I'm going to start by saying "GUILTY as charged!"
I have started many things in my life and stopped because of one or all four of these reasons. It is true that they say, "It is the START that STOPS us from being successful" in our endeavors and that quite frankly sucks! But it doesn't have to be the case.
You owe it to yourself to look around, see the potential of your life and go for it. In the summer of 2014 I looked around and said to myself, "Is this it??" There was a restlessness or a nagging feeling in my gut telling me I needed to find MORE in my life. That I wouldn't be satisfied until I started doing what I was meant to do. I didn't know WHAT I was meant to do exactly but I knew I needed to START putting things into action to see what the Universe brought my way. I had to put in the work and eventually I would find my path. Two and half years later I am happy to say I have found my path, but now I need to execute on that 10 fold! It's not enough just to know what you want to do...you have to fight for it every single day with intention!
I'm reading an amazing book called THE 12 WEEK YEAR which outlines very simple and precise goal setting in order to achieve more in 12 weeks than you would in 1 year. At the end the authors discuss "Resistance Monsters" or 4 things that stop us from achieving our goals. These 4 things haunted me for a very long time. Calling them "Resistance Monsters" is perfect. They are monsters that haunt us in the middle of the night and scare us away from taking action. But when you turn on the lights (i.e. TAKE ACTION) these monsters aren't so big and tough anymore. They start to lose their power and YOU start to see abundance and beauty in your life like never before.
Here are the 4 reasons we stop before we even start:
1. THE NEED FOR IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION:
Ah yes, the need to have it right away. The need to be 10 pounds lighter, the need to have that latest gadget, that need to get that dream job.... We are a society conditioned to NEED it now. Instead of working for it over the long term and quite possibly create something bigger than we ever imagined we quit and take the short term comfort virtually every time. That is why it seems like so few people are actually super successful. Because the majority of us are too uncomfortable with slow progress that we'd rather avoid it all together than to possibly live the life that we envy from a far.
2. BIG CHANGE AND MULTIPLE GOALS:
This makes me think of New Year's Resolutions. We make a massive list of all the things we want to see big change in and that list remains dormant until the next year. Why? Because the list is so long, so big and so overwhelming that we don't start. Having way too many new goals that require big change makes it virtually impossible to stay motivated and engaged daily on these goals. My mentor, Brendon Burchard, breaks this down in a way that I truly love and have started implementing each month. Pick your big goal ($100K in revenue, 50 pound weight loss, new job, etc.) and write that down. Now reverse engineer that into 5 boxes. Each box needs to be an action step that will move you closer to that goal. Each box should build on the last one until you reach that goal. This way you aren't tackling the WHOLE thing all at once. You are breaking it up into manageable chunks that each serve a purpose of getting you to your larger goal. It also takes your mind off the HUGE goal that seems impossible to reach and gives you little wins you can celebrate along the way! In THE 12 WEEK YEAR they basically say the same thing. They say you need to shrink your thinking into manageable and measurable goals. Your end goal never shrinks but the way you view each task does, making it easier for you to start.
3. OLD HABITS:
Oh yes, the old habits! Doing things differently sucks right? Who wants to wake up earlier, eat more vegetables, turn off the TV or read a motivational book? It's so much easier to NOT do all those things. The problem is our environment doesn't magically change into a motivational safe haven when we have a new goal and all of our triggers still confront us each day making it so much harder for us to start our new routine. In THE 12 WEEK YEAR they talk about creating a written plan of action called "Implementation Intentions." I have been calling this the "If-Then Rule" for years. Basically IF "x" happens that is normally a trigger that sends you down the wrong path THEN I will do "y" instead. Have a game plan of how you will consciously take a different course of action when you are met with your triggers. Doing this sets you up for success and dramatically increases your confidence in your abilities to achieve.
4. VICTIM THINKING:
One of my favorite lines in THE 12 WEEK YEAR is "As long as you see the solution to your greatness as being outside of you, you will remain powerless to change." WOW truth bomb dropped. As long as we give our power away we will remain caged in our circumstances and think we have no ability to change. The truth is we need to OWN where we are, what we've done to get there and decide that it is up to US to fix it. No one is coming along on a white house to rescue us from our circumstances. We need to take responsibility, seek out accountability and take ACTION regularly to move the needle forward.
You could be experiencing 1, 2, 3 or even all 4 of these things right now in your life. I challenge you to take some time and get clear about where you are with each. Journal your thoughts and then decide that you are going to take back your power. Take a flashlight under your bed and prove to yourself that these monsters are all in your head. It's up to you to change your mindset and take action daily in order to create the life you want.
You do that by getting crystal clear on what you want and setting 1-3 goals ONLY. Then break your goals down into manageable segments. Now each day you must decide to take action on each segment. You have to know that you're playing the long game here. Nothing will happen overnight but when the long term outcome matters more than short term comforts, you'll get to work! Then keep shining a light on your monsters. Keep visualizing and reminding yourself that you deserve more, you are worthy of more and you in fact can achieve MORE! It doesn't matter where you are or where you have been... all that matters now is where you are going!
Are you ready? Lets do this!