Follow The Process to Big Goals

When you have big goals, you are often in process. This is how it has to be by mere definition, big goals do not happen quickly, otherwise they aren’t big goals. This "in process" time might involve some amount of risk, it might provoke a bit of anxiety, and it might produce a legitimate amount of doubt. All of this is completely normal. Very few successful businesses opened and then suddenly were worth millions with no doubt or side steps along the way. Very few people meet the person with whom they spend the rest of their life without "failing" with several others.

When being in process means any type of overwhelm, doubt, anxiety, or risk, remind yourself of the bigger goal. While it may sound appealing right now to go back to a place with very little risk where everything is safe, this is not what you wanted when you set the big goals in the first place. I can tell you first-hand, I would certainly be "ok" if I was still in Maryland, but instead I took a big risk with a lot of big steps and a lot of doubt, and now I reap the benefits every single day.

Generally, what you are doing at times like these when you feel anxiety and doubt is taking one or two data points and making them into a pattern. Just because you had recent setbacks does not mean everything you do is a failure. Recent setbacks means nothing more than you had recent setbacks. Any meaning you assign beyond this is your decision, and a decision that you do not have to make.

Follow the process to big goals. Remember you always get to write your own story. This means you choose which events are most important, and you get to choose the ending.


What Holds You Back Here…

Last night I took a class in tumbling. It turns out that I can do a standing back flip, i.e. I am able to jump from a standing position, flip my entire body backwards, and land without breaking my neck. However, I am very far from doing this without a spotter and mats, and the reason is my own fear.

Sometimes fear is completely warranted. Without adequate training, there was a legitimate chance I would land on my neck, and my life would instantly change for the worse. Something needs to stop me from doing flips whenever the mood may strike me. However, sometimes the fear is completely in my head. Last night, the landings were into a foam pit, with no chance of injury. With the spotter and the foam pit, it turned out I had no trouble at all doing a flip. But, it took me several minutes of overcoming fear to even attempt it.

Fear without danger is a context. The magical thing about context is that when it appears in one place, it always appears somewhere else, likely in several places. This means that fear when there is no danger is also the exact thing holding me back in other parts of my life, not just in doing flips. I spent a lot of time reflecting last night on this, and have ideas for moving forward, and breaking other barriers. This work is not always enjoyable, but much like landing a flip, the results can be pretty amazing.

What holds you back here… holds you back everywhere. Learn to identify your contexts, and break through them on every front possible. The results are always worth it.

Look On The Other Side Of Fear

This week I went snowboarding for the first time. I have very little experience with "winter sports," having gone skiing only a handful of times, with the last being 2011. Two straight days this weekend was quite an immersion. Early on, I was very tentative. Even standing for more than a few seconds became difficult, there was fear of picking up too much speed and fear of crashing into something. My mind was often thinking about what the repercussions of an injury would be, something like a hurt wrist would mean many weeks of no training.

Eventually I remembered that I am here to truly try snowboarding. As long as I do everything tentatively and with fear, I am not giving it a full shot. As long as I worry about the effects of a possible injury, I am not really trying snowboarding, I am just being safe. I decided instead to change my story, and to really go for it. I stopped intentionally trying not to have speed, and let it all go. I still fell several times but I went down the mountain much faster, and quite honestly it felt amazing. By the end of the second day I was exhausted, but I fully understood why so many people love snowboarding.

Sometimes the safe decision really is best. Many other times, the safe decision is not. Love is never found by being safe, whether it is for snowboarding, for another person, for a place, or for anything at all. As long as you have one eye on what happens if you fail, love and greatness is not possible. Love and greatness never occur when steps to get there are accompanied by constant fear.

Look on the other side of fear. Whatever it is in your life that you are doing, ask yourself if you have fear of failing. What is possible if this fear was not present? Would you love? Would you do something great? Would you have a lot more fun? Then ask yourself if it is truly needed. The other side often is a source of much excitement and happiness, it just takes a leap of faith to get there.

