Have you listened to one of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations podcasts? Oprah begins each podcast with, “I believe one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time. Taking time to be more fully present.”

Of those two statements, the one I find most challenging—and the one I often work with clients on—is being more fully present in the time we are able to create. And there are numerous distractions that prevent us from being fully present!

One distraction guaranteed to instantly take me out of the present moment? The scorecard. A scorecard is a “report of indication of the status, condition, or success of something or someone.” It’s also my shortcut way of referring to what happens when I decide the time is right to compare your “status, condition, or success” to my “status, condition, or success.”

I typically reach for the scorecard when I’m uncomfortable and in fear—fear that I’ll lose what I have or won’t get what I want. In that moment, my ITG (Insane Thought Generator) hijacks me with the promise of feeling comfortable after pulling out the scorecard. Through countless conversations with friends, colleagues, and clients I’ve learned I’m not the only one tempted by this promise!

But here’s the challenge—the minute we reach for the scorecard…

1)    We begin to judge others (and ourselves).

2)    We become “a part from” what is actually around us.

3)    We block access to our strengths, creativity, and authentic spirit.

The biggest challenge? We’re engaging in a contest we’ll never win! The scorecard never has more points on our side of the card. In the promise of relief, we’re left feeling that we somehow aren’t enough.

As I was putting the finishing touches on this blog, something happened and I reached for the scorecard—and I kept it out. The result? 12 hours of absolute discomfort. Here are the three things I did to put the scorecard away—and return to a grounded, regulated, “in the flow” state.

1)    I hit the pause button to pull up.

2)    I reminded myself, “I am enough.”

3)    I directed my attention to the two things I can control—my actions and my attitude, specifically gratitude.

A recent note from Hazelden Publishing reminded me “Gratitude is an act of the spirit that lifts us out of preoccupation with our problems, large and small.” For me, that’s gratitude for meaningful relationships, meaningful experiences, and meaningful work.

The next time you’re tempted to reach for the scorecard, I hope you’ll remember to hit the pause button, pull up, and direct your attention to gratitude—or a similar action you can control—to become more fully present.

As always, thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you found this helpful, and I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at ben@thebenkikergroup.com, or connect with me via Twitter or LinkedIn.