What’s that one thing you have been talking about over and over again? That one thing you have always wanted to do? It’s on repeat in your head.
Here are some things I’ve heard from clients and friends:
“I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve always wanted to make more money. I’ve always wanted to create a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to travel to (insert place). I’ve always wanted to (insert activity). I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. I’ve always wanted to go on a mission trip.”
These ideas are uniquely yours. They were put in your heart. If you want to live life to the fullest, you must do three things:
1. Watch your thoughts and get familiar with your fears and excuses
2. Get a clear and specific vision of your goal
3. Stop talking about it and get into action
Recognize your excuses
“I need more experience. I can’t afford it. I would but I just don’t have the time.”
These phrases are self-sabotaging you and all your awesomeness. If you want to massively improve your life, then you must watch your mouth.
What comes out of your mouth comes into your life. These lame phrases aren’t moving you forward or making you grow. Become aware of the thoughts and lame excuses that are holding you back.
When we think in black and white terms and keep excuses on repeat, we focus on the problem rather than focusing on a solution. These thoughts tend to leave us feeling anxious and depleted.
A stream of self-sabotaging thoughts might sound like this:
“I hate my body. I’m never going to be able to lose weight. I would love to love getting dressed in the morning. I have tried so many diets and I just don’t have what it takes. My whole family is overweight. It’s just in my genes. I don’t have the money to join a gym. I don’t have the time to exercise. I’m going to be like this forever.”
These thoughts are close-ended and focus on areas of lack. This voice speaks in a defeatist, self-limiting tone. There is no interest in moving forward or growing.
Once you have identified these critical thoughts you can start looking at them more open-endedly. You can get curious instead of drawing the line in the sand.
The new empowering thoughts might sound like this:
“I would love to not struggle with my weight. I wonder how I could lose weight without going on a diet. I don’t have money to join a gym but I’m going to make a list of things I could do on my own to get my body moving. I love walking my dog. I’ll try leaving work 30 minutes early so I can spend that time walking my dog. I also love that one shirt that makes me feel good. I’m going to wear that more often.”
There are two different tones in each example. The first one is negative, self-destructive and hurtful. The second is positive, supportive and helpful. There is more room for exploration and growth-oriented.
Get a clear vision
Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” How true!
Oftentimes, we think we can’t do or have something because we don’t have a clear picture of what we want. I encourage you to get a pen and paper and get really specific on your goal. Write down all the details. Visualize your goal as if it has already come to pass.
For example, if your end goal is to start your own business, you might write something like this:
“I am looking forward to going to work today. I’m excited because a new line of totally awesome home decorating stuff is being delivered today. My devoted customers are going to love it. I listen to them talk about what they like and I meet their needs. Being at the store makes me so happy! I love being able to bring my furry friend to work. He loves to sit in the front window that is Pinterest worthy. The flexibility of owning my own business is a dream come true.”
The key is to get as specific as possible. At the end of achieving your goal, how does it look? How do you feel? Don’t think about all the ways this isn’t going to happen. Get in the mindset that everything you have ever wanted is available to you right now.
Get into action
“I’d love to but… I’m waiting until… someday I’d like to…”
All of these lame excuses are getting you nowhere. If you want to want to start achieving your goal, then you must start taking small steps. You don’t have to know exactly how you are going to get there. You just have to begin.
So many times we are stuck in our fear of “what-ifs,” which causes us to stay stuck. Action cures fear.
If you want to take control of your life, then you must stop waiting and start moving forward. Instead of waiting for the stars to align, break down your big goal into smaller chunks and get into action mode.
Your goal should be a little bit scary but also excite you. Have you ever been afraid to go on a roller coaster? Then you find yourself getting your seat belt checked for the ride you swore you would never go on. Once the blood comes back to your head and fingers you realize, “Wow! That was exhilarating! Let’s do it again!”
That’s how it is with life. Breakthrough happens when you are both scared and excited and decide to go for it.
Fear will always be lurking. It’s not going to just magically disappear. It’s up to you to decide if you are going to let fear control your life or are you going to be in control of your fear.
Stop waiting. Stop postponing. Stop dragging your feet. Stop dilly dallying. Hesitating and being indecisive will keep you stuck in your fears and excuses.
Don’t wait for the perfect time or until you are 100 percent ready.
You are in control of your life. Enough with the waiting and postponing. Sit on your excuses. Get into action. You only have one life.
Amy Wagenknecht is a certified BARE life coach dedicated to helping others become mentally and physically stronger so they can achieve goals and take control of their life. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.