Why you should dip your hand into your cookie jar

And search for courage in an unlikely place

Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash

I am the type of person who has trouble attempting new things, especially when they’re scary and above my current skill level. I ask lots of questions, and use lots of techniques to simply procrastinate or get out of doing things that are difficult in my assessment — these are things that I think I am ‘not yet ready for’.

However, I find that once I am forced, or pushed or tricked into doing these seemingly impossible things, I tend to do a reasonably good job most of the time.

It doesn’t always go perfectly according to plan, but I’ve rarely looked back and regretted taking a risky shot.

Doing challenging things by pushing yourself with a short burst of motivation is great and all, but when it comes to doing really great things that could potentially change your life and staying on course each day — that is hard.

And a little dose of inspiration juice isn’t going to be enough.

That’s where you need to trade the inspiration juice for some solid inspiration cookies.

After all, the toughest man alive uses them too.

This article will walk you through the process of stocking up your ‘cookie jar’.

In simple terms, the cookie jar method requires you to write down your most significant past victories, especially those that were preceded by struggle. Now, before you think this is some narcissistic exercise to puff yourself up and feel good about yourself, it’s not.

This requires some serious reflection and done properly it will imbue you with courage, not cockiness.

The purpose of this exercise is to write down:

  • What your exceptional victories were throughout your life
  • What challenges did you overcome to earn these
  • Outline every single moment of despair which was eventually followed by hope
  • Feel the emotion of triumph
  • Remind yourself of what you are capable of
  • Remind yourself of what your standards are

Sitting down and writing this by hand is the best way to get the full benefits of this exercise. Once you’ve done this, you can use it as a springboard of sorts to fuel the pursuit of a big goal you are procrastinating on.

These experiences you’ve written about will form your cookie jar.

Every time you are attempting something that is outside of your comfort zone, reach for a cookie and remind yourself of who you are and what you are capable of.

Your past victories can all be broken down into a simple formula, irrespective of the details of the situation:

Trigger →Struggle →Suffering →Recovery →Success

The point of the cookie jar method is to re-live your past victories to remind yourself of both the struggle and the success.

Remembering the struggles will show you that you’ve been doing difficult things for a very long time and success stories will renew your faith that your efforts will be rewarded if you keep at it.

Using the cookie jar method has helped me achieve a few important personal milestones in my life — I’ve written a book, meditated for 30 days straight and switched careers while not quite feeling fully ready to do any of those things.

The more cookies you draw inspiration from, the more you’ll push yourself and create more cookies. It’s a lovely loop.

The key to success is to start before you’re ready. And the key to stay consistent in your efforts is to hold yourself to high standards. Bring out your cookie jar and prepare yourself for greatness!