Ep 42: How obedience to the process can free you up

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We don’t use the word obedience too much these days. It’s not a word that demonstrates power and mastery.

But obedience is the main driver behind anything you do. In order to see real change you have to submit yourself to a process that will get you moving.

In this episode, learn three ways to make obedience work for you.

You can listen to this episode right here! 👆

If you missed my series last week on how thinking errors can stress you out, check them out all in one place.

And don’t forget to subscribe to hear future episodes of Mental Health Moment wherever you are! 

Full transcript 👇

Ep 42: How obedience to the process can free you up - Babies crawling to walking

We start obedience to a process from the very beginning, don’t we?

Hi I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

Are you an obeyer? We don’t really like that word anymore, do we?

Here’s me raising my hand. I’m an obeyer.

In the past few weeks I’ve dedicated myself to write a Mental Health Moment episode every weekday.

It’s a writer’s dream to write and publish every day.

I love the idea that I can get my ideas out there so I can develop them and work with them. I thought the voice format would be something I could commit to more so than video, and it works well for how I like to write.

So I created a process to help me get it all done and keep the episodes coming.

This was so much fun because I got to play around with editorial workflows. Nerdy, I know but workflows are kind of my jam.

I’ve got a plan, and I think it’s a good one.

I’m all set to write and publish every day.

But where this thing gets real is in how I’m now committed to write and publish every day. Insert surprise face emoji here. 😂 😳

It doesn’t matter if:

  • My brain feels like peanut butter,
  • I’m super tired,
  • I’m not feeling inspired, or
  • My voice is jacked.

The plan says I do a Mental Health Moment every weekday.

I don’t want to upset the plan.

So I obey, and I do a Mental Health Moment.

And you know what? I get enormous pleasure from checking that “Mark Complete” ✔ box for that entry. (Actually there are about 8 subtasks for each episode, so technically I get to check off 9 boxes. Yes!).

As author and supreme majestic marketer Seth Godin says, I shipped something today.

I took an idea that formed over my morning coffee and made it live.

And I learn something new about myself with every episode.

I decided from the beginning that I’m going to be obedient to my process and not give in to all the noise in my head talking smack about how this is too much, or it may not work, or nobody’s listening.

I work the plan, and I obey the process.

Obedience doesn’t get the hashtag love like hustling, grinding, winning and inspiration.

Obedience is a hard sell on the motivational track.

That’s too bad because obedience is a very sexy player when it comes to making real change in your life.

Change doesn’t happen on its own, you know?

Whether it’s a goal for your health or career, or finally working through your issues, obedience is the engine that will power your change.

I mean, at some point you have to do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it. That’s just how stuff gets done.

But you have to be humble enough to trust the process and just go with it.

So what are the principles of this kind of obedience?

First, to get the full value of obedience, you have to “set it and forget it.”

What results do you want to see? Make that decision now, and be super clear about what you need to do to get there. This removes any ambiguity about what you should do next.

Ambiguity will steal your best cognitive energy.

Don’t arm wrestle with yourself. Spell out what you want to see and do.

Once you set your direction, this isn’t the part where you get to ask questions that don’t matter.

  • Will this actually work?
  • Will others show up?
  • Will this matter a month from now?

Did any of those questions ever work when your mom told you it was time to mow the lawn? Probably not, right?

It’s Tuesday, and Tuesday is the day you always mow the lawn. Getting into a Law-and-Order-SUV-style 😜 discussion about the merits of mowing the lawn today don’t apply.

Be an obeyer, stay in your process and just mow the lawn already.

Second, obedience requires that you get comfortable not getting feedback right away on what you’re doing.

Everybody says this is a real issue among millennials. But I pretty much see this from everyone.

Just because someone doesn’t applaud you or recognize what you do, doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for doing it.

And it certainly doesn’t mean that what you’re doing isn’t working.

Part of obeying the process is being able to measure your own progress and link it back to your larger goal, regardless of what anybody else says or does.

This is especially important in the beginning of something new.

No one may really get what you’re doing. You may not even get what you’re doing.

If it takes you awhile to see this thing take shape, imagine how long it’s going to take for someone who’s not as close to it.

So feedback from others can’t be your only metric.

Learn to soothe yourself and be okay moving forward in obedience even when you don’t know how some stuff is really going.

Third, don’t let your feelings strangle your willingness to obey your process.

You simply can’t rely on your feelings to let you decide how invested you plan to be.

Part of obedience is being a bit agnostic about what you’re feeling or not feeling in this experience.

Do you ever remember a teacher or parent asking you “And how are you feeling about what I just asked you to do?”

I’m guessing no.

Because at that point your feelings don’t matter as much as your obedience to the task.

But you will hear that chatter in your head, won’t you?

  • I didn’t wake up feeling awesome and motivated today.
  • This is so hard!
  • What if this doesn’t work and I look stupid?
  • Or my personal nemesis, I’m just not feeling it today.

Obedience to the process ignores this emotional kind of feedback.

Obedience doesn’t always feel sexy, even though it totally is.

But it will give you the courage to keep moving toward your goal because you are doing something.

What would happen in your life if you just decided to do the work you’ve already decided to do?

No judgments.

No questions.

No hand wringing.

Just hard work every day with the nuts and bolts of this thing you want to change.

You see, all of this obedience ultimately frees you up. Look at you!

You put some stuff on the table! You worked with it and now you’re closer to where you want to go.

Obedience just showed you what you’re capable of.

For articles and videos about stress and mental health, visit my website at LoriMiller.me. You can catch Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Visit LoriMiller.me for info on how to subscribe.

Thanks for listening!

I’d love to hear what you think!

  • Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.
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