How to achieve all of your goals in life by following this one simple rule.
Iwas scrolling through the place I always go when I’m either trying to kill five minutes or want some great inspiration that can change my life (Instagram) when I stumbled upon a video by Kobe Bryant that opened up my eyes to something that I had been doing for some time now but never realized it.
It was a highlight of one of Kobe Bryant’s clips with him giving inspiring talks about his life and what he was able to accomplish, and he started it off by saying “Don’t look at what I did, but look at the way I did it.” That was really the part of the video that was inspiring to me, but it was a great line that instantly got my attention.
He then went on to share a number of different great one-liners or phrases that should be inspiring in themselves, but he implied something that I gather from it that created a thought that has been somewhat transformational over the last month like nothing I’ve experienced up to this point before.
He was talking about how he wrote a contract with himself when he was 13 and how when he signed that contract, he was then committed to accomplishing what he wrote.
He said that, after he signed that contract, he would sometimes come back and try to talk to himself about maybe he committed to too much or maybe today he didn’t have to go through with all that he said because of “this, that, or the other,” and he ultimately said “NOPE.” He said he was going to do something, and, therefore, he was going to do it.
This immediately popped into my mind the concept of what I caught myself doing often when something became a bit challenging for me or there were barriers put in place that I did not expect that could give me pause for going through what I committed to in the first place.
Often I would look at these barriers and inevitably come up with a reason why I needed to adjust my commitment or do something different than I had originally committed to and this was part of the reason that I wasn’t able to be successful with some of my endeavors in the long run.
This ultimately popped into my mind the phrase, “Stop negotiating with yourself,” and it was like a light bulb went off as this being the tool that would help keep me focused and committed in the future.
What is your Lesser-Self
To understand what your Lesser-self is, we must first get a sense of what is Greater-self.
Your Greater-self is typically that person you become when something happens and you have 100 mental clarity of what you need to do to create the life you desire. For some, it is right after they watch, read, or listen to something motivational. It is that moment inside of them in which something earns for them to be more than you are and greater than their current circumstances.
For others, it can be when they hit rock bottom and look around at where their current actions have gotten them and then they make a commitment of what they are going to do to ensure their future decisions will lead to something different and better than their current situation.
When this occurs, often the ideas that we produce and the level of commitment that we truly feel at that one moment in time are as strong and clear as anything else in our lives. Our willingness and desire to do whatever we are committing to in the future is at an all-time high, and if we follow through with our plans from that moment forward, there is little doubt that the goals for which we desire to achieve will be accomplished.
On the flip side, your Lesser-Self is the exact antithesis of this, in that it is the version of yourself that will try to get you to not follow through with all of these commitments and will consistently try to convince you that you are asking more of yourself than is necessary.
Whereas your Greater-Self is going to ask you to leave no room for the possibility of you not succeeding by committing to an almost maniacal level, your Lesser-self is going to try to convince you that don’t need to go to that level of extreme and if you give a minimum effort you’ll be “just as good.”
How does it work?
Basically, negotiating with your Lesser-self relates to anytime you are in a position in which find yourself wanting to go back on a commitment that you made or make something easier than what you originally committed.
This is similar to what I wrote about in the past relating to your Moment of Discomfort (MOD). That one moment that you experience in which something starts to become a little uncomfortable for you and you are at the crossroads of if you continue on with the commitment that you are making or you decide to give up and move on.
That moment is everything because often if you are able to get through with it, you’ll find yourself on the other side of success and things being a bit easier the next time you come to that moment.
However, the difficulty of that MOD can be rather challenging at times, and getting through it may not always be the easiest thing to do. In our minds, when we begin to talk to ourselves about why we deserve something or why something needs to be reconsidered, we are geniuses at using our emotional logic to explain why we need to make things easier on ourselves.
What the phrase, “Stop negotiating with your Lesser-Self” does is that it shuts down the thoughts of even considering listening to this person. Calling this person by its correct name — your LESSER-Self — you are framing into reference who makes the better decisions for your life, and it’s not this person.
As the phrase goes, don’t negotiate with terrorists. You have to think of your Lesser-Self as a terrorist who makes arguments with emotional logic.
Remember, your EL can be very strong as it relates to you talking yourself out of doing something that you’ve committed to or are supposed to do, so you have to be prepared with an argument using this as its base appears.
Your body doesn’t want to do something that is going to be scary or could potentially hurt so when given the opportunity to talk itself into not doing it, it is going to take that route.
Therefore, you have to prevent this from happening by not even allowing the conversation to begin. We only have so much willpower as human beings, and if you allow your Lesser-self to constantly have a thread that runs in your head trying to explain to you why you should or shouldn’t do something, then there is a good chance that eventually it will get through by saying the exact right phrasing of words that will make you reconsider.
It’s comparable to that ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who you know is no good for you, but you keep allowing them to come around and try to convince you they are. The more you allow them to talk to you and give you a different way of looking at things the more likely you are going to be to take them back.
By not “negotiating” with your Lesser-self, you are closing the door on the conversation and not allowing the argument to even reach your ears to influence you to go back on your commitment.
By doing so, you then don’t have to worry about needing the willpower to resist the word of your emotional logic. You only need the willpower to close the door completely and not even allow the words to hit your ears for consideration.
This is a much easier accomplishment.
How do you do it?
The truly only thing you need to do is whenever the thought comes in your head that encourages you to reconsider something that you already thought through and committed to doing, you only need to mentally (or audibly if needed) say one simple word to shut it down…NOPE.
Use this one word to shut down your mind from trying to force you to go back on your word and go back on your commitment to what you are going to achieve.
Anytime something goes against what you said you were committing to in your daily goals for your life…NOPE.
Anytime your brain wants you to do something that will not allow you to continue on the path of success to which you’ve committed…NOPE.
Anytime you are having a MOD that you know will ultimately make it more difficult for you to abstain from some addiction or stay committed to your workout plan…NOPE.
It’s all about completely turning down even the thought of going against what you said. You cannot negotiate with yourself. When you negotiate and start trying to explain why something is okay or “not that bad,” you are opening Pandora’s box to make things much easier on yourself and less likely for you to achieve your goals.
By closing this door of negotiation and not allowing the words to even hit your ears, you are greatly increasing your chances of staying focused, hitting your goals, and creating the life that you desire in the long run.
And while your Lesser-Self can be strong and will try to wiggle its ways back up to your door of consideration again, by having a firm NOPE and closing the door in its face, you’ll keep the terrorist outside of your house and keep your house of commitment intact and thriving.