Goals are tricky things. They can feel overwhelming, terrifying, and even immobilizing. When we do manage to get started on them, we may find ourselves questioning whether putting in the time and effort to do something that feels hard or even painful is worth it.
For example, I had a goal to build a website that would be a resource and source of support for women, but as soon as the idea came to me, I immediately built a solid case for why it wasn't a good idea for me to create it. Here were just some of the excellent points I made to myself:
- I am not tech savvy and learning to build a website might be hard and frustrating.
- It would take a lot of time and I don't have a lot of time.
- I might feel overwhelmed and I don't like to feel overwhelmed.
- It might take time away from other things that are important like my family or my self-care, or my time watching Orange is the New Black.
- I like writing but people might not like what I have to say and that would be disappointing. Then I might not like writing anymore.
- I might work really hard only to realize that the whole thing was not a good use of my time.
But in the end, I felt that a website would be a creative outlet and a way to connect with and support other women. In other words, it would be a means of expression for my most authentic self.
I decided to implement some mindset shifts to help my new project develop and two weeks later my imperfect but good enough website was live!
Getting Super Clear
The first thing I did was to get really clear on what my goal was and why it was important to me for that goal to happen. One aspect of this was to think about the tangible results I was looking to achieve: a place to give my clients information about my services, a place to provide support and encouragement to women through my writing, a platform for other future creative endeavors like a webinar.
The more important aspect of getting clear, however, meant articulating to myself what I was looking to feel as a result of my efforts. For me, the answer was that I wanted to feel expansive, creative, excited, connected, and joyful. These are feelings I am always looking to feel more of in my life, and they serve as great motivation for me to try things outside my comfort zone.
The Journey and the Destination are the Same
There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.
How could I guarantee that in the end my website would give me the feelings I was seeking? By making sure to acknowledge and appreciate the opportunities for those feelings that existed in the journey to get there. For example, working with my clients, writing, spending time with my family all give me the opportunity to feel expansive, creative, and joyful on a daily basis. The path to the completion of my website could be all about frustration and anxiety, or it could be all about creativity, being led by my passions and desires, and having new, life-enhancing experiences. The choice was always mine and mine alone.
Take the Smallest Step
I decided what the smallest step I could take without feeling overwhelmed and then took that step only. So I started by writing one article for my blog. To be honest, just that step caused me to feel frustrated and overwhelmed repeatedly throughout the process and despite my desire to focus on enjoying the journey, I did question multiple times whether it was worth the effort.
But each time I asked myself that question, I had to answer that it was because even if there was no other positive outcome to my work, I do truly love to write. This quote was always helpful to come back to during that time:
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
And I did. I was so proud of myself for writing that article that I truly felt like if I stopped there and never created the website, I would still have achieved something big for myself. But at that point I had gained momentum and wanted even more of those feelings, so I kept going.
Go With the Flow of Life
I'm at my best when I'm at my most authentic and going with the flow of life. I'm not at my best when I'm fearful, anxious, and stuck. When something feels hard, I try to remember to give myself grace. What this typically looks like is to stop resisting the "hardness" of a task, and instead question with genuine curiosity what's really holding me back in that moment.
It's natural to feel resistance to doing something outside our comfort zone. The trick is to stop fighting it and instead examine what that resistance is really trying to tell us.
It's similar to situations where my three-year-old is having a meltdown. If I respond with frustration, anger, or attempt to shut her down by wanting her to feel instantly better, she usually feels the need to justify herself even more and escalates to epic proportions. If I calmly acknowledge that I can see she's upset and having a hard time and that it's okay to be as upset as she needs as long as she needs to be, she usually regains her composure pretty quickly.
When I'm not honoring my uniqueness, it's easy to get discouraged. When I'm feeling relief because I'm reminding myself that I am enough and have something of value to offer others, I know I'm on the right track. I also try to remember that no woman's value comes from doing, it comes from love and self worth, and I am in full control of those things.
As I write this, I'm so glad I followed my intuition and inner-wisdom and created this website and blog. The feelings I'm having are expansive, creative, excited, connected, and joyful, and so it is exactly as I thought it would be.
If you would like to connect to learn more about how I can help you to reach your goals, I invite you to give me a call at 973-769-2401 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org