Why You Should Refer to Instagram for Quick (and Dirty) Solutions?

Why You Should Refer to Instagram for Quick (and Dirty) Solutions?

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Are you putting a Band-Aid over a bullet hole?

Last week’s blog about Consistency vs. Intensity had clients and readers contacting me with many “how to” questions.

There are two ways to answer “how to” questions:

  1. Band-Aid How-To and 
  2. Surgery How-To

Band-Aid How-to’s are ubiquitous, especially on social media. A Band-Aid response addresses the issue superficially and will often yield results in the short run. We love Band-Aid answers because they promise fast, if not always easy, solutions. They are the solution of choice for people who prefer Intensity to Consistency.

Band-Aid answers feel easier to apply and get a quick yes from us, but these “solutions” just help us kick the can down the road.

 

 

My clients, especially young adults, love gaining insights and awareness about their negative thought patterns and mindsets. But they are so quick to want to jump into the solutions. Just yesterday, a client in her thirties, after discovering she has a pattern of abandoning herself when faced with situations involving male authority, asked me, “What am I supposed to do with this realization? How do I change it?”

The Band-Aid answer would have been to provide her with a three-step solution, outlining precisely how she should behave next time, what she should say, and how to say it. There is a suitable place for this type of coaching, which frequently involves role-playing between the client and me.

I understand that past experiences can be helpful, but it's essential to acknowledge that future situations may present differently. Even if my clients and I rehearse strategies, they may not work in new scenarios. My clients must tap into their individual resourcefulness and higher wisdom to adapt to each unique circumstance.

I prefer offering a Surgery How-to that aims to solve patterns instead of just fixing them. Solving the root cause of the problem is like doing surgery to remove the source of pain or dis-ease, which ensures that issues caused by that pattern disappear for good, not just temporarily.

The very first step in Surgery How-to’s, always—and I mean always—requires us to slow down to deep reflection. We don’t love this part because it forces us to confront the significant costs of our negative patterns and experience challenging emotions like shame, regret, and sadness. The thing about patterns is that they often dictate our lives without us even realizing it. This is why Therapy is such a valuable tool.  Knowing what patterns consistently take us off course is the first step to changing them. 

For quick and dirty Band-Aid How-to’s on any subject I write about, please refer to Instagram. She’s much better at dispensing this particular flavor of advice than I am. But if you’re genuinely interested in learning how to shift to spending most of your time in Quadrant 1—High Consistency/Low Intensity, I have the following five steps to offer:

1. Live slow

Live slow so you set goals directly fueled by a personally meaningful purpose. This is what we mean by “knowing your why.” 

Most of us set goals without taking the time to do this preliminary work, and it’s the main reason we abandon the goal when we are inevitably faced with obstacles on the path to achieving it. 

If your present self isn’t formidably clear about the reason you are committed to the goal, your future self sure as hell won’t be.

 

2. Embrace boredom

Consistency requires us to learn to embrace boredom. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with this ability. 

However, if you are willing to practice and become friends with boredom, you can achieve any goal you set your mind to over time. 

Shane Parish speaks the truth when he shares, “98% of success is consistently doing boring things that no one sees. 2% is visible and exciting, so that’s all everyone talks about.”

 

3. Honor your calendar

Consistency is the raw material of habits. An action takes effort until it becomes a habit. Once it becomes a habit, it’s more difficult not to perform it than to do so. 

Therefore, Consistency needs a place to live on your calendar. Vagueness is the killer of Consistency. I’ll work out every day is a dream. I’ll work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8.00 am is a plan. 

It’s not a commitment until it’s on your calendar in black and white

If you don’t believe me, just look at the graveyard of past actions you planned to turn into habits. I bet they lived in your head—and still do.

 

4. Turn your goals into games

My Coach, Steve Chandler, is famous for saying, “Game, not Shame!”

He taught me that humans come alive around fun, and turning any goal into a game is far more effective than trying to force ourselves into action through shame. 

So many of us have this formula backward. 

We relentlessly shame ourselves, both through our internal dialogue and external conversations. We say things like, “I’m so lazy; I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” or “I can’t believe I did that again!” We hope to shame ourselves into positive actions, but all that leads to is another piece of cake, another Netflix binge, and another lost opportunity. 

My game of choice is simple but works beautifully. In a notebook beside my bed, I’ve created a physical chart with boxes to check off at the end of the day before I sleep. Some clients add motivators in the form of points and rewards that work well for them. I love creating a streak and doing everything possible to avoid breaking it.

 

 

 

5. Engineer your environment for success

There are many ways to manipulate your physical, mental, and emotional environment to change your behavior. The most effective way to achieve this goal is to surround yourself with people and groups that keep you lovingly accountable. A therapist, professional coach, and a group devoted to your goals are irreplaceable assets on our journey to become a person who lives and thrives in Quadrant 1. 

The mindset that cultivates Consistency is what Simon Sinek calls the Infinite Game mindset. Over time, actions we repeat again and again become habits. 

Our Habits decide our Identity. 

In other words, we are what we do repeatedly. This is why doing the work of shifting your mindset and, ultimately, your identity from being the type of person who looks for shortcuts, hacks, and quick strategies to the type of person who is in the game of life for the long run—the kind of person who looks for the Surgery How-To’s because she has the decade, and not just the day, in her sights—is essential.

Make a commitment to your Future Self by choosing to solve problems instead of just fixing them.

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