One Day at a Time

4 Tips for achieving success one day at a time

One Day at a Time

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué

Overnight success is a myth. Almost every overnight success story is really a story of persistence, overcoming doubt, and hard work. It took over two decades for Steve Jobs to be the overnight success that produced the iPhone. J.K. Rowling worked on her first novel, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for six years and was rejected twelve times by various publishing houses before being published.

In reality, overnight success is a long story of goals and incremental execution. Success is driven by planning and then moving in the direction of the goal with small, persistent, determined activity. Each day we move forward and try to do better than the day before. We move forward in small amounts, making adjustments and keep going, building our accomplishment by combining the progress of the past with the incremental progress of today.

Our goals are important and provide a direction for our efforts; however, we execute our goals one day at a time. When we plan on achieving our goals in small amounts over a long period of time it yields an amazing result. We not only move in the direction of achieving our goal, but we get better at what we are doing with each iteration of the activity. Steve Jobs improved his ability bring consumer electronics products to market with each new idea. J.K. Rowling was a much better writer at the end of her six year journey to publication than she was at the start.

Sometimes our goals are so lofty that they feel unachievable. As an example, looking at a goal to lose 40 pounds in a year seems like an impossible task, though we know it is achievable (or we would not have set it as a SMART goal). When we consider that in order to achieve the goal we only need to lose less than one pound per week, it does not seem as impossible. In addition, as a byproduct we will also learn how to better control our diet and build our self-control.

Writing a book in a year is a reasonable goal, but also a huge undertaking. Looking at the goal in total makes it seem so impossible; it can be hard to even get started. However, when we view the activity through a smaller lens of writing just five pages per week, it becomes a less daunting task. Through repetition, we will also become a more efficient and better writer.

Consider if we focused on achieving just two percent of our total goal every week. In less than a year we would have achieved our goal and through persistent repetition improved our ability to perform that activity as well. By setting smaller repetitive activities around our larger goal we are able to accomplish a much larger goal without being overwhelmed with the immensity of the challenge. By breaking the goal down into a series of repetitive activities with a measured outcome at the end of each task, we incrementally work our way to achieving our goal and improve our efficiency along the way.

As I point out in my book EXCELLENCE: You CAN Get There From Here!”, our journey to Excellence requires a persistence and drive to keep moving forward to achieve our goals. Our goals are important because they move us toward greater success and satisfaction. Taking an incremental approach to achieving our goals helps the impossible become possible. As the age old expression goes: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Here are 4 tips for achieving success one day at a time:

The Path to Success is Paved with Learning

4 Tips for Continual Growth

The Path to Success is Paved with Learning

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” — Benjamin Franklin

The world is constantly changing, it has been and always will be. It is also a universal truth that our ability to prosper in a changing environment is dependent on our willingness to continually invest in our personal development through life-long learning. There is no shortcut and at the same time there is no higher return on investment available to us to increase our success, fortunes, and satisfaction. Investing in our ability to adapt and increasing our capability have no downside and for the most part cost us little beyond the work of executing a planned strategy.

We need to continue to grow which means developing our capabilities. When we stop learning we are stuck where we are. The world around us is going to continue to change and advance. If we are not willing to at least keep pace with the change, we will be left behind and just keeping pace with the change will not move us toward our goals. To thrive in a changing environment requires that we are developing our capabilities in a planned direction, with sufficient depth to increase our ability to provide value.

We master change through continuous learning. As an individual and a leader, continuous learning is about upgrading our skills and increasing our knowledge to be able to provide solutions in the future to questions that have not yet been asked. It is about combining our experiences with new ideas to have a better ability to adapt to new or different circumstances. Continuous learning involves viewing every experience as a learning opportunity and updating our understanding with the new information. We subjugate change to a common condition as we add to our knowledge and understanding and then apply our learnings to our environment. The very act of moving forward results in change and we become accustomed to change as a common component of every day life.

Our goals include personal growth. Continuous learning is such an important element in our personal growth and success that we should not leave it to chance. As we develop our annual development plans in alignment with our long-term career goals, it is important to identify specific educational and stretch-assignment opportunities to grow our experience. Ensuring that our goals have specific learning opportunities identified increases our understanding and enhances our capabilities.

