How do you hike up a big mountain? One step at a time. How do you run a marathon? One step at a time. How do you achieve a goal? One step at a time. It’s the same process. The steps can be slow and sometimes you might fall or backslide but if you keep taking steps in the right direction you will eventually get there.
In hiking a mountain, if you stop, you will be standing still in the middle of nowhere, looking up at what you could have achieved. Eventually you will have to make the choice to regroup and start climbing again or start hiking back down the mountain. The longer you stay standing, the less likely you will start pushing up the mountain again.
In running a marathon, if you stop you will watch other runners pass by you and you will never get to that finish line. The more you think about how tired you are, how much your feet hurt, how much further behind you are than others, or how much further you have to go, the less likely you will be to start running again.
The same is true with working towards any goal. Small steps ongoing will give you the momentum you need to keep going. When you stop, it becomes much harder to start again. When you think about how much work is required, how hard it can be, how much further along others are and how much further you have to go, it becomes much harder to start back up or to keep going. You mind will try to tell you that you can’t do it, or it will remind you that you have failed trying in the past. Your mind will try to keep you in a safe and comfortable place. That is it’s job, however, when you are striving for something more, you have to change your mind so that you will stay in pursuit of your goal.
I am certainly guilty of overthinking things and of trying to make sure things will all turn out perfectly before I start taking action. Unfortunately, when I indulge in this way of thinking, it keeps me from making forward progress. While I certainly don’t want to be reckless and I want to make educated decisions about things when setting big goals, I have learned that it is best to make a decision and just start taking action. I can always make adjustments as I go if needed.
I really learned this first with exercise. I used to tell myself that I would start working out when I lost some weight and felt a little stronger and better about myself. Looking back now, that makes no...sense…at…all! I have had clients share similar examples of not wanting to start going to the gym until they looked a certain way. Again, this make absolutely no sense, however, there are so many of us who have had this type of experience. My brain could talk me out of exercising all day long if I allowed it to do so. Why would I want to go do something that was going to make me uncomfortable if I did not need to? Why would I want to go sweat and make myself tired when I am not going to even see any immediate results? This is how our brain talks to us. It is trying to protect us; however, this way of thinking does not serve us.
As I mentioned, this happens when we are trying to pursue anything new that pushes us out of our comfort zone. Whether trying to lose weight, improve a relationship, take on a big project at work, grow a business, start a new hobby, or create a new life, your brain will try to talk you out of it as soon as it gets a little challenging or uncomfortable. When this happens, the best thing you can do is take the next logical step you can think of to continue moving forward. If you continue to overthink it…you will never make the change you are saying you want. If you continue to overthink it…you will give up on yourself. If you continue to overthink it…you will convince yourself it will be hard and you may fail (both of these are things that will likely happen, by the way). If you continue to overthink it…will you live with the regret of not giving it your all?
I have definitely regretted not pursuing things in the past. When I look back, I see that if I had just kept going when it got hard, I would have achieved the thing I said that I wanted. I have learned not to beat myself up about this, but instead use these situations as lessons learned so that I don’t find myself in inaction when trying to pursue things now. Even if on some days or weeks, it feels like small action, I have learned that some form of action will keep me going, even when it is challenging.
How about you? What is the thing that you want to do that feels a little uncomfortable or scary? Or maybe you have tried something the past and it did not work out, but you keep thinking about it and wishing you had kept going. Well, the good news is that it is not too late. You can regroup and start taking action today. It is the only way to get from here to there. Consistency compounds. What if tomorrow, next week or next month is when you start to really see the results you are looking for but instead of getting there, you give up today?
I don’t want that for you and I hope you don’t want that for yourself. When you feel like stopping, remember that slow and steady will get you there if you just keep going. If there are moments when you can sprint, that is great, it just means you will get to the top of the mountain or to the finish line faster. Just don’t stop, sit down and wait for someone to rescue you, to make it easier, or to do it for you…nobody is coming.
You’ve got this! I am here cheering for you!
If you are looking to create positive habits that help you keep moving in the direction of your goals, click HERE to get my 5 Day Challenge to Creating a Positive Habit. You will get a guidebook and each day you will get a short video where I will walk you though the 5 steps.
Live your best boss lady life!
Karen Vincent Solutions