How many times in the past have you told yourself you wanted something really badly but didn’t have a clue about how to get it?
So what happens next?
Perhaps you beat yourself up or you tell yourself it’s not important, and yet every day that passes you know you have still not made the change that you know you want and feel increasingly frustrated, even trapped.
Sometimes it’s just information that you need but you don’t yet possess. For example, you want to change careers but you don’t know how to promote yourself effectively to potential employers, and feel like you are just another CV without a face in a pile of candidates who look the same.
Sometimes it’s more strategic – there are certain causes and effects that come into play but you don’t have a game plan to set the needed effect into motion and get you what you want. So you are certain that you need to lose 10kg in order to fit into your summer bikini, but there is so much conflicting information out there that you don’t know who to believe anymore, so you figure you might as well do nothing than get your hopes up again with another fad diet that promises easy success, yet fails to deliver.
And then sometimes it is the result of a conflict – which can be external or internal – that presents opposing options, beliefs or dilemmas that only succeed in keeping you stuck and immobilised. An example of this is where you have moved to a new location and want to make friends, but you tend to be shy and don’t know how to mix with strangers so you stay at home on Friday night eating popcorn while watching Ryan Gosling re-runs with mascara running down your face.
If any of these are your experience, I have some quick tips to get you moving in the direction you need to make progress, and along with that a sense of achievement.
Firstly, you have to decide which of the three scenarios you are experiencing.
If it’s the first one, it is information that you don’t have and for whatever reason, you haven’t made a move towards finding the information. Sometimes you feel that it requires a PhD in Forensic Pathology to dig up the information that is required. Not so. All you need to do is find someone who has done it before, and research their methods. It’s called modelling and is a very effective way to duplicate a successful person’s results. With Social Media being the most effective way to connect to others these days, and using the theory of Six Degrees of Separation, put a call out and find out what information comes back to you.
In the second case, you need to create a game plan. You know what your desired end result is, but don’t focus on that just now. Just work out the next step to get you towards your stated goal. Test and measure, correct your course, repeat then move on to the next step. Again, modelling is an effective strategy to use to work out how others have blazed the trail. By adopting this strategy, you will increase your chances of success tenfold, and you will always be setting your course towards your aim, and not floundering around in a sea of despair.
And the third cause is also fairly straight forward, and I always recommend finding out what each side of the conflict wants for you and then create your game plan to get that. So in our example, wanting to have new friends while being too shy to get out there and make it happen – instead of being immobilised by the conflict, ask yourself – how will my life improve by having new friends? Make a list. Then ask yourself – how is my life enriched by being shy, what does that do for me? You may discover that your desire to make new friends is highlighting your need for love and connection with others and is also a good way to grow in life. And then your tendency to be shy is just you connecting with and protecting yourself, and not having to be someone that you aren’t.
To recognise you have a need to connect is a very healthy concept, so the next step is to create a game plan that keeps both sides happy. In what way can you connect with others that still provides a feeling that you are nurturing and being true to yourself? This is a great question to contemplate and answer and you may find that you would like to connect first with friends of friends, then once you feel comfortable doing that, plan to extend your circle that way. You can imagine a cord that runs from every new connection you make back to yourself, so you never need to feel that you are intimidated by strangers. Before you know it your circle has expanded and you now only spend Friday night at home alone when you feel you need a breather from being a social butterfly!
Try these tips out next time you’re feeling stuck and let me know how you go!