Are you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and stuck in a gap between your perceived big effort and the size or speed of your results?
We live in a world where instant gratification is glorified. And it often appears that other people achieve their results with a lot less effort than you. If you are feeling this way, here are six things you can do to alleviate your discomfort and keep moving forward.
6 Ways You Can Bridge the Gap Between Action and Results:
1. Identify the Recurring Actions That Will Lead To Your Desired Result.
Any desired result in life or business can be broken down into recurring actions that, when performed with skill, will cause it to happen. Your recurring actions must happen over and over again for you to move forward.
Recurring actions are NOT:
- Your To Do List
- Distractions of the day, aka shiny objects
Recurring actions must be at the foundation of your strategic plan. Stop keeping yourself busy with shiny objects and focus on your recurring actions. Your future self will thank you.
2. Be Consistent Over Time.
Results don’t happen by thinking about your recurring actions, or performing them once or twice. The right things need to be repeated over and over again, long enough to create your desired results.
It’s our nature to overestimate what we can do in one year, and underestimate what we can do in five years. The true challenge lies in being able to hold your vision of where you are going together with your thoughts, feelings and actions while you are in the gap.
If you descend into the darker side of the gap – frustration, bitterness or overwhelm – how you do things is affected. Stay in that vibe for a prolonged period of time, you’ll add chronic stress, which makes you even more vulnerable to your challenges, on every tangible and intangible level.
You may have heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.” The how is the reason that two people can have the same game plan, the same recurring activities, the same projects, and yield entirely different results. You’ve got to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. When your how is off, it’s time to dig deep, go inside, and grow.
3. Recognize When You are Relying on Will Power.
Do you ever feel like you are powering through quicksand with everything you do?You might be surprised to find out that you are not alone.
Most people DO NOT have consistent access to will power and end up feeling like they are forcing things all the time. When you are in growth mode, you rely heavily on your conscious mind, especially for new tasks. Consciously trying to do things draws on a very limited amount of personal energy.
Our modern culture seems to want you to power through everything. If you can “Just do it”, you’re a modern day hero or heroine. Of course, you need to take action, but you shouldn’t have to be resilient all the time. Resilience is an admirable character trait, but nobody can sustain having to be resilient as a permanent state.
Life is not meant to be an endurance contest. Having to will your way through everything is not sustainable, which is why #4 is so important…
4. Create Winning Environments
When it comes to your environments, there is a 2-way exchange of energy.
- You become a reflection of your environment, and
- Your environment becomes a reflection of you.
Jim Rohn’s quote
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
is a perfect example of your environment at work. The implication that you become a reflection of your relationships is clear – surround yourself with negative people, and you become negative. Surround yourself with positive people, and you become positive. At the same time, they are becoming a reflection of YOU.
There is a constant pushing and pulling between you and your environments, whether you are aware of it or not. The winning approach is to consciously design your each of your personal environments so that they pull you forward.
Here’s a few examples of things you can do in your Mind, Body and Relationship Environments:
- Start a meditation practice. If you’re unsure how to meditate, I recommend www.headspace.com for meditators of all levels. I love the guided meditations and I also love that they are curated in “packs” like Stress, Anxiety, Depression and on the lighter side Creativity, Focus and Patience.
- Make room for creativity. It undoes the effects of stress on your brain. There is no accident as to why adult coloring bookshave caught on the way they have. If you think that coloring is not as creative as your creative pursuit that you don’t make time for, give it a try. You’ll be basking in a world of color combining and near meditation before you know it.
- Exercise. Move it. This is the only environment where powering yourself out your front door on a regular basis is good for you. Do it often enough and you won’t be wondering where all of your energy went. Just do it.
- The relationship environment is a powerful environment at the best of times and a tricky environment at the worst of times. When you are stuck in the gap between effort and results, it’s important that you do not isolate! Be in touch with positive, like-minded people who support your efforts and want to see you succeed. Your real tribe will always welcome you, struggling, or not. Remember – “The average of the five people who you spend the most time with.” If those five people are Frustrated You, Anxious You, Overwhelmed You, Bitter You, and Angry You, the journey isn’t likely to get easier any time soon.
5. Get Help From Someone Who Has Gone Before You.
If you try to reinvent the wheel, your time in the gap between action and results will be prolonged. And miserable.
The problem is that if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably fiercely independent (just like me), and don’t like to ask for help (just like I used to be). Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness! Investing in help is a sign of faith in yourself and your future. There will always be people who appear to go it alone and create tremendous results. If you ask them, they will tell you of a coach, trainer or mentor who helped them become more than their wildest dreams.
On page 5 my free eBook 7 Core Strategies to Move Forward After a Significant Crisis, I included a section called Assembling Your Professional Support Team with a list of helping professionals and the following 5 tips for finding the best fit for you:
- Ask for referrals from people with similar experience and who share your values.
- Do research online, but don’t believe everything you read or see online.
- Pay attention to how you feel while you are working with, or being treated by your support team.
- Don’t restrict yourself to geography. Many services, like coaching, are now offered over the internet.
- You may have to try more than one of each type of practitioner.
- Always remember the ultimate responsibility for your results lies with you.
6. Find and Express Gratitude For What Is.
There is something different and attractive about people who can maintain an attitude of gratitude, even in the most challenging circumstances. How you respond when you are being challenged by your desire for more is important.
Remember to be grateful for the good in your life. Comparison and judgment leach the energy out of your consciousness because they are the opposite of gratitude. If you find yourself ruminating on the cud of lack, try to remember this:
You’ll have everything you want when you love what you already have.
Your time in the gap between action and results is your time to build character and be resourceful. It is also the time for you to master new skills, connect with new people, and explore how you respond when you are challenged. When you dared to dream and want more out of life, knowingly or not, you signed up for a personal growth journey. Welcome aboard! There’s plenty of room for all of us.