Want to make a change but can’t seem to get moving? Read this!
You want something—maybe a change in your job or your life—but you are stuck in your own self-doubt tornado. Try these steps and get back on track, heading toward your goal. (If you need help determining your goal, this could help.)
One thing is for certain . . . you will be 100% unsuccessful if you don’t even try! To get started, take just a moment to consider these steps to help move you forward. (If you need help determining your goal, this could help.)
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is my goal? What do I wish to accomplish?
Brainstorm (make a list without editing as you go) all the reasons why this goal is important to you. Be clear and specific. You might start with a goal of “Be happier.” Get underneath that . . . What do you truly want? How do you define happiness? What are the components of happiness for you? How will it change things for you (externally and internally)? How will your life be different once you attain this goal? Why does it matter?
- Do I have the knowledge/information I need to make this decision/change?
Maybe you know exactly what or how to take the steps to reach your goal, but so far you haven’t been able to move in that direction. If that’s the case, go to Question #3.
However, if you need more information: Start the list of what you need to know. Pick out a few resources that can help, clarify and/or shed light on gray areas. Need ideas for resources? The internet is the obvious start. Talking/networking with others who are in the same position as you, have been where you are or who have the role or life you want–are also good to consider. Then simply start. One step is all you need to get the momentum! Don’t worry if the first step isn’t fruitful—learn, reflect and then pivot if needed. Keep going!
- I have enough information to start, but something is holding me back.
Fear is the likely culprit! Fear of making a mistake, fear of failing, fear of not doing it perfectly. But what you can do about it? The answer is to at least one baby step—no matter how small, to get you moving ahead.
Recognize that the inner critic may be making your goal seem out of reach. (We all have that critic and it is especially loud when we are looking to change course in work or life.) Pay attention to and identify the difference between your logical/practical voice and that negative/it-will-never-work voice. Then make a choice—”Am I going to let this voice stop me from pursuing my goal or not?” You get to choose!
Then, come up with counter arguments to that negative nay-sayer. Write them down and review them as needed to stay strong. Here are a few I’ve used for myself.
- “I’m just going to do the best I can, which is all I can do.”
- “I can certainly try.”
- “If at first I don’t succeed . . .”
- “I will only make progress by starting.”
Sometimes simply acknowledging the presence of your critic and facing it square-on will give you the courage to push through it. Ask yourself what the worst-case scenario would be and how likely it is. Chances are your critic has blown the risk way out of proportion. You are stronger and better than that (and gosh darn it, people like you (reference SNL!)!
- What to do if other barriers are in my way?
If you know you have all the information you need, you’ve acknowledged and addressed the critic as best you can, yet you find something is holding you back. Perhaps it’s real business issues (approvals, discussions) or your own personal issues (i.e. anxiety, procrastination, ADHD) that need addressing.
If it’s a business issue, then address it as best you can (that’s all you can do!). Prepare for whatever conversation or process you may have to go through and then plow forward.
If it’s a personal issue, seek the resources you need (therapist, mentor, friends or parent) to help you with issues beyond the inner critic.
And remember, most things do not actually get easier if left to the last minute.
Finally, chill out! You are naturally creative and resourceful (everyone is!) and you will figure this out, one way or another. Worrying is a waste of good energy—channel that energy into your steps toward your goal.
Stay focused on your goal. And remember . . .
“. . . you cannot fail—you can only succeed or learn!”
Extra bonus: Take a moment to remember a time when you were at the peak of your game. You stillhave those qualities and the confidence within. Remind yourself of the attributes that helped you be successful then. (Of course, a coach can help with this :-)). Then nothing can stop you!
Go for it!