Three steps to moving forward when caught in an “all or nothing” mentality.
I feel compelled to admit that I have been procrastinating writing my first blog post for the past three weeks. Yes, I’ve had other priorities and plenty of good excuses for not writing, but in all honesty, I was just scared.
Well, outside from it just feeling entirely out of my comfort zone, I’ve been thinking:
"I’ve never done this before. I don’t know what to say. I’m not an expert. Other people are undoubtedly writing way better pieces. It’s all been said before... What do I have to offer?"
…which are clearly not constructive thoughts for productivity.
In summary, I’ve been loaded down with personal insecurities while venturing into totally unfamiliar territory by starting a business and having to do things that terrify me….such as writing my first blog post.
Doesn’t that sound lovely?
No. It’s not lovely or glamorous, but it’s honest. And I will happily share my humble truth and irrational fears with you because it liberates me from the “all or nothing” mentality that has been keeping me from writing this blog in the first place.
You see, I couldn’t start writing because I didn’t know how to make it perfect. I didn’t know all the right things to say, so I didn’t want to say anything.
Because when we feel like we have to do it all, we end up doing nothing.
How many times have you stopped yourself from moving forward by believing that if you couldn’t be, do, or have it all then it wasn’t worth the try? For me, the answer is so many times….and hopefully never again.
Here are three steps that helped me shake my “all or nothing” mentality and write this post.
1. Recognize that something is better than nothing.
Before writing this, I debated just deleting the entire blog tab off my website. …And although that was one possible solution, it was not one that would bring me closer to my goals. I had to accept that writing something was better than writing nothing.
I used to do this with dieting. If I wasn’t totally on then I was completely off…because somehow that makes sense? It usually went something like this:
“Well shoot, I wasn’t going to have dessert this week… but I really want that cookie. It’s practically sacrilege to pass up a freshly baked, homemade chocolate chip cookie. Who does that?! And since I already broke my promise, I’ll just go ahead and have three, plus a little ice cream and maybe some M&Ms… but only if they’re peanut.”
I call this the “I’ll start again on Monday diet”, which is a classic pitfall of dieting and why I believe dieting sucks when it comes to achieving sustainable health goals.
If you can do one thing (no matter how small) to move forward with your goals, DO THAT ONE THING. In the end, something is better than nothing.
2. Get clear on expectations and intentions.
Expectations can often be described by “shoulds”, which lend themselves easily to feelings of guilt or failure if not met. An expectation I had put on myself was that my writing should be as good as those I admire. This was a totally unrealistic expectation that held me back from moving forward. How could I expect myself to be as good as others who’ve been doing this for decades?
Intentions are what you aim to do. They’re your goals or desired outcome. Intentions propel you into action by giving you something to look forward to and a reason for what you are committing to doing. For instance, it is my intent to inspire one or more persons to dispute the validity of an “all or nothing” mentality.
You can see how the expectation of writing a perfect post or being as good as others had me feeling stuck…whereas the intention of inspiring one person to shift a paradigm had me feeling like, “Hmm….. that could be fun and might actually happen!”
Is there an expectation you’re holding over yourself that has you feeling stuck? Maybe you expect to hit the treadmill five days a week, but you dread running. Imagine changing that expectation to an intention of finding enjoyable ways to move your body and become more active. Ten bucks says you’ll have more steps on your Fitbit.
3. Meet yourself where you are.
It’s easy to get into comparison mode and forget that you’re you, I’m me, and we’re all just doing the best we can. And that’s OKAY. We’ve got to learn to accept ourselves as we are, allowing plenty of grace, patience, and time to get to where we want to be.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Change doesn’t happen over night, etc, etc. Just because you’re unwilling to give up diet coke, doesn’t mean you can’t start eating more greens or go on a ten minute walk. I know this sounds obvious, but we do this.
So please be gracious with yourself. Celebrate where you are now and be confident that where you are and who you are is enough.
Now that sounds lovely.
Wishing you happiness, health, and inspiration,
>>Have you settled on doing nothing because you didn’t feel you could do it all? What helped you move forward? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or in a complimentary rendezYOU strategy session! To sign up click HERE.<<