Getting “Stuff” Done for the “Right” Reasons
First off, who decides what’s right or wrong? You do!! When I say “right,” I mean the reasons that matter to you – not to anybody else!
How many of us have tried to do something for someone else because we felt obligated, or guilted, or coerced into it? I think we all can safely raise our hands and be telling the absolute truth. My guess is most of us have tried to lose weight or get fit for someone else, or changed our hairstyle or clothing style to please our partners, or performed an act of service out of duty rather than desire. How’d that work out for you? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do any of those things…unless you want to!
No one can tell us we need to change our appearance, go to grad school, or accept a calling/position at church except ourselves. And, when we tell ourselves we want to do one of those things (or whatever thing) we need to mean it. Otherwise, we’re just adding unnecessary stress (think fat storing cortisol) into our lives.
When we want to get “stuff” done, we need to ask ourselves the following questions:
Why is it important to do it?
To whom is it important?
Is it imperative?
Who can help us do it? (How to ask for help.)
There must be a “why” to what you want to accomplish and this “why” must come from your own desire. If you really don’t want to do something and it’s not an absolute necessity for your existence, then don’t do it. OMG, yes, I just said it – don’t do it! If you don’t have a strong enough “why” then all of your energy towards this task will fill you with resentment and bring negativity into your life.
Perhaps there is something else you can do that will bring about the same or similar result, or maybe a result completely opposite but that still fulfills the same purpose. For example, let’s say your partner has been nag, nag, nagging you to go back to university to finish your education so you can get a job, so you can make money, so you can contribute to the family finances. You feel like you “should” finish that degree in elementary education you started 10 years ago because you already have a bazillion credits complete (and you’re still paying off the student loans – ugh!) but you’ve discovered a passion for fitness and you want to study exercise science. Maybe only a fraction of your credits will count towards this degree and it will cost more money and time, but doesn’t that far outweigh the internal discord you’ll experience if you make yourself finish the elementary education degree? By choosing to study your newfound passion, the act of completing an education becomes important to you and not just your partner.
Asking for Help
When you have a true and authentic desire to do something, at some point along the way, you’re going to need some help. Some people have no problem asking for what they need or want, others not so much. Case in point, my husband will stand in the closet scratching his back with the back scratcher we got in Hawaii as an accessory to the drink we ordered named “The Back Scratcher” (I’m not kidding – it came with the drink!) complaining about how his skin is so dry but he will not ask me to put lotion on his back. I have to remind him to use his “big boy” words and ask. Eventually, he does ask but it’s a big deal for him to ask for anything. If you are like him, I offer the same counsel, put on your “big kid” pants and practice asking for things. It will seem weird and uncomfortable at first but I promise it will get easier!
When you do ask for help, make your request specific. Don’t get all frazzled with homework (or whatever) and yell something non-specific at your partner like, “You never help me. I can’t get my homework done. The laundry is piling up and we haven’t had a homecooked meal in a week!” All your partner hears is you freaking out with probably no idea how to help. Stop and think about what will be the most beneficial thing (or two) for your partner to do, and then calmly say, “I’m really struggling to get my homework done. I feel so much healthier when we eat at home and I have clean clothes to put on in the morning. Would you be willing to do mid-week laundry and cook dinner on Tuesday and Thursday nights?” It’s likely your partner will say yes and do it. If they don’t, then you go to Plan B and ask for help another way or from someone else. Remember, YOU are in charge of getting the help you need to do the things that are important to you because you have a big WHY inspiring you to do it.
Self-Belief/Self-Efficacy (capacity for producing a desired result or effect)
Okay, so now you’ve got your why and you’ve learned to ask for help but sometimes self-doubt creeps in and you become your own worst enemy. How do you help yourself believe you can do it?
I suggest a couple of strategies: One - Keep moving along, going through the motions, doing what needs to be done (i.e. what you’ve chosen to do) because the feeling will usually pass or you’ll have a small victory that reminds you that you can do it. Second - Build a support team. This can include a mentor, a coach, your partner, your best friend, your mom…anyone who knows your strengths and weaknesses. Pick individuals who acknowledge your concerns, validate your feelings, and who know you well enough to remind you of past experiences where you absolutely kicked a**. The key to using your support team is that you may have to ask (yes – ask!) for reassurance along the way. More likely than not, they’ll be cheerleading you along the way without any prompting.
You need to do things for the “right” reasons, which reasons are determined by numero uno – you! You need a “why” for what you are doing, otherwise it’s going to be a real drag. You may need to ask for help and if you aren’t used to asking for help, you’ll need to practice until it becomes more natural. Finally, you need to “keep on keeping on” and build a support team who will be there through thick and thin.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go out there and get “stuff” done for the “right” reasons. I’m here to help you!! https://www.letsgetstuffdone.com/
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