mine says: done is better than perfect!). But what happened over the years, is that I learned to recognise what Pilates was doing for me, and what happened when I wasn’t practising.
So even though it was hard in the beginning, and I stopped and started, and made excuses… it was worth it, because now I am successful at Pilates.
Doing something new can be hard. Our sub-conscious minds want to revert to what is comfortable and safe as much as they can. My sub-conscious used to tell me that I couldn’t do anything that it considered to be sport successfully, so I shouldn’t even try, I should continue to sit on the sofa, eat the cake and all would be well, I would be safe and no one would laugh at me! But that part of my brain was incorrect, and the need for change and self care in my conscious brain was stronger: my subconscious is now on board with this! Because, I didn’t give up, I kept on going with it until it became a practice, it’s the norm.
Successful people practice, until they develop a practice.
Successful people keep going, until it’s the norm.
The Pilates is easy to describe, but you can replace this practice with anything – recently a client I worked with started a meditation practice, another client is working hard to interrupt negative thoughts that are stopping her from achieving her goals – it’s a practice.
Sometimes our practice is easy, with more practice it gets easier! Sometimes the practice is hard, sometimes we think it should be easier than it is, after all we’ve been practising for ages! Sometimes the practice doesn’t happen at all, because we make excuses, we get busy, we forget… and then we realise that life would be easier if we did the practice again, or did it more often than not, or if we always did it.
Even when you have become one of those successful people, you still have to practice! Keep on keeping on. That’s how you stay successful. Find your practice, tweak it until it works for you, work with an Instructor or Coach to aid you in finding your way with it, to motivate you, to get you where you want to be.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
Need any help with that? What could be better in your world?