‘I’m so sorry girls but I’m out!’
No sooner than those words came out of my mouth I felt feelings of conflict.
On one hand I was concerned about spoiling an experience for others and on the other hand I was concerned about my own health.
This Saturday just gone I went hiking with my friend and walking buddy, Liz and three of her friends.
It was a gorgeous morning and the perfect environment for hiking in the mountains, and so close to home which was such a bonus.
We started out at 8am and up … and up… and up….we climbed. It was stunning!
Not only were my legs getting their regular workout but as we climbed another few hundred feet so were my lungs. Whilst I was breathing heavily (exercise wise, trust me!) I was determined to keep going and complete this 2.5 hour hike – after all I was a bonafide pilgrim, right? I had walked the Camino across Portugal and Spain so this should be a walk in the park [pardon the pun] right? so ‘I’ve got this’ was my self-talk.
After about 45 minutes of climbing I began to feel a really heavy pushing in the centre of my chest.
And I called it!
The girls were all in agreement with my decision, acknowledging the danger that altitude sickness can have on someone’s health, even though it wasn’t exactly Everest we were climbing! But having lived at sea level in Melbourne, Australia most of my life and then expecting myself to effortlessly hike at 6, 500 feet above sea level at the base of the Colorado Rockies without any real preparation, it was a wise decision.
So, why this story and what relevance does it have for you?
With a resounding ‘Hell, yeah!’, I jumped at the chance to do this hike and having this attitude in our life and career is a great attitude to have. High 5 us!!
But the point is, I also jumped back out as soon as my intuition told me otherwise.
And my belief is that jumping back out is something not enough of us do in our life and career.
We don’t listen to that intuition, that gut feel, that nagging thought, that inner feeling!
Not jumping out of something, even though we have said ‘yes’, can have consequences that impact every nook and cranny of our life. It can impact the health of our mind, body, finances, relationships and our soul – individually or collectively. All of those aspects that make us, us.
So why don’t we say, ‘I’m done!’ on those occasions our intuition is telling us to, and deep down we really want to.
Why don’t we quit the job, leave the friendship, sell the chattels, admit we were wrong?
- Need to be liked?
- Skewed form of commitment?
- Identity alignment?
And it is that last point that I want us to sit with for a minute.
The Law of Consistency is the need all of us have that enables us to stay consistent with how we define ourselves.
- For example, the successful executive loses their job. What hurts the most? The loss of a job or the perception others will have of that person – that perceived fall from grace, perhaps?
- The client moves into scope-creep and becomes a cost to that consultant – time, money and stress but because the consultant needs the money they feel trapped and then resentment sets in and every Sunday night they wonder why they aren’t back in a 9-5 role.
- Or the purchase you make that is against every form of advice given to you by others and you find out it was actually the worst decision you could have made. Do you let them know they were right and ask for help or do you carry on as though everything is OK – knowing it’s not?
These are all examples of clients I have had worked with who have not had the courage to say, ‘I’m done!’
Having just watched a Netflix Docu-Series on cult communities, this Law of Consistency played out directly on our screen. People’s lives, families and finances potentially being ruined by acknowledging publicly their inability to say, ‘I’m Done!’ until years later, after so much damage had been done.
Now I’m not saying you are behaving as if in a cult (far from it!) but I am going to encourage you to do a bit of an inventory on yourself as well, and check the internal stories you may be telling yourself, that could be impacting the choices you make on becoming an even higher performer than you already are.
On one hand ask yourself, ‘am I continuing to say yes to something even though my intuition says, ‘I’m done’ because I am concerned about perception and expectation of others?’ or …
…am I prepared to jump out and confidently say ‘I’m done’ because I have enough self respect to know I am enough, and enough faith to know tomorrow will be OK.
In this era where well-being and health is a pre-cursor to higher performance, questions like these are important to ask because it changes the narrative.
The stories we tell ourselves, the identity we define ourselves by and the Law of Consistency are all strategies we can deploy at any time to be happier, more fulfilled and meet our individual values of success, anytime we choose.
EVENT ORGANIZERS (Video below) – As a speaker, my programs help CEOs of future-focussed sales organizations, who are concerned as to how to help their sales teams stand out more in a heavily competitive environment, gain the lead by securing more profitable and purposeful sales.