“My life is my preparation.”
I’ll never forget the first time my mentor told me that.
“I’ve developed deep faith,” Mr. Jenkins said, “that everything I’ve experienced in my life – up until this very moment – will sufficiently support whatever I do in the next moment.”
That’s called trusting your resources.
Now, when I say “resources,” I’m referring to:
Your finest faculties.
Your resources. Got it?
Here’s how to trust them:
1. Recognize when the hay is in the barn. Remember cramming for college exams? You put in hours and hours of studying. And by the end of the night, you reach a point where you think, “Well, I guess if I don’t know the material now, I never will.”
That’s when the hay is in the barn. When there’s nothing else you can do to increase the probability of success except to call it a night. As my Virginia Tech friend Jim Flowers says, “Amateurs practice until they get it right – masters practice until they can’t get it wrong.”
That’s your barometer. Whatever you’re preparing yourself for, you’ll know when the hay is in the barn. That’s when you have to let everything go and trust your resources. Are you willing to call it a night?
2. Practice tapping your reservoir at a moment’s notice. First, you’ve got to grow your reservoir with constant water (inflow of inspiration and ideas) into your life. How many books did you read last month?
Second, this requires the confidence and vulnerability to trust your inner resources. Do you believe with all your heart that you can respond intelligently and immediately to whatever is said?
Finally, this takes practice and practice and practice. How often are you making yourself available for questions?
Just imagine: If you focus on living a beautiful, admirable and character-rich life – that you’ve consistently reflected upon – you won’t to have to steal the show because it will already be in your possession. What’s your preparation process?
3. Small victories first. To trust your resources is to have confidence in your abilities. To have confidence in your abilities is to celebrate past instances of those abilities bearing fruit.
Try this: Every morning during your daily appointment with yourself, make five entries into your victory log. Think back to yesterday: What did you conquer, beat, overcome or subside? Did you book a gig? Beat your personal best in the gym? Say no to that eighth piece of pizza?
Write it down. Do this every morning and your confidence (along with your trust) will soar. How often do you celebrate your victories?
4. Consciously quiet your mind and body. This allows your resources to come to the surface gloriously unimpeded, ready to explode. Without this stillness, it’s awfully hard to dig down deep and excavate your best stuff.
The secret is to develop a centering practice. “Being centered is a state, not a trait,” says author and psychotherapist Eric Maisel.
Your challenge is to create enough muscle memory that you can snap into stillness at a moment’s notice. It’s amazing what a little breathing can do to your ability to trust yourself. What’s your light switch of calm?
5. Summon massive, instant strength. Announce to yourself that you are well equipped with sufficient internal assets to be successful. Try phrases like, “I trust my resources,” “I am richly supported,” “I am equal to this challenge.”
To quote the aforementioned Eric Maisel, “The resources that you’re trusting are internal (brainpower, heartpower, accumulated experience), external (people), even cosmic (mysterious forces). And they guarantee nothing, but they allow for the possibility that you can perform in a creative, centered way.” How do you tap into your wellspring of inner strength?
6. I am the person who can do this. This sentence changed my life. Once I started affirming it to myself daily, I found trusting my resources to be substantially easier.
Keep in mind, however, that this practice isn’t without its efforts. Note well that I didn’t start reciting that sentence to myself until I was thirty years old. And that’s what made the technique so successful for trusting my resources: I superimposed the affirmation over ten thousand hours of practice.
As a result, I conquered anxious thoughts, reminded myself that I truly was prepared – then began to believe that the time had come to trust my skills, training and experiences and proceed with confidence. How will you remind yourself that you have what it takes to succeed?
7. Distill inner water. During a recent executive leadership retreat, one of my participants told me that by spending fifteen minutes writing her thoughts first thing in the morning, she found it exponentially easier to tap her reservoir of wisdom, experience and insight.
Almost like she was a performer and could be “on” right away, thus showing up with a stronger and more efficacious presence for her two hundred employees.
“I no longer to worry about responding ineffectively or incompletely to my staff because I’ve already clarified my thoughts on paper,” Sheila explained.
The answer is writing Morning Pages, every day. Do it for a week and you’ll experience noticeable, profitable changes almost immediately. After all, tickets to the What I Should Have Said Theater are extremely expensive. Have you been writing your morning pages?
REMEMBER: Don’t underestimate your resources.
They’re stronger than you remember.
All you have to do is trust them.
After all, your life is your preparation.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are your resources trustworthy?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, "35 Things You Simply Can't Do,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010
“My life is my preparation.”