Consistency is NOT the key to success
It’s ironic that on the one year birthday of this weekly blog, I am sitting here writing “Consistency is NOT the key to success.” I mean, after all, there is A LOT of evidence to the contrary. Just google consistency and success and there are 136,000,000 results linking the two.
When I decided to write a post every week, for a whole year, my main concern was that I wouldn’t follow through. I would never stick to it.
But here we are, a year and 52 blog posts later.
Have I been consistent? Yes. But it is much more than that. It was figuring out HOW to be consistent. So really to be successful we need to know:
what is the key to consistency?
It all came together when I read this in a Facebook post this week.
“Consistency is so much easier when you look forward to it.”
It was like the missing link for all the new challenges and goals I have set for myself. All the things that I am worried that I won’t be consistent with, the processes I am dreading despite my success with consistency over the last year.(credit to my friend Liz Rook for this quote that I will keep with me forever.) It summarizes so perfectly what I have learned over the last year.
When we start talking about consistency, many of us drop immediately into self-judgement (thinking of how we should be doing it, or have to do it, or would be better if we do it). Here’s the problem, this kind of thinking starts a destruction ball rolling.
Self-judgement leads to a feeling of dread,
dread leads to resistance,
and resistance makes being consistent 10X HARDER!
If that wasn’t enough, we beat ourselves up for not following through!
So we can focus on consistency all we want but if we don’t address the self-judgement we will roll down the hill of disappointment, getting further from our goals.
Some may argue that it’s not judgement but procrastination that leads to lack of consistency. But procrastination is just a symptom of self-judgement as well. (What?!?!) Why should we even start if we know we are going to beat ourselves up at the first set back? And the more we procrastinate, the more it becomes a habit. We don’t even realize we are procrastinating to protect ourselves from feeling even worse. We fail ahead of time to avoid the pain of “failing.”
So we should just forgive ourselves when we mess up and move on, right?
“Forgive” ourselves?!?!?!? Forgive ourselves for WHAT? Forgiveness implies that we did something wrong (It’s the secret self-helpy way to judge ourselves). Having a setback with consistency is not a moral wrongdoing, it is a fact of life, it’s part of the process of learning.
Here’s the thing. Consistency doesn’t have to be all or nothing. As James Clear explains in his book, Atomic Habits, each time you follow through it is like one vote for the person you want to become. There are going to be times that you don’t do what you had planned and that is a vote to stay the person you are. You just need to make sure you have more votes for the person that you ultimately want to be. JUST KEEP WORKING ON IT UNTIL YOU SWING THE VOTE!
If we actually drop the judgement and the self-deprecation that we associate with consistency then we can start to actually look forward to it.
I mean after all, being consistent is awesome.
Need some help figuring out what we can look forward to with consistency?
It makes things easier and easier the more you do it (I think my first blog post took me 8 hours… not anymore :)
Consistency gives you the ability to measure what works. If you do something consistently and don’t have the outcome you want, you can figure out what to change. Basically, it gives you control.
Being consistent builds momentum and building momentum can help you change direction with less effort.
You get to avoid the lack of faith in yourself that comes when you think something just won’t work or isn’t meant to be. We can be excited by the experiment.
Having your own back and being consistent will have trickle down effects in all areas of your life. You can have the satisfaction of knowing that anything is possible.
Remember: being consistent isn’t punishment
When it comes time to be consistent, be curious and open minded. “Let’s see what happens if I try” or “ I will have my own back, no matter what” or “there is no down side to doing this” or “done is better than none.”
We can’t look forward to something if we are busy dreading it. If you don’t make consistency a measure of your self worth, there is no reason NOT to try. Once that weight is lifted you can actually find reasons to enjoy it, to go all in, to smash the consistency beast.
“Consistency is so much easier when you look forward to it,
when you celebrate it,
when you’re on the same team with yourself.”
She’s so right. So what are you going to look forward to?
Need some help figuring out your obstacles? Book a free discovery call with me. Pick your own time!
If you want to check out Liz Rook you can find her at Thrive Arena Coaching