Creating the life you want can be an extremely rewarding experience, yet there are times when you find yourself stuck in a place where you're questioning yourself, your abilities, your competence, your gifts, and the list goes on. You wonder if the hard work and sacrifice is really worth it or if it's best to just count your losses, and quit. I really don't think that you can ever lose by betting on yourself, and giving everything you've got to seeing your vision for your life manifested. However, practical issues call for practical solutions:
Get back to your "why"
Sometimes when feeling discouraged, you can easily forget why you thought your ideas would work in the first place. But your "why" is what originally fueled you to put your ideas in motion. So review it again. Did you start doing what you're doing for a better life, more financial freedom, or a greater sense of purpose? If so, then it's totally worth seeing this process through to the end. Write down your "why" and put it on your desk so that you never forget what you're working towards and why you've got to finish.
Create a checklist of measurable, actionable steps
When attempting to achieve your goals, it's important to be able to track your progress. One way to do this is to create a daily checklist of actionable items that will help you achieve your bigger goal. The list should include 3-5 action steps that are prioritized by level of importance. Once you've achieved those 3-5 things, you can feel good knowing that you're a little bit closer today to getting what your working so hard to achieve.
Phone a friend
Sometimes when things are not going as planned, you feel like you need to unplug and vent to one of your girlfriends. Do it. Having someone in your life who loves you, listens and provides some checks and balances is a great person to talk to about your frustrations. She'll sit with you while you lick your wounds, and then send you back into the wild to get back to work.
Commit to solving the problem quickly
If you want to quit because you're having a difficult time figuring out how to get beyond a current challenge, don't stop working through it until you come up with a way to fix it. Instead of running from the challenge or putting it off, commit to resolving the issue so that it's not hanging over your head. Even if the solution happens in several steps, take the necessary steps in a timely fashion so you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, when you don't respond in a timely fashion to problems, they get worse. Before you know it, you're stuck with this insurmountable issue that could have been resolved much quicker if you would have approached it head on. So take a deep breath and get back to it. Send the email, ask the question, rework the plan. Do whatever is within reason to resolve the issue and bring things back to neutral. You can do this.
It's time to redefine your perspective on success. Perhaps you're too focused on the goal, and have lost sight of your current achievements. There's already so much to celebrate! Going forward, I suggest that you take a moment to list at least 10 things you'd like to do once you hit certain milestones. Doing so will give you something to look forward to while you're working hard on achieving your big goals.
There is no better way to lose momentum in getting what you want than to procrastinate. Sometimes the very task that would get you over the hump is the least desirable and the one you keep putting off. I challenge you to do that task first. If it's the only thing you accomplish today, you'll be better for it, and a HUGE step closer to getting what you want.
Delegate the tasks that keep you from operating in your brilliance
One of the best ways to get motivated about your goals again is to connect with people who can help you get there. For example, if you want to apply for a grant, but grant writing is not your strong suit, hire a grant writer. Everyone has their area of brilliance, including you. Instead of trying to do everything moderately well, focus on the areas that you excel in and outsource the rest. Websites like fiverr.com, elance.com, and odesk.com are perfect resources to use to find the help you need within any budget.
Designate time to just think
The world we live in is extremely fast paced. It's easy to spin your wheels and be "busy" without really getting anything done. When you bump into that fact and take a look at what's been accomplished, it can be deflating to see that you haven't gotten as far as you would have liked or that you're not going the way you intended. This is why it's so valuable to plan time to step away from the noise and think. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:
- What went well this week?
- What didn't go so well?
- What important tasks are incomplete
- Do I need to make any adjustments
- What can I do better
- Do I need to seek advice from a colleague, mentor or coach?
Once you've determined the answers, make it a priority to apply the information to your process right away. At first glance, taking time to think may sound like an excuse to do nothing. But every once in awhile you must take a step back and examine your process to ensure that you're going the right way.
Read books and/or quote(s) from your favorite people
Social media has given us the amazing opportunity to access incredible people who we otherwise would have never known in our lifetime. If you're following them, your timeline will probably be full of incredible quotes, articles, and suggested books that will inspire and motivate you to keep going. When you have some down time, take a moment to read the amazing gems that people have shared. But don't stop there. Take some time to also consider how you can improve your process with this new information.
Schedule breaks to do something fun
Let's face it, sometimes you can be so enthralled with meeting your goal that you refuse to take a break to eat, call your best friend, or even sleep. But you can't sustain a lifestyle like that for very long without burning out. You definitely need food, friends and sleep. So instead of being forced into a break due to exhaustion or depression, schedule small ones along the way. Schedule a visit to see your girlfriend's new baby, or to call that friend that you haven't spoken to in awhile. You'll find that creating memories while on your journey will make the whole process much more enjoyable and rewarding.
The truth is no matter how bad that business deal went down, there is someone who would pay money to be you on your worst day. So take some time to think about, and maybe even record all of the incredible things that have happened to you since you began pursuing your big goals and dreams. It's possible you'll find that the good outweighs the bad.
Pay it forward
Sometimes when we lose hope and motivation it's because we've become a little too absorbed in our own affairs. While you're on your journey to creating the best life ever, make it a point to stop and help someone else achieve their dreams as well. You'll find that the time you take to teach, guide and encourage others will also inspire you to get back to work with a new found vigor.
Stop being so hard on yourself
With everything that you've been through, you've come pretty far. Whether you've hit every goal on your list or not, the truth is that it's taken a lot of courage and hard work to get where you are today. You've done well, and whatever mistakes you've made do not define you as a woman, professional, and/or business owner. Another day offers you the opportunity to do better, to apply new ideas, make adjustments, etc. So be kind to yourself, dust yourself off and get back at it.
You have so much to offer the world, and no one can do it like YOU! Even with things being challenging, you're stronger than you think. You will make it---if you just don't quit! I'm rooting for you and would like to leave you with this quote:
I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' --Muhammad Ali
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