"What do you REALLY want?"
That's the question I asked my client, Janet*, during our first coaching session together. She was on a career path she wasn't very passionate about, and deep down always held onto the hope of landing her dream job in a different field. During our conversation, she mentioned that going after her dream would be her plan A, and staying on her current career path and advancing would be her plan B.
Janet wasn't sure about Plan A, though. She believed it was nearly impossible because she'd need to navigate through the job market in a field where she had no connections or prior experience. She admitted she felt stuck and as though she had exhausted every effort, and was ready just to settle for Plan B and figure out how to grow in her current field. To add to this sense of defeat Janet was experiencing, her confidence was at an all-time low.
After discussing some options, she agreed to give Plan A a try.
Fast forward two months later. Janet was working really hard toward her dream, but there wasn't much movement yet. She felt defeated and was ready to give up, and resort to her Plan B, which she was sure she could achieve in no time.
But I didn't let her.
I sensed that she was succumbing to the easier thing to do, which was to give up and stay in her comfort zone.
As her coach, I knew I needed to guide her outside of it. I gently led Janet through this mental hurdle she was facing, and she agreed not to give up on her dream just yet.
For the next few weeks, Janet worked her tail off. She had a new sense of determination, focus, and optimism.
And guess what, Janet got her dream job!
This experience was a huge reminder of why you shouldn't give up on your Plan A just yet.
If you have a dream of what you REALLY want, and it feels impossible to get there, it might be right around the corner...
Here are three things to ask yourself if you are ready to give up on your dreams:
1. Have you given all the energy you can give to this? Be honest with yourself. Have you tried everything to achieve your dream? Sometimes it takes the help of a friend or coach to point out that you haven't.
2. Have you tried to accomplish your dream in a new, different way? Achieving your goals is typically never straightforward, and you may need to try something you've never done before to get there.
3. Ten years from now, will you regret giving up on this dream? It's not always easy, but try to project into your future self, and determine as to whether or not you'll have regrets later on. Time passes quickly, and ten years from now will be here before you know it.
Remember that your potential is unlimited! And your dreams might be right in front of you. It might just mean giving it more time and energy, working with a mentor or coach to guide you, or trying to approach it from a new angle.
In just a few months, Janet went from "I can't" to "I DID!"
Your dreams are waiting for you to achieve them. Don't give up just yet.
Sarah Bogdanski is an NYU Certified Life & Career Coach based in New York City. Sign up at her website for free tips & inspiration.
*Name changed for confidentiality purposes.