The primary purpose of continual learning is to help us enhance our capabilities so that we are more effective in the future than we were in the past. This is the fundamental definition of the pursuit of personal excellence. In order to gain greater satisfaction from the results of our efforts, it is essential that we increase our capability. By investing in ourselves through continuous learning we enable ourselves to deal with future issues more effectively than we do today. We enable our future.

I have provided a framework for pursuing personal excellent in my book EXCELLENCE: You CAN Get There From Here! In the book I have outlined both a system for evaluating our strengths and talents and setting long-term goals and a process for pursuing those goals leading to greater personal success and satisfaction. These processes work together to help us set a direction and utilize continuous learning to maximize our ability to pursue personal excellence. We should not leave something as important as our personal success to the random whims of circumstance. If we are to be successful, we need to plan our success.

Here are 4 tips for achieving continual learning:

Embrace Who We Are

4 Tips for embracing who we are

Embrace Who We Are

“We are who we are” — Skip Gilbert

Do you ever feel the pressure to be like someone else? At times do you feel like everyone else seems to know more, be brighter, have more experience, or be more capable? Do you feel unsure of your suggestions because other people have differing perspectives? I know these thoughts have crossed my mind at times.

We need to embrace who we are and not try to be someone else. We are a collection of unique experiences, talents and skills. No one else has the same experiences combined with the same things we have learned. No one else has our exact education, social, or work experiences. Nobody has seen all the things we have seen, thought the things we have thought, learned the things we have learned, lived where we have lived, all combined into a single person. It is no wonder we feel like sometimes we don’t fit in. How could we? We are very unique individuals and anyone that tries to push us into a common mold is simply misguided. We are highly valuable and unique resources with a perspective that nobody else has.

Think about yesterday. There was not anyone with us every minute of the day. During that day we experienced new things as well as other things that either reinforced our opinions and perspectives or changed them. From just that one day alone we have a different perspective from anyone else on how the day went.

The path of our life is unique and distinct. We are the only one to have walked down this path. We have a unique set of experiences, molded and shaped by a unique set of circumstances and events. It is a journey that we are on alone, though there may be others with us at various points in time. We have a unique perspective and it is just as valid as anyone else’s. We have not come to our opinions lightly, but by what we have experienced and learned along the way.

Keep in mind that we are all unique people. Everyone around us is on their own journey as well. As a result they have formed their own perspective, based on their unique journey. From their perspective, their opinions and conclusions are just as valid as ours. Here lies the challenge and the opportunity. Each person has a unique set of opinions and conclusions based on their experience that may or may not align with ours or other’s perspective. But to that individual, they are solid conclusions.

As a smart leader, we recognize that everyone is vested in their opinion. We need to be sure to value that diversity and treat those opinions with care. If we need to help change someone’s mind, we should not imply that they are wrong, that would only setup a boundary. To influence a change in opinion we need to offer new information or perspective that will align with the experiences of the other person. We need to approach it carefully, thoughtfully, with respect and allow the other person to assimilate the change into their perspective.

There isn’t anyone else like us and there never will be. We are one of a kind, the only one; the original us. We should take pride in our journey and recognize that our perspectives come from our years of experience and knowledge. We were there for every learning and accomplishment. We know what we know and we should be confident in our ability to contribute.

Each one of us can be a better me. As I point out in the book EXCELLENCE: You CAN Get There From Here!, we are a work in process. When we choose to pursue Excellence, we put ourselves on a path of continuous improvement. We need to create goals, leverage learning opportunities and gain knowledge from those around us. Each one of us can always be a better me.

Here are 4 tips for embracing who we are:

Focus on Solutions

4 Tips to focus on solutions

Focus on Solutions

Nothing can be done about the past, but the future is ours to mold. — Skip Gilbert

Are your days perfectly in control or are you like the rest of us, surrounded by chaos? For most of us we continually battle against changes in priorities, miscommunications, actions that are not what we expected, and things that require our energy and attention to address. Chaos arrives in our inbox with ongoing frequency, our phone rings with problems or new demands and nothing seems to be going forward as planned. The mounting pressures can become overwhelming and no matter how hard we work, there is not enough time to fix everything. If this describes some of your days, welcome to the crowd.

