Take That Next Step
Here we are at the end of January and I want to ask you a question: How are you progressing towards achieving the goals you have?
I don't mean to pester you, but I do know this: If we do not have anyone holding us accountable to developing the behaviors necessary to create the life we want we will remain in the current life we have.
Change is hard. It requires a decision, and a commitment to that decision, which always requires we do things differently than we are currently. The new year brings anticipation, excitement and even short-lived momentum. How we continue from here will make the difference between ending the year the same as we began it or differently.
Here are three reasons why most of us lose traction towards achieving our goals and how to overcome them.
We lack vision.
Most of us want to know exactly what the change will entail or have step-by-step instructions for how to change before we take our first step. Why? Having a clear vision means safety: we know where we are going and therefore feel more in control. The problem with this reasoning is that clarity cannot come in our current perspective and waiting is only deterring us from seeing it. Stop waiting. We have been given a nudge toward a new normal already, otherwise we wouldn't have this desire for change, even if we do not receive a clear image of what the end result will be. Try committing to taking just the next best step and allowing the reality of your dream to come into focus slowly.
We fear judgement.
Many of us have been living the same way for so long that change seems incredulous to those around us. Reactions like "You're not capable of change." or "That's not who you are, who are you kidding?" and other statements from others or worse, ourselves, deter us from committing to the changes we need for healthy growth. I agree that it's scary following the voice of change, especially when the familiar voices around us try to convince us that we don't need to do all that work, or that we really aren't qualified or, since we aren't really even sure what we want we should just wait (see reason number one if this is you). The voice of change for healthy growth promises something different on the premise of faith: it asks us to step into the idea of the change without knowing what life will really be like on the other side. Step in. Breathe. Then take the next step from there. The opinions of others will change as your healthy growth becomes evident, especially if that detracting voice is your own.
We fear failure.
Change is hard. Change takes work. Change requires us to do things off auto-pilot and fully engaged. There is risk of failure in every decision we are faced with. And...? Failure is a part of life. Trying to avoid it is like locking ourselves up in an empty room and sit there all day every day: useless. Failure causes us to grow and should not be feared. It is the negative connotations of failure that cause us to shrink back. Failure is associated with "worthless" and "unworthy." We are neither of those things no matter how many attempts it takes us to get where we are going. Take that next step. Try. Redefine what failure means and see how your momentum begins to shift as you choose to move towards the dream on your heart for something more.
"An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."
Newton's First law of Motion.
The first step will be the hardest. You're being redirected or even being pushed out of a standstill. But, once the momentum begins it will become easier to take the next step and the next one after that. I have no idea how this year will end up for you, but I do know that if you do not commit to at least making one small change, one different decision, you will not receive the blessings of the nudge you have been given.
Need an accountability partner? I'd love to help you figure out how to take your next step and commit to taking the next one after that. Reach out today for a free Next Step consultation! firstname.lastname@example.org
For your Biblical Consideration:
Reflect on the role fear plays in the wanderings of the Israelites. (Numbers 13:25-32 NIV) What happened when the Israelites were faced with the dream, and even the proof, of a new life? They grew afraid. They were being asked to step into the land that God himself had told them was theirs, yet they were afraid of the changes needed to receive that promise. What happened to them? Although cared for tenderly and patiently by our loving a faithful God, their ultimate blessing was fulfilled by the next generation instead of their own.
What blessings are in store for you as you step into the dreams on your heart? Focus on that instead of the fear!