Notice this pattern and you’ll know how to improve it. It applies to an activity. I’m thinking of exercise when I write it, but many activities fit it.
- When you’re not about to do it, you think of it as something you generally want to do.
- When you’re about to do it, you feel anxious, maybe to the point of fear.
- You have to overcome that anxiety and fear to start it.
- Starting is hard.
- After you start, it’s hard and unpleasant, but you feel emotional reward for doing it.
- As hard as it is, since you’re doing it, you want to keep doing it and push your limits.
- As much as you want to keep doing it, you can’t keep it up.
- Stopping is relieving.
- When you finish, you’re glad you did it—not just you feel pleasure or emotional reward. You feel you’re a better person.
- You want to do it again and you’re back at step 1.
Some examples from my life
- Challenging exercises—burpees, marathons, etc
- Most SIDCHAs
- Cold showers
- Cooking dinner from scratch
- Creating art for public viewing
- Practicing social skill exercises
- Performing in front of an audience
What to do with this pattern
I recommend looking for this in your activities and make habits of them. Steps 2, 3, and 4 discourage most people. Getting over them improves your life immeasurably. I suggest that it’s worth it.
So simple! Yet so hard to do, I know. Until you make habits of it.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book