As our inbox fills with issues we have to make a choice, we can either see these as problems or opportunities for solutions. That choice can have a huge impact on what we do, how we feel and how effective we are. Our choice will set our state of mind and that will dictate our emotional reaction to the situation. If we choose to see the issue as a problem, then we are going to be expending emotional energy reacting to the issue. Emotions such as anger, fear and doubt will take us down a path of worst case scenarios and negative outcomes, all of which require energy. Energy that does nothing to eliminate the issue, only serves to increase our anxiety around the situation.

A better response is to focus on the solution. What is done is done. Nothing can be done about what has happened in the past. Even if the news is something unexpected or unfavorable the fact that you are now dealing with it is as a result of something having happened in the past. Nothing can be done about the past, all we have is now and what we are going to do next. We are better served by focusing on the solution and putting the emotion behind us. It’s part of Emotional Intelligence.

Focusing on the solution allows us to expend our energy on overcoming the issue and getting to a better place. A place that does not include this issue. It puts us in control of our circumstances and makes better use of our energy to resolve the issue. It allows us to logically draw upon our experience and skills with a clarity unencumbered by emotion. We can layout the facts, look at alternative courses of action and find a solution, one that takes us away from this current issue or problem.

Why dwell on the past, what might have happened or what caused us to get to that point? We can address those issues once we get the problem resolved. For now we focus on the solution. We find a way forward and replace our negative emotions with hope and encouragement. We plan a way to make things better and move ahead bringing feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.

It is up to us to set the tone for our own thoughts. We can be the victim and see everything as a problem or we can focus on the solution and resolve the issue. We can wallow in fear and worry or move into accomplishment and satisfaction. It all depends on our choice. I choose to focus on the solution, how about you?

Here are 4 tips to focus on the solution:

Keep Moving Forward

4 Tips to keep moving forward

Keep Moving Forward

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney

Are there times when you just feel overwhelmed? How about those days when nothing seems to be going right, have any of those? Have you or someone you known faced a significant heath or financial crisis? Most of us have at one point or another and we are likely to face more in the future. Sometimes life throws some big challenges our way. What can we do?

We will all most likely face stressful times and hard decisions in our lifetime. These events will happen, usually not by our own making, and most often without warning. As these things occur we have two choices. We can either face the challenge and find ways to keep moving forward or we can surrender. We can either assess the situation and find a way to get to the next day, or not. Clearly the or not option is not a viable solution, so it really leaves us with the move forward option.

People who have faced difficult challenges tell us that the only really solution is to find the strength to move forward. Today may appear bleak and perhaps even hopeless, but if we can find the will to make it to tomorrow we will find that we are one day closer to our solution. When we are able to focus on getting to tomorrow we are in the process of moving forward.

There are many people facing difficult circumstances everyday and if we are one of them then we know the challenge of moving forward. Fortunately, for most of us we are not facing dire circumstances and we should be grateful for that blessing. Nonetheless, most of us feel the stress of things not going our way and have the same feelings as those in dire circumstances though perhaps to a lesser extent.

When we face difficult circumstances either personally or professionally, the best thing we can do is “put one foot in front of the other” and keep moving forward. There is no future in looking back, after all the future is in front of us. Looking back allows our emotions to relive the event and does nothing to help us get to the next opportunity.

Most of the things we fear never happen to us, they are just projections of our imagination. Sometimes we tend to view our current circumstances through a negative lens and only see more negativity in front of us. The reality is that most of the things we fear will not actually happen to us. Our fear is mostly driven by projecting ourselves into other people’s difficult situations. Our empathy for them can make us feel as though we are there and allow us to relive an event that we have never truly experienced.

Our worry is just wasted energy. Worrying about things that most likely will never happen engages us to focus on things that fortunately we will never experience. When bad things do happen, they usually happen in unexpected ways. And here is the thing, we are so resilient that when something bad happens, we almost always find a way to rise above the issue. We would not have gotten this far if our first action was to surrender.

