Have you ever tried to work on a goal, and it felt like you could not shake the thoughts or habits of your past? This is me all day long. I can clearly establish a goal but thoughts of “you are too old to start this” or “you never complete anything you start” are whispering in the back of my mind as I work toward my goal. Some people can articulate a goal, work at it, and achieve that goal with no setbacks or barriers. Others must overcome many barriers. Here are some ways to help you push through when you come upon these barriers and setbacks.
Get the lesson and move forward. Some of us are guilty of not moving forward because we are too busy looking back. The only good reason to look back is to get the lesson. You run the risk of being pulled back into past behaviors when you continually look back. Once you get the lesson, move forward and do not look back so you can achieve your goal.
Stay focused. Setbacks are inevitable so it is vital that you remain focused. Remember why you set your goal and stay focused on that. Be intentional and remember the reason you set the goal in the first place.
Let go. If you find that something is holding you back from reaching your goals, let it go. I would even go as far as to say let go of any person who is holding you back. Achieving your goal is bigger than any negative thought, person, or habit. If the thought, person, or habit is not helping you make steps towards achieving your goal, them you need to let it go.
Eliminate negative self-talk. We can sometimes be the cause of our own setbacks. Our own thoughts can be our biggest enemy when we are trying to achieve a goal and do more for ourselves. Be conscious of your thoughts. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones as soon as a negative thought begins to push its way into your mind. This one takes practice but will make a world of difference once you master it. Check out my previous post on negative self-talk here.
Setbacks are normal when working towards a new goal so be gentle with yourself. Today is a new day where you can shake old thoughts and habits and establish new ones. Hopefully, these tips can help you conquer the obstacles that stand between you and your goal. What else would you add to this list?
Growing up I was always told to watch the company I keep. It was a lesson in understanding that people will judge you based on the type of people you choose to hang around. If you hang around a bunch of troublemakers, people will think that you are a troublemaker even if you are not one. It is also possible that your behavior can begin to conform to the groups’ behavior. We can all probably think of examples where people may have acted outside of their normal character when they were around certain group of people. Well, this notion remains the same as we enter adulthood and begin to have hopes and dreams. The company we keep can either become our cheerleaders and let us know the sky is the limit or they can be the biggest naysayers, making us second guess our ability to successfully pursue any dream we may have had. It is easy to sit here and say that you should just ignore those people and continue pursuing your dreams. But the reality is that the company you keep plays a major role in your ability to achieve your goals – especially if these are people close to you who you often confide in. The company you keep should be positive, uplifting, resilient, supportive, and able to cheer you on when you begin to doubt yourself. Take inventory of the people that you surround yourself with. Do you feel that they speak positivity into your life or are they always telling you what you cannot do or what you cannot achieve? I challenge you today to look around and see who continually uplifts you and who always tries to limit you. Pay attention to those who pour positivity into you and pull those people closer. The company you keep has the power to pull you into doubt what you can achieve or catapult you into your wildest dreams. Choose wisely.
This is one of my favorite quotes. The reason why I love this quote so much is that it shows that there is always hope – there is always a better day on the horizon. This quote speaks to me on a couple of levels. One level is the thought that there is always something positive on the horizon. I am pretty sure that the caterpillar thought that his lot in life was to just always crawl around at this slow, slothful pace while everything was bustling all around him. But one day he turns into a butterfly! The sky is now the limit and he is free to go anywhere he please at whatever pace he chooses. The second level that this quote speaks to me concerns the notion of shedding the old you for a new you. We all have had our caterpillar moments. Feeling low, desiring to do more, watching the world bustle around us while we slowly move along trying to figure everything out. But then one day, you become a butterfly. Just as the butterfly is not a new creature but a different version of the caterpillar; you are not a new person, but a different version of yourself. This quote gives me great hope that, when things look dark or bleak or when life seems to be almost unbearable, there is always hope. What has you down today? Are you feeling that there is no hope? Just hold on, your day is coming.
Do you want more than what you have now? “More” looks different to different people. More, for some, means buying a bigger house. More, for others, means getting a better paying job. To get more, you have to do more. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? Many people want more without doing any extra than what they are doing right now. If the salary from your job is not allowing you the lifestyle that you desire, you should either find another job or create an additional stream of income. I have always wanted more but for so long, I was waiting for something to drop out of the sky and fall into my lap. I was missing the part where I had to do something extra to make it happen. Eventually, I realized that I had to do more to get more. The victory is sweeter when you have worked hard to get where you want to be. What extra thing are you going to do to get to the “better things”?
I talk about the fear of failure a lot in The Serenity Room. That is because it can be linked to so many different things as it relates to how we respond or not respond to different aspects of our lives. As it relates to procrastination, the fear of not succeeding at a task keeps us from moving towards its completion. For example, If you are tasked with putting together a presentation as part of a job interview, your fear of not doing well during the presentation could cause you to procrastinate with creating the presentation. This could cause you to have to rush to put it together. The job that could have been yours now may not be due to the procrastination that then leads you to create a sub-par presentation. The fear of failure leads us to wait until the last minute which leads you to not do your best. This can be seen in many areas of our lives. The struggle to get started because of the fear of the results is a common one.
So how do you combat this fear of failure? The simplified answer to this question is to change your way of thinking. Yes, I already know that it is not that easy but that is the most basic way to combat the fear of failure. You have to question your thoughts. Doubt your doubts. When you set your goals, you set it with the intent of succeeding. No one makes a goal that they intend to not achieve. But somewhere along the way self-doubt, fear, and negative thinking come into play and all of a sudden you feel that you can no longer reach the goal that you have set for yourself. Change the thoughts that cause you to fear that you will never be successful – challenge those thoughts and move through fear. Think about why you started your journey. Think about the joys of success. Think about how much you can accomplish as you reach goal after goal after goal. The sky is truly the limit if you face fear head-on. And if you don’t reach your goal, step back and see what was done wrong. Then make your adjustments and try again. Whatever you do, do not give up.
This is such a great, thought-provoking question. The question makes you really think about two things: what you are afraid of and what your true desires are. If I had not been afraid that people would not favorably receive what I had to offer, I probably would have already published several books by now. Fear keeps us from stepping out and taking the steps to make our dreams a reality. Fear tells you that chasing your dream will take you into the realm of the unknown and that you need to stay where things are predictable (your comfort zone).
Think about your biggest dreams and goals, even the ones that you feel are far-fetched, and think about what is stopping you from taking the first step. After you have thought about what is stopping you, take that first step. It does not matter if it is just a tiny step – the point is that you need to take one. Face your fears head-on by taking one step at a time. What will your first step be?