Unclutter the Path to Your Dreams

by Aileen

 

In taking the journey towards our dreams, sometimes we can let illusionary excuses hold us back from taking the brave steps. Other times we can simply fail to be consistent with our small steps …and sometimes, we may even find ourselves not taking any steps toward our goals,while thinking we are.

In doing this, we hinder our progress and allow bits of self-sabotage to enter in and take effect.

The danger is, not only might we  lose our momentum and drive – but worse, we may think we’ve failed when we never gave it all we could.

Clarity powerfully shows us when we’re getting in our own way and it shows us when we’re not working consistently up to our personal capacity, but how open are we to accepting clarity, and how long will we choose to stay clear before reverting back?

Years ago, I was sitting at my favorite bagel shop sipping coffee when I had an epiphany. I realized I had a habit of lying myself. I hadn’t thought of myself as a liar, but I had been to my own being.

I lied to myself that I was doing everything in my power to make my life experience what I dreamed, but I wasn’t. I would take a partial action and then sabotage it with self-doubt.  I wasn’t putting in 100% committed action, maybe at first, but then it was followed up by tentative actions, and non-assertiveness.

That’s like being in a race, starting with all you’ve got and then slowing your speed down significantly for a mile – then racing  to speed up again after you’ve fallen wildly behind.

What’s the solution?

Practice Radical Self-Honesty and Personal Accountability

My primary reason for writing this right now is that it happens to be my current challenge.  I had a realization a couple of weeks ago that I’ve reverted back to that old ugly pattern of 100% committed action, followed up by tentative actions, and non-assertiveness.  It’s simply self-doubt coming out of my thoughts and effecting my actions.

Doubts and fears aren’t always just harmless thoughts; they can sabotage our potential for success. Sometimes the sabotage is so small we don’t see it. It is harder to see the sabotage when it happens while we are making progress and taking action.

It’s easy to see only the positive steps of progress and ignore the bits of sabotage, pretending they have no real effect. They do have a very real effect – just like the example above of entering a race, {starting with all you’ve got and then slowing your speed down significantly for a mile – then racing to speed up again, after you’ve fallen wildly behind.}

How do you know if you’ve giving your goals and dreams all you’ve got?

Get really honest with yourself and use these 6 Kaizen tools:

(1)  Meditation – meditation allows the mind to quiet. It provides space to connect with spirit, and align one’s mind and body.  Over time we discover moments of clarity either during mediation or shortly after. Those moments of clarity can show us our truth, and allow us to know our thought habits, our behavioral habits and give us deeper insights.  WRITE these insights down! Utilize them, don’t let them be fleeting.

 

(2) Write Write down or record the progress you’re making, your successes and your moments when you didn’t give it everything.  An example would be the progress of going to a networking event, and the tentative action of not really connecting or talking with anyone. YES praise what you did well, but be honest with where you fell short and know why you did… and have a plan to fix it.

 

(3)  Journal – We can learn a lot about ourselves by writing and re-reading what we’ve previously written. Our thoughts fall onto the pages and we have the opportunity to see them objectively and question how accurate they are, how helpful or hurtful they are. It’s not easy to hear our subconscious mind, but journaling allows us entry.

 

(4)  Outlines – When we have an ongoing outline of our goals, dreams, and aspirations – we can use it as a work in progress. This will help us see if our actions and our thoughts are moving us closer to the goal, or if they are keeping us stagnate, or worse sending us away from our desire. Do you have an outline for your goals and dreams?

 

(5)  Schedules – When taking small steps towards our dreams, we often have pockets of time that we’re trying to maximize efficient use of.  It’s easy to blow off 30 minutes of exercise or an hour of writing for a fun phone conversation or some other fun distraction. The problem happens when six months go by and we’re wondering why our small steps didn’t amount to success yet. Maintaining a schedule helps us hold ourselves accountable and allows us to have an eye for self-honesty

 

(6)  Accountability partner – I had a life coach a few years ago who said, just keep your weekly appointment with a lamp post and tell the lamp post what you accomplished and what you didn’t. Do not tell the lamp post your excuses, just the facts. You might have a great friend or partner who you can team up as an accountability partner – but if you don’t, the lamp post does work. I’ve tried it.

 

Sometimes taking small steps, making small improvements, and journeying at slower pace may feel incredibly frustrating. It’s even worse when you have nothing to show for it a year later. One way to guarantee yourself success is by having daily, weekly, and monthly habits that keep you accountable for your actions and your attitude throughout your journey.

Do take moments to check-in with yourself and celebrate your successes, even the small ones. That gratitude spreads and will fuel your momentum.

How is your journey towards your goals and dreams going? Do you feel you’ve got a good pace? Do you have things in place that show you how well you’re doing at holding yourself accountable?

And for a serious dose of Radical Self-Honesty, do you know what (if anything) holds you back?