When things are not going our way, the best thing we can do is to keep moving forward. Find a way to get to the next day and things will be better. Hang in there and give ourselves a chance to find a solution. Tomorrow will open a new door and we need to see where it leads.

Here are 4 tips for helping us continue to keep us moving forward:

Trust Our Intuition

4 Tips on trusting our intuition

Trust Our Intuition

Have you ever been faced with making a quick decision without all of the facts? Have you ever had a feeling that one path was better than another? Or have you ever gathered a lot of information but it is still not clear what to do, yet you have to make a decision anyway? I know I face that situation on a regular basis, either there is not enough time or information and a decision needs to be made now. In times like that we have no choice but to follow our intuition.

So what is our intuition and how is it different than instinct? Intuition is a process of using our knowledge and experience to know or decide something without analytic reasoning. On the other hand, our instinct is a feeling or hunch in reaction to a specific event or situation.

Both are valuable and helpful when used appropriately. Our instincts are probably more deeply rooted in our DNA and past experiences. The word instinct comes form the word “instinctus” or “impulse” meaning the body’s biological tendency to make one choice over another. They are things like the gut feeling we get when we see an event or react to a threat. It doesn’t require thought, it is a reaction to a stimulus. Our instinct will be to duck if something is thrown at us. It is the way we want to react when insulted, it is our first reaction when something quickly changes in our immediate surroundings.

Intuition on the other hand is our thoughtful immediate decision making process without utilizing a process of fully balancing the pros and cons. It is our first response when confronting the need for an immediate decision. The word intuition comes from the word “intuition” or “consideration” formed by beliefs, experiences and memories. It leverages our past experience and the result of similar situations in the past to project a preferred action in this situation. In the situation requiring an immediate decision our mind races through all of our previous experiences and gives us an instant decision. It allows us to make the best decision we can with the limited information we have at the moment.

Everyday we are confronted with the need to make decisions with imperfect knowledge or information. Whether it is a key business decision or deciding what to have for dinner or even which way to turn to avoid this traffic situation, we have to make decisions quickly. Many times we do not have the opportunity to run a full analysis on the situation and chart out all of the risks and benefits. There is simply not enough time to fully analyze each decision against the multiple outcomes.

At some point we have to make a decision. We cannot wait at a stoplight and run a full spreadsheet analysis of the impact of our decision to turn right. We just have to make the decision and see what happens next. The inability to make a decision without intense scrutiny and analysis leads to “analysis paralysis”; the inability to make quick decisions.

Fortunately we have a built-in decision making tool called intuition. Our intuition gives us the ability to make a pretty good decision based on what we have experienced before. The decision will not always be perfect, but it will be right most of the time. It will allow us to move forward and see what happens next. It will be right a high percentage of the time and we should feel confident that without the opportunity to gain more information, the decision we make now will be the best decision we could make at the time.

We can improve the quality of our intuitive decision making by continuing to improve our knowledge and experience through our growth as we pursue excellence. As I pointed out in my book “EXCELLENCE: You CAN Get There From Here”, by planing our growth we build on our skills and talents providing a basis for even better decision making in the future.

Since intuition is based on combining our past experience and knowledge to allow a decision at the moment, it is not likely that the decision will yield a great new approach to the problem. That is not to say that our intuition doesn’t play a role in breakthrough thinking, in fact it is quite the opposite. Most breakthroughs require an injection of intuition to push us past the apparent facts. The very nature of the analytical process is that every answer yields two new questions. At some point an intuitive decision is required to decide which branch of research should be followed.

The net takeaway is that our intuition gives us the ability to make pretty good decisions with the information at hand at the time. We can have confidence that when forced to make a decision with incomplete information we can rely on our intuition to fill in the missing data and yield the best decision we could make at the time, and that decision is better than no decision at all.

