Get Out And Stay Out Of The Weeds
Most successful people spend a lot of time in the weeds.
So how is it that we vision something more significant for ourselves than where we are at this moment?
The very first thing is to get out of the weeds.
Being in the weeds has to do with a golf ball landing in the “rough”.
The rough is the long grass off the fairway, and this long grass makes it hard to play your ball as you run the risk of falling behind.
Getting in the weeds is a golf metaphor for losing control and being overwhelmed.
The more you have going on then, the busier you are, and the more time you can spend in the weeds.
To see something more significant for yourself, the critical step is to get out and stay out of the weeds.
Are you stuck in the weeds?
Do you find yourself working incredibly hard, while at the same time feel like you are not getting much done?
When your day ends, do you find yourself saying, “I didn’t get to what I wanted/needed to do today, but there is always tomorrow.”
And then without surprise, you utter the very same words the next day? And the day after that too?
Don’t you feel like this person? I know I do.
You wake up, brush your teeth, make a cup of tea, feed the kids, pack the lunches, get them to school, get to work, text your friends, get coffee, feign interest, answer emails, update Facebook, avoid the meeting, make a few calls, look busy, crunch some numbers, update Facebook, get in the car, collect the kids from after-school club, feed the dog, check email, update Facebook, kiss your partner, climb into bed, fool around.
Are you kidding?
Just turn off the lights.
I’m too busy. How can I ever see something more significant for my life, I have kids to take care of and when I have a business to run when?
You have to gain control of your life, you need to get out of the weeds.
We are all meant to live a life of greater meaning and purpose.
It may seem as though there is no way out of the weeds. And sometimes it truly is unavoidable.
However, in most cases, this condition is not only self-imposed but self-perpetuated.
“That is crazy!” You might say.
“You think I am choosing this?”
Yes, you may be choosing this, maybe not consciously, perhaps not intentionally.
I won’t apologise for being blunt. I am on a mission to help you figure out what you want to do with your life and to get it done.
A life of purpose beckons to us each day.
When we answer that call, we feel invigorated, energised, and deeply gratified.
And when we procrastinate and resist, we are overwhelmed, tired and frustrated.
Stuck in the weeds.
We don’t always realise when we stray off course until we find ourselves stuck in the weeds, becoming stagnant and increasingly irritated with our lives and ourselves.
This can happen in our professional or personal life when a project or endeavour takes us past our comfort zone and into procrastination.
It can happen in critical conversations when we skirt around the real issues and stay mired in trying to save face or placing blame.
Or it can happen in relationships when we resist taking things to a deeper level and play it safe instead.
And it happens in our lives when we trade our dreams and visions for doing what gets us by.
And then we go through the motions of staying busy instead of doing what we are really meant to do.
The problem is about RESISTANCE.
Resistance occurs when we face something that we fear will lead to pain or discomfort.
It has us focusing on all the things that could go wrong rather than all that we have to gain by moving forward.
Resistance conjures up a multitude of negative emotions.
Embarrassment, betrayal, inadequacy, defeat, fear, humiliation, abandonment.
You name it, and these negative emotions have us engaging in anything we can to avoid experiencing them.
Resistance intends to have us play it safe. Planning, controlling, preparing, and orchestrating.
Resistance urges us to cling to the familiar, even if the familiar is unpleasant.
It leads us to control our emotions rather than merely feeling and experiencing them.
Here are five steps to get out and stay out of the weeds.
These steps will overcome the resistance that stops you from living the life you were meant to live.
(1) Take responsibility.
When we are in the weeds, it is usually the result of an earlier decision we made to stay in our comfort zone.
Sometimes, these decisions could have been made in default, like the kind of choice we make when we choose not to make a decision.
When we make the decision to play small, then we get distracted by anything that will keep us there.
We blame the distractions for taking us off course, but the reality is that they are the outcomes of what we have decided to focus our attention on. Often these decisions are made at an unconscious level.
No one else is responsible but you.
Taking responsibility is vital because, without it, we relegate ourselves to being a victim and convince ourselves that we are immobilised and powerless.
When we see beyond this self-imposed illusion, we recognise that we always have the opportunity and ability to reselect.
Envision the state you would like to be in at any given moment.
Get your head out of the weeds and look at the horizon.
