Is Your Inner Drill Sergeant or Sloth in the Way of You Phoning?

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

“Do your 40 dials. Now,” you yell at yourself in your head each morning like an angry drill sergeant, your body recoiling in horror and distress. “If you don’t, you will fail out of the business and then what?” you snarl to yourself with even more viciousness.

If you have ever had thoughts like this you probably know exactly how this feels: defeating, exhausting, riddled with anxiety…the opposite of what you need.

Conversely, you may hear something like: “What’s one more day not dialing?” you think lazily like a sloth while perusing sports scores on the web. For a moment there is the relief of not dialing, but right around the corner is regret, fear and anxiety for not doing the activity you know will best serve you.

So why do so many advisors end up swinging back and forth on the pendulum feeling terrible? Neither of these extremes are really you. They are just a black and white outlook that is quite unforgiving.

The answer is to find the real you in all of this. To do so, break the pattern of distorted thinking. When you are aligned with your authentic self without this distortion you will find that you are kind, compassionate, in the moment and motivated from the fire in your belly. If your fire is waning and only seems to come from the drill sergeant, listen up.

How to get off the pendulum:

1) When you notice either of the extremes showing up—the drill sergeant or the sloth—stop and first just observe what is happening. What is happening in the moment? How are you feeling? Where in your body do you feel it?

2) Once you have gotten really good at observing the pattern, next time it happens stop, notice and now take a slow, deep breath. Reset yourself.

3) Take a moment to show yourself kindness. Say something to show yourself compassion and understanding. 

4) Choose a new outlook. Observe the drill sergeant barking out orders. Also notice that you can turn into a sloth and let it all slip away.

Now make a different choice: what lines up with what you most want right now? Take the tiniest step in that new direction. 

5) Reward yourself for taking the peaceful path with a short break, a glass of water, a moment looking out the window.

Here is an example: 

First, watch yourself swinging on the pendulum again with curiosity. Can you see the humor and the humanity in your behavior?

Next, take a slow, deep, breath. Reassure yourself that you will be okay and can now make a new choice.

Determine your choices: let the drill sergeant pummel you to bits, let the lazy sloth float in the sea of apathy OR choose to act from your authentic self who understands that this other way of being exists.

Empower your real, authentic self who understands that, while dialing can be uncomfortable, there are ways to make it more comfortable: set realistic goals, take breaks, dial from a nice setting, talk in a calming and encouraging way to yourself, etc.

Once you have made some dials, get up, walk around, grab a drink of water and remind yourself what a good job you did.

It’s time to retire the drill sergeant and the sloth! In addition to making you miserable, they are both pretty terrible at phoning due to all of the fear and anxiety they generate. Your calm, authentic self steering in the direction of your big dreams is always there with you. Choose you.