Every year I set goals that are either not aligned with who I am, or just not achievable. Seriously, I do this every year. This year was different. I was not focused on achieving all the things, or dropping that 30 pounds I kept saying I would (Ayeee!!! I dropped 15). My main focus was to improve three major things that had the ability to turn this into my best year ever.
Peace, Patience, and Discernment
These were three things that I felt held me back from becoming my best self. Stop for a second and think about what could be holding you back. Sometimes we enter a new year with the “New Me” attitude. When really all we want to do is become a better version of who we already are.
Change can be minimal and monumental at the same time. Like I said I didn't want dramatic and unrealistic change. Slow and steady was the approach.
Now you're probably thinking, “well I want to make a big change.” That’s great, but 9 times out of 10 when we set goals and expectations for ourselves that are simply out of reach, or we don’t accomplish. We’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. It is the lack of commitment, motivation, drive, or the belief that we are not worthy? Do we give up before we even start? Or, our we scared of committing and succeeding?
I was afraid. Afraid of the unknown, the hard work, and surrendering. For years I allowed myself to hold me back. Yes! I was in my own way. I told myself lies, made excuses, and stayed stuck in my limited beliefs that I was not worthy of better. I was slowly killing my light. I looked around and saw my peers winning in parts of their lives that I dreamt of changing in my own. I blamed the world for what was not happening for me. If you have felt this way, know that you are not alone.
One question I asked myself over and over was. “Why can’t I find the motivation to change?” The fact is I couldn't blame lack of motivation for not taking action. It was simply my excuse as I was afraid of change itself.
Fear centered around change is a real thing. We as people are so accustomed to our routines that if for a minute we think about slight change, we tighten up and fight the idea.
Say you drive to Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop) every Friday to grab your caramel macchiato (the only coffee drink you like). It’s your special end of the “I made it “week treat. One Friday you pop in and make your order… only to be told that it’s been discontinued. You have just entered the realm of change. You are now thrown off. “OMG….this is not happening,” you think to yourself. You instantly find yourself upset and discombobulated. What are you going to do, as you have never ventured in a different direction?
So what do you do?
Step 1: Acknowledgment
Shift your mindset to be open to change. For many trying something new or different is scary. We let our emotions and thoughts consume us, and we stay stuck. This my friend is a stressful way of living your life.
Recognize that you are causing yourself stress. The constant nagging thought in the back of your mind that tells you change is scary, is just that a thought.
Recognize that you are in control and that what awaits your on the other side is not harmful, but in fact the thing that will better your life; your circumstances, and yourself esteem.
The time that you waste procrastinating and fighting yourself, only does you a disservice. For a second, think about what you could accomplish, where you could go, what you could be, what you could gain?
Step 2: ACCEPTANCE
Accepting that I was afraid to change was the second step in the process. I recognized that I was holding myself back from the peace of mind I deserved, the patience I so badly wanted, and the discernment I needed. If this is that I wanted, then why was I afraid? Ahhh yes… I had to choose me. A notion that I was not familiar with.
Choosing me meant…..
That the excuses I made had to stop
That I had to get uncomfortable
That I had to take ownership
That I had to stop justifying and blaming others and the world
That I had to put in the work
That I had to follow through
That I had to say no
That I had to set limits for myself
That I had to have faith
That I had to know that I was worth it.
Step 3: ADDRESS
One of the simplest ways I’ve learned to deal with change is to address how my choices today will affect my future self. Rather than thinking about the change as a negative, think about what the potential you are holding yourself back from. Ask what you can do today to improve your life, attitude, and your mindset?
Ask yourself: Will my future suffer if I don’t take action today? Most often, the answer is YES!
“But how do I wash away my fear?”
Oh my friend having a bit of fear is healthy. It’s a motivator at times. More often than not we view it fear negatively. Check in with yourself and dig into where those fears are coming from. Address them and move on. Often it’s perfectionism holding you back. (I could change if I had this in place, did this or that, or if things weren’t…..you can fill in the rest.) The truth is you are allowing your fear to control you.
Again address your feelings but don’t put stock into them. This is a normal human reaction that you can control. Avoid the feeling of guilt and focus on what you are ultimately have to gain.
Sweet over-thinker…. get out of your head and take that action. You’ve got work to do and impact to make.