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100% is a Piece of Cake 98% is a Bitch

Almost every person that attends an Inside Out program or chooses to engage in coaching or counseling is looking for some kind of personal change. They have taken stock of their lives and have concluded that there are areas of their lives that have not or are not working. They attend a program looking for some personal insight and understanding with hopes of a shift in their fortunes. And, amazingly, there are many who have the kind of personal breakthrough that puts them on track to create more positive, meaningful outcomes in their lives.

It is really empowering to experience a personal breakthrough and to be pointed in the right direction toward a more meaningful, fulfilling life. However, and unfortunately, I work with people daily who are not able to quite achieve the change they are looking for or they are not able to sustain the shift they experience going through a program. Why does that happen?

There are probably many reasons but here is one that I see occurring often. People do not commit one hundred percent to the work necessary to create and sustain the change. One of the first statements people hear at the Connections program is 100% is a piece of cake; 98% is a bitch. The meaning of this statement is pretty straight forward. Whatever I commit myself to 100% will be much easier to navigate than is something that I am holding back on. Holding back my 2% means that I will have a back door or a contingency plan in case something goes wrong. When I anticipate that something will go wrong it usually will.

I believe that we live in a culture where it is fashionable and wise to hold back and keep your options open. The 98% approach incorporates a wait and see philosophy that is ready to bale if things are not panning out as you would like them to.

The problem with holding back is that it is accompanied with hesitation, reluctance, self doubt and second guessing. This approach lacks faith, courage, confidence and initiative. These are the qualities necessary for success and achievement in every area of my life.

When I began what is now Inside Out Leadership in 1998, I was the Pastor of a church in West Kelowna. I had begun the church in 1992 and we had enjoyed six very fulfilling years of ministry. And yet, there was a growing conviction deep down that church work was not the best venue for me to exercise my gifts and make the most significant impact on people’s lives. I had attended a seminar that utilized experiential learning and for the first time I saw what I thought was the most effective means for creating personal change in a workshop. I was so impacted by what happened in that seminar that I took some of the exercises and games back to my church and began utilizing them in creative ways to supplement my sermons. There were individuals that appreciated what I was doing and there were those who were less than appreciative. Some of those people left the church.

Not long after I attended the seminar I developed a weekend program and was determined to see if I could run a personal development workshop. I invited a few of my new seminar friends to help me run the program and we had sixty three participants attend the first ever Connections workshop. An hour into that program I knew that I wanted to do this kind of work for a living and knew that I would be leaving the church. I committed 100% with no thoughts of contingencies or back doors if this plan didn’t work.

The next week I met with my church board and told them about my realization and commitment to move on. They fully understood what I was doing and why I was doing it and gave me their blessing to move on. Amazingly, the board decided not to search for someone to take my place. They decided to disband the work, so, there was nowhere to come back to even if I had second thoughts about my decision.

Three months later I ran my second Connections workshop as part of a non-profit organization called True Connections and twenty years later we have had more than six thousand people attend Connections programs alone. As I write this, we are a couple days from running another Connections workshop with another group of individuals eagerly, nervously waiting for Friday evening to arrive.

I want to encourage you to stop hesitating, second guessing and holding back from whatever you are doing. Commit to it 100%. At the very least you will discover if you need to move onto something you can really commit to.


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