Ten Signs You’re Playing Full Out

Go Big or Go Home

Photo credit: Sean Malarkey

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.” — Helen Keller

Ask someone if they’re fully committed to their goals and they’re likely to say yes. But if you dig a little deeper, quite often their actions don’t really align with their highest intentions.

It’s understandable, really. Playing full out is uncomfortable. It’s easier to be reserved, skeptical even. Hedge your bets.

New York City Ballet choreographer George Balanchine used to chide his dancers, “What are you saving it for, dear?” Somehow there’s an illusion of safety in holding back. But it is only an illusion.

Bringing your best effort to a project sets you up for the best outcome. And it doesn’t only impact you. It impacts others.

One of my mentors, author Barbara Stanny developed the list below as a guide to determine if you’re truly pushing yourself beyond your comfort zones. I’ve found it a helpful touchstone to show me where I’m fully committed and where I’m just kidding myself. It also reminds me that playing full out can be more exhilarating than scary.

  1. I know what I want and am committed to getting it. (And if I don’t know, I devote time and energy to figuring it out.)
  2. I am so focused on my vision that I don’t get distracted or scattered by irrelevant, draining, or conflicting tasks.
  3. I am willing to experience whatever it takes — defeat, embarrassment, even humiliation — to achieve what I want.
  4. I am always doing things I’ve ever done before and/or don’t want to do.
  5. I make at least one unreasonable (i.e. scary) request a week.
  6. I don’t say “yes” when I really want to say “no,” even if it means rocking the boat or upsetting another
  7. I regularly seek out support, and refuse to spend time with or discuss my dream with naysayers (even if they’re related).
  8. Every time I’m afraid to do something, I force myself to do it anyway. (And I catch myself when I try to justify not doing it.)
  9. I am rigorous about the thoughts that I think and the words that I use, making sure they’re positive, supportive, and appreciative (of myself and others).
  10. I take time to relax and pamper myself so I don’t burn out.

Barbara Wayman writes about living your best life now. Follow her on twitter here.