Success is the Consistent Repetition of Deliberate Actions Towards a Goal

Success is the Consistent Repetition of Deliberate Actions Towards a Goal

I’ve been repeating myself a lot lately.

Success is the consistent repetition of deliberate actions towards a goal.

I’ve been repeating myself a lot lately. [That isn’t a typo.]

At some point I realised that the voice inside my head was a right bitch [you know the one, it sounds a LOT like your own voice and you are in constant dialogue with it]. That bloody voice kept telling me I wasn’t good enough, that people didn’t like me, that I was hideous to look at, that I added absolutely zero value to the planet or society… I could go on but I think you get the idea.

You spend more time talking to yourself in your head than you do speaking to anyone else in the world.

Let that sink in for a second.

You spend more time talking to yourself in your head than you do speaking to anyone else in the world. [Again, not a typo.]

Ask yourself this: if you spoke to your friends out loud IRL the way you speak to yourself in your head in private, would your friends stick around?

Mine definitely wouldn’t.

So why do you speak to yourself that way?

My voice became such a bitch that I stopped seeing my friends. I would cancel plans in favour of staying at home and hiding under my duvet/blanket/behind the curtains. Eventually, it got so bad that I found it a struggle to leave the house alone. [Sometimes I even found it a struggle to stay at home alone.] Shit got dark. The world went black. And it would have been very quiet, except for that fucking bitch inside my head. She didn’t half go on.

Well once I’d identified that she was the problem, and maybe I would be better off without her, I set about taking the necessary steps to kill her off.

It wasn’t as violent as it sounds.

In fact, it was pretty slow progress and hard work. But I persevered. Because success is the consistent repetition of deliberate actions towards a goal. [See what I did there?]

I found several ways of quieting the negative voice in my head. Here is one of them.

I broke down every single event that made me anxious [which let’s be honest here, was everything from choosing my breakfast to actual social events] into tiny little stages.

And I CONGRATULATED myself each time I achieved one tiny little stage. This is the crucial part. Congratulating yourself. Being kind to yourself. Giving the voice in your head new words to use so that she stops being a bitch all the time [and hopefully eventually she stops being a bitch all together, but one step at a time, I am not quite there yet!]

I knew that to combat my depression and anxiety I needed to spend time outside, and I needed to exercise. I don’t really like exercise, my boobs hinder me and I am just not built for too much bouncing around. But outside appeals immensely, so I decided walking would be good enough. Being as I didn’t even want to leave the house, I didn’t see the value in trying to force myself to run, jump or skip around, when in fact being in public was a trial enough.

So, safe in the knowledge that I couldn’t possibly stay inside for the rest of my life, and feeling that I probably didn’t want that anyway [somewhere deep down inside I still loved a good tree and a bit of grass] I set about figuring out how to get myself out of the front door.

Step one: put on your shoes.
Step two: find your keys.
Step three: open the front door.
Step four: step outside.
Step five: shut the front door.

[I’m not kidding. This is what happened in my head whenever I left the house. And I paused between each step to acknowledge and congratulate myself for accomplishing it. Sincerely. “OK well done. Another step done. Keep going. You can do this. You’re doing great.”]

Step five: get in the car.
Step six: turn on the car.
Step seven: drive to National Trust car park.
Step eight: park.
Step nine: turn off the engine.

[Sometimes at this point I would just sit there in the car for a bit and not even attempt to open the door. But never did I allow that bitch in my head to tell me I was doing a bad job. I was doing a fucking amazing job. I had left the house!!! I had accomplished nine whole things to get here! I was an absolute boss. Go me!

Step ten: get out of the car.
Step eleven: walk away from the car.
Step twelve: keep going for as long as you can. Breathing. Concentrating only on the moment. Asking yourself ‘Am I ok in this moment?’ [Usually resulting in a response of ‘yes’]
Step thirteen: return to the car whenever you want to.