By doing the above work, I had my own realization recently and I was a bit stunned when I realized the two thoughts that hold me back. They are incredibly silly, but even so, they’ve managed to be rather powerful.  I’ve allowed one particular past failure to fuel sabotaging thoughts of self-doubt, even though I have had far more successes than failures in my life. I’ve also allowed an old and untrue message in my mind hold me back, that message is,” I’m shy and that’s why I don’t do networking well.” I know it’s not really true, but I’ve let it create a tentativeness in my actions and I’ve allowed it to prevent me from showing up 100% consistently.  It’s embarrassing to write this, but I did include it in case it helps you see that sometimes just two silly and inaccurate thoughts can be the very thing that prevents you from being 100% you, functioning at full capacity as your journey to the fulfillment of your goals and dreams.

Unclutter the path to your dreams and I will do the same.  If we walk the marathon but didn’t really give it our all, then we only have 26.2 miles of mediocrity to show for it, and the inner knowing that we’ll never know well we could have run it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Artemis June 8, 2011

Aileen,
This is an awesome article. I agree with all your steps. Wonderful! Meditation and journaling are two of my absolute favorites. I like to include my “writing” right in w/my journal for the sake of simplicity. We should praise ourselves in fact we should be our own BFFs. Once we stop self-sabotage the sky is the limit!
Angela Artemis´s last [type] ..Use Your Intuition to Improve Sales

Reply

Aileen June 8, 2011

You are so right!!! “Once we stop self-sabotage the sky is the limit!”

Reply

Joe Wilner June 8, 2011

Hi Aileen,

This is very helpful article. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have some sort of struggle with following through and getting everything done that they desire to. For me I have been writing down goals for awhile and it really helps to keep me focused and centered on what I’m trying to do. I usually separate goals into a 30, 60, and 90 day organization. That way I don’t feel everything is a urgent. It helps when I have a lot to do. I also think everyone can use a coach or accountability partner of some sort. We can’t go wrong with support and encouragement. Great post!

Reply

Aileen June 8, 2011

Hi Joe, I like your use of 30, 60, and 90 day orga­ni­za­tion for goals and taking the urgent edge off, while you move forward. That is a great way to break it down and keep the focus!

Reply

Sean Cox June 8, 2011

Thanks for the 6 tools Aileen–very helpful. And the idea (and practice!) of radical self-honesty is great. Although that’s where that accountability partner comes in handy–when we’re in that space of lying to ourselves. And I guess that’s one thing the lamp post can’t do for us–call us out on our dishonesty with ourselves.

Reply

Aileen June 8, 2011

It’s true, an accountability partner is far better than a lamp post! Sometimes it’s hard to find an accountability partner – at least that was my experience years back before the blogging community, and the social web. I’m guessing it’s easier to find one these day. :) There is great value to a true friend who lovingly calls us out on our dishonesty with self.

Reply

Dave Rowley June 9, 2011

Hi Aileen,

Some really great tips here.

Your point about writing down insights that come from meditation (or elsewhere) is so true, I’ve lost plenty of mini-realizations by not doing that. Now I keep a small notebook in my meditation spot and spend a minute or two jotting down anything that comes to me after a meditation session. It makes a huge difference.

Can’t tell you how much I love the idea of an accountability lamp post! Reading that made me chuckle, it actually seems like a fun way of checking in and being accountable with ourselves.

Whenever I see a lamp post now, I’ll imagine it as a wise mentor looking out for me.
Dave Rowley´s last [type] ..Imagine This

Reply

Aileen June 10, 2011

Hi Dave :) glad you had fun with the lamp post idea :) love that you keep a notebook in your meditation area – such wonderful progress happens when we take that moment and record the insights.

Reply

John Sherry June 10, 2011

You ask some direct and deep questions Aileen – good for you! The act of self-sabotage is alive and well in the dream living world as many say they want x or y then find a million reasons why they can’t bring their wishes to fruition. I always used having a mortgage or everything going wrong to prevent me from ever striding into a new destiny. Not now as I’m heading out of my home town of 4o years on my own to see where in the world I can lay my hate. You see, there comes a day when staying will take more from you than moving on and following a dream ever can. The only thing to answer to is that little voice and tingly feeling inside that say, ‘Now is the time’ and then you really can’t go wrong, can you?
John Sherry´s last [type] ..What Has Life Taught You About You

Reply

Aileen June 10, 2011

John, you’re embarking on a great adventure! Congratulations for taking on the “call” to movie according to your inner voice. I’m excited about your adventure and inspired by your risk taking as you venture into the unknown.

Reply

Joy June 10, 2011

Aileen,
Thank you for your transparency in sharing this article! The tips that you mention are wonderful in allowing for clarity and then action steps. As powerful as the tips, are the examples of two limiting thoughts that held you back/no longer served you..that you released.
So often clarity is present, but we don’t wish to acknowledge it. So, thank you for sharing an example from your life.
Self sabotage may be tricky…it is mind overshadowing heart’s whispers..and the secrutiy of comfort versus the potential thrill of unknown…

Reply

Aileen June 10, 2011

Joy, your words allow beauty in the ugliness of Self sab­o­tage. Your insight gives great clarity to the trickiness of sabotage
“Self sab­o­tage may be tricky…it is mind over­shad­ow­ing heart’s whispers..and the secru­tiy of com­fort ver­sus the poten­tial thrill of unknown…” Brilliant!

