Do you have a goal of accomplishing a life-long dream, but find yourself stuck in the pursuit of it. Maybe your dream is to start your own business, write a book, launch a website, start a charity to name a few. You’ve taken a few small steps since you first imagined doing it, but now you’re stuck! If this sounds familiar, have you given any thought to what might be holding you there?
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In this post, I will explore an answer to this question and then challenge you to answer 3 critical questions to help you break free and get unstuck quickly!
As we look at what might be holding you back from your goal of accomplishing a life-long dream it might be best to first get a fresh perspective on what a goal is. I’m sure we all have our own idea of what a goal is, but I love Michael Hyatt’s perspective in his recent article Major Dangers of Confusing Projects and Goals.
He says goals live in our discomfort zone. If what we are dreaming of doing is not a bit risky if it doesn’t demand your full engagement and breakthrough creativity then it’s not a goal.
Wow, from looking at it from a new perspective we can see why anyone may get stuck in the pursuit of their dreams. For most people, doing anything outside of our comfort zone can produce some level of anxiety, fear, and apprehension. I don’t know about you but I have experienced all of these feelings when leaving my comfort zone. I have experienced anxiety & fear just thinking about pursuing a big goal causing me to become apprehensive.
I believe answering 3 questions when pursuing a goal of accomplishing a life-long dream is critical to help us break free when we get stuck. Let’s look at the questions.
- Why? Why do I want to pursue this dream?
- What? What would I be giving up by not pursuing this dream?
- When? When will I decide?
Answering the “WHY” is the most critical question of the three. Because having a strong “WHY” may be the only reason you continue to move further away from your comfort zone, stay fully engaged and endure the difficulties you will face while in pursuit of your dream. Let me share a short story.
Recently, I read an article about a mother who was determined to launch an online business because she dreamed of making enough money to pay all of her monthly bills, set aside money in a family activity fund and still have enough to save for her children’s education. She worked diligently learning and developing her online business, but found herself growing weary from the long hours of work day after day leaving her questioning why she started pursuing this dream in the first place; prompting her to revisit her “WHY”. She began with asking herself why it was important for her to pay her bills, create fun moments with the kids and invest in their future? Her answer was simple. She wanted her kids to grow up in a safe and fun environment because it made her feel like she was a successful parent.
The insight she gained by taking the time to look again at her “WHY” produced great rewards. Let me explain.
First, it helped to give her the extra motivation she needed to endure the difficulties she faced in the pursuit of achieving her dream. Having a strong “WHY”, one that is tied to people and not things will likely be the only way you will stay in the pursuit and push through the difficulties you face along the way. You see even though it was her desire to make money, quite a bit of money, it worked because it was tied to people. If she was just pursuing money alone, she would more than likely give up before seeing her dream realized.
Second, it answered the question of “WHAT”. What would she be giving up if she didn’t continue to pursue her dream? It would mean giving up the possibility of providing her kids with a safe and fun environment. Leaving her feeling like she had failed as a parent.
Third, it answered the when? When would she decide to pick-up the pursuit of her dream again? It helped her to see that the clock was ticking! She would never again have a second opportunity to give this to her children because they were growing up.
We can see from the story that I have shared that answering these 3 questions can be critical for getting you unstuck and free to move forward in pursuing your dream. You will either find that your “WHY” is strong enough to provide the motivation you need to move forward leaving you with the question of “WHEN” or give up the pursuit altogether leaving you will the question of “WHAT”. What will I be giving up? If you can live with the answer to what you will be giving up by not continuing the pursuit than clearly your “WHY” is not strong enough. A possible answer to the question above, what might be holding you back?
Either way, these three questions should be enough help you make your decision and you know the saying
Be decisive. Right or wrong make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.
Ok, so it is just a funny saying but it’s true. We eventually need to make a decision and your answers should give you enough insight to make one. Don’t allow yourself to stay stuck!
I am not talking about something I have not personally lived out in my own life. I have made decisions more than once to live outside of my comfort zone and take risks some would not take. I did it because of my “WHY”. I can tell you every one of them paid off for me.
The pursuits have been filled with highs and lows but nothing feels better than accomplishing something that seemed so much bigger than you. In case you don’t know where to start, here are a couple of great tools I used to help me along my journey.
First, I was able to learn about my WHY through a program called Start With Why developed by Simon Sinek. Here is a link to his book Start With Why. It helped me understand what our WHY is and how important it is to define it.
Second, I read a book titled the Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. It is a small but powerful book to read if you are pursuing a goal of accomplishing a life-long dream.
I hope this post has inspired you in your own journey. Be on the look out for my upcoming post, 5 Simple Actions to Embrace to Help You Accomplish Your Dreams. This blog will give you 5 simple but powerful actions to embrace daily to help you overcome emotions that may hinder you in your pursuit.
Until Next Time, Blessing from our home to yours!