Going against the norm to accomplish your goals

I’ve followed intuition more often and found a much better success rate

Photo by Jordan Scott on Unsplash

Whether you’re working on a personal or professional pursuit, there is a plethora of prescribed ways of doing things promising success.

It can be confusing and exhausting and in the end quite discouraging if we followed these suggestions and weren’t able to succeed at what we were trying to accomplish.

Now, I’m not referring to the wise suggestion of learning from others who have succeeded at what you’re trying to do. That’s a very smart start to take. I’m referring more to the suggestion of what’s commonly called “following the norm”. You know, being told that you should not deviate from the “normal” way of doing something if you want to succeed.

At some point in our lives and careers, we all follow norm. I have. And if I’m being honest, doing so only got me so far. There usually came a point in what I was trying to do that felt incomplete at the end of norm’s route.

And if I might ask, who the heck is “norm” anyway and why do we give him so much credit?

I don’t mean to suggest that you become a rebel. I do mean to suggest that you not be afraid to blaze your own path, sensibly, strategically and staying focused on your goal — even if it’s against the norm.

It’s not always easy. You will encounter resistance and criticism. But once you decide to go against the norm you will also encounter your inner CEO, your inner voice of guidance, your intuition.

I’ve followed intuition far more often than I’ve followed norm. And I will be honest with you, my success rate is much higher.

“Normally” I wouldn’t do this but . . .

After I published “your shit is a mess” here and carried the theme onto my podcast and into my e-mail newsletter, it hit me — My Shit Is A Mess — well, some of it.

Those five words became more powerful than even I gave them credit for. Powerful in a productive and playful way — that is if you’re open to seeing the silver lining in things. I am. Optimism is my default operating system.

What’s your default? How do you look at things that don’t always look the way you’d hoped? And more so, what do you do to get things back on the road to achievement?

Powerfully & Playfully Productive

I took my own advice and got moving on cleaning up my shit — in the area that I had been intuitively reminded was a mess.

I spent three hours at my desk re-organizing my thoughts, my goals, my papers and files. It was an exhausting exercise that clarified what was a mess, where I wanted to go, what had to go and steps to take to move in the direction of my goal.

Feeling proud, productive and ready to proceed, I got up from my desk . . . and it hit me.

Bam!

Things Look So Good on Paper, Don’t They?

Realistically, my new plan that I just spent hours solidifying wasn’t going to work. In three seconds flat my three-hour restructuring efforts imploded. It was not as solid as I thought. It was more like a massive undertaking that I logically didn’t allow enough planned time to pull off. Upset is an understatement. Everything looked so good on paper.

I suppose that’s why businesses have project managers and people have life coaches. They take a calculated look at a plan, evaluate what it will take to succeed, keep things moving along, hold us accountable for our actions (and in actions) and do their best to help us achieve our goal or complete our project successfully and on time.

I know that! I’m a Life & Confidence Coach.

Have you ever done that? Put your heart and soul into planning a project only to realize post-planning phase that you kind of bit off more than you could chew and you need to go back to the drawing board?

Waste not want not. I’m a Capricorn. A utilitarian. We do not waste anything. We “use” (utilize) everything. So, I was not about to discard everything I had just spent hours organizing.

Back to the Drawing Board

Then I got the second intuitive hit. Which suggested that it wasn’t that anything was wrong with my new plan; all of that was great. It’s just that I didn’t realistically give myself enough time to accomplish it. All I had to do was be a little more realistic with my time allotment (Capricorns also rule time).

I often find that zealousness, another human frailty, can hinder productivity because sometimes we get so excited about something that we omit a few realistic steps that help us actually accomplish our goals.

So I sat back down and took a look at my — geez, I’d love to call it a beautifully laid out PowerPoint or a creative-looking storyboard. In reality, it was a couple of pages of handwritten scribbles. I looked it all over and . . .

Third Time’s the Charm — right? I hope!

The third intuitive hit came my way. Its subtle yet powerful suggestion was:

You have a great plan for the future of your business. You have reorganized and restructured things sensibly. But, um, you definitely need a whole lot more time to create the changes and the outcome you have planned. Take the month of February off, work your arse off and you are going to come out of this ready to conquer the world . . . okay, ready to realistically and strategically offer your clients and your audience the professional things that will be of better assistance to them.

I LOVE my intuition. I really do. It’s actually the core of my life and my coaching, listening to that inner voice of guidance — ‘cos, like, it really does have all the answers to our concerns — even the ones we’re not aware of yet.

But sometimes, I’ll tell ya, that little subtle voice of knowing sets off a storm of terrifying internal rumbling because, if you’re familiar with working with your intuition, you know that it gives very subtle hints, enough to get you excited and started. Then it goes silent. Like airplane mode. When it sees that you’re following its initial suggestions, it sends you more, like whispers in the wind you’re supposed to hear.

Dear Intuition — Are You Nuts?!

I love my inner CEO. But I took a good hard swallow at that intuitive recommendation and gasped.

A month!!!

Dear Intuition, Are. You. Nuts?!

I wanted to argue with my intuition. But I knew it was right.

It made sense. In order to pull off my plan with the strategy I mapped out, time is what I needed. Without taking the appropriate amount of uninterrupted time needed to complete things properly, I would just continue to go through February — and beyond — experiencing half-assed accomplishments, half-assed offerings, and half-assed success. And nobody wants that. Not me. And certainly not my clients.

I agreed with the suggestion of my intuition.

However, my intuitive CEO also wanted something stronger than my plan on paper to hold me accountable.

The Power of Public Exposure

It’s often suggested that you tell others you’re going to do something, that you’re more apt to stick to it because there’s no way in hell our ego wants to come back without a comeback!!

Have you ever done that? Committed or pledged to do something aloud to others? Try it sometime if you never have. It’s powerful. When you know someone is going to ask you later, hey, how did that ‘thing’ go, there’s no way you want to respond that you didn’t do it. Public exposure is a powerful motivator!

My intuition suggested I make a public appearance and expose my plan — here at my new Medium presence.

So, although it hasn’t been very long since I began publishing here at Medium, I will be fairly quiet the month of February. You will not be seeing anything posted here. My podcast will not have new episodes. I have much to do to realize the achievement of my new business offerings. Obviously, “Norm” would never suggest that I take this route. It’s all good, though. I am looking forward to shutting certain things out to emerge better equipped with new products to serve my clients.

Remember, there’s really no completely correct way of doing something. Certainly learn from others who have succeeded at what you’re trying to do. But remember to evaluate your total situation. Don’t be afraid to blaze the trail you know will clear the path to your end goal.

Don’t be afraid to listen to your inner voice of guidance, your inner CEO, and go about your business against the norm, whoever norm is.

Before I head off to my intuitively-guided working sabbatical, I’m just curious:

Do you utilize your intuition in decision-making? Why do you — or — why do you not?

And hey, go ahead and “follow” me — that way you’ll know when I’m back!

See you soon!

Writer, Podcaster, Millennial Life & Confidence Coach. www.GuidingLifeCoaching.com

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