Sometimes I only managed to achieve step one. And some days that was a bloody big achievement – being dressed with my shoes on. And I acknowledged that as an achievement. Congratulations me! You got one step closer to leaving the house than you thought you would today! Woohoo!

The only rules were that I had to try, and that I had to be kind to myself.

Well it worked. And this can be applied to everything, not just leaving the house to go for a walk. In order to be successful at anything, you must practice, repeat positive actions, deliberately, and with varying degrees of effort. Some days it is easy, other days it is fucking hard. But you just have to keep moving forward, tiny step after tiny step. Especially on the days where you feel like you’ve gone backwards! That’s ok. Success is not a straight line. Success is the consistent repetition of deliberate actions towards a goal.

And even now, when I feel that anxiety trying to creep back in and that bitchy little voice trying to whisper in my ear, I break it down. I bring myself back to the moment, and I say something kind to myself.

This happens every week. Even now. It is nowhere near as bad as what it used to be, because I identify it when the bitch is merely a whisper and the anxiety is still a tiny knot in my stomach. I get my toolkit out and I cut that evil witch down and I build myself back up. And I am kind to myself.

I tell you that I still use this technique [and several others] every week because I want you to know that the road is long and winding, but it is BRIGHT. I’m sure I will be using that toolkit my entire life, but that is ok. Because I’ll never let it get that dark again. And my life is full of light now, and so am I.

I overcame some of the worst times in my life using just the power of my thoughts. By gritting my teeth and repeating myself over and over I became successful. My goals have changed now. I mastered getting out of bed and leaving the house, now my goals are slightly bigger. But I still use the same toolkit and the same technique.

Success is the consistent repetition of deliberate actions towards a goal.

Do you have any techniques like this that you use to work towards your goals? Please share them in the comments or send them to me directly if you’d rather remain anonymous in the group.

Big love and bright light xxx

6 Comments

  1. Lauren
    05/12/2016 / 7:23 pm

    Sian,

    Firstly, congratulations! I don’t suppose when you were in those times of almost complete darkness you could have ever imagined you’d be where you are now. Not only sharing your story but also using your journey to inspire others. So, from someone other than the voice in your head, well done!

    Secondly, thank you. It’s hard when you’re in those dark times and you see so many other people living their lives-seemingly without bumps or demons and everything feels as though you’re the only one who can’t ‘just’ get their shit together. Thank you for sharing, turns out I’m not the only one who hides in their house talking away to the bitch in their head.

    I often imagine a world where everyone was more understanding, more forgiving, everyone loved a little more and judged a little less. Maybe one day I’ll be able to let go of my anxieties and not worry about anyone else’s opinion of me as long as I’m happy with who I am. Maybe baby steps will get me there.

    Anyway…loved your first blog post and I will definitely be back.

    Lots of love xxx

    • sianpeters
      Author
      08/12/2016 / 12:48 pm

      Lauren! Thank you so much for sharing. Truly means a lot to have connected with you <3

      I go through a cycle continuously - positive to negative. While it is not anywhere near as dark as it was, I still have to quiet down the witch on my shoulder. It's a process, a journey, and I don't think anyone is ever in a constant state of bliss, and really how boring would that be anyway. I have learnt my most important and profound lessons from the darkness and the struggles.

      Do not compare your 'behind the scenes' to someone else's 'highlights reel'. Comparison is the worst. That's why I try to put out positivity on social media, in case someone needs to see it, and also because what you put out there comes back to you <3

      I do the work every day, that is all we can ever do. I put in the work every day, and some days that keeps my head above water, and other days I am flying in the clouds. But every day it is work.

      You are enough, you are special, you are here for a purpose and you're going to be just fine. Baby steps, sister xxxxxx

  2. Patrick
    08/12/2016 / 4:47 am

    Great message. Working on self compassion, being present, and overcoming negative self talk and anxiety. Appreciate your blog.

    • sianpeters
      Author
      08/12/2016 / 12:41 pm

      Thanks Patrick! So glad you enjoyed it <3