I really do believe that consistency is at the heart of success, but I’m also aware that for many people, the concept of consistency is incredibly daunting and brings with it a ton of shame and anxiety.
The point I want drive home with this email, and the point that was also at the heart of this post on Instagram, is that consistency is something that you get to define for yourself.
By definition, the word consistent means: Unchanging in nature, standard, or effect over time.
There is no mention of speed, frequency, or duration.
Those are parameters that YOU get to set.
Now, I realize we you live in the information age, which means that we are constantly bombarded with solutions, often times to problems we don’t have, along with well-meaning professionals setting forth their parameters for being consistent.
Enter: The shame monster and its accomplice, anxiety.
From this barrage of solutions we internalize the message that we're supposed to do things a certain way, a certain number of times, at a certain frequency if we wish to succeed. Folks shame themselves if they can’t keep up with this regimen, and sometimes they don’t even start because of how much anxiety they have simply thinking about how unfeasible said regimen is.
Solution: Radical personal responsibility and acceptance.
You know what you can and cannot do. You know what is feasible and desirable for your lifestyle. You know what will actually work for you.
Be steadfast in your decisions, even if that means going against what the well-meaning professionals are saying, and then take responsibility for the outcome.
I realize that there is a degree of safety imparted by having these external parameters set for us. I urge you to consider that there is also safety when things are in your hands because whatever the outcome, you have the ability to change it if you don’t like it, because it’s dependent upon your actions, not someone else’s.
I recently had a phenomenal discussion with one of my business clients about this very concept, and she made a great point that I fully agree with, and that introduces some nuance the conversation. When starting new things, it can be helpful to have the steps laid out for us so that we can devote all of our energy into simply completing the steps, as opposed to having to spend energy identifying, creating, and then following the steps. This approach is fine, so long as we still take FULL responsibility for the outcome. We run into issues when choose to blindly follow steps, outsource our decision making, and then point fingers when we don’t get the results that we want.
This is the both/and.
Conserve energy by following suggestions that fit, and also take responsibility for the outcome of your actions.
Finally, as it relates to radical acceptance, the reality is that someone who is able to do something more frequently than you has a good chance of accomplishing something faster than you. That is just an objective fact. Accept it and move forward. Attempting to stick to a schedule that is beyond your means, or not even starting because you’re so overwhelmed by the thought of having to stick to said schedule, is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you never get any results at all.
A friend once told me, “You’re only behind if you’re running someone else’s race”. I hope that you take that message to heart the next time you find yourself in the comparison trap. (If you want to hear my solution for the comparison trap, click here to listen to Maestro on the Mic #386: How to Deal with Comparisonitis)
“Slow” results are still 100% more than no results.
The big take-home message: Consistency is at the heart of success, and is something that you get to define for yourself.
Run your own race.