Breakthrough self-doubt in pursuit of your goals or dreams.
Marissa’s dream didn’t just shimmer in the distance. Instead, she was standing on the cusp of living it and experiencing truly authentic success for the first time.
For the past few months, we had worked together to clear the wreckage from her failed business and many false starts down wrong paths. With a clear vision and renewed sense of hope, she then began to take small, but tentative steps in a new direction. As she did so, she began to experience a sense of flow and momentum toward her ultimate goal, too.
But then the “voiceover,” which sounded suspiciously like the voice of self-doubt, played loudly in her thoughts.
Like a piercing bullhorn, it warned of “potential” dire circumstances if she continued down this new, yet unfamiliar path. That her looming (but still unachieved), success meant she’d soon need to leave her husband, say good-bye to her family and move across country. In short, she’d end up alone and likely poor, too.
So rather than keep the spotlight on her dream and mute her self-doubts, she shifted gears and focused on whether or not she needed to end her marriage instead. “This,” she said in no uncertain terms, “is something I need to make a decision about before I can move forward with anything else.”
And just as with every other potential success in Marissa’s life, drama arises and is left unaddressed, derailing her newly burgeoning dream. I call this “success drama”.
None of us are immune to such occurrences either. In fact, we often encounter them at some point in our desire to improve, change or transform a specific aspect of our lives or move into greater success.
Caught in the gap between who we used to be and who we can be—or even who we are becoming—a success drama’s purpose is single-fold: To keep us distracted from our newly, emerging sense of potential.
Because what’s really happening is we are changing life sizes. We are smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis. On the one hand, our “old, but familiar identity” is being challenged—the very one that has kept us playing small and our lives even smaller. On the other hand, we are becoming larger and expanding our sense of what may be possible for us and for our lives.
Only rather that deal with our changing identity, we point our fingers at the people or situations in our lives that are “holding us back.” We mistakenly believe that after we fix or address these issues only then can we refocus and take action that creates forward movement toward our goals and dreams.
Yet in all our pointing, we fail to notice how three fingers point back at the real cause of our drama…and that’s us. The truth is our success drama is entirely self-created and what it needs is an intermission. Without such a break, we may miss the potential for a breakthrough, including one that leads to living an amazing and successful life.
5 Tips to breakthrough success drama :
As such, if you find yourself in a similar situation, give your drama an intermission. Spend an hour to go over or implement one of the five tips below. They are designed to help you better and more skillfully navigate your way through both the identity crisis and keep perspective on the change process:
Tip #1. Don’t change the question.
When you first start to pursue a new goal, you initially ask the question: How can I _____? But once you start to take actual steps toward the goal, you mistakenly change the question to Who am I ______?
Go back to asking the first question as it provides an answer that can lead you forward. The second question only creates status quo.
Tip #2. No loose lips.
Caught up in the excitement of making change, you may want to share your goals and dreams with friends or family. You may also want to reach out to them for support, too. However, it’s possible your change may shine an unwelcome light on the size of their (possibly) small lives and identities. As a result, when your life changes sizes and grows larger, they may try to keep you small and your dreams downsized.
In order to minimize the chance your loose lips will sink your success, draw a circle and in the center of it, write down the names of “safe people” who can support and hold a vision of who you want to become. On the outside of the circle, write the names of people with whom you need to keep your lips sealed until the identity and dream have grown stronger roots.
Tip #3. Doubt the doubts.
Remind yourself that if you don’t shrink the doubts about who you can be, the only other choice is to shrink yourself. And if you think about it, that’s not really a viable option.
Grab a piece of paper and label one column, ‘Doubts’ and another column, ‘Shrink Myself.’ Make a list in each column. This exercise should help create a perspective shift that helps you shrink your doubts…and without a doubt.
Tip #4. “Decision Date” the calendar.
If your success drama is primarily influenced by the “sudden notion” that you need to make a decision about something unrelated specifically to your goal or dream, put a note on your calendar to revisit it in thirty days.
Then return immediately and confidently to pursuing your desired changes, goals or dreams while trusting you are not ignoring the decision, but merely delaying the need to take action on it for right now.
Tip #5. Practice a little sacred idleness.
The change process consumes and requires a lot of energy. In addition, when you grow it can sometimes create growing pains that may need a little recuperation time. What may seem like a desire to abandon ship is often a sign that what you really need is to rest and renew or practice a little sacred idleness. An hour’s activity that is one hundred percent goal free and focused more on relaxation or fun rather than productivity may be just the thing to carry you forward to the finish line.