Here are 4 tips on how we can use our intuition to help us everyday:

Changes in Gratitude Changes in Attitude

4 Tips for adopting an attitude of gratitude

Changes in Gratitude Changes in Attitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. — Brian Tracy

Life is challenging and we do not have to look far to see bad things are happening around and even perhaps to us. It is a fact that bad things happen to good people. We don’t know why, but things still happens. What if we discovered that in spite of the bad things that are happening, there are far more good things happening than bad and that our happiness is just a decision away?

Have you ever met someone who truly had every reason to be upset and bitter who had a remarkably positive outlook? That person who is in the midst of a terrible challenge, perhaps struggling with a life-threatening health situation, or surrounded by financial and family crisis who yet seems to be the person smiling and encouraging others? How can they do that? What is the secret? How can we get some of that perspective? It turns out that our gratitude may truly impact our attitude and it is true that happiness is just a choice after all.

It turns out that people who routinely acknowledge gratitude by taking time to reflect upon things they are thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, display more kindness and have stronger immune systems. They have more happiness, deeper relationships, greater productivity and are more relaxed.

These are more than just wishful claims. There is a huge body of research and studies to support this as more than just a theory. According to research gathered at they claim the following:

  • A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!
  • Gratitude generates social capital – in two studies with 243 total participants, those who were 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital.
  • Gratitude boosts our career. Gratitude makes you a more effective manager, helps you network, increases your decision making capabilities, increases your productivity, and helps you get mentors and proteges.
  • Gratitude makes us more optimistic. Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism in turn makes us happier, improves our health, and has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as a few years.
  • Gratitude improves your sleep. Gratitude increases sleep quality, reduces the time required to fall asleep, and increases sleep duration. Said differently, gratitude can help with insomnia.
  • Gratitude keeps you away from the doctor. Positive emotion improves health. The details are complicated, but the overall picture is not – if you want to improve your health, improve your mind.
  • Gratitude increases your productivity. Gratitude has been shown to increase self-esteem and reduce insecurity, this means that it can help us focus and improve our productivity.

There are studies that indicate practicing a routine of expressing gratitude may even change how our brain works. According to research reported at, psychologists at Indiana University have published results indicating that people who practiced gratitude techniques brought a range of benefits such as feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression that often lingered well beyond the exercises (of the study). Another study found that acting happy, regardless of feelings coaxes one’s brain into processing positive emotions.

Even Oprah Winfrey writes in her personal blog that for years she has been advocating the power and pleasure of being grateful. She reports that gratitude is a powerful force in her outlook. She writes, “I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”

So how do we gain the benefits of gratitude? Here are 4 tips for adopting an attitude of gratitude:

Stay Positive

4 Tips for staying positive

Stay Positive

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. — Zig Ziglar

How often have you heard or thought the following? I have never seen things this bad. Things are really messed up. I am not surprised that happened, bad things are always happening to me. That can never work, it has never worked before. I really don’t see things getting better. I am really worried, the last time something like this happened it was really bad. I know I hear them quite frequently and often times find these things running through my own thoughts.

We have a natural tendency to seek the negative. It is probably in our ancestral DNA as a leftover defense mechanism for detecting danger. It may have helped our ancestors remain alert to hidden dangers and gave them an edge when facing a physical challenges. For us, it is a part of our nature that can get out of control and actually create danger for us. As this negative thought process tends to support worry and stress, it can drag us down both physically and emotionally. This leads to a chain reaction of worry and stress that consumes our energy, reinforces unrealistic concerns and robs us of our creativity. Ultimately, it robs us of our ability to appreciate and enjoy today.

In fact, this negative worry and stress cycle can lead to a condition called rumination. This is a term used to describe a process where by we relive a past negative experience including the emotions involved in a never ending cycle of preoccupation. We relive a single emotional event over and over again, remembering all of the bad things that happened and how that felt. This puts us back in that same situation again bringing those fear emotions to the surface that were originally meant to stir our action for survival. However, now they serve no purpose because we no longer need them. We survived. We are not currently in danger, but we make ourselves feel that way repeatedly. We have to break the cycle.

