Tony Robbins says that most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a decade – let alone two.
This is exactly how I feel right now.
I’ve made some incredible gains in the past 6 months, but because I’m dreaming so big, I still haven’t reached many of my major goals. And while I celebrate these recent accomplishments, I have not stopped pushing ahead.
It’s like finally being asked to sit at the grown-up table. No doubt I’ve earned my seat, and while the other grown-ups are not necessarily better than me, it feels like they have been dining at this particular feast for longer than I have. They’re familiar with one another, they speak the same language, and leave me feeling like I have a lot of catching up to do.
There’s no pity party here. I joined this race. Life is good. But success, achievements, growth — it’s all relative. Just when you think you’ve made it, you realize you’ve just made it a bit further. Once you hop into a bigger pond, you only meet bigger fish. And then you start to compare yourself to them, just when you started to feel like you need a month-long nap.
So how do we navigate the constant flux between journeying and arriving, celebrating and striving? How do we allow ourselves a moment to catch our breath before we dig deep and ascend to greater heights, hope in hand, and real money on the line?
Keep your eyes on your own path
Sometimes what trips us up is looking at the other guy’s plate. Oh he’s got… and I have…and I want what he’s got. Most of the time this kind of comparison is unhelpful and can potentially be soul-crushing. Remember, you don’t know what that other person has overcome (or what’s been handed to them) to get to where they’re at.
We’re all on our own journey in this life. Stay focused on your goals and what has worked for you in the past in helping you reach them. Recognize the hard work you’ve put in thus far. Compare your “today” self against your “yesterday” self. And if you see someone who has made it to where you want to be, use it to inspire you. Think prosperity, not scarcity.
It’s so easy to say, well that person’s making more money than me, so what am I doing wrong? The real challenge is finding clarity around where you want to be and then backing into the details (a.k.a action steps) of how you’re going to get there.
Break it down into chewable chunks
Sometimes when things are going well and we’ve got a lot of momentum, we become a bit unreasonable in our expectations. At times like this, it’s important to take a step back, re-evaluate, and break it down into manageable chunks. Bite-size pieces, if you will.
Set the long-term goal and then figure out what daily, weekly, and monthly tasks (and milestones) need to happen to ultimately get you there.
If the daily goals fill you with dread and anxiety, you know your expectation is a bit out of reach. And there’s no shame in re-calibrating to give yourself a more sustainable challenge. Chances are it won’t take you too long to get a daily routine that feels doable.
Use positive self-talk
I have a coach, who, whenever she hears me beating myself up, says to me, Who do you think you are talking like that?! How dare you be so mean to yourself?!
And she’s right. For us overachievers, it is easier to notice things that we screwed up rather than taking stock of all the things we did right. And you know what? “Where attention goes, energy flows”. Ignoring achievements and giving energy to mistakes, is bad for anything or anyone. Period.
So here is your reminder that being kind to yourself and honoring where you are is super important. Especially at times when all you can see is what you self-allegedly did wrong.
Stick to the data
Here is a golden opportunity to do a little lead v. lag metrics comparison. Lead metrics refer to actionable steps you can take toward your goals. For instance, sending out a certain number of email inquiries, making phone calls to clients, and attending networking events are all lead measures.
Lag metrics are the outcomes of your leads. That is, what actually happened as a result of the steps you took. Treating those results like gold and measuring them as such is the real key to success. Review your past lead and lag metrics. Then while setting your future goals, reflect on what’s worked in the past.
Then make a goal and stick to it. Allow yourself to feel satisfied if you’ve hit your number for the day.
Find someone (or something) to root for you
Most of us understand the importance of self-care, but many of us don’t actually make the time for it. This is where I highly recommend getting yourself a coach, an accountability partner, or a trusted friend to make sure you take the time. I’m blessed to have a few of these people in my life, like my coach who scolded me for talking down to myself.
I also create systems that have a negative consequence if I don’t follow through. Often, it’s those cancellation fees that ensure I make it to the acupuncture appointment, coaching session, etc.
Us vs. the demons
Basically, when you’re in a major growth phase, you have two choices: you can either allow yourself to become overwhelmed by it all or…Wait. That’s not really an option, is it? You have what it takes to reach your goals. So, when you start to feel overwhelmed, pace yourself. It’s a hang-in-there moment. Do whatever you need to to get through and then get efficient.
At the end of the day, I’m the one who’s going to give my demons a run for their money. Not the other way around.
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