How To Beat Yourself Up

I'm not a natural entrepreneur or business kind of guy. When it comes to making money, I actually have to learn how.  So I was recently listening to a talk by T Harv Eker - an amazing money guru - when he asks the audience to look at the phrase:

"Reasons/Excuses or Results"

And he asks, "What's the key word in that sentence?"

The audience reply, "Results!"

He says, "No. The key word there is OR."

His reasoning is that you can't have both. And it's true. If you are making an excuse or even giving a totally valid reason for something, then clearly you didn't get the results you wanted. End of story.

Reasons and excuses act like pain killers. They numb the pain of failure. They help prevent us tapping into one of the deepest human fears; that we are not enough. Failure is often just too painful and registers way above many people's emotional pain threshold, and so we pop the pills of reasons and excuses without often without thinking. 

But in so doing, we actually miss a very real opportunity. You see pain is a very useful tool when utilized correctly. 

You're most likely aware of the 'carrot and the stick' concept. The idea is simple; when trying to lead a donkey, you can dangle a carrot in front of its face (pleasure incentive) or you can whip it with a stick (pain incentive)

Many life coaches are all about that carrot. They love to keep the clients smiling... even when they're failing. Because it's all about being happy, right? Well, not always. In the bigger picture of your life, happiness is central. But in getting there, sometimes results come first in the pursuit of happiness.

And from my own martial arts and military training, and in my training of other people in unarmed combat and fitness I can tell you now that mean old stick... well, it works. Very well.

Being high up on objects scares me. Not helicopters and skyscrapers, but like high up on ladders and walls etc. In basic training, I climbed up and over an A-frame net that was taller than my house, slid down a pole and climbed ropes that were god-knows how high. And it was easy... with a psychopathic corporal screaming at me. 

Had I been asked politely? I might have politely said "No frikkin' way".

Such is the power of the stick!

We all have an unconscious and deeply seated instinct to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It is in fact the very same instinct that causes us to use the pain-killing excuses and focus on the reasons for our failure.

When the pain of being murdered by this corporal become more painful than the fear of being a million feet up (honestly, it was a million) I suddenly become Spiderman. This process is known as getting emotional 'leverage'. 

Now for many of us, using the stick on others is generally a lot easier than using it on ourselves! But we can utilize this same method of getting leverage on ourselves. It does however mean that we are going to have to experience - actively, consciously experience - the very pain that our minds want us to avoid.

When you would do this is of course specific to each situation, but in general, what I'm talking about choosing to sit with the pain of failure when it arises so as to create enough leverage in our minds that we wire ourselves to avoid making that mistake ever again.

When you find yourself making an excuse, trying to explain away why you didn't achieve something, don't miss the opportunity to retrain yourself in that very moment for success but wiring yourself to avoid the failure that caused the pain.

How to do that? Don't avoid the pain, don't take the pain killer. Instead, go into the pain and truly experience it by doing the following...

Take a moment to be with yourself, undisturbed and allow yourself to feel the disappointment. Relax with some deep breaths and then see if you can identify where in your body you can feel it the most. Don't worry if you can't, but if you do find a specific spot where the discomfort seems to reside, then breath into that place and allow the feeling to simple be there. Be with it. Visualize it washing over you if that helps. 

Now reflect on the specific actions that brought about this feeling. By doing this you are associating pain with those things and thus wiring yourself to avoid them. 

And it's as simple as that.

Now... if you want to take it to the next level, re-focus your attention now on success.

Shake your body out, get rid of the negative feelings you just embraced. Crank up some motivating music, focus on you what need to do in order to fix your situation or at least never fail like you did ever again. Focus on what you need to do in order to better serve yourself and others and decide there and then, in your uplifted, motivated state that you are now wired for winning!

Give yourself a pat on the back. You just used the stick on yourself in a way most people are too terrified to do and you also rewarded yourself with a carrot! Get in the habit of doing this and you'll be a ninja in whatever you do.

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