As 2018 draws to a close, many of us are beginning to think ahead to our dreams & goals for the New Year. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few thoughts on what it is that holds us back or prevents us from reaching our goals, and what we can do to set ourselves up for success.
What Holds Us Back?
There are any number of things that can hold us back when we set a goal. Finances, an over-booked schedule, lack of support or plain old overwhelm can keep us from moving forward. But more often than not, it is our fears, limiting beliefs, and negative emotions that get in the way. Read on to learn how to identify, release, and remove your personal road blocks.
Identify & Remove Your Roadblocks
#1. Block out some time when you can be by yourself to just be still and quiet for a while. It's nearly impossible to do the kind of deep inner work you will be doing in a noisy, distracting environment. Drop all of your to-dos and really commit to giving yourself the time and space to think, ask, and listen. This can take a while, so don't be surprised if it takes you more than one session to work through all of the layers that are there. Seriously, make a regular date with yourself, write it on your calendar, and stick to it!
#2. Once you have shown up for yourself and you're ready to dive in, it is important to realize that sometimes there are negative or ugly thoughts and emotions hiding under the surface. Be willing to admit that they are there when they surface, and sit with them for a while, one at a time. Think about it. How can you possibly deal with and release something unless you notice it, and admit that it's there? (Keep a notebook handy so you can write down whatever surfaces and you can come back to it later if needed.)
#3. A great way to get started is by asking yourself questions. Here are a few to get you started.
In regard to the past ask: "Am I carrying around limiting beliefs from my past? If so, what are they? Am I holding on to past failures? Are there hurts from my past that I have not dealt with or forgiven? Are there things I have not forgiven myself for?"
In regard to the present ask: "What are my fears? Are there things I am discouraged about or frustrated with? Am I wasting my energy on things I can't control? Am I allowing other people to suck me dry? Am I able to receive love from others, and do I actually love myself?" (Note that it's perfectly possible to dislike some aspect of who you currently are and still love yourself. When you love yourself, you are able to work on the areas that aren't what you'd like them to be in a kind and forgiving way, without guilt tripping or beating yourself up.)
In regard to the future ask: "Do I have fears or worries abut the future? What is my greatest dream or goal for the future? Why do I want this, and is it in line with my top values? Do I think I can actually reach it? What would I have to let go of in order to reach it? Am I willing to give those things up? (Be 100% honest with yourself here.) What are the biggest obstacles in my way? Am I wasting my time and energy worrying, or am I looking for positive steps I can take toward my goals?"
#4. Once you have worked your way through the questions that seem most applicable to you, consider what positive actions you can take to resolve the issues that rose to the surface. If you have a particular limiting belief, ask yourself why, and see if you can trace it back to it's origin. Then make a conscious decision to replace it with a better, more positive thought. For example, you may think you are an uncreative person. Instead of repeating that to yourself and other people, recognize that all humans were made to be creative and that creativity comes in a vast array of forms. Then choose one positive step you can take to nurture and cultivate your creativity. Remember, only the things we feed will grow.
#5. Once you have mentally, emotionally, and spiritually "cleaned house," you will be much better prepared to set, pursue and reach your goals. You will be much more likely to set goals that are in line with your top values and priorities, and the changes you seek to make will be much more sustainable. If you don't address these foundational areas, you will be much more susceptible to self-sabotage, lack of focus, and burnout. You may also set goals that aren't fully in line with who you are and what your values are, or try to make changes that aren't sustainable in the long run because you didn't clear all of the mental, emotional, and spiritual baggage out of the way before you began.
So here's to growth, transformation, & success in reaching your goals for the New Year. My prayer is that each and every one of you may be whole & well in body, mind, and spirit! As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments and feedback you might have. (You can reach me at email@example.com or comment below.)