Have you run into some setbacks or unexpected challenges? Or, are you having trouble getting out of the starting gate—or nowhere even near the starting gate?
Are you feeling hopeless, that you’ll never get the hang of this or that the obstacles are too numerous and the obstacles are too large to overcome?
No worries! The good news is you are not alone and you are not the unique in these experiences. Everyone runs into setbacks, challenges, and obstacles. And, at one time or another, everyone has experienced difficulty getting started.
Forward movement is critical, especially when you’re feeling discouraged. You may think this is the absolute worst time for you to make any kind of forward movement, even a minuscule one. I urge you to challenge yourself. You will be astonished to learn that there are depths and strengths to you that you didn’t know about. You’ll discover them by daring yourself to take a small step. And, you’ll be surprised at the burst of energy you feel and, most important, the surge of self-confidence and pride.
You don’t have to scrap the whole deal and start from the very beginning. You don’t have to toss in the towel and give up because you think this means that you don’t have what it takes.
The good news is you can start right where you are.
Your homework is to take a look at your list of steps, break one of them down into a teeny tiny piece–a piece that you know you can easily do–and then do it.
You can do this; I believe in you!
Go for it!
I’m so very proud of you. Moving forward when you least feel like it and when you least expect to be able to is a very important accomplishment. Make note of it.
Extra credit: celebrate and revel in the fact that you did it!
What do you do when you have several directions or opportunities to choose from? Each one seems promising, as if they’ll all take you farther down the path toward where you want to go.
What do you do?
Take a moment for playful contemplation. Hold each one in your mind, giving yourself time to play with them. Let your mind come up with impressions and feelings and images about each one of the opportunities. Give yourself about 10 minutes for this session–no more than 15 minutes. This is meant to be a quick, fun session. You are after first impressions because they are often truer than the ones you get after you think about it a little bit. When you think too hard, it invites your Internal Critic to weigh in and oftentimes it can be a Negative Nick. So give this a light touch and be open to what ever it is your mind has to show/tell you.
After the session, jot down a few notes about what you felt about each idea during your contemplation and what you feel now. Soon, if not right away, you’ll be drawn to one idea/opportunity/path/step. It will feel right or it may feel fun or you may “just know” in your bones or heart that it’s the right one. The energy of that path or step will be a little different than the others–a little brighter or lighter in weight.
Your homework for today is to sit in playful, quiet contemplation and hold in your mind the steps and direction you are taking toward your goals and dreams. Whether you have a clear direction with obvious steps or if you have several options and paths available, take the time to hold this in your mind. For those of you with multiple choices, one of them will stand out, even a little bit, from the rest. For those who know for sure you are on the right path, this exercise will confirm it and give you that much more confidence.
Remember to take the next step in your journey, even if it’s just a teeny tiny one. Keep the momentum up; keep moving forward!
You can do it! Yay you!
I am so proud of you! You are awesome! I knew you could do it!
“The unexamined life is not worth living by a human being” ~Plato
What if you look back over these past seven days and find that your energy and enthusiasm has dwindled? What if Life has intervened in ways you hadn’t imagined so you’re not really taking any steps at all? What if you never really got out of the starting gate in the first place?
What do you do about this?
Is it time to pack it in, give up, and somehow reconcile yourself to the seeming fact that you’re just not one of the lucky people who can attain their goals and dreams?
The answer is: NO!
Don’t let these thoughts get to you!
It’s very common to find your drive and motivation flagging and it’s an all too usual thing for Life to mess up our best-laid plans. And, many people feel discouraged and disappointed from time-to-time.
When you evaluate yourself, be gentle. I’m positive you can look back over these past few days and identify little things you did do to help yourself and small steps you did take. Even if you’re at the very beginning point where you’re working on this in your mind, give yourself credit for the things you are doing. Even just the simple awareness that you want something better for yourself and you’d like to–or hope to–one day do something about it is a reason to celebrate yourself. Remember from previous posts that mind-work in the form of imagination, visualization, contemplation, and awareness is vital and valuable. Also remember that teeny-tiny steps are the foundation of the larger steps you’ll take later on
Your homework today is to celebrate the victories you’ve had this week, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential. It’s hard work breaking steps into small pieces, overcoming resistance and inertia, pushing aside fears and anxieties, and moving forward. You did it, though!