Negative things happen all around us everyday, we can’t avoid them. Ultimately we need to find a way to stay positive or we will be forever drawn into the worry-cycle that robs us of our happiness. We have to reprogram ourselves to see the positive. There are many techniques available to us to help us see the positive and stay that way. However, first we have to break the rumination cycle and stop letting our survival emotions keep us from achieving perspective on our past event and let us process it away.

One of the best techniques to break the rumination cycle is to reflect on events in the third person as it helps to remove the emotion. We no longer need the emotion, we are no longer in danger. We do not need the adrenalin boost to get out of danger. We just need to be able to process this event like any other event. A very helpful technique is to restate the situation from the perspective of a bystander also known as third person. State the event as if we are an observer. Say it simply and without emotion. After all, through the eyes of a third party, it was just another event. This is not meant to minimize the seriousness of the event, but just get us out of the action.

We will be surprised at just how much different the event replays when it is no longer happening to us. We will then see it without the fight or flight emotion of being the victim and be able to engage our reasoning to work our way through this event like we would any other event. Typically, we are able to analyze our experiences, learn what we can and abandon the rest. We do not dwell on the past or even relive the event, we just add what we have learned to our library of experiences.

To be happy there is very little other choice.

Here are 4 tips to help us stay positive:

Our Reputation is our Currency

4 Tips for managing our reputation account

Our Reputation is our Currency

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” — Benjamin Franklin

One of our greatest assets is our reputation. Our reputation is a reflection of our character and our calling card for our future. Our reputation is the current accumulation of the impression others hold of our accomplishments. It is the net result of what we have done and the way we have done it. Even those who have chosen to produce nothing have a reputation. We each have a reputation. There is no escaping the fact that others consider our credibility and set expectations based on our reputation, and that either opens or closes doors for our future.

Our reputation serves to provide opportunity or stand in our way to our next success. In a way, it serves as a form of currency. We add to our account when we accomplish something that produces respect in the eyes of our observers. When we complete a task or activity or produce something of value, the net result of that accomplishment gets credited to our reputation. Completing a project with excellence, helping someone in need, taking time to teach another, producing a better widget, all are things that get credited to our account in a positive way. Think of these as a net deposit to our account.

We make withdrawals from our account when we do something that damages our reputation. Claiming someone else’s work as our own, not meeting our commitment, not completing the work we were paid to produce and other things of that nature, withdraw from our account. The rate of withdrawal may be much more rapid than the rate of deposit of positive experiences.

We borrow from our account when we ask other people to trust us or to trust someone else based on our recommendation. When we ask people to move forward with something they are not sure about, they do so based on the value of our reputation. If in their eyes we have proven knowledgable and trustworthy then they will take a risk based on our advice. We have loaned out our credibility and reputation in the form of trust. If our advice proves trustworthy then our account will be credited with interest. If our advice proves not to be trustworthy, then we will have lost the value of their trust and reduce the balance in our reputation account.

Everything we do or say impacts our reputation and impacts how other people see us. With every interaction we are either adding or subtracting from our balance. We either continue to prove our trustworthiness or we diminish it. Every transaction either adds or subtracts from our account.

More than ever our reputation is being measured in public. Social media like Facebook and Twitter make it extremely convenient for others to vocalize their opinions of us. Metrics are available such as likes or retweets. If we publish, our readers may make comments. When we produce something our product may be reviewed on Amazon or Yelp and our comments may produce reactions. Consider that even our credit rating is a measure of our reputation. All of these things drive the total picture of who we are and either raise or lower the balance in our reputation account.

Our reputation is earned, not inherited or purchased. There is no amount of money that can buy a good reputation. Money may be spent to create positive messages, but in the end it is the people that we interact with that determine our reputation. Eventually, our true character will filter through the publicity and set the tone of our reputation. Our reputation is driven by our actions and how they are perceived by others.

It takes a long time to build a positive balance in our account but we can throw it away in a few minutes. We need to be careful how we spend our reputation. Do we continue to use it as capital to build greater success or do we throw it away by compromising our values?

Here are 4 tips for managing our reputation account:

1) Live our values. Ultimately our true values will be revealed. We are better served to understand our values and live up to our standards. Anything else will eventually be revealed in our reputation.

