What if I told you I could change your life in six weeks?
I'm talking big change -- your husband notices, your boss notices, even your kids notice. And so do you. You're more awesome at home, the office, with friends, everywhere in your life...
You in? Then keep reading, because I'm going to share a method I've used with thousands of clients, and in my own life, for designing the best version of you. Whether you're a parent, a CEO, a parent who is a CEO, or anybody in between, just follow my guidelines below, and I promise you that in six weeks, we will have rocked your world.
THE SECRET TO A BETTER YOU
Nobody's perfect. We all have crap that gets in our way -- aspects of our personality that quite frankly, suck. Let's call them "negative traits."
Negative traits come in all sorts of flavors -- impatient, mean, cold, steamroller, judgmental, intolerant, lazy, fake-nice, angry, sloppy, grumpy, late. Fact is, no matter how awesome you may be, everybody comes with some negative traits.
And if you're saying, "yes, but I already know mine, big whoop!" -- great. But what most people don't realize is how profoundly that stuff is sabotaging their happiness. Sure, you may know that you're impatient or judgmental or bossy, but most of us have no idea just how much a negative trait can run the show, get in your way, and kill your dream.
So how do we get that bad trait out of the driver's seat? The first step is to recognize that you've given it the wheel.
I'M ONE COLD YOU-KNOW-WHAT...
It was my sister Lauren who first broke it to me. We were chatting one day and she said, "Can you hear yourself? You are one Cold You-Know-What!" I laughed so hard that snot literally shot out of my nose. In my whole life, nobody had ever been that direct with me. What made it so funny was that I realized it was true. She was right. I'm totally a Cold You-Know-What.
But at that time, I was not walking around thinking, Man I'm cold. I should really do something about it. And that's because I had no idea it was having such a negative impact on me and everyone in my life. Like most of us, I was clueless.
That same night, one of our new employees called me at 8:30 p.m. I was totally annoyed; it was late, I was tired, and trying to finish work. But I picked up the phone anyway, answered her questions, and hung up as soon as I could. And in my mind, that was totally normal. What was she thinking calling so late and bothering me?
The next day I got an email from Lauren, who had spoken to the new employee. Lauren asked if I been a Cold You-Know-What on the phone last night, and I replayed our conversation. It was true! I was all business, abrupt and cold -- totally insensitive to the fact that this was a new employee trying to figure out her new job. Unbeknownst to me, my Cold You-Know-What left his poor woman feeling like she wasn't appreciated or respected. Not my proudest moment.
This was certainly not the kind of woman, or boss, I wanted to be. And if I was doing it to her, I knew that chances were I was doing the same thing with my daughter, my friends and family. Our traits don't just pop up at the office, they follow us everywhere we go. So I entered into battle. It was time to stop letting my Cold You-Know-What have access to the driver's seat. It was time to take it down.
Most of us have an inkling what our bad traits are. But if you don't, ask around. Your friends, kids, spouse -- every one of them knows your bad traits! Simply ask someone you love and trust. Believe me, they'll be thrilled to help.
Once you've chosen a trait to take down, follow the same homework Lauren gave me: become a detective. For two solid weeks, write down every single time your trait shows its ugly head. Set a timer on your phone to remind you. And be warned, it's going to be hard.
At the end of those two weeks, I promise you, you'll find evidence of that bad trait everywhere. I found that I was cold to my daughter, to sales clerks, to my employees. Basically, if you got within 10 feet of me, there was a risk of feeling my chill. I couldn't believe how bad it was. Or how blind I had been. But thanks to that detective work, I could now see just how much my Cold You-Know-What was running the show, impacting everyone and everything in my life.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
After you've logged your trait, it's time to connect the dots. Look for clues about this trait is in your parent's behavior. Negative traits are often lovingly passed down from parents to kids; chances are, one or both of your parents has some form of your trait. This isn't about blame or finger pointing. This is about understanding where you come from so you can evolve.
I found my Cold You-Know-What in both my parents. After a long weekend with my kids, my mother would drop them off and say, "Here, have them. I need a vacation from my vacation!" right in front of them -- giving them the impression that she didn't have a nice time with them. My dad does it in his own way, too. He's a lawyer, and totally "all business." He used to hide out in the other room when my mother's friends came over. Not even a simple hello. The message was a chilly, "I'm busy." Just like me on the phone that night with our new employee.
I grew up on the receiving end of my parents Cold You-Know-What, so I knew exactly how it felt. Yet here I was pulling the same crap. And recognizing that about myself was really powerful, because that behavior is so not who I want to be.
READY TO ROCK
Now, I couldn't just up and stop being a Cold You-Know-What. I had been one my whole life. You can't just turn that crap off. To change, you need a practice in place. Specifically, you need to make a promise about how you're going to behave.
I promised that if I was a Cold You-Know-What, I had to apologize within 24 hours. I did this for two weeks, and found myself apologizing all over the place. Instead of a cold chill, I was giving people my heart.
After two weeks, I added another promise to step up my practice. Three times per day, I had to do something loving. Be generous with my heart, or my time, or take care of a friend, family member or coworker. And let me tell you, EVERYBODY noticed. I was a more loving mom, a better daughter, sister, and leader at work. I got closer with my daughter, and even my parents. And I liked myself better.
If you want to guarantee that it sticks, put in a consequence for each promise. This is not a punishment per se, but rather something you have to do to hold yourself accountable. If you break your promise, give up cream and sugar in your coffee for a week, or lose your lovely glass of wine at dinner. Share your consequence with a friend, your spouse, your kids -- they will help keep you in check, because they're invested in you winning!
And the best part? Doing this work will make you unbelievably proud and happy, because there's simply no better feeling than knowing you're rocking the best version of you.
Committing to this type of honest evaluation and focused action is the key to upgrading any area of your life, and the foundation of the work we teach through the Handel Method®. Come to our 12-Week Design Your Life Tele-Course and learn how to put these tools in action to consciously create the life of your dreams, as the person you want to be.
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