Have you ever set out to do something new and exciting, knowing it’s going to impact your life in a great way, only to find yourself making snail-like progress and the momentum just isn’t kicking in?
This happened to me when I pursued a new career in speaking and coaching. Previously, my only experiences with public appearances were a complete disaster and I had developed a large fear of speaking in public with any size group…and here I was choosing this as a career!
Yet I was excited to my core as for the first time in my life I felt truly alive. I began learning new things, gained new skills and started building my business. After a while I found myself getting discouraged, then very stuck. Instead of my fears disappearing, it seemed my anxiety was growing and my confidence was still low.
Have you ever started to pull back from a dream because things became so overwhelming and much harder than you thought they would be? Well I sure did!
I began thinking “Who am I kidding?” and “Who is going to take me seriously when they see I don’t even believe in myself?” and “Will it ever get easier?” I felt guilty that I was questioning my purpose and at times I was tempted to quit.
Through some deep reflection over the next few months, I began to uncover the real reasons why I was not gaining momentum and at times seemingly moving backwards. I was even more relieved to find out there was nothing wrong with me.
What I found was while there were things I was willing to do, in the areas that really counted I was either unwilling or partially willing. In other words, I was not ‘All in’ when it came to pursuing my dreams and goals. I realized I had to make a pivot in order to make it.
I started asking myself specific questions to guide me to a state of more willingness. These questions became five powerful statements that have changed my thinking and can empower you too. They can expose the subtle areas that might be slowing you down.
Be willing to stand alone at times:
For many years I relied too much on other people’s approval and encouragement. Since then I’ve learned the power of encouraging myself and focusing on how God sees me. This has made such a difference in my attitude and progress. Encouragement from others is nice, but we shouldn’t depend on it for growth to happen.
Be willing to get uncomfortable:
I was willing to get out of my comfort zone, but not for long. If I didn’t see quick results, I found myself running back to safety. Now I remind myself why I got out of my comfort zone in the first place. It brings me back to my purpose and I know eventually it will get easier as long as I’m willing to stretch myself.
Be willing to start even if you don’t have full clarity:
I don’t always see the ‘big picture’, and because I focus more on details, I sometimes don’t get started. What I’ve found is when I take that first step I can always trust that the next step will appear in the right time and often the right people will come along to help me see the rest of the pieces. This has helped me develop a whole new learning model of achievement.
Be willing to mess up in front of others:
I’m learning to laugh at myself more and not to take life so seriously. Yet sometimes I still find myself drifting back into old thought patterns and trying to get things perfect. When I remind myself to lighten up even in those awkward moments, especially during a presentation, it often takes the pressure right off and I’m able to focus more on others.
Be willing to ask for help:
At times I’ve been afraid to ask for help. Yet I’ve learned one of the best ways to empower myself is by having the right people around me including a support system. We all need someone to guide us at times, whether it’s to provide encouragement, coaching, mentorship and accountability.
Are you satisfied with your momentum as you pursue your goals and dreams? Why or why not? What might be slowing you down? When we allow ourselves to get curious about what’s holding us back, we open up ourselves to new growth and resources.
It doesn’t guarantee that the process will be easy, but it does give us permission to live full out despite our setbacks. It allows us to look beyond the struggle.
Making statements for our life can be a powerful process when we find ourselves getting stuck. It allows us to view our challenges as simply a test. Use these challenges to discover how committed you are to your dream, how resilient you are during setbacks, and how willing you are to get back up and try again!
Barbara Gustavson is a Leadership and Life Coach for motivated entrepreneurs looking to embrace their ‘inner bold’ and live more fully.