19 Jun Living The Four Agreements: Beyond Procrastination
Doing our best means living in the present moment, taking into account our current emotional, energetic, and physical state… The fourth agreement encourages us to be flexible and honest with doing our best using the resources available to us, within and without. From Tips for Doing Your Best Part 1
Do you habitually procrastinate, never meet your own goals, and constantly settle for less than what you really want?
Do you do less than your best in order to not be disappointed or not to disappoint others?
Imagine someone who always does less than their best. What are some long-term results of living life at less than 100 percent?
Someone who lives from less than their best often feels apathetic, depressed, flat, resigned, without self-worth, and safest when they are distracting themselves with other people’s lives (be it on TV or in real life.)
I’m not talking to the overachievers out there, nor the A-type personalities who never believe we are doing enough.
I’m talking to those of us who hold ourselves back from our dreams, want to take action but are scared, and don’t value ourselves or our skills and vision.
If this sounds like you, stop judging yourself as less than or flawed. Get curious; why do you do less than your best? What would happen if you did your best? Are there any agreements you have that would cause you to do less than your best?
People who consistently do less than their best are often trying to avoid their own internal judge, or are holding themselves back due to false unconscious beliefs. “I don’t have what it takes,” “I’m not smart enough,” “If I succeed I’ll be abandoned,” “It is easier/safer/more comfortable to stay small.”
But is this really how you want to live, just getting by, trying to avoid conflict, discomfort, or fear?
When we are willing to explore possible reasons for doing less than our best, we can free ourselves from the chains that hold us back from living our fullest potential. All it takes is a willingness to shift your thinking.
For example, if you notice that you are feeling apathetic or frozen, stop and ask yourself, “Am I doing less than my best in this moment?” Check in with your physical, emotional, and mental state. If you are doing less than your best, take a time out and say (out loud is best!) the opposite of what the root agreement that is driving your behavior. So you might say: “I don’t have to hide. I can do my best and shine in the world” or “I am powerful, even if I go for my dreams and fall short. I am doing my best.” Then take a new action!
You’ll probably have to repeat these statements thousands of times. Take baby steps. Keep moving your attention away from the fear that is driving your current (re)action to being present with how you want to choose to be and act. Then repeat, again and again, until the new agreement takes hold.
Okay, now I am talking to you overachievers out there who never believe they are doing enough. You are probably also doing less than your best in some areas of your life. Remember, looking busy does not necessarily mean you are doing more than your best; you might be doing less than your best by just be being busy without getting anything of substance done.
Doing less than our best can become an ingrained habit. Be loving but firm with yourself, and you will soon discover the joy of living your personal best.
This week’s practice: Explore where you do less than your best and what the root agreement behind your lack of action might be. Create a new statement of your intent for this week to do your best. Mine for this week is: “I release procrastination and take action with love. I invite and support myself to step up and live at 100 percent of my best.”
Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. ~ don Miguel Ruiz
Heather Ash’s apprenticeship with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, began in 1994, and she now teaches with the Ruiz family. She is the author of The Toltec Path of Transformation and founder of Toci, The Toltec Center of Creative Intent. www.toci.org