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  • The Self Esteem Trap

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    trap

    Results are important, but you are not your results.

    And there is a great risk in attaching your self-esteem to your results.

    The risk is that if you allow your self-esteem to be determined by the results you are experiencing, then it will always be volatile as it fluctuates with the inevitable ups and downs of life.

    It becomes a self-esteem trap because when results are coming in, you feel great about yourself. But when they are not, you feel terrible.

    Ultras performers don’t want that. They are much more interested in consistency. And they have the perspective of knowing there are good days and challenging days.

    Instead of allowing their confidence to ebb and flow, they have developed a different strategy than most people.

    They put their self-esteem into their work habits rather than their production.

    They derive their confidence from focusing on things they can control rather than the things they can’t.

    Results in most walks of life are things that we can influence, but they often aren’t things that are fully in our control.

    It’s not solely in our control as to who wins and who loses, who buys and who doesn’t, how certain things are valued, or the exact financial balance that is left at the end.

    You don’t want to have extreme highs and lows. You want steady, consistent, positive direction.

    In addition to volatility, the other weakness of having self-esteem tied to results is it causes us to under perform.

    Because when results are poor we often feel undeservedly bad. And it affects the confidence by which we work and thereby lowers the effectiveness of our work and the likelihood we will produce positive results.

    Similarly, when results are pouring in and we are “winning” we also need to be careful about feeling uncharacteristically proud of ourselves. Positive results can be a source of complacency for someone who has their self-esteem tied to their performance. Not to mention that sometimes results come in by way of luck, circumstance, or positive changes in the market rather than by way of our own efforts.

    The best baseline then is to put your self-esteem into your work habits rather than your results.

    You want to be a person who lays it all out on the line every day.

    You do your dead level best regardless of whether or not the results are coming in.

    You are consistently and dogmatically focused on doing what you know how to do and controlling what you can control.

    You know that the challenging days are just a part of the journey to great performance and that the great days are fleeting and that they both come and go.

    But you have faith, and trust, and confidence that if you do your best, and you focus on simply putting in the work over and over each day, then over time you will win.

     

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.  Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine. 


  • Fuel Your Fire

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    It’s easy to look at other people’s success and be jealous.

    Sometimes it’s not even envy that shows up, but more of just frustration with your own situation or your own progress. Because you see where they are and you know that you’re capable of the same thing.

    But that gap of dissatisfaction doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It can be incredibly compelling and highly motivating for you on your journey.

    You just have to remember two things:

    First, other people haven’t taken the same route as you have to get where they are. They may have been more focused, had different mentorship, more specific training, or just plain started earlier than you did. And you can’t compare your chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 9. Instead, you can gain perspective by evaluating the “trajectory” that you’re on.

    Don’t compare where you are today to someone else’s yesterday. Think about where the course you’re currently on is going to lead you. Very often you will find that if you are making good choices now, that you are inevitably headed toward the same eventual destination.

    Secondly, and more importantly, you have to quickly realize that there is no benefit in wallowing in what you do not have.

    It brings no value to your life to think about what you have not yet accomplished.

    And it does nothing to speed up your progress by looking at what others have achieved that you haven’t yet.

    Unless…

    It drives you and inspires you to do the only thing you can do: work.

    As soon as you realize there’s more you want to accomplish, then you should immediately activate.

    You go to work.

    You decide that you’re not ok with that gap.

    You decide that it’s not acceptable for you not to achieve those same things with your life.

    And you decide that you will find a way to do whatever it takes to accomplish those achievements that you want.

    It’s not about what other people have that you don’t.

    It’s about seeing other people’s accomplishments that you believe are meant to be possible for your own life too.

    And when you see them, you feel that gap. You feel that dissatisfaction. You feel that space that you were meant to fill.

    You don’t get jealous. You don’t get envious.

    You simply get to work.

    Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 27 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data.

    Additionally, as the founder of the Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD), his insights on improving self-discipline, overcoming procrastination and enhancing productivity have been featured on Fox and Friends, Oprah radio, CNN and in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc and Success Magazine.


  • The Beauty of Work

    Guest Post By: Rory Vaden

    I’m not sure where I got this idea from, but a substantial amount of the stress I’ve experienced in my life was the result of me thinking that “leisure” and “retirement” were the ultimate goals of a happy life.

    Maybe it was from the baby boomer mindset of “if you work hard enough then one day you get to retire!”

    Maybe it was the entrepreneurial dream of my venture capital friends saying “it only takes one great idea and you can be rich by the time you’re 30!”

    Maybe it was the escalator mentality of an entitled younger generation always convinced there is a “shortcut” or an easy way.

    Whatever it was though that gave me the idea that permanent leisure was the ultimate goal in life was incredibly wrong.

    –> Click here to continue reading.