The thoughts you think–the words you say to yourself–are very powerful. From time-to-time, we all need a little boost. One of the easiest ways do this is to repeat words that are powerful and meaningful to you. Here are a few suggestions:
Conqueror, champion, winner;
Strong, resilient, hardy;
Powerful, bold, audacious;
Mighty, dynamic, robust;
Victory, triumph, success;
Vibrant, vigorous, vitality;
Vim, zest, gusto;
Effervescent, radiant, dazzling;
Brilliant, genius, quick-witted;
Creative; innovative, ingenuity;
Smart; intelligent, brainy;
Thriving, flourishing, soaring;
Talented, gifted; well-able;
Brave, daring, heroic;
Courageous, plucky, gutsy;
Dazzling, spectacular, magnificent.
Your homework for today is to go over this list of words and make a note of those that strike a chord within you. Repeat them frequently throughout the day, each day. For extra credit, pull out your thesaurus– or go to http://www.thesaurus.com — and search for words that make you feel energized and optimistic. Note these and add them to your roster and repeat them to yourself throughout your day.
Here we are at the beginning of a fresh, clean New Year. It’s sparkling, glittering with opportunity and promise. We can do anything we set our minds to! We’ll knock it out of the ballpark this year, for sure.
From this vantage point, we believe that this year will be different for us. Of course we’ll follow through on our plans, goals, and resolutions. We have vim, we have vigor, and we’re confident we’ll keep driving forward all the way through the end of December. But yet, there’s a niggling uncertainty in the back of our minds…how will we actually do this?
Though, for some of us at the leading edge of the New Year, we have a different vantage point. Instead of seeing the brightness of possibility and good fortune, we may be experiencing the bone-wearying lifelessness of the deepening rut we’ve been in for years. We have no goals, we have no plans, and we have no resolutions. Our hopes and dreams died years ago. We have no expectations because we promised ourselves that this year we would not set ourselves up for the disappointment of not following through and the resulting humiliation of being in the same place–or worse–this time next year. Furthermore, it’s exhausting to even think about getting up the nerve and wherewithal to try–yet again–to make something different for ourselves. But still, there’s a small whisper niggling at the back of our minds saying that we’re made for something more, something greater, than this…but how do we actually do this?
The answer is: by taking one step at a time.
It sounds simplistic, even ludicrous. Maybe it’s insulting to be told something we’ve heard countless times before. We’ve already tried it with varying degrees of success and yet we’ve stood by helplessly as our excitement and drive fizzled out. Or, perhaps we’re crushed by the despair of not being able to summon the tiniest scrap of energy to take so much as a feeble limp, much less a step.
All these objections are saying one thing: the steps you are taking, or are imagining you must take, are too large. Break them into smaller pieces. Make them microscopic if you have to. Break them down to the point where the first step is something you believe is reasonable and achievable; something you can do. It doesn’t matter what other people are doing or have done. It doesn’t matter that the step you are taking is so small that even the most powerful electron microscope would have trouble detecting it. The only thing that matters is that you are taking action–moving forward.
So that first step–either the one you will take or the one you are imagining taking–break it down into smaller pieces. Break those into baby pieces. Then break those into teeny tiny pieces. Keep breaking them into smaller and smaller increments until you get to a piece that you know you can commit to doing.
To help you, repeat to yourself often throughout the day, emphasizing the word in italics:
I can do it;
I can do it;
I can do it;
I can do it.
Also repeat to yourself often throughout the day, emphasizing the word in italics:
Yes I can;
Yes I can;
Yes I can.
If one of these strikes a chord within you, then repeat that one as often as you can. Write it down, carry it with you, paste it where you’ll see it often, and refer to it throughout the day.
Your homework for today is to break your step into small, easily doable increments and do only one of those increments today. Or, when you imagine a step you might take if the world were perfect and if you had a stiff wind at your back, break that down into a very small piece that causes you to say, “Huh. I think I can actually do that one.”
For those of you who can take the small incremental step, go ahead and do so. For those of you who can only imagine it, then do that–trying to imagine it using as many senses as you can. Don’t worry if you get only a little glimmer of it. That’s good enough for now.
Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back because you did it! You took the first step! That’s all you had to do today so you’re done! You’re free to do what ever else you’d like to do.