Don’t Play Yourself: Being Honest about Action, Productivity & Effectiveness
No one likes a liar. But yet we all lie. Everyone knows the infinite reasons why no one likes a liar. But yet we even lie to ourselves. We may not admit it but it’s true.
Ok, I’ll go first: Hi, my name is Nia and I used to lie to myself all the time. I was so good at lying to myself that I didn’t even realize I was doing it. My lies of choice were about productivity. I’ve been lie free for over a year now, but I’m still discovering and disproving past lies everyday.
A few years ago, I had a heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind and soul-to-soul conversation with myself. Yes, it was that deep. I confessed what I had been doing and was honest about the results of my actions and how they made me feel. Eventually I got comfortable enough with my truth that I was able to share my story with friends and family. In doing so, I learned that I wasn’t the only person lying to themselves. I was told that the less harsh way to describe lying to ourselves is called “playing ourselves.”
Before I adopted this phrase, the logical analyst within me wanted to have a clear definition of it so I could explain it to other people. So I went were all intellectuals go: urbandictionary.com. To my surprise, the curse word free definition of “playing yourself” was as perfectly clever as most slang is. The phrase means to “Screw things up for yourself. Let yourself down. Betray yourself by acting in a way that’s opposite to your own interests or (conscious) intentions.”
We play ourselves the most when it comes to action, productivity and effectiveness. We all see and many of us read lots of articles on productivity. We buy products that are intended to increase our ability to live productive lives. This seems like a great idea, which is why we do it, but that’s all we do. We merely read the articles and books or attend the conferences and webinars. Short of talking about it, we never really do anything to take action, increase our productivity, or become extremely effective. We essentially show up and stop there.
SHOWING UP IS NOT REAL ACTION
I’ve heard that 80% of success is showing up. That’s a wonderful thought, but you don’t get credit for showing up. At least not from successful people. Being congratulated for showing up is essentially a way to make you feel good. It doesn’t mean anything. People “show up” to life every day and do nothing meaningful everyday. And the worst part of this reality is that many people don’t even know they are only showing up.
Are you getting a lot of tasks done but seeing no results?
Do you find that you don’t have time to do things that would create the life you desire because you’re busy with everything else?
Have you ever felt like Jessie Spano in that Saved by the Bell episode where she got addicted to caffeine pills?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, maybe, or sometimes then you are totally just showing up. Real action is the only thing you get credit for. Real action is the action that contributes something and doesn’t just take away. It’s the action that moves the needle, shifts the trajectory of your journey, or crystallizes your thoughts. Real action is an obvious but misunderstood prerequisite to success.
WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR MINDSET
Once we’ve shown up (80% of success) many of us also have to change our mindset to be successful. I like to think of changing your mindset as changing your perspective. Finding a new way or angle to look at obstacles you need to overcome. At a recent boot camp on building real estate businesses, I learned that changing your mindset accounts for 70% of the remaining 20% of what it takes to be successful. By my calculations that means that 14% of our total success effort has to go to changing our mindset.
WE STILL HAVE TO DO THE WORK
Nonetheless, success requires that you do the work (6%). Doing the work is where your effectiveness is tested. I think effectiveness and success are two sides of the same coin. They are the same in substance but differ in perspective. The recipient of your work is the best determinant of the effectiveness of your work. But you are the best determinant of whether your work equals success.
The best news is that once you’ve changed your mindset, all the work that seemed impossible when you were lying to yourself is magically possible. This is true not only because you’re being honest with yourself now, but also because you see things clearly now. You understand your truth, your abilities, and your desires. Being clear on this is what makes successful people willing to do the insanely hard work that it takes to become successful.
Did you find this piece helpful? If so, please follow me and hit the recommend (heart) button so other people can enjoy it also. I’d love to hear if anyone else realized they were playing themselves, so leave a comment. (My gut tells me I’m not the only one…)