As a society, we tend to speak about our “problems” as if they are troublesome things. I know I did. In the past, I have felt like a victim to my problems. I believed they were “bad things” and unfortunate circumstances in life.
I would ruminate, stew on my problems, overthink it, seek out endless information, contemplate the worst case scenario, remind myself how useless I was, how I have never got it right in the past and never will in the future.
I was emotionally attached to the problem. That is what was keeping me stuck and it’s why most people never move beyond their problems and carry them around with them for years.
While waiting in an airport lounge, with a few hours to spare, I took out a pen and paper and wrote down all my problems. I went through each of them and put a circle around the biggest one, the one that was causing me the most worry and stress.
I decided to take this “problem” and convert it into a goal or a project. I committed myself to take consistent action on it for 90 days.
In this case, I had no idea how to solve this particular problem so I hired someone who did know and asked them to help me. We tend to obsess about finding the right “how to” when in fact I have found a better question is to seek out the who that knows how. Someone who has done what you want to do and can break the process down for you into easily manageable steps.
So let’s get into it so you can do this for yourself.
Step 1: WRITE YOUR PROBLEM DOWN
Putting your “problem” down on a piece of paper takes the emotional charge out of the problem. It takes it from endlessly spinning around in your mind and puts it onto the paper where you can now manage it.
Step 2: TURN IT INTO A PROJECT
“Problems” carry with them a negative energetic charge. They feel heavy, they weigh on you, pull you down, cause stress and zap your zest for life.
By converting this “problem” into a “project” you have changed the whole energy around it. Projects are exciting and fun to work on.
Step 3: SET A DEADLINE
I like to give myself 90-day deadlines. It’s not too long and not too short. You can accomplish a great deal by taking consistent action over a 90 day period.
Without a deadline, things rarely get done. The most productive people on the planet are college students, the week before their assignments are due.
Step 4: FUEL YOUR DESIRE
No goal will be achieved unless you want it badly enough. No “how to” and no guru can help someone who doesn’t want it badly enough.
You could bring Tony Robbins in the room but unless the person wants to shift, they won’t.
Stop seeking the magic pill, the next shiny object, guru or system. Instead, fuel your own desire behind your goal because when someone wants something bad enough, they figure out a way.
There is no perfect how to but there is a perfect desire.
One way to fuel your desire is to list all the benefits you will attain having achieved the goal.
Step 5: GET HELP
No matter what the challenge build support systems around tackling the problem. This can be an accountability partner, a friend to talk to, a coach, a therapist etc.
I have found anytime I tried to “go it alone”, I would run myself ragged and end up back at stage one with a little less mojo.
We are addicted to knowing the “how to” as if there is a magic pill or trick that will solve everything. I have found the most effective way to accomplish a goal is to forget the “how to” and find the who. Find the person who has done what you want to do already and hire them to guide you along the way and find the people who will offer loving support to you on your journey.
Step 6: KEEP YOUR CRAPPY THINKING AND FOLLOW THE STEPS
Success is going from A to B. There is something you must do that you haven’t done yet or else you would have the success you want. So it is simply identifying what that step is and getting it done.
Some people wait for inspiration or motivation. They dive into their personalities and believe they must have a character defect if they aren’t feeling motivated to take the steps.
When the truth is you will have good, bad and in-between days. My advice is to stop waiting to feel good before you take the next step. Keep your crappy thinking but just move forward, just take the next step.
Step 7: SEE IT THROUGH TO COMPLETION
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward ~ Martin Luther King
The important part is not at which the speed you move, it’s that you just keep moving forward and go until you arrive.
Choose your path and stay on it. There is no need to try and understand “Why do I always stop?”, “Why can’t I achieve anything?”, “What’s wrong with me?”, “I need to figure out what’s wrong with me so I can move forward”. This is just your brain ruminating.
It’s likely that somewhere within the 90 days you will experience frustration, you will want to give up, you will doubt yourself, you will wonder why you can’t seem to stick to anything but on those days if you have to crawl, then crawl just do whatever it takes to keep moving forward and see the project through to completion.
Be You, Show Up & Present Your Stumbling Self to the World