There has been a lot of chatter in the comments and on Facebook indicating you agree with this whole ‘be more selfish’ idea, but you’re having a hard time actually going out and doing it. So, this week I thought it would be prudent to discuss the how.
Basically, this is the process my clients go through, and I thought you might like to see how it works so you can do more of the things you love. It is necessary to add that a lot of the value my clients receive is in the discussion surrounding these steps. So, if you’re interested in working with me you can check out how that works here.
Now, without further ado, I present the Be More Selfish method.
The very first step is to evaluate where you are now and where you want to be. This is where a lot of us get hung up.
Very first step and we’ve already run into trouble. But don’t worry. This step really isn’t that hard if you know how to approach it.
First off, set aside some time to really think about your situation. Now, I feel like I need to define ‘time’ This does not mean that you contemplate all the crappiness of your life in between the end of your work day and cleaning up dinner. It does not mean that you spend a half an hour bitching to your best girlfriend about all of the complexities of your situation. And, this is not where you try to figure out ‘why’.
Right now, all you need to do is set some quiet time aside (by yourself) to actually consider where you are right now. What does your life look like? What is perfect? What isn’t? What do you want to change? What do you want to stay the same?
You might want to ask yourself questions like:
- Where do I want to live?
- How much money do I want to make?
- Who do I want to live with?
- Where do I want to work?
- What do I like about what I do now?
- What don’t I like about what I do now?
- Do I feel like anything is missing?
- Is there anything I want to get rid of?
- What things stress me out?
- What things keep me cool and collected?
These are just examples. The exact questions you ask yourself will be reflected in your exact situation (that’s why so much value is in the discussion). Think about it this way. If you only ever talk to yourself (or people just like you), you will only ever get one response. If you really want to give yourself a shot at accomplishing all of the things you want in life, you need to talk to a variety of people who give you different answers based on their own experiences, knowledge, and research.
This doesn’t mean you have to agree with every single answer you get . But, it does force you to get out of your box and realize you actually have a lot of choices… you just didn’t know it because your box looks just like everyone else’s that you know.
(Surprise! Some people don’t even live in boxes… maybe they live somewhere really cool you don’t even know about yet.)
This is where you hash it all out. If you’re head over heels in debt, if you’re a disorganized mess, if you’re beaten down by the man – whatever.
Warning: if you’re lazy just stop reading right now because this isn’t the right path for you.
Still with me?
Good. Get ready to nail down exactly what things are stopping you from having what you want. These are your barriers, your blockers, and your bitches.
A barrier is something real that stands in your way. So owing a bunch of money to the mob, working 100 hours a week, or living in a house that is so messy you would qualify for Hoarders are all barriers. It’s obvious what the solutions are; it’s just not obvious what you’re supposed to do about it.
Blockers are a little different, in that they aren’t actually real. They don’t stop you from doing anything. It’s more like they prevent you from believing you can do anything. These are all of the predetermined ideas about life (yours or someone else’s) that stop you from achieving your goals. These include common phrases like “I”m just not a morning person”, “I’ve never been good at that”, or “I didn’t go to college, so I could never do that”. With blockers you see the problem (or at least you think you see it) – you just can’t see the solution.
Lastly, you’ve got to get rid of all of your bitches. These are the things you complain about over and over again that never change. Usually they’re comprised of about half barrier and half blocker. They come in all different forms, but an example might be something like “I can never fill my gas tank because gas is just too expensive.” First, you’re blaming the problem on an unapproachable entity (the government is the barrier). And secondly, this statement indicates you believe your current income level is predetermined and therefore unchangeable (the blocker). Usually with bitches you see the problem and think you know the solution, you just don’t believe there is anything that can be done about either one.
I love this step because this is usually where people start to realize they have some control and are able to get out from underneath all of the things that have been stopping them from getting what they want. But, it’s also the make or break stage.
Because change is hard. This is usually where your family starts to question what you’re doing or your friends start hating on you. This is also the stage where fear starts to creep in and self-doubt takes over. You start to question the validity of it all and your mind actively creates reasons why you can’t/shouldn’t/don’t want to finish.
Are you starting to see why it’s so important to talk to a variety of different people? If you count on people who haven’t done what you’re doing for advice and support, you will be disappointed every time because they just don’t get it. You need someone who understands what you’re doing and can push you on even when it’s hard. So, stop looking for love in all the wrong places.
4. Institute Fun
By far the most fun step, this is where you finally get to do what you want. A lot of people stress out about this because they think whatever they choose has to be their one true calling. This isn’t just wrong, it’s also very unlikely to happen. However, if you make it a habit to do fun things, eventually you will discover whatever it is that makes you tick.
It could be anything. Sign up for a race, jump out of a plane, join a club, or start a revolution. If you’re not sure what makes you happy, just do anything. Start trying things out. Sooner or later you’ll find something that you like. And no matter what, you’re guaranteed to meet some cool people on the way.
After a long hard day of having fun, you’re going to have to re-address your barriers and your blockers. You didn’t think having fun was fun all the time, did you? I’m sorry if I led you astray, but reality is that even fun isn’t always fun.
I’m pretty certain it’s not actually fun to run 26.2 miles in a row. And yet, people do it all the time. It took Ayn Rand 11 years to write and get Atlas Shrugged published. Over a decade. Do you think she was having the entire time? I doubt it. Even Dan Andrews doesn’t always enjoy what he does, and that guy has a million dollar e-commerce business!
The point I’m trying to make is that fun isn’t just comprised of a bunch of awesome stuff glued together to make one really big fun thing. The best things, the ones we really love, usually have a healthy smattering of crap built right into the middle. And the only way to have fun again, is to rock through all the bullshit. So suck it up, sister.
(You might be wondering why you don’t get to re-address your bitches too. That’s because you already did that once and got it all out and you don’t have time to spend on bitching… at least I know I don’t.)
This is where things start to get serious. You’ve cleared out all the bullshit. You’ve figured out what you want. Now it’s time to get down to business. You need to get a game plan together so you know exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish and exactly what you have to do to get there.
If you don’t have something in place like this already, start here. If you have any questions, tweet ’em, Facebook it, or write it in the comments below. This worksheet looks easy but I assure you that setting real hard goals that you are guaranteed to achieve is actually quite difficult. This is precisely why most people fail at it. So make sure you ask questions if you have them (and not just of me either… remember how I was saying you should talk to a lot of different people? Do that now.)
Now that your plan is in place, it’s time to set things in motion. At this stage in the game you need to point your steps in the direction of your goals. That goal setting worksheet will get you started, but it’s up to you to keep it going. Remember, ‘action steps’ are literally (and I do mean literally) the actions you take to get from point A to point B.
So if your end goal is to give a Ted Talk, one of your action steps is not to ‘give a Ted Talk’. Things that might be included would be to sign up for a diction class, practice speaking at home in front of your mirror, and to schedule several small talks (like with a local girl scout troop or high school).
And finally, you need to re-direct. This one’s easy to explain, but it can be hard to do. This is where, when you realize that you’re headed down a path you don’t want to be on, you stop and start over. This might mean you have to go all the way back to step number two (identify). But, if you’ve been following all the other steps right along it won’t be so painful the second time. And, eventually you’ll get so good at it that it doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, you’ll realize that the re-direct is actually kindof fun…. and that’s where it all comes full circle.
So, now that you know the how, what are you going to do? Comment below with your answer.