Recently, I wrote about the dark side of achieving and how much I love to-do lists. There's something so satisfying about crossing things off as they get done. Being list-driven, however, has a negative side that can keep you limited and focused on tasks and activities, leaving little to no space for thinking, feeling and operating beyond the limited bubble of daily life. High achievers are pretty damn good at giving themselves tasks and getting them done. What they aren't so good at is making time and space for the activities that create huge rewards even if those rewards can't be measured. You know a whole lot about what to do and leave little space to identify what not to do. But that's really where your work begins when you are trying to make a shift in your life.
That's why I'm introducing the To Don't list.
We all walk around with loads of programming, patterns, and habits that are so ingrained in how we operate that we don't necessarily register them consciously. They are there in the background, dictating what we prioritize, generally more focused on meeting the needs of everyone else and putting ourselves last. But how do you stop doing that when it's second nature? When the thought of taking a break or doing something for yourself triggers guilt and anxiety? And that's just the little stuff. Imagine the magnitude of impact the inability to self-prioritize has on the trajectory of your life. If you stay stuck in the patterns and programming, you can expect things to remain just as they are, or possibly to get worse if you're tolerating situations, circumstances, and relationships that aren't tenable.
How to stop? By identifying and being conscious of what is not moving you forward so you can stop doing it. Obviously, this is not a one-and-done deal. If you identify that being a people-pleaser is ruining your life, you can't simply wave a wand, say "I shall no longer people-please" and be magically cured of this tendency. It's taken you a long time to get to where you are, and it will require some undoing. But it won't take you nearly as long as you think if you are consistent and committed to being conscious and interrupting your patterns instead of falling in line with them.
Don't get all overwhelmed considering the universe of To Don'ts you have to engage in to get yourself to a more aligned way of thinking and behaving. Of course, there are many, but you don't need to do them all right now.
There are a handful of high priority things to stop doing that will start to move you forward in a powerful way.
I'll be sharing some game-changing To Don'ts in my book, but for now, you can get your starter list by clicking subscribe and get it delivered straight to your inbox.