Have you been trying to finish a project but can’t seem to get motivated? I’ve SO been there. Have you ever had an important goal or dream you’ve given up on? Um, guilty. It’s happened to all of us, I can also attest to that needling feeling in the back of my brain that I need to finish X, Y, or Z. Well listen, our goals and dreams do change so it’s actually okay to give up on something you no longer care about; our lives constantly take us in different directions. But if you do still care to see a dream come to pass, here are some things that might be holding you back, mostly this isn’t a conscious decision.
But first coffee. This might hurt a little so get comfortable with your fave cup, maybe a dog or kitty in your lap… it’s gonna be okay though, let’s get inspired and do the thing you’ve been meaning to do!
Don’t let it way you down, just start. So let’s begin with the “why”…
- You’re afraid you don’t have the capacity to achieve the goal you desire to achieve.
- You don’t want to achieve the goal as much as you thought you did.
- You don’t know if achieving the goal will actually be beneficial, helpful, life-changing, etc.
- You are afraid of other people’s reactions to you achieving the goal.
- Conversely, you are afraid of other people’s reactions to you not achieving the goal (which just creates more negative self-talk that withholds you from achieving the goal.)
- You’re unsure of what the future will look like if you do achieve the goal.
- You’ve failed at achieving a goal or goals in the past so you’re afraid you won’t achieve this goal.
- You believe don’t have the resources to achieve the goal.
- You believe you can achieve the goal, but don’t think you can achieve it to the best possible level.
Okay, so I realize I just gave you a ton of reasons, but don’t be discouraged, and don’t look at them as excuses. It’s good to understand why you are not achieving your desired goals and will actually enable you to achieve them. Accepting your fear of failure, opinions or even your own perceived inability is that nice bit of smooth road right after you hit the speed bump. (The speed bump being all of the things you’ve told yourself, like the above, that have held you back from achieving your goals.) Accepting your deeper fears and insecurities is actually the path to achieving your goal.
Mel Robins says it best: “Stop screwing yourself over” If you have never heard her speak on a TedTalk, you’re missing out! A 20 min talk is linked here but it’s worth your time and Mel has TONS of good info about reaching your goals.
If you look at the list, notice most of the things holding us back are probably deeply seeded in our beliefs. But even though our beliefs are subjective, they are still deeply-held convictions that we may never lose because they are based on our perspective of life. These perspectives are real to us and are due to all the joy and pain we’ve been through. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “everybody’s reality is different” – especially what we as a nation have experienced in the U.S. these past few years – notice how I said, “we” just now? It’s because we are all connected, there’s no “It’s never happened to me, therefor it doesn’t exist”… nope, we don’t have that luxury of keeping our heads in the sand anymore; we’ve been through too much. Similarly, we can’t hide behind those perspectives and convictions as a way to hide from our fears from the goals we want to accomplish.
All that to say some truth: Some of these help achieve our goals while others actually hold us back. To most of you this probably isn’t a new concept. I’m almost positive you’ve heard, “fake it until you make it”, right? So why aren’t taking these ideas we’ve heard and speakers we’ve seen, and books we’ve read and to use their practical advise? We can’t always be super moto about life, family, and for some of us, business.
So what do we do next?
1. Just start doing. Shut up, right? That’s right, it really can be as simple as that. A friend of mine gave me a paper weight for my desk that I still leave out that says, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” She believed in me and I saw the things she was accomplishing and saw her drive and was continually amazed. She finally told me about her year of saying, “yes”. Apparently she made a promise to herself she would say yes to as many things as she could (and she actually did it!). That’s how she just started doing. Find yours. Then start doing before your doubt kicks in. Just start putting one foot in front of the other, then before you know it, you’re down the street, then around the block, then to your goal! My friend led me to the next very important one…
2. Seek encouragement. Notice I said “seek” not “listen to encouragement” or “be encouraged”… it’s more of a doing word. Sometimes encouragement doesn’t come from who you’d expect it to, so stop expecting it and find it in the people who have similar goals as you. If you are training for a marathon, find those people who are also in that boat for strategies and encouragement. If you decided to go back to school, get to know some students so you can lean on each other for support. If you’re starting a small business, seek those people out who are doing it already or are like you and in the beginning stages; that encouragement will be instrumental to your success. Nobody is an island. We may not want to admit it but we need others sometimes, even if it’s just to get a coffee with and remember you’re not in it alone in this.
2. Remember your why. I have a very good friend who is a single mom with 5 kids. She knows her why every. single. day. My family is a huge driving force as well. Stop making excuses and find your why and think of it often, especially when you doubt.
3. Throw a ton of positive thoughts at your goal every day. Always be gracious. Yes, this means you can’t mope around anymore saying, “whoa is me”… sorry but not sorry. Have a mantra you say every morning, make sure it has plenty of gratitude in it. If there’s a positive aspect always in your journey, it will be so much more enjoyable.
4. Find your positive triggers and use them. I have certain Pandora/Spotify stations I listen to to get me in certain creative and moto modes. I have an editing playlist for my shoots, a kick ass and take names station before I meet clients and before photo shoots (that’s my Beyonce station… duh). I also surround myself with creative things – art shows and Meetups – and creative business people, that definitely keeps me plugged into my business, keeps me motivated for my own work and I even make true connections and friendships that result in amazing collabs. At the very least, I get out of the house, go to a bookstore or my favorite coffee shop to work a bit to inspire myself (shout out to Rosella’s off Broadway).
You know you have fears, who doesn’t? Some of these you will be able to easily overcome to get to your destination, some may take a little more work but you can accomplish these things if you put in some effort. Then guess what? The confidence comes actually comes after the doing. Yessss! It’s true, the world would be so much easier if it was the other way around but unfortunately it’s not. Then when you DO get that confidence, really tap into that joy and let that catapult you into a pattern of goal reaching, I promise it will start to become a habit.
Melissa is a San Antonio based Personal Brand photographer who has helped hundreds of women in business create cohesive online brands with polished photos that feel authentic to them. You’ll find her traveling to Austin, Houston, Nashville, Destin, Tampa, and Denver, photographing highly motivated women ready to elevate their website, socials, and other marketing. Visit https://melissaraelynnphotography.com/contact or send a direct email to email@example.com for more information!