When it comes to client contracts, problem-solving with family members or searching for the best hotel rates online, I am all for negotiating. I am a great negotiator, and I am a happy camper after every negotiation. Every company, family and situation needs a great negotiator.
However, while attending The Power of Success with Tony Robbins and guests, I discovered that I have been negotiating with the wrong person, and I have been doing so for several years… at least 20 years, to be exact. I know this person very well, and I honestly thought that I won every single negotiation that she and I went head-to-head on. But boy was I wrong because the ‘wrong person’ I am referring to is ME!
That’s right! I have been negotiating with myself for far too long. I thought I was winning every battle, but it turns out I lost every battle. When I thought I was getting ahead or making the right choices, I was actually making the wrong choices. Now, don’t get me wrong, the times when my truest self won was when I didn’t negotiate and just acted on a thought.
I want to dive deep into the what, the how, and the why behind the negotiating I was doing with myself because I have a feeling I am not alone in this. Chances are you are negotiating with yourself and don’t even know it.
What was I negotiating and how?
Negotiation: Just five more minutes of sleep.
Consequence: Five minutes turns into 15 minutes, and then I am running with my head cut off.
Negotiation: You don’t need to go to the gym today; you have too much work to do.
Consequence: I have the same amount of work every day, and yet I make it to the gym on other days. And today, I got nothing done because I am thinking about not going to the gym.
Negotiation: Just one more cookie won’t make a difference.
Consequence: Right, because one cookie becomes ten cookies, and then I am depressed for eating the first cookie.
Negotiation: You are too busy to cook, just order out. It tastes better, anyway.
Consequence: Even though ordering takeout takes longer.
Negotiation: Even though it is 3 am, one more episode on Netflix won’t hurt.
Consequence: This leads to a lack of sleep, and it’s harder to get up in the morning.
Negotiation: Oh, I don’t have enough time for that project today. I will do it tomorrow.
Consequence: Tomorrow never comes.
Do any of these thoughts go through your mind? Do you live any of the consequences that I have?
What are the consequences of your negotiations?
These are just some of the negotiations that go through my head and quite often, I might add. These negotiations were keeping me from performing at my best. They are the negotiations that have been nipping me, my family and my life journey in the bud and I had no idea what I was doing until I heard Tony Robbins talk about it (right in front of me, toe-to-toe, I may add).
This photo is NOT zoomed in.
Tony was literally standing right beside/in front of me.
I have heard the saying “you are the one standing in your way” or “you are your worst nightmare,” but how I heard this information this past week struck me. When I heard Tony say, “stop negotiating with yourself over every thought,” it resonated with me because negotiating is preventing me from moving forward. One of the examples Tony used from his own life is the cold-water submersions that he does every morning. Tony said that his brain tries to negotiate to wait until the weather is warmer or wait until the water is warmer. He never negotiates. He just jumps in.
This got me thinking:
Why am I negotiating with myself?
I thought this would be hard to answer, but it wasn’t. I was negotiating with myself because I didn’t feel like doing things. My feelings and my habits were controlling my negotiations. I was choosing the easy and more satisfying way out because I didn’t want to or didn’t feel like doing the hard stuff. It was easier to talk myself out of doing things than actually doing them. Though I always ended up thinking, “darn, I should have just…”
Are you following me here? Can you relate to my negotiations?
What are the thoughts and tasks you are negotiating with yourself right now that you need to act on?
If you are like me and want to move away from the personal negotiations, it is time to stop allowing yourself to back out, stop talking yourself out of doing something and start acting on the thoughts and tasks that will get you to where you want to go. If you’re going to lose weight, go to the gym and eat good food, STOP making excuses. Don’t allow excuses to even creep into your mindset.
“But Sara, how do I do that?”
I am so glad you asked me that question. Tony didn’t go into an in-depth talk on this subject. He said, just stop it. Well, that doesn’t work for me, because if it did, I wouldn’t continue to negotiate. I had to come up with a thought or a saying that would stop the negotiating thoughts and excuses dead in its tracks.
Every time I feel a negotiation starting, I simply say, think and feel the following…
“NOPE! Stop negotiating with yourself, Sara!”
Stop negotiating with yourself
This new mantra has prevented me from eating pounds of Halloween candy. It helped me conquer four tasks that I didn’t want to do on a Friday, and it helped me not to creep social media when I should be doing something else. It has stopped the procrastination. Lastly, it got me to complete the Live Beyond Satisfied™ Planner… on time!
Honestly, my new mantra has made me more money, given me more time and has kept my stress levels down. I now find myself direct messaging my friends on social media when they are procrastinating on a task. I simply write, “stop negotiating with yourself.”
Sometimes everyone needs a reminder not to allow the excuses and negotiations to get the best of us. Tony said that his thoughts still try and negotiate with him every morning, even though he has been doing his cold-water submersion daily for many years.
I hope this blog post helps you realize and understand where you may be negotiating with yourself and how to stop the habit of doing so. I want you to be able to create new habits that will help you win and create a life that you love and are passionate about.
Remember… Stop negotiating with yourself! You deserve so much more.