Getting Out of My Own Way

by Jeannie Walters

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I’ve been getting in my own way a lot lately.

I used to laugh when I heard people say things like this. “What do you mean you’re in your own way?” I’d chuckle, shrugging my shoulders at the very idea of it.

Now, though, I feel like the poster child. This week, I fell behind in some important things (like blog writing) and had a mini-working-mom-I-CAN’T-TAKE-IT meltdown. Why? Because I’m getting in my own way. I’m taking on too much and relaxing too little and pretty good at making excuses about why it’s like that.

I’m doing a lot of analysis lately. That’s not unusual – I spend the majority of my time with clients analyzing processes, web sites, communications and strategies. But lately I’ve been using those same techniques to analyze how I’m doing things. Can I make it better? How about more efficient? Am I making things more difficult than they need to be?

The answers? Yes. Yes. And YES!

One technique I’ve used is tracking my time for everything. It’s amazing how aware this makes me. If I drift or wander or get distracted, I see that little timer telling me it’s time to focus. I’ve also taken to a simple review at the end of the day. What went well? What didn’t? What did I learn? And a big one: What will I do differently next time?

Sometimes those answers are hard to read. But I’m learning. One big a ha – I let interruptions get the best of me. Seems so obvious now, but I prioritize others who happen to get my attention IMMEDIATELY, with no analysis of priority or thought. It’s challenging – but I’m getting better. I also am pretty darn good at beating myself up. I know this is common, too, and I in no way try to be a martyr. I get in my way when I allow that voice inside to say things like: “why didn’t you learn this the first time!?” Learning is a journey, not a destination.

I’m a lucky gal – I have friends, family, and all you amazing people to support me and help me grow. Guess who gets in the way?

Yep. That poster child again.

So why am I writing about this on a blog supposedly focused on customer experience? Because it happens to all of us. And I’d like some help removing the obstacle in front of me labeled “ME.”

So what do you do to get out of your own way?

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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