improve themselves. They therefore remain bound."
I speak to so many people who seem to want more from life. They have dreams and goals to
accomplish, yet so few of them actually get started. They never develop a plan to reach their
dreams or list the steps to reach their goals. Why? Because they get mired down thinking about
the hurdles they’ll have to jump before these dreams and goals can become reality.
Here are some of the hurdles to jump over:
Hurdle #1 – Going from A straight to Z
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by your dreams and goals when you start looking at the end accomplishment, neglecting all the steps to get you there. If you’re making a career change and
need training in your new chosen field, don’t focus on the number of classes you’ll have to take.
That will likely keep you stuck where you are because the task will seem so daunting. Instead
focus only on the classes you will take this semester. This is a much smaller “bite” to chew on.
If you want to lose 50 pounds, shift your focus to losing the first 10. When that’s accomplished
focus on the next 10 pounds and so on until you’ve reached your goal. Don’t intimidate yourself
by looking at the entire picture. Focus on the small actions you can take today.
Hurdle #2 – “What-iffing”
Thinking about all the “what if” scenarios of your dreams and goals can bring you to a
- What if I change careers and can’t find a good paying job?
- What if I lose 20 pounds and can’t keep it off?
- What if I retire and don’t have enough money to live on?
When you start down the road of “what if”, you doom yourself to never start. One of my
clients wanted to go back to school but had trouble getting over the “what if” hurdle. “What if
I’m the oldest person in my class?” “What if I don’t remember how to study?” “What if I don’t
pass my tests?” I turned each question back to him. “So what happens if you are the oldest person
in class?” “So what happens if you don’t remember how to study?” “So what happens if you
don’t pass your tests?” By answering his own questions, he was able to see that all of them had
answers that would work for him.
Hurdle #3 - Fear
I worked with a client who wanted to become a nurse, which meant she would have to return
to school. I asked her if she had any barriers such as childcare issues, transportation needs or
lack of funds. She answered that she had only one barrier – she was afraid.
It’s natural to be afraid of the unknown. Fear can even overshadow your excitement if you let
it. It can paralyze you and keep you in the same place so you never experience any personal
growth. Don’t get so comfortable in the cocoon of your life that you let it smother you. The
best way to get over fear is to look it right in the face and plow through it. Take a tip from Nike
and Just Do It! With every step you take in the direction of your dreams, you will gain more
courage to take the next and the next until you’ve reached your destination. As Eleanor
Roosevelt said … “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
This week I challenge you to do the following:
1. Choose one change that you'd really like to make.
2. Identify all the “what if’s” that are stopping you.
3. Put the “what if’s” aside and think about your next step. Remember, go from A to B not
A to Z.
4. Take action on this next step. Just Do It!