There is only one reason that we fail, ever. We fail when we give up. As long as we haven’t given up, as long as we keep trying a new approach, a different tact, a fresh perspective, our dream is still a possibility!
So, why do we give up on our dreams?
We persist or give up based on our own personal habits, or patterns of action. If you grew up in a home where persistence was rewarded, it’s likely that you don’t give up easily on your dreams. You have probably developed habits that keep you moving forward even after what others might see as major setbacks. If this sounds like you, this post probably won’t hold many insights for you.
If, on the other hand, you grew up in a home where your parents said they would do something and then didn’t follow through, you may have never learned how to map your way to the goals you are wanting, or plan strategies for the challenges that will arise. You may have developed the habit of letting yourself off the hook, or making excuses for why you didn’t succeed.
These are roadblocks to living your dreams.
Reaching our dreams requires changing our actions. But continuing our habitual actions is always going to be easier than change, because it’s the familiar pathway we have practiced over time, the habits we have built, the thought patterns we’ve entrenched.
Let’s use weight reduction as our example because this is one that millions of people including most of my clients struggle with.
Most of the time we have a pretty good idea of the types of actions required to reach a goal. If weight reduction is our goal the list of actions required to support that goal MIGHT include: move our body X minutes per day and X days per week, define a food protocol & check it with your doctor, plan your meals in advance, schedule time to shop for and prep meals, eat less XYZ, increase hydration, eat more produce, eliminate processed sugar, eat more fish, eat less meat. The list goes on.
How many times have you decided to adopt one or more of these healthy behaviors? How many times did you succeed? If there were times that you did not succeed, why did you give up?
A change in action is not sustainable unless we also change our thoughts.
Most of us give up when we try to adopt a new behavior because a change in action is not sustainable unless we also change our thoughts. And the thoughts we have practiced up to this point do not support sticking to the goal, or we would have achieved our goal already. Right?
The thoughts we have practiced up to this point support giving up when it gets hard, giving in when we have a craving or something doesn’t go according to plan. We let ourselves off the hook because we practice thoughts like, “I can start tomorrow.” “One cheat won’t hurt.” “It’s not my fault.” By now a lot of us are realizing that thoughts like this are self-defeating and have created a pattern of failing to meet our healthy intentions for years or decades.
I can’t start tomorrow because the present is the only moment in which I have any power. One cheat sets up a cycle of postponement that won’t get me to the finish line. And a bump in the road may not be my fault, but reaching my goals is most definitely my responsibility. If I don’t work for it when the going gets tough, who will? And when the going gets tough, humans reach for what’s familiar and practiced – unless we make the effort to change the thoughts we are thinking.
Mindset is everything!
Changing our thoughts takes effort, but it can make the difference between staying stuck and reaching our goals. You don’t need a coach to change your mindset, but coaching absolutely helps! I know from my own experience and from my clients’ experiences that coaching transforms lives.
But there are books you can read and online courses to take if you’re not ready to invest in one-on-one coaching. Here is a short list of my current favorites:
Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
It’s Not Your Money: How to Live Fully from Divine Abundance by Tosha Silver.
Feng Shui Your Mind, Body, Spirit by Jill Lebeau & Michelle Dwyer
Freedom School by Ana Verzone includes courses in drinking less, building confidence, mindset, stop overeating and so much more!
If you think one-on-one coaching may be right for you, but you’re not sure it’s an investment that you’re ready to make, contact me to schedule a little chat! You can ask any questions you have, I’ll tell you a bit more about how coaching works, and we’ll uncover your next best actions to move you toward the life that you’re longing to live! Zero pressure.
I want everyone to have a clear idea of how to get from where they are to where they want to be!
That’s why I like to include the Grow on! section. These questions help you coach yourself as you begin the process of growing more aware of what you want your life to be. That’s why I list resources for self-growth, like the ones above. These resources have helped me and my clients, so I know they can help you too!
What was your last self-improvement goal?
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘highly’), how successful were you at reaching your goal?
If you did not complete the goal, what was your reason?
What self-improvement goal is currently calling your heart?
Make a list of the obstacles that might stop you reaching your goal.
Journal around what you will do when each of these obstacles appears!
Go get it! You GOT this.