In this article I’m looking at an important self improvement point, so I hope the point doesn’t get too muddy…
I took that photo on a lovely autumn woodland stroll here in Kent in the South East corner of Britain. The leaves were coming down, the conkers were coming down, the rain was coming down, so I decided to go lower down to get some different photo angles!
Some of the tracks on woodland paths can get *very* muddy with a bit of rain, and as I was going along pulling my feet out of the mud, I was thinking about the words I put over the top of the photo…
Are you a self improvement stick-in-the mud?
Self improvement, goal achievement, personal development, however we want to word the idea, being a stick in the mud is an easy thing to do.
I know I have been in my time. Oh yes. Indeed yes. Hang on though, what do I even *mean* by stick in the mud, why does it happen, and what can we do about it..?
Well, some people use that expression to describe someone who seem to not enjoy having fun, who is a bit prim and proper, old fashioned. I prefer, and certainly for the point of this article, to go with the meaning of being resistant to change, new ideas, and different ways of looking at things.
That’s because when it comes to self improvement (and yes, it’s the same for goal achievement and personal development), we are by definition thinking about moving from our current position to a different position.
That might be in any area – career, health, lifestyle, relationships, wealth.
If we stay as we are, then the change is not likely to happen. It might happen by random circumstance of course, but it won’t be something that we’ve direct by intentional action. It certainly won’t happen if we carry on as we are, if we’re stuck where are.
Being ‘stuck’ is a good way to describe it, because that’s how most people would think of themselves when comparing where they are now to where they’d like to be. The thing is though, and this is the key point, more often than not it’s ourselves keeping ourselves stuck!
We can see that different ways of doing things will get different results, we can see a path of action ahead of us, but when push comes to shove, we choose (and it is a choice), we choose to stay where we are. Stuck. In the mud.
Seems silly, doesn’t it, because we hold ourselves back from so many adventures, or even maybe it’s the smallest changes which would have a big impact on our daily lives, if only we didn’t doggedly stick to our current ways.
So, why do we do it, and what can we do about it..?
A big driver behind us doing this, is that we like routine. We like what we know, it makes us feel comfortable. Even if we know we’re not happy with the results, and strange as it may seem, we take comfort in knowing what the routine is.
Throw in fear of change, and knowledge of effort that might be required, and it’s just ‘easier’ to stick in the mud. It might be muddy, and we might be stuck, but it’s our mud, and we know what it is!
There’s another group of stick-in-the-muds, and these are people that do want to make changes, that want to move from their current position to a new one, but when they find out the difference in action they need to take to make progress, they refuse to take the different or new way, sticking instead to the same action they’ve taken before.
This gets them the same results, (no surprise there!), but because they’re convinced they know best, a stubbornness kicks in, so all the wheel spinning in the world won’t make any difference, because the wheels are just spinning in the same old direction.
So, what’s the solution? How do we stop being a stick in the mud?
The answer is a mix of acceptance and intention.
We need to take an honest look at our current situation, the action we’ve taken that has got us there, the action that we take to maintain it, and the action it will take to change things.
The acceptance comes when we accept that surroundings are a result of choices. We can’t control everyone and everything, of course, but we can control our choices, and once we accept the choices we’ve made, we can accept that it’s by choosing to take on the work, to make the effort, to take on the ‘risk’, that we make changes.
The intention comes in when we look at what we’re trying to change, and go back to ‘why’ we actually want to change. Do we really *want* to change? Is it a change that’s coming from the real us?
If not then that’s something we can address to make sure we’re not letting ourselves be driven by other people’s agendas.
Once we decide what ‘we’ really want, and the reasons behind it, this gives us a proper foundation of intention, so much so that we’re prepared to take on the action, to instigate change, and here’s the vital piece, that might mean doing things in a different way than we would want to ourselves!
Accepting that maybe we don’t know best. Accepting that our old ways will only bring the old results. Accepting that if someone is suggesting a new way that might be uncomfortable to us, it’s worth putting our pre-conceptions to one side and trying the different way.
That’s how we stop being a stick in the mud.
So, look to your own self improvement, your goal achievement, your personal development. Are you being a stick in the mud? If you are, take on the possibility of a new way of action. Take on the acceptance, get your intention in place, and then you’ll be out of the mud, and on your way!
Try it. It can change your life, it can transform it!
Ok, do let me know what you think as ever – I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If you want to break out of the stick-in-mud situation, then do watch my free video series covering my 8 step goal achievement formula!