The purpose of all the posts in the self-management section of this blog is to help you better manage yourself.
How can you know if this knowledge is something you need? How can you recognise if you need better self-management?
You can recognise that you need better self-management if you're trying to make progress but are being stopped by either internal or external forces? Being stuck. Also known as stagnation is usually a sign that you need better self-management. So look within yourself. Notice what is growing or getting better. Also notice what is dying or getting worse. What is true is that everything about you that’s getting better is getting better because you’re managing it well. The reverse is also true. If something is stagnant or getting worse, it is because that thing isn’t being managed very well.
A sign of good management is good outcomes. And being stuck is a sign of poor management.
If you self-diagnose yourself as being stuck in certain areas of your life, then better self-management can help you.
How can you know whether you are stuck or stagnating? Well, there are many symptoms but they can be grouped into four main categories:
Some of the symptoms I had when I was managing myself poorly were the following:
I did not have written down goals that I was working on.
I was not well organised. The most visible sign of being disorganised is when spaces such as your room or your desk don’t stay neatly arranged for more than a few days after you straighten things out. Another is mess. Being messy is when even though you may know how to clean, you are not able to set aside consistent time for cleaning so that your space ends up being dirty. Not being well organised also shows up as lateness. Lateness is a sign of missing the mark. And when you repeatedly miss the mark, it diminishes your self-esteem just as repeatedly making the grade in anything improves your self-esteem. Even if you hide it, what matters is that you know. So your self-esteem is affected.
I was not able to motivate myself to do what I need to do. There are many reasons for this and I won't go into all of them, but believing that some people were good at certain things and you are not is one. Not knowing why you should do things is another. Basically you can't see the benefits. Another is not having clarity about your future, and not taking action because you don't know what you should be doing. A lot of us are at A and we want to know what Z looks like before we take action. What I have experienced is that action doesn’t simply move you from A to B. It actually improves your options. You now see Bx, By, and Bc which you could not see when you were at A. And all the B options belong to only those who moved from A to B. Someone still at A cannot access them. If you’ve read the book “Who moved my cheese”, B is the cheese available to only those who venture out of A. When you get to B, you can realise that even though you’ve been eating Laughing Cow cheese all your life, your favorite type of cheese is actually Edam cheese. By the time you move to G, you’ll be exploring how to make your own cheese. By Z, you'll be the world's best cheesemaker.
I was not able to control or direct myself to get better results.
For example you're not able to learn complex subjects or develop more skills. Or you're continually in start mode. Starting gives us the feeling that we’re making progress but this is an illusion. It is continuing that is actually a truer sign of progress. So if you have a relationship, break up, and start another. Then you marry divorce, and start again. You start a business, it makes some progress then you get stuck. You start over. You take a job, get stuck. Quit and start another. You take a course, don’t finish. You start a different course, don’t finish. You start a book, don’t finish. Pick up a different one. Another is being addicted to things like food, drink, sex or all three for pleasure, satisfaction, or comfort. Addiction is a lack of control.
I don’t want to give you the impression that I have arrived. I am still on the journey to managing myself better. At my current stage, there are still symptoms but they have reduced considerably and as I work on them, by the grace of God, things get better. The places where I'm stuck have reduced.
So, do any of these symptoms describe any aspect of your current life? If so, you may be stuck. And if you’re stuck, learning how to manage yourself which I will be teaching in subsequent posts are for you.
Summary: In this post, I have shared one main idea. That idea is that the way you can recognise if you need to manage yourself better is that you’re stuck in some aspects of life. All stuck people show certain symptoms. In this post, I have shared several of them and grouped them into four categories. If you find yourself stuck, check this blog again next week to hear more.
Have a good week! Nyame nka wo ho.
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