The 3 beliefs that will help you reach your goals

Last week, a client wrote me this email:

I’m still struggling with feeling like I want too much. Like I’m imagining socialized healthcare, community supported childcare, live music and dancing during everyday activities, access to healthy food locally...but I really want to feel like I’m making practical progress in my everyday life. How can I contextualize and focus on reality while also hoping for the realization of my dreams? Not a simple question, I know.

This question is so important (and I told her so)! The tension between aiming for your vision - whether it's socialized healthcare or just a job that doesn't make you miserable - and being grounded in practicality is one that most of my clients struggle with. As my client wrote, it is not a simple question. But there is a relatively simple answer:

 

Start with belief. Then take little, imperfect steps forward.

 

Now let me be clear. I don't mean that you should just convince yourself that your dream is possible. As I've mentioned before, positive thinking is not all that it's cracked up to be. There are 3 beliefs that don't involve lying to yourself that will shift you from feeling stuck in the impossible, to seeing possibility and taking real steps toward your goals.

 

1. It is okay to want what feels impossible

Allowing yourself to want what you truly want is an important part of the process of creating change in your life (and in the world, even more so!).

If the most genius inventors, revolutionaries, gurus, you name them reduced their dreams to what seemed possible, progress would never be made.

That is true of the world as a whole and of each of our dreams as individuals, too. If you don't start with wanting, there is no hope for change.

 

2. You will be okay

You will be okay if you have high hopes that get dashed.

You will be okay if you try something and fail.

You will be okay if you are dissatisfied.

You will be okay if people think you are unreasonable or unrealistic.

I know you are afraid to be disappointed, sad, angry, frustrated. I am, too. But that fear does not have to stop you from wanting. You will be okay even if you don't get what you so desperately hope for.

Having said that...

 

3. you don't actually know what is possible! 

When you were 10 years old did you think, "Oh yeah, I can totally raise children of my own!" No. Does that feel possible now?

What felt impossible a mere 5 years ago that today is part of your reality?

Five years ago, I would never have imagined that I could be a successful business owner (or even call myself a business owner!) and yet here I am, doing just that.

So don't be so quick to tell yourself what is or isn't possible. Allow yourself to dream. Allow yourself to be disappointed when you have setbacks! And allow yourself to open to the idea that "possible" is subjective and unknowable.

 

Once you let in those desires and acknowledge yearning as a healthy part of life and change, then you can calibrate your action steps toward the practical of actually reaching your goals.

 

Consider these questions to help ground you...

What does feel possible right now? What's one change that could happen?

What are you willing to do/change/let go of/try to get closer to your ideal?

What support can you turn to and/or what community can you be a part of that will support you in your efforts? (Never underestimate the power of support and community. It makes almost anything feel possible!)

It's also possible that you are trying to create change in your life before you have laid the necessary groundwork. If you are running in circles trying to add in healthy habits and more "me time" without seeing lasting results, take a look at my free Quick Guide to Getting Self-Care to Stick to make sure you are set up for success.

 

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