Give Full Effort, or Don’t Bother Trying

This quote may be meant as comedy but it is completely valid, and something I say to clients all the time. I remember when I first tried salsa dancing. I went out on the floor, tried to do a few steps, and quickly said it wasn’t for me. In my mind at the time, I was right. It was crazy to think I could be a Latin dancer, and I convinced myself of this rather easily. Later on I took a few lessons, went out to practice many times, and eventually became (I like to think) an above average dancer, and created a very enjoyable hobby for myself for many years.

The same concept applies to so many other things. A relationship may be wrong for you or may be right, but going into it halfway with one foot out the door pretty much ensures it will not work. Trying any fitness program without giving it your full effort also will likely ensure a lack of success. The truth is that without jumping fully into something, you aren’t really giving it a fair chance. No one is saying you have to give anything a fair chance, that is always up to you, but you definitely cannot speak about its effectiveness or its applicability to you without fully going for it.

Give full effort or don’t bother trying. Anything in between is no way to live. It may turn out that the activity is not for you, but at least you can speak about that accurately.

Be Your Best Self

In the past and present I have worked with many clients, and all had very distinct goals. One thing which is always consistent is that all paths lead to being the best version of yourself. Think for example if you are starting a business. For it to succeed, you obviously need to work hard and give it everything you have, coming from the best possible place. If it fails, you need to be in the best possible place you can be when you move on. Obviously we prefer one of those outcomes to another, but the fact remains that either path leads to being your best self. If you are hoping to meet somebody, the same holds true.

Whether your goals are romantic, or financially based, or fitness based, every single path always leads to you wanting to be the best version of yourself. To truly be the driver of your life, this is the only way. Make yourself as educated and/or qualified as you can be, without this you could have done more. Be in your essence as much as possible, every minute outside of there is a minute that you are not attracting what you truly are meant to be attracting. Take care of your body, the last thing you need is something health-related holding you back, eliminate this possibility as much as you possibly can.

Be your best self. All possibilities for great things lead to this conclusion, and they always will. As long as you want to do great things with your life, this is the path to take.

Follow Up On Your Message

In any interaction between two people, there are two messages exchanged. There is the message we intended to convey, and the message that the other person received. Often these things are close, but often they are not. Often the other person received something completely different than we intended. Many things can factor into this, the other person might be having a bad day, or having a good day, or might have 100 things on their to-do list which are on their mind. The same goes for us, our energy may be different on any given day depending on any number of circumstances. Maybe there was certain language we used which the other person uses differently, maybe they just didn’t even hear you correctly. The number of possibilities here is truly infinite. This is even further complicated by living in today’s information age. With so many ways to communicate, many of them available instantly, we often unintentionally send a message just by not answering for a short amount of time.

If the message received by the other person is of importance to you, then never be afraid to ask. Asking "I would like to know how this felt for you" is so powerful, yet many of us do it so seldomly. This lets the other person know that you care, it proactively avoids misunderstandings, and it allows you to be vulnerable with the other person. I have had multiple clients change their relationship patterns seemingly overnight just by acting upon this idea.

Follow up on your message. Knowing how you were recieved is one of the most powerful things you can do to truly connect with others.

Find Your Rebalance Activity

Hopefully you have some sort of "go to activity" which you can do when you are not feeling like you are in your essence. Mine currently is working out on the bars at the beach or rock climbing, but these activities can be anything from playing music, to painting a picture, to writing in a journal. There is nothing wrong with needing such an activity, life will always throw you curve balls, especially if you have truly big goals.

This weekend I had a great experience of doing two straight Spartan Races. The more people with whom I spoke, the more I realized that many consider this training to be their go to activity. Many started obese, or out of shape, or unhealthy, or even with a serious illness, and found fitness to be a perfect activity to rebalance. For them, the Spartan races on their calendar motivated them to keep going.

It really does not matter what you do to get back into your essence, only that you are there. And when you are there, the world around you changes, because you see things as you are, not as they are. When you are being you, things are different than when you are not. It is vital to find a way to get back into your essence, because your world is a function of who you are being.

Find your rebalance activity. Let it be there for you whenever you need it to be.