What do you really want for yourself?
What do you want to create?
What do you want to feel?
What do you want to experience?
This might be a matter of remembering the goals you set for the last time you paused long enough to focus on them. Perhaps it is creating or revisiting or your vision for your personal and professional life.
It could be identifying what you would like to be experiencing in this moment.
Whatever it is, you need to make it real for yourself.
Fully step into it.
Flesh it out.
Take a moment, and remember the last time you felt whatever it is you want to experience and relive it once again. I can’t stress this enough, it really helps.
That means seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard, tasting what you tasted and feeling what you felt.
Talking it over with people who believe in you and inspire you and can help you to reconnect with what you genuinely want and breathe new life into it.
Write it down and move deeper and deeper into it. Revisit what you wrote and re-read it and add more as it comes to you.
(3) Commit to yourself.
There is a massive difference between wishing and committing.
You can hope for a better life. You can want a great relationship and a bright future.
Or you may be interested in learning to do something different, trying something new, creating something exciting and fun.
All this is great, and useless for keeping you out of the weeds, that is, until you commit, until you make that empowering decision.
Committing is making a decision to live the life you want to live.
The life you have imagined.
It is about expressing and embracing all that you are without allowing anything to get in your way.
It is not about being anything that you are not.
Scottish mountaineer and writer William Hutchinson Murray wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness“.
Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
To commit to yourself means dealing with challenges, facing fears, accepting love, embracing diversity, and being comfortable to feel all emotions.
It means confronting many things that we might have run away from for a long time.
This is a willingness to step up and commit fully to what you want to do with your life.
You will be afraid of the emotions as they come up, but remember all it is, is an emotion. As human beings, we are meant to feel, it’s not a normal process for us not to feel emotion.
(4) Let go.
We are brought up with the misconception that to get anything done, we need to get out there, be bold, and make things happen.
Consequently, we spend a lot of time pounding square pegs into round holes and planning our next steps by reacting to things in our past.
Uncertainty makes us uncomfortable, and we live a big chunk of our lives mitigating uncertainty by controlling everything in our power.
But the future is by definition, uncertain.
And our attempts to maintain control keep us stuck in the familiar, resistant to moving beyond the expanse of what we think we know.
The real power lies in admitting that we do not have all the answers and are ready and willing to learn.
We begin listening to new information and asking more critical questions.
Throughout the history of time, this is what the most celebrated artists, inventors, musicians, scientists, and geniuses in all fields have done. It requires that we tune in to a new way of knowing, one that goes beyond the need to figure everything out.
When we balance our logic with intuition and take one step at a time, we learn to feel our way to where we want to go.
And that is so much better than having to figure everything out in advance.
The resistance we experience when we embark upon something new and extraordinary is our fear of the unknown.
Our resistance would have us conjure up a show stopper as the worst-case scenario.
And this stops us when we believe we wouldn’t be able to handle it.
A leader’s job is to instil confidence in others.
To have your people believe that they all have what it takes to rise up to any challenge they may be faced with.
To believe that they can overcome any obstacle in our path.
There is a simple law that needs to be applied here, we need to do this for ourselves before we can do it for others.
Being willing to let ourselves flow with the current requires trust in something bigger than ourselves, something that is working for our highest good.
It requires faith
Moreover, it requires faith in ourselves and our ability to persevere, to adapt and to thrive in any environment we find ourselves placed in.
To find this trust and faith, we can reflect on the events of our lives that have led us to the very point where we are today.
Regardless of the fear we may have experienced, the peril we faced, and the uncertainty we had to navigate through, we have arrived at the point we are now.
The sum of all of our experiences, whether pleasant or otherwise, has prepared us perfectly for whatever lies ahead of us.
No doubt we will find ourselves in the weeds from time to time.
There is no shame in being in the weeds, in fact, you are free to stay there as long as you wish.
But when it dawns on you that living that way is no longer enough, and it will, you have the ability and the power to recommit, trust and let yourself flow with the current of adventure in your life.
A current that has the power to bring us to the realisation of all our greatest dreams and visions.
If this wasn’t enough to yank you out of the weeds or you would like more actionable steps to stay out of the weeds, then enrol in the free webinar, 5 Ways To Perform At Your Best.