The Top 5 Beliefs Keeping You From the Life You Want

Shift your thinking. Take action.

iStock_000074189941_MediumI’ve done a number of workshops with smart, highly accomplished women over the last few months.  These women are amazing! They bring tremendous work and life experience, coupled with a desire to explore what’s possible as they share their ideas, hopes and desires.

Their dreams are expansive. Find work that really lights them up. Write a book. Launch a new business. Travel the world. Start a nonprofit. Have more time with family and friends.

But here’s the rub. Despite all this talent, energy and interest, getting started is a challenge. In fact, in my anecdotal experience, almost 80% of women aren’t doing what they want.

Why? It usually goes back to what we believe. Here are the top 5 beliefs that may be sabotaging your progress and keeping  your dreams on hold.

1. The timing needs to be perfect 

There is always a reason to delay (take another class, lose 10 pounds, the holidays are coming). Recognize that this can be an easy excuse not to take action. It never will be exactly the right time!

How move through this: Start by taking turtle steps. These are actions small enough to be completed in about 20 minutes (make a phone call, send an email, do online research). If you do one step a day, you’ll see consistent progress and build a track record of success.

2. Change feels too uncomfortable and risky 

View your discomfort as growth. You’re doing something you’ve never done before. Learning new skills. Balancing your life in a way that shifts relationships. This personal growth may not be easy, but it can be very rewarding.

How to move through this: Change can feel uncomfortable. But there is no way to anticipate every possibility or control every situation so you feel safe and comfortable. Trying to do this is both frustrating and futile. It can get you stuck in place.

3. I need a detailed plan  

If you are a planner by nature, having a comprehensive plan may feel like a necessity. The downside is, months may pass while you refine your masterpiece and it never gets put into action.

How to move through this: Identify your top priority right now and focus on that. If your goal is to shift careers, your first step may be getting information. What do you need to know? How can you get that data? The actions you take and the results you get will inform your next steps and keep you moving forward.

 

4. I can’t afford to make any changes 

When it comes to creating something new there is often a financial element involved. Telling yourself it’s too expensive can be a convenient way to cling to the safety of the status quo, while saying you want your life to be different.

How to move through this: Embrace this truth: you are worth the investment! This is about your life and your happiness. Decide what you need to do to reach your goals. If money is required, how can you make that work? My hunch is you’ve been resourceful before, especially on behalf of people you love. Time to use your creative thinking abilities on your own behalf.

5. I’m not sure what I really want

Deep down, you do know. But if you’re like me (and a lot of other people), you’ve made a lot of choices based on what you thought you should do, rather than what you really wanted to do. It’s not surprising that your true desires aren’t so obvious anymore.

How to move through this: Give yourself permission to follow your curiosity. What sparks your interest? When do you feel excited and alive? This may have nothing to do with your day job – and that’s okay. Follow this trail and you’ll start to find what lights you up. Your next steps will evolve from there.

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