Dear Beautiful Souls,
Dreams are an expression of the soul. They are the outlet through which we become our best selves and contribute our goodness to the world. When we can see clearly the goals that will help us achieve our dreams, we have the power to bring something into being. But the path ahead is not always clear, and we may encounter obstacles along the way.
Our dreams need a channel of dedication in order to come to reality. To follow through on our goals, we must work skillfully with our most valuable resources: our time, focus, and energy. We must be willing to set aside the ego. And, most importantly, we must understand and move beyond our own resistance.
Modern life subjects us to an endless onslaught of messages, notifications, and news feeds that continually demand our attention. We live life from the outside in, reacting to what comes to us. To reach your goals, you must choose instead to act from what is within you – from your purest intentions. This means being able to identify distractions and being willing to set them aside.
Adding to the challenge, your ego is invested in maintaining the status quo. It will show its sharp teeth when you decide to make a significant shift. When shame, fear, and anger arise within you, you can be sure that these emotions are speaking of old wounds. They are asking for healing before you move forward. Do not be discouraged! Practice self-compassion, and don’t allow the ego to eclipse your progress.
And finally, we must learn to listen to our own resistance, and even to ask for its collaboration. Often, it is our true nature that creates the resistance. Essentially, we are not listening to what our inner self needs in the moment. For instance, if you are an introvert and you have scheduled yourself for networking events on three consecutive days to build your business, you may find yourself wanting to stay home instead. That’s because you are overdoing it!
Or perhaps you are a visual person, yet you write your goals instead of drawing them. You don’t feel inspired to pursue the goals, because you haven’t laid them out in such a way that you can fully perceive them. When we work with resistance rather than against it, we are freed to move ahead.
In achieving any dream, there are five ingredients to success:
- Clarity. We must have a clear vision of our direction. What do we wish to accomplish? What does that entail? What resources will we need, and where will we find them?
- Passion. Does your dream flow from a soul-level desire to express yourself? Does it stem from what you most love to do? Are you aligned to its core concept and to the means by which you’d like to achieve it?
- Permission. To move toward our goals, we must have our own internal permission; we must respect our true nature and intentions. Depending on the goal, we may also need external permission – that is, the cooperation of another person, such as a family member or professional sponsor.
- Skill. Do you possess the skills and abilities that you need to achieve your goals? If not, can you learn them? Can you outsource?
- Focus. Is your energy going to the right place? Are you managing your time effectively? Are you succumbing to distractions? Could you name them as such and then set them aside?
With all of this in mind, I invite you to reflect on your goals and maintain your momentum toward your dreams! Here’s how. Map out your year and the goals you wish to complete. (To keep your efforts focused, choose no more than three.) Then schedule a monthly goal-evaluation meeting with yourself or with a coach. In each meeting,
- Practice self-compassion while you honestly assess your progress.
- Identify the ingredient of success with which you need support. Is it clarity? Passion? Internal/external permission? Skill? Focus?
- Reflect on how you are resisting or what could be in your way. Is it an issue of focus? Time? Energy? A mismatch between your strategy and your true nature?
- Through journaling, listen deeply to the part of you that is seeking to be heard. Gain her collaboration and support.
- Integrate her needs into your goals. For example, if she needs more time to rest and recharge, schedule more frequent breaks for yourself.
- Set your plan on your calendar, and allow yourself to be inspired once again!
By repeating this cycle of reflection, you will move yourself beyond the pitfall of setting goals and then losing interest after a while. You will gain the skills of listening deeply to yourself and integrating your needs. Most importantly, you will reap the rewards of achieving your goals and dreams.
Along the way, be sure to celebrate your progress. Remember, small wins are big wins!
Action item: Which of the five success ingredients challenges you most: clarity, passion, permission, skill, or focus? What is one change you could make that would help you overcome that obstacle? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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