Have you ever found it difficult to clearly define what you want and your vision for this next phase of your life? If you consider yourself smart, highly functioning, and have achieved a decent level of success but are still asking, “Why the heck can’t I figure out what I want and go for it?” or “Why is my progress so slow and the pressure so intense?” then keep reading.
The greatest pain and theme that I hear today when I speak to people is that they’ve hit a point in life where they feel like they should be appreciative for all they have, but they don’t feel fulfilled. They feel like they’re going through the motions and getting it done. They’ve lost their passion, and they’re tired of grinding it out and struggling. They know that the way they’ve lived their first half isn’t the way they want to live their second half. And they want change, but they don’t know what that is or how to get it.
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I’ve identified this as the Nagging Half-Version Syndrome. I define it as a sense of knowingness that we are not showing up to what we’re capable of. It’s a widespread longing to step into our fullest version of ourselves, both personally and professionally. This syndrome is sweeping our families and homes and is the ultimate UN-rest.
What we all want is to know we’re living our best version of ourselves. That when we get to our last day we can look back and say we’ve lived boldly, loved fully, and our life made a difference.
Now, after many years of working with hundreds of passionate, talented, highly functioning individuals, whether their corporate or entrepreneurial, men or women, young or old, leaders—budding or established– I’ve seen that most of us were never taught and don’t know how living a life that’s both successful and fulfilling really works.
What I uncovered after years of working with clients is that there are a series of specific steps taken in the right order that were repeatedly leading to my clients to extraordinary results. I put them together in a strategy I call Playing Full Out.
Playing Full Out is not about grinding it out or pushing your pedal to the metal, working harder or striving and pushing and longer. It’s identifying what success means to YOU, and showing up fully for it.
Here are the four foundational keys to “playing full out” and transforming your life and leadership:
#1) Stop Trying to Change External Circumstances
The biggest detriment to our own progress is thinking that everything is happening to us. That we are victim to it all. We have to own that we’re much more powerful than we’ve previously given ourselves credit. We are powerful co-creators. It’s an empowering to understand we’re 100% responsible for 50% of a relationship.
Stop looking for how you’re going to change external circumstances. Instead turn your focus on who you are being as you do what you do. Looking at our internal obstacles is still not getting the attention it deserves. The questions to ask is, “Am I contributing or contaminating this situation?” And how can you change your own approach to affect a different result.
#2) Stop Settling and Raise Your Standards
The second key to playing full out in life is to stop settling, and raise your standards. This means ask for what you want and expect it. The only reason a person has something “more than you” in a certain area is because they have a higher standard around it.
When I go to the gym at 6:00 AM and am mesmerized by all the people that are finishing their workout because they arrived at 5:00 AM, I realize that’s just what they do. It’s their standard. Choose to raise your standards and say “This is just what I do.” “This is how I roll.” Whether it’s what you eat, your self-care regimen, exercise routine, support you request, or boundaries you keep, choose to raise your standards. Imagine if that new standard became–it’s just what I do.”
#3) Stop Focusing on What You Don’t Want
Whether we want our kids to stop doing what their doing, we don’t want another micro-managing boss or another year like x, we tend to focus too much time on what we don’t want.
Instead of targets like how do I escape my spouse being frustrated with me? How do I avoid disappointing my client? Or how do I stop worrying about my family’s financial picture,” choose what you do want. Tune into your own internal GPS. You will know the truth by the way it feels. Ask yourself, “What energizes me? What brings me joy? And what do I want more of in this next phase of life?”
As Einstein said, we can’t create what we haven’t first imagined. If we focus only on what we don’t want we’ll get more of it. If our target is vague and blurry, we’re going to get vague and blurry results.
#4) Release Your Inner Control Freak
Tina Fey says, “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward.” And the fourth key to living a life played full out is to take the leap before you think you’re ready.
What is a leap? A leap is an unplanned or uncalculated intuitive hit. It’s something that comes into your mind when you least expect it. Rarely does it come while you’re sitting at your desk. You might get the insight after you’ve taken a shower, while in the shower, or perhaps after you exercise. A leap might be to make a call to a potential client, sign up for an opportunity you don’t feel ready for yet, ask to join a group you think is above you, or interview for a position that stretches you.
The reason we don’t leap before we feel ready is because we humans hate uncertainty. It’s a natural, human, primal response to resist it. The aversion to uncertainty may keep us alive, but it will never help us thrive. Leaping first and figuring it out as we go, breaks the old inhibiting patterns.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. We’ll never experience the optimal vision of our life with our inner control freak in charge. Take your next step before you feel smart enough, confident enough, or ready enough. Your life will thank you. You might even get a date with the life you love.
And remember if you nail something right out of the gate, whether it’s a perfect product launch, speech, interview, presentation or conversation, then you’ve waited too long!
The bottom line is that to ensure the greatest version of you and your leadership are at play…
- Own that you are a powerful co-creator.
- Raise your standards and expand your boundaries.
- Tune in to know what you want for this phase of your life.
- Take the leap before you think you’re ready.
Small actions habituate a new reality. This week, pay attention and take small actions. It isn’t in the big actions like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest that changes our lives.
Successful people realize it’s the common, mundane and boring things done day after day that create a new world, a new reality, and a Playing-Full-Out kind of life!
As a Business and Life Coach, Rita works with highly motivated professionals who, despite their level of success and achievements, are not happy or satisfied. Often, they’re “successful” by traditional standards, yet unfulfilled based on their own. They know they want more and are ready to have it.
Get the “Playing Full Out Accelerator” ™ – Four Steps to Identify, Plan & Take the Leap to Your Optimal Vision of Work & Home…Without the Second Guessing.
Rita Hyland is host of the “Playing Full Out™” podcast, where you’ll discover tips to break through the personal and professional barriers in a hectic world that are preventing you from leading your optimal vision of life at work and home. This is the podcast for passionate life travelers and leaders who want to live a deliberate, confident and fulfilling life, and change the world while they do.