Why is it that we rarely give ourselves an opportunity to succeed? Think about it for a moment… if you would get out of your own way, what could you accomplish? If you eliminated the word “cannot” from your vocabulary, what COULD you do? If you never uttered another “but” from your lips, where would you be?
There are two questions most people never get around to asking themselves that can change their lives. The first is… What is it that I really want to do? The second… Why am I not doing it?
The first question addresses true passion. Ask yourself this… if money was not an issue… if time was not an issue… if demands on you from others were not an issue… what would you be doing right now? Take yourself through a day in that life. Oddly enough, most people I ask this question of respond with, “I’m not sure. I’ve never thought about it.” Take a minute and think about it! If you truly allow yourself to figure out what is really important to you, it will create a motivation within yourself that no outsider could match!
The second question has to do with getting out of your own way. We are our own worst enemies. When I was younger, I worked with some improv theater and comedy groups. The very nature of improv is that there are really no rules… you go where it takes you. However, to make it work, there is one non-negotiable of improv. You must “yes… and.” What that means is if someone on stage with you says, “there’s an elephant coming down the hall,” you cannot look down the hallway and say, “no there isn’t!” Why? Because the scene stops immediately (unless, of course, you are doing a take-off on the wonderful Monty Python “argument clinic” skits!). As a good improver, your job is to say, “that is an elephant… AND he is smoking a tiparillo!” (or perhaps something much more witty that that).
The point is, we do not go through our lives with a “yes… and” attitude. We actually tend to go through life with a “yes… BUT” attitude. The difference? With the first, you are giving yourself permission to move forward. With the latter, you have a great idea and then you immediately jump up and tell yourself why it will never work. You get in your own way. It really is a fascinating exercise to consciously count how many times a day you do this to yourself. If a friend asks you to a party after work, you might say something like, “I’d love to… BUT, I have so much to do at home.” Your child might ask you to read a book and you might say,”I will, honey… BUT, first I need to throw some laundry in and load the dishwasher.” You might want to join a group of co-workers who walk at lunchtime everyday… BUT, you should eat at your desk and try to get some more work done. Get out of your own way! NO ONE is creating these barriers except yourself.
The moral of the story is this… if you are ever looking for answers outside of yourself, you are not going to find many answers. Start “yes… and”-ing your life. You will never look back!
Professionally, Robin is an award-winning journalist, award-winning playwright, author, speaker and motivator. Personally she is a mom, wife, and friend.
Through keynotes, workshops, and articles, she provides a simple, creative, and humorous bent on Stress Management and Motivation, Robin provides tools and thinking which allow you to get out of your own way and succeed beginning the moment you walk out the door (or your eyes leave the page!).
Her clients range from individuals to Girl Scout Troops to Fortune 100 companies.
Robin’s philosophy is beyond simple:
You are over-thinking everything!
Get Clarity… Get Moving… Get Results!
You can get inspired and get motivated anytime at Robin’s website,