2) Think before we act. Is this action something that we could be proud of or does it fall short of our character? Pause to evaluate our action and not just follow the crowd.

3) Consider how our actions will be perceived. We need to act according to our values, but we need to do so in a way that considers how it will be received. Act in a manner that is encouraging and uplifting, even if the action is providing adjusting feedback.

4) Learn from our mistakes. We are not perfect and it is beyond our capability to be so. However, we can strive to do better next time. As we demonstrate our commitment to following our values our failures will be diminished and our reputation will be reinforced.

In the end it is all about living up to our values and making sure our actions reflect that. The accumulation of the net of our deposits and withdrawals from our account sets the value of our reputation.

Thank you for spending time with me today. I am very interested in hearing more about how you spend your reputation account.


Skip Gilbert

Get Out of Our Own Way for Success

4 Tips for getting out of our own way for success

Get Out of Our Own Way for Success

Have you ever felt like things are just going too good, there must be something bad around the corner? Or things are starting to go well, I’m afraid to change anything because I may mess it up? Or how about, things seem to be stable now, but I know something bad is about to happen? I know at times I have had these thoughts, how about you?

If we are having these thoughts, we need to get them under control. Anticipating that something bad will happen just because nothing bad is happening at the moment is a formula for failure. We are expending energy focusing on things that may (or may not) happen rather than enjoying this moment of success and pouring our energy into creating more success. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way.

We may find that we are afraid of success. We dream big and develop good plans that are leading to success and then as success approaches, we become apprehensive in accepting the results of our success. As an example, we may have developed a great breakthrough that will significantly improve a critical process at work. As we move forward with implementing our idea, we are overwhelmed with anxiety around the small risk that it will fail. The pressure builds as we realize that we will have to make a number of presentations to the executives to get everyone to follow the new procedure. All of the energy we put into worry is just wasted effort. Our effort will more than likely be successful and our anxieties are usually overblown. We need to maintain the same confidence we had in ourselves at the start of the effort all the way through the end of the effort and things will be just fine.

When we sabotage ourselves we may find our impending success is not as impactful as it could be. We may find that we are pursuing something that will bring success and we either knowingly or subconsciously start doing things that will limit the success. For example, we may be pursuing our big breakthrough project and then stop doing the follow-through on our communications as effectively as we are able, such that the success may not end up being everything we know it could be. Again, our fear that the results may be bigger than we are or may expose our perceived shortcomings causes us to try to diminish the level of success. We are just getting in our own way.

By focusing on the negative possibilities we risk bringing on the negative consequences we are projecting. Much like when learning to ride a bicycle for the first time, we see the hole in the road and are so afraid of hitting it we actually drive right into it. When we become overly focused on the negative, we lose our perspective and end up being drawn into the thing we are trying to avoid.

Basically, we are on a path for success and we get in our own way. The solution is to get out of our own way! The things we do to produce the success are the things we need to do to secure the success. We are more than able to follow-through on our good ideas. The success that comes our way as a result of our hard work is success that we deserve and we should enjoy it. Don’t stop short of the finish line, we are actually about to win the race!

So what can we do to get out of our own way? Here are 4 tips to help us.

1) Be consistent in our approach. Keep going with the things that have brought us this far. Keep going when we are starting to feel the pressure of success.

2) Maintain our confidence. Battle our own insecurities with confidence. Be complete in our preparation for the challenge. If giving a presentation, be sure to take time to develop it and rehearse. Be in the position of knowing the subject better than anyone else and we will have nothing to worry about. We are the expert and it will be apparent that we know what we are talking about.

3) Continue to be bold in our thinking. Bold thoughts put us on this path, bold thoughts brought us this far, bold thoughts will take us across the finish line.

4) Recognize those that helped. Chances are we are not the only ones involved in the success. Be sure to share the success with everyone involved. Do not make the success about us, but make it about everyone who helped and the success will flow back to us.

We did the work, things are looking good, now bring home the success! We deserve it and so do those around us. Be the leader all the way across the finish line, we are winning the race!


Skip Gilbert