Recently, I have been self-isolating and have found myself with nothing to do…except, as my team would like to tell you, that’s not actually the case.
The moment I had to take a break from my regular traveling and speaking tours, I immediately focused all my energy into my personal projects. One of which is my website Mental Rockstar, which, I am so glad to announce, we have finally launched early this week.
What can I say, I’m simply not the sort to sit around and do nothing.
As a leader, mentor and motivator, I spend a lot of time talking to people about their projects and how they can improve. It’s quite normal then that sometimes, I have to put my own projects on the back burner. After all, I love helping people and I enjoy going all out when it comes to motivating others.
For the first time last week, I had all the weekend to myself and I had time to look at how exactly I am spending my time daily. I was reminded of this line from James Clear’s Atomic Habits: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” I have read the book years ago and it has greatly impacted my life.
Systems, in this case, refers to the collection of habits we have that lead us closer to our goals. If becoming more confident is your goal, for example, you’re going to attend regular training to refine your skills. You’re going to schedule meetings with your mentors to make sure you’re aligned with your goals. You’re going to dedicate time to journal daily and review your work. You can check out our strategies for unbreakable confidence here to find out more.
What I’m trying to say here is this: habits are the most important thing in your life. The things you do daily dictate the direction of your journey. Unfortunately, we sometimes develop habits that lead to underachievement without us knowing. When we reach a certain level of success, we stop striving and we stop setting new goals.
After years of mentoring people, here are some of the habits I’ve observed that destroy people’s confidence and performance in life and at business.
Being OK with just being OK.
Ah, the comfort zone. The safe space where nothing new ever happens and therefore, nothing bad will.
In several aspects of our lives, such as work performance, mental health, and physical fitness, we gradually fall into our comfort zones. Even desirable changes are met with resistance. Comfort quickly transforms into complacency. Boredom develops from complacency. Work, business, and life cease to be exciting adventures and become monotonous and uninteresting.
Warren Bennis reported in his book Leaders that true leaders consciously avoided the comfort zone by continuously setting higher goals. They never allowed themselves to become complacent. They live their lives “fully extended, always striving to be and do more”.
I live by these words and have gotten into the habit of actively looking for a challenge every time something starts to feel too easy for me. Yes, easy things are more comfortable, but nothing feels better than accomplishing something great and worthwhile.
Ever thought about whether or not you should do something the whole day, and felt heavy the whole time? Think of indecision like this — you’re at the gym and you don’t know where you should put down a 30 pound dumbbell so instead you carry it with you the whole day.
Many people decide to wait for the perfect moment to make a decision and procrastinate. But the perfect moment never really comes. They get used to just waiting and waiting and indecision becomes a constant habit. After a while, the indecisions pile up, weighing down your confidence and destroying your progress at work.
In many cases, indecision can paralyze us and render us unproductive. The best course of action is always to make firm choices based on the information you currently have. Put the dumbbell down in the nearest rack. When new data is presented to you, you are allowed to change your mind and transfer the dumbbell. Either way, you’ve already let the unnecessary weight go.
Are your daily habits helping you achieve your peak performance? Take this time to write down the things you do daily and assess if they are actually helping you achieve your goals or not. Think about what you can do regularly to improve your confidence and reach your peak performance. Add one new habit this week and see how just one thing can improve your work and life.
Comparing yourself to others on Social Media
Oh this one’s going to be fun.
You see that friend of a friend getting a promotion? You see that university buddy buying his fifth house? You see your second cousin touring France? You see your third uncle’s new pet Chow Chow getting a Dyson blowout?
Yep, it never ends.
Other people are just having so much more fun than you. Touché.
But what you do not see on social media is this: the loan payments they have to stress about monthly to pay for that house. The extra overtime work they have to put in to get that promotion. The flight delays. The COVID anxiety.
Everyone’s going through things… except maybe your third uncle’s Chow Chow. That one’s living the life.
What you see on social media is the highlight of people’s lives. These are things they are celebrating about. Congratulate them if you see a post. And then, go back to your work. Feeling inadequate because other people seem to be living better lives than you is completely unnecessary. There are a lot of good moments in your life too. And there will be more…as soon as you leave your social media app.
(PS. A little fun on Tiktok wouldn’t hurt, though. Check out some very educational videos here)
Are your daily habits helping you achieve your peak performance? Take this time to write down the things you do daily and assess if they are actually helping you achieve your goals or not. Think about what you can do regularly to improve your confidence and reach your peak performance. Can you add one new habit this week to help you become more confident at work? Stick to it for a few weeks and see how just one thing can improve your work and life.