Reply

Gilbert Ross June 12, 2011

This was an outstanding post Aileen!! I must say that it is also a challenge that I am passing through at the moment so THANKS for bringing that up…it strongly resonated with me!
Gilbert Ross´s last [type] ..How to Develop better Decision Making Skills

Reply

Justin | Mazzastick June 12, 2011

Hi Aileen,
I have been guilty of going full-force in the beginning then gradually slowing down to self-sabatoge.

The good thing is that once we become aware of it we can re-adjust ourselves to get back on course. Meditation is a great tool to help us re-align ourselves.
Justin | Mazzastick´s last [type] ..How To Consciously Control Manic Depression

Reply

Aileen July 1, 2011

Hi Justin, I’m a fan of meditation too! It really does help incredibly – like a direct route to re-alignment.

Reply

Cathy | Treatment Talk June 22, 2011

Hi Aileen,

Good post. I agree that sometimes we can sell ourselves on whatever story we want to believe. I could completely relate to your shyness example. It’s easy to use that as an excuse and not push ourselves. Writing and meditation have been wonderful ways for me to get in touch with what is really going on as well. Thanks.
Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last [type] ..Writing Down Our Intentions Can Change Our Life

Reply

Aileen July 1, 2011

Hi Cathy, I love that you found a solution to keep you in touch with the deeper truths. Mediation and writing can be pretty amazing – bringing great clarity

Reply

Galen Pearl June 27, 2011

This is an excellent article and exactly what I needed to read right now. I have just retired and I am looking forward to this next stage in my life. I have some new goals, but I can see that I lack structure for achieving them. I like your balance of radical self-honesty and accountability with gentleness and lack of self-judgment. Very important to have both. More generally, I like your blog title and concept. I look forward to reading more.

Reply

Aileen July 1, 2011

Hi Galen thank you for stopping by and saying hello. Congratulations on the new chapter in life – and your goals :) a bit of structure can help tremendously! I wish you the greatest adventure and success along your journey into this new chapter of life.

Reply

Evelyn Lim June 28, 2011

Hello Aileen,

I would like to share that I have also allowed self-doubt to hold me back. Yes, I totally resonated with the taking partial action bit.

I also find that I don’t do networking well too. I am also shy by nature. However, I know that it is something that needs to get done. So I do my best and continue to challenge myself every other day to doing more.

Well, it goes to show that you have not been alone. I like your practice of radical self honesty with gentleness. Let’s support and encourage each other on our way to being our highest potential :-)

To your awesomeness,
Evelyn

Reply

Aileen July 1, 2011

Hi Evelyn :) support and encouragement can really fuel one to their highest potential. I look forward to cheering you on as we journey forward :)

Reply

King Author June 30, 2011

Dude! ( don’t mean to call you dude, but i’m excited..) But honestly with yourself is the only way you can ever be self-realized. Just like Philosopher Rene’ Descartes said, ” Know thy self.” I you don;t know yourself how can you be successful? You CAN’T! You have to Know who YOU are in order to be the BEST you can BE!

Reply

Aileen July 1, 2011

:) it can be a pretty wild journey, but the journey of self discovery reveals so much. It allows us to be more compassionate with self and others; it allows us to be less judgmental and more understanding of self & others – it really allows for a deeper and more fulfilling life experience. It’s not always a nice and sweet discovery – but nevertheless, a profound interesting and sometimes entertaining one.

Reply

LJ Earnest August 9, 2011

One radical idea that was recently presented to me (from The Hardline Self Help Book) was that I really wasn’t willing to do *anything* to achieve my dreams. Some things I was simply unwilling to give up, like my family situation and where I live. It was radical self-honesty, but not only did it help me see what I was willing to do, it also helped me accept the price I pay for things I was unwilling to give up.

Reply

Aileen August 12, 2011

Hi L J . thank you for sharing your experience. Radical self honesty gives us a great clarity. I know that moment of being able to see something clearly and then decide what to do about it. It allows us to make our best possible decision for each situation – especially those difficult ones.

Reply

Vlad - Simpler Life Today September 18, 2011

Hi Aileen,

I appreciate your post. My experience began as gradual discontent… At first, I blamed it on everyone else besides myself. When there was no one left to blame, I had to point the finger at the guy in the mirror. It was a scary time. I had to learn to forgive myself and to find the courage to make the necessary changes to achieve my goals. After that, I became more in tune with myself and with everyone else as well!

Thank you, Vlad

Reply

dealership selling paper August 28, 2015

I feel that is one of the such a lot important info for me.

And i’m glad studying your article. However wanna commentary on some general issues, The website style is
great, the articles is truly great : D. Excellent job, cheers
dealership selling paper´s last [type] ..dealership selling paper

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: