Effort Meets Desire

Have you ever caught yourself looking at someone’s highlight reel on Facebook or Instagram and thought, “how did she get so lucky, why can’t I have what she’s got?”

Maybe you’ve been a bit proactive and sought some advice about what steps you could take to create what she has achieved only to then find every excuse why you couldn’t do that. It might sound like, “That wouldn’t work for me because…”or my favourite go to “it’s alright for her, she has …” fill in the blank; a supportive partner/parents/more money/more time/no kids etc etc.

Recently a friend of mine, who had a copy of my Family Meetings Pack from my other business for over a year, implement the program in her family. It took her 12 months to take some action on a strategy and advice for a problem that had been ongoing for years. She has since told me (2 months after using it) that it’s the best thing she has ever done for her family, the kids rarely argue, when an issue arises they follow the steps and it’s sorted quickly and they all communicate better, the house is calm!

It can be difficult to understand why we will often ask for advice, but then search for reasons for it not to work for us. When we spoke about it and her surprise at how well it worked, she laughed “Yeah, anyone would think you are a family coach or something”.

My point is, when we ask someone who we think has some knowledge, skills and success in an areas we would like to learn from, why don’t we follow through?

It is far easier to find reasons NOT to take action than to make a commitment to ourselves and put in some work. By attributing someone’s success to circumstances outside of themselves, we get to stay safe and comfortable not achieving because we don’t have those things they did. This thinking is damaging for 2 reasons. It not it denies all the effort and sacrifices they made to achieve, but it keeps us from taking any action because our situation isn’t exactly the same as theirs.

We can spend a lifetime waiting for the perfect time, for us to be ready, for ‘a sign’ or mercury to go direct, to take action or, we can JFDI!! As a recovering procrastinator, I get it, but I heard a quote that helped me shift from waiting to doing “successful people make decisions quickly and change their mind slowly”.

Where in your life could you take more action? Big decisions are scary they don’t call the space beyond our comfort level, the growth or groan zone for nothing! But living a life only in our comfort zone, with no stretch or challenge is far more painful.

I remember very clearly waking in the middle of the night after I had signed up for a Professional Coaching Program that was the single biggest financial investment I had made in my life, other than buying a house, and feeling physically sick. The wash of panic flooded by entire body, I had heart palpitations and severe nausea. My head was screaming at me “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!”

But what also came to mind, was a discussion I had earlier in the day. That most people make a big decision by dipping their toe into a pool then pull it out because it’s cold, and then they just stay on the sidelines as spectators, occasionally dipping their toe in again, but never keeping it there or fully committing. But if we jump in the deep end and hang around for a bit, the shock of the cold gradually eases, we adjust to the new normal and it feels ok. Before too long, we don’t remember what it was like before we did it.

That night in my panic, I just imagined myself in the deep end of the pool and told myself, it was just cold, because it was new, I was panicking because I knew I had taken a huge and important step, it showed I cared and I knew my life would never be the same again.

You could also equate it to having a baby, no matter how much preparation goes into planning for a baby, there is never the perfect time, but most of us do it and as scary as it is when they send that baby home from hospital with you, it doesn’t take long to forget what life was like before they came along…and destroyed your sleep!

So to recap, steps you can take to match your desire for success (whatever that looks like for you) with effort.

  1. If you seek advice and or information from credible sources, rather than think, “That won’t work for me because of xyz” instead switch your thinking to “HOW CAN I MAKE that work for me”.
  2. Make decisions quickly and change your mind slowly.
  3. Picture yourself in the deep end of the pool, give your body time to adjust to the cold and before long you’ll be calling out, “Come on in, it’s beautiful, once you get used to it!”