Twenty three years. That's how long it took me to complete my degree from start to finish. Twenty three years of starts and stops, triumphs and tragedies, disappointment and determination. And although it took some time to accept that fact I still must acknowledge that it is done. A goal accomplished. But what on earth could cause such a tremendous delay in the pursuit of a goal? When does the inward fear brought on by life experiences get exchanged for inward motivation? I once heard someone say, "Stop buying into your own story!" This means that although you may have very legitimate obstacles in your life, they are only road blocks. There is always another route to take. But like many I was stuck on that road...staring at the blockage instead of looking for another route. At last I realized that for many years, on many occasions and in many scenarios, I had done just that. I had bought into my own story. And sure, all of the tragedies and obstacles in my life were real, but the fear that they produced had no right to my future. So I say to you; Stop buying into your own story. There is a way to acknowledge those obstacles and harness the inward motivation necessary to begin taking small steps and making changes that will lead you to accomplishment.
So how do you get past the fear and all of those obstacles feuling the excuses to postpone your achievement? Ask yourself a few questions.
Why do I want to achieve this?
Why is this important to me?
Why don't I believe that I can do it?
Take the time to examine yourself. Recognize if you are blocked on this road. If you are, put your story aside for a while until you can use it to motivate you, not hinder your progress. You can decide to confront your Why and make the changes necessary to move forward. Here is a good place to start.
#1. Stop playing the victim. Your past may have been riddled with "reasons" why it is difficult, painful, and seems nearly impossible for you to push through; but if staying in your current life situation is not an option for you, use that motivation to make some changes. You may not feel like this is you, but if it is, don't fool yourself. Nothing real will happen until you come clean and face your truth.
#2. Sometimes it's hard to recognize the excuses you accept for yourself and you need a buddy to help you see things from an objective perspective. Is there someone in your life that truly wants the best for you and will risk stepping on your toes to help you realize your own greatness? Talk to that person. Often. It may seem painful to look at yourself through the lens of someone else at first, but gradually you will accept the truth. Truth is, you have greatness and ability that you haven't even touched. Allow your "buddy" to help you pull that out.
#3. Make a plan of ACTION. Clearly nothing different is going to happen unless you are determined to do something different. Before you over-think the situation and decide that it just wont work, make a plan. Ask your new "victory buddy" to help.
#4. Attack your plan with vigor and faith. Once I truly believed that my goal of earning a bachelors degree could be accomplished no matter the circumstance, it became my motivation to take all necessary steps. Adversity surely did come my way again. But this time I couldn't be stopped. In that same year my son would have a 14 hour back surgery, and I would find out several days before graduation that there was one more class that was missed in my degree check. I would have to complete that class in the summer, therefore delaying graduation again. And while I was taking that last class, the cancer in my body began to grow and I had to return to chemotherapy.
If you're stuck on that road to change and things just don't seem to be moving along, ask yourself why. Ask yourself if you have bought into your own story to the detriment of your future, and then harness your own inner motivation to take the steps you already know you have to take. Take your eyes off the road block.
Go in search of another route.