Seven Tips for Getting Out of Your Own Way and Doing Your Best Work
My last post, The Little Known Secret to Superior Work, was about the resistance that often creeps in when we finally sit down to do that juicy project or idea that we’ve been waiting for just the right moment to develop. Whether it is driven by impatience, fear of failure or a need for perfection or control, what sucks all the joy out of work that could be immensely gratifying and inspiring for yourself and everyone around you is getting too fixated on the end result at the expense of being engaged in the process.
Here are some tips for getting out of your own way the next time you feel stuck:
- Take a deep breath and relax. Roll your head around on your neck a few times. Smile. Take another breath and let it out slowly. Be right here, right now.
- Give yourself credit. You made this time. You showed up. You are still here. Focus more on what you are doing than on what you aren’t. Stay with it.
- Remember why you are doing what you are doing. What is your overarching intention? If all you can think about is the result you want to achieve, see if you can identify what having that result will give you. Even if that result is money you will earn, think about what that money will give you. In the end, it always comes down to a feeling. A feeling of well being, of satisfaction, of happiness. See if you can move into that feeling now. Have faith the results will take care of themselves. Now, come back to the process or experience itself and immerse yourself in it.
- Shift your focus from what you can get to what you can give. It is truly the only thing you really have any control over, and what you give to others has a way of giving back to you as well. This might be about sharing your knowledge with someone, or helping someone do something they couldn’t do before. It might be about partnering with others to create something that is bigger than yourself. The energy, vitality and goodwill you bring to your work will benefit you as much as everyone around you.
- Start small and don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. Great writers often encourage other writers to start with “crappy first drafts.” Just get moving. Jot some notes down. Start anywhere. Create some momentum. Even if you are moving in the wrong direction, you can turn around with less effort than it takes to get started again. You can always fine tune and spruce things up later.
- Acknowledge your inner critic, but don’t let it steal the show. That harsh, judgmental voice may well always be there. Give it a nod and smile and then let it go – in much the same way you would screen out background noise that you can’t eliminate. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it has to stop you – or that you have to pay any attention to it at all. Don’t judge yourself or your work. Move beyond your conscious mind to tap into your subconscious, where your intuition will guide you. Let it flow even if you are not sure where it is going and you may be pleasantly surprised at what happens next.
- Take a five to fifteen minute break every hour to ninety minutes. Stretch your body, rest your eyes, walk around a bit to keep your energy up and stay fresh.
If you need help getting out of your own way so you can do your best work, pick up a copy of my book The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be, available at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. If you are interested in working one on one with me, visit my website to learn more or contact me to schedule a complimentary coaching call.
Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.