“I wish I had…” How many of us say that? We’re all used to creating goals based on a list of things we don’t have in our lives.
We want a million dollars…a new car, a new house… We tell ourselves that once we have these things, we’ll be happy. That can motivate us toward achieving those things.
While that may be a motivator, it’s not the only way – and it may not be the best way to ensure that you achieve your goals.
When Worry & Stress Take Over…
I used to worry, stress, and wonder how we would ever make it – I bet you have the same feelings at times.
I’d started a business in the beginning of the recession. Things got much worse before they got better. I knew the risks and believed we were in the best position we could possibly be in, even in uncertain times.
At one point, banks stopped lending money. We did not have a sale in over 3 months. Our business partners, suppliers and trades were suffering as well and were at risk of going out of business. We knew we needed to do something to survive – or else.
I was anxious and worried all the time, I began to lose sleep at night. I’d wake up around 2 a.m. each night and start worrying and remained wide awake for the next 4 or 5 hours, stressing over things. Over time, it became my routine.
Eventually, after working extremely hard to achieve, we made it through the recession and were able to continue running our business. Things became much better, and we began to grow again.
But by that time, I had created a habit.
My 2 a.m. wake ups every night became routine. Worry and anxiety were the norm for me. My hyper–achiever and hyper–vigilant brain worked overtime, trying to protect me from the dangers of being in business. Eventually it limited me.
You Can’t Run a Successful Business in Survival Mode
Everything created anxiety, frustration, and worry, from dealing with customer service issues to setting new goals and business planning for the future.
My habit became worse.
I sent emails, messages, and calendar meeting requests in the middle of the night to my entire team, who were already bleeding with stress. I listed problems, issues, and everything else that I was dissatisfied about – with them or with the company.
At first, I couldn’t see what I was doing. I told myself I was being productive and getting the job done. That wasn’t the real story. It was not my proudest leadership moment. Fortunately, it was short lived.
I hit a wall… I knew it wasn’t working.
Quickly, I realized that I was not living up to the example of my work/life balance philosophy that I had always encouraged in everyone else. I used to be an example of that philosophy, but once survival mode kicked in, I decided that I needed to be at the helm of the ship continually to keep us all safe. Sleep, peace, and happiness were no longer a priority.
My hyper–achiever and hypervigilant brain wasn’t working for me. It was working against me, paralyzing me.
I had to rethink my approach. As a company, we were fine. I didn’t need my brain to stay in survival mode anymore. I needed to break this bad habit and stop limiting myself and all the potential I and our company had.
Set Your Goals Based on Gratitude
I decided to get back in touch with all the reasons that I started the company in the first place:
- I remembered why so many people wanted to come to work for my company
- And why I always had a great following of such amazing people
I began to:
- Appreciate who I was
- Enjoy what I had created
- Realize how proud I was that we made it through to see a future filled with possibility
I worked hard to practice these new habits and correct myself when I went off track. The hardest part was training my brain to stop waking up and getting busy again at 2 a.m…. but I did it.
Realizing I Could Now Relax
I started to enjoy and appreciate all that we have and all that we overcame and accomplished. Now I focus on the present around us and the future we get to create.
Once I adjusted my approach to one of gratitude, appreciation, valuing everyone around me and realizing how fortunate and abundant our world was around us, literally everything changed almost instantly.
From this place, we began creating new goals. Our business plans were lofty and aggressive, goals from abundance. We were already ok, and didn’t need to do anything. Our jobs were still in place, we could pay our bills and were healthy. We didn’t need anything more.
Anything we would choose to accomplish now would be because we wanted to, because we have a passion to do it, because we love what we do each day.
That is why we pushed ourselves and decided to become more than we had ever been. We created new paths and had to grow ourselves to do it. Because we were filled with gratitude and satisfaction, we loved every minute of the journey.
Gratitude Changes Your Focus – For the Better
Each time that a problem arose, we would welcome the challenge.
When something didn’t work as we expected, we learned to adjust.
As soon as plans went awry, we became resourceful and creative toward the solutions.
Creating goals from abundance allows you the freedom and the gift of being able to do everything you want to do and enjoy all the parts of the journey while you’re doing it.
Achieving Your Goals
When I was no longer plagued with worry, stress, and anxiety, I could bring my highest wisdom and strengths to every situation to be strategic, creative, and resourceful- something that was not available to me before.
This is the one and only reason that we were able to achieve our goals. If I was focused on what I didn’t have, I would have limited myself severely.
When you’re worried and stressed, you add so much challenge to achieving your goals. Let your worry activate a switch in your brain to move to gratitude, away from worry. Then you create the space to begin to make plans from a place of gratitude.
Take the time to appreciate what you have accomplished, the lives you’ve impacted, the successes and positivity around you. Then you can create goals from that place where you bring your wisest, most brilliant, and very strategic, best self.
This is how you will fuel yourself to stay the course, navigate obstacles, and step fully into living your best life.
I hope you find value in my story, and that it might encourage you wherever you are on your own unique path.
Reach out to me at Strive Coaching Studio so I can help you to be the best you can!