It’s probably a pretty good time to ask that question, now that the holidays have come and gone… the time stamp on New Year’s resolutions being fulfilled has passed… and life has gone back to “normal” — that is, the normal one has come to expect in life.
But is ‘normal’ the life you really want to live?
I love motivated people. They are fresh, vibrant, excited… and yet, I know motivation isn’t enough. There is strategy, information, education, planning, assessment… all of these go into making people a success. Motivation is the energy behind it all, but all of those elements are needed.
But even motivated people can get derailed from time to time. There are things in life — pressures, stress, relationships, money, to name a few — that seemingly hold us back from where we really want to go. They grab hold of us and we often feel like we can’t shake them. It’s like the line from the the old U2 song, “You’re stuck in a moment and you can’t get out of it.”
So… what’s holding you back? I am willing to guess that something immediately came to mind. If that’s the case, odds are it has been chewing on you for awhile. There are an infinite amount of things that hold folks back. However, I find that for many, moving past previous failures or traumas are right at the top of the list. It’s like the event that took place was too crushing… too devastating… too demoralizing to overcome. And so, those folks stay stuck living life backward hoping it will change their future.
From my work with lots of people, here are three tips to moving past previous failures:
1) Get help. That sounds simple, but so many people choose to hang on to the shame or injustice that occurred because they can’t bear the thought of letting someone else in on their private self-sabotage. And honestly, that’s exactly what hanging onto the past negatively is — self-sabotage. The truth is, there are wonderful people who are willing to help — professionals, clergy, good friends. In my own work with clients, I consider it an absolute privilege to guide them past that which holds them back. There’s no judgment, no shame… just a wonderful opportunity to step into someone’s story and move them ahead to the life they really want.
2) Squeeze the joy out of every moment. When people look backward and are fixated on the “thing” that happened way back when, they get caught missing out on the present. A day-by-day, moment-to-moment tip is to intentionally tell yourself “I am going to squeeze as much joy out of this next _______________.” (fill in the blank… endeavor, meeting, homework assignment, household chore, conflict, etc.). As you go through your day repeating your mantra, you will find yourself focusing more on the present. When you focus more on the present you focus less on the past, because now your attention is devoted to finding joy in whatever situation or scenario you encounter. Just a simple reframe of your mindset toward joy in the present moment can begin to shift your awareness toward moving ahead.
3) Be mindful of the way you feel. Again, this sounds simple. And yet, how many people wander through each day completely unaware of how they are feeling? It is amazing what happens when you can be so in tune with your feelings that you can catch yourself. That is, being able to catch yourself before you slide down that slippery slope of negative emotion. All too often, that is the lingering voice of the trauma or previous failure echoing. Being aware of how you feel — and catching that slide early — is a wonderful life skill. It helps you acknowledge with integrity what is really happening within you while redirecting your course of action toward something better. If you think about it, just choosing a feeling that is better than the negative feeling you are holding moves you one step closer to moving past that “thing” in your life. What a gift to give yourself!
And so… again… What’s holding you back? Whatever it is, the time is now to move ahead and Create the Life You Love!
Kristi’s passion is to equip and encourage busy women to move easily to the next level of their life and dreams.
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