There will be days when you wake up and just getting out of bed feels like a struggle. It is hard to feel motivated or inspired to do much of anything.
I get it. I have been there so many times. In fact, I am there right now. There is so much to do and yet I find myself staring at the wall doing nothing. Tears of frustration stain my flushed cheeks and somehow everything feels too hard. That nagging voice of negativity is whispering in my ear reminding me that I can’t and therefore I don’t.
Sound familiar? Quite honestly, I hate days like this. Life is so short and time flies by much too fast. Days like today are such a waste of one of the most precious gifts in life; the gift of time. Sadly and regardless of my frustration, I have sat idle and doing nothing for an hour or more. The role of victim and the stamp of defeat have quickly set in. Do I surrender or do I fight?
It is far easier to pull the blankets back over my head and call it a day. God knows I have done that plenty of days in the past. Making excuses and finding justification in quitting sometimes feels far easier than pushing through the fog and rising above the pain of defeat.
In truth, human beings can find every excuse on the planet to NOT do something. We become very good at convincing ourselves that we are too tired, too busy or too overwhelmed. How often has that tiny little voice that screams loud and clear convinced you that you are not good enough, strong enough or smart enough to forge ahead and get it done? And, how many times has the fear of failure paralyzed you from making an important change or pursuing a lifelong dream? Or are you simply feeling sorry for yourself and laziness peppered with a lack of focus has become your new best friend?
I have been caught in the snare of every trap mentioned above. I have felt stuck, defeated and like a failure far too many times. The voice of negativity, fear, excuses, self-doubt and laziness have cast a net deep and wide. Sadly, I have struggled to get out of my own way and it has led to more than one lost dream over the years. Writing a self-help book is a dream I have had for a very long time yet pages of words sit idle in a file and I never seem to finish any of them. Why? Lack of time, fear, distractions, I’m not good enough, exhaustion, it’s too hard are at the top of the excuse list. However, I am going to call bullshit on myself. These are nothing but dream crushers and lame excuses. Hundreds of people write and publish books every year. If they can do it so can I. Why not me? If I want this bad enough I will find a way to do it even when it feels hard.
So back to sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I have a choice to make and today I choose to be in charge of my goals and dreams. I am not going to be a victim today but instead will claim victory over the many potholes we so easily fall into.
So I get up and somehow start to climb the mountain I have managed to place in front of me. I dig deep, find the courage to push on and most importantly believe in myself and that I can. I can do the hard stuff. We ALL can.
Is it going to be easy? NO and anyone that tries to tell you that making changes in life or pursuing dreams is a piece of cake is lying to you. Change is incredibly difficult. Achieving goals and the art of making dreams come true takes a lot of grit and hard work. Often, the things we want the most and that are worth it, are really tough. It takes discipline, perseverance, focus and commitment.
In the end, I have learned that it is sometimes when life knocks you down and is so hard that we need to find the strength to stand back up and keep moving. It is when you feel defeated and stuck that it is critical to dig deep, rise above and believe that YOU CAN.
Most important, it is imperative that you know your WHY. It is the WHY that will guide you and push you when you need a compass the most. Doing the hard stuff is not a slam dunk but if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.
Here are a few tips that work for me when I am feeling stuck and lacking serious motivation:
Negativity and “buying into” the negative voices in our heads can lead us to a dark place fast. Be aware of the little gremlins that are constantly biting at your ankles and trying to pull you off the path. You are in control of your thoughts and the captain of your ship. Reclaim your life, shift your perspective and start to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Positivity and believing in yourself will make a huge difference in your life. If you believe that you can, you will.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
Setting specific goals and writing them down is key. It is easy to think about all that you want to do but writing your goals down and with intention will help you to stay on track. Commit to goals that are realistic and achievable. New Years Eve overflows with a lot more than champagne. It is a time that people make all kinds of “resolutions” yet many people quit before they even start. Why? The goals were unrealistic or they were simply not ready. Make sure that you are truly ready to do what it takes and that the goals are realistic.
I think it helps to Chunk It Down. Divide your goals into chunks and tackle them one step at a time. Writing an entire book in one month is not a realistic goal for me and it will lead me to feel like I can’t do it or like I have failed. Chunking it down feels manageable. I have committed to writing one hour a day 6 days a week and that is something I can achieve. Setting goals that feel too BIG or are unrealistic sets people up for failure. Set goals that feel attainable and write them down. You can do this!
FIND YOUR WHY
Simon Sinek states, “Everyone has a WHY. Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.” Finding your why is sometimes difficult but it is an important step to help you stay motivated and driven to change or achieve your goals. Finding the why and purpose helps people to feel inspired and it can help people to keep moving when things feel incredibly hard. If you are having a hard day and feel like quitting or pulling the covers back over your head, think about your why. Keeping your eye on the WHY can prevent you from choosing the cheeseburger versus the salad or sitting on the couch watching repeat episodes of Game of Thrones versus going to the gym. It is when I have a clear vision of my why that clarity comes and I feel like I can do the hard stuff and not quit.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Blaming others and making excuses will get you nowhere fast. These are two of the most common potholes that people repeatedly fall into and it will stand in the way of your success. Don’t do it. You are in charge of your own life and the choices you make every single day. In the end, it is up to you and if you quit that is on you. It is far easier to quit when things feel hard than it is to keep going. I have been there and it does not feel good. Quitting and making bad choices that pull people off course lead to feelings of guilt, disappointment, shame, frustration and sometimes depression. People get stuck in a rut and end up chained to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Remember, if you believe you can’t, you won’t. You are in charge and you can choose to be successful. That is an awesome and powerful feeling. You can do the tough stuff.
No one will care about your goals or your dreams as much as you do. It is your dream. These are your goals. It is your why. Sadly, others will sometimes try to pull you off the path. People will have opinions, be negative or lead you to believe that you cannot do it. Don’t listen. It is important to believe in yourself and stay the course even when others don’t. You are far stronger than you realize and the human spirit is incredibly resilient. It does not matter what others think or believe. The only thing that matters is what you believe.
Change is hard and pursuing dreams can sometimes feel impossible. But just think about how amazing it feels when you accomplish something. How awesome would it be if you achieved your goals or made a lifelong dream come true? I can tell you it feels pretty amazing when you can look in the mirror and say, “I DID IT.” If you need to make a change, have a goal or a dream take that first step today; make the commitment. You can do the hard stuff. It will change your life in ways you could only imagine and you deserve it. Get off the couch, get out of your own way and believe that you can. I believe in you.
In Peace and With Love,