We’ve all heard the saying that, “Starting something is always the hardest part,” which I believe is true, however my version of events is that this statement or saying is true because of the beliefs that we put around starting something and perhaps failing or perhaps the original idea going in a slightly different direction. This article will talk about why it is so important to make a start on your goals and what new beliefs you can adopt so starting won’t be so daunting.
The Meaning We Attach To Outcomes Is Killing Us
All of us are capable beings. Extraordinary in fact. If you need proof, look around at the world through a positive lens and see all the great stuff that mankind has invented; the internet, smartphones, planes, computers, appliances, medicines, medical procedures and the list goes on. The cynic in us could also focus on the negative (natural tendency for the brain – it’s trying to look out for us) that mankind has done, but we will focus on the positive as that is a much better place to be.
Why do we not start going for our dreams, goals and desires straight away? There are most likely a myriad of reasons, but the one we will focus on here is the meaning that we attach to the outcome of going for our goals – regardless of whether we achieve it or not. Ask yourself if these statements, which through repetition will turn into your beliefs, apply to you.
“I’d love to train for my first marathon but what will people think if I don’t finish it?”
“I would love to start my own business but what will happen if I fail? What will people say about me?”
“I can’t go for my dream job because I’m not good enough and if I don’t get it people will look down on me.”
Maybe you have not had those exact thoughts, though the point being made is that we as humans love to attach meaning to the outcome of our actions. The same can be said for achieving your goal.
“When I become rich, I’ll meet the partner of my dreams then.”
“I’ll be able to prove to my family that I am somebody if I get this job.”
It’s good to have a ‘why’ as a motivator for going after your dreams, goals and desires though I am sure we have all seen the typical stereotype of someone who becomes immensely wealthy though they are unhappy. Reaching their richness did not bring them what they wanted.
Attaching a meaning to not getting (or achieving) your goal can be detrimental for us. For the sake of this article we will talk about attaching a meaning to not getting your goal as that is one of the main reasons that holds people back and the main reason why people do not start anything.
Reframing Our Beliefs Through Repetition
A belief is a thought which has been validated over and over again – repetition. The more we validate it, the more the brain will be on the look out to find more evidence to continually back this belief up.
“Remember there is no right or wrong beliefs. There are just beliefs that serve us and beliefs that don’t.”
Reframing a belief is flipping a thought around and then repeating it over and over again so our brain can find evidence to validate that belief and it becomes true for us. For example
Existing Belief: “If I fail at this people will laugh at me and they won’t respect me anymore.”
Reframing: “I am taking positive actions toward achieving what I want. I am successful because I am taking positive steps towards my goal”
“This failure told me to redirect my energy elsewhere. Good thing I tried this or I would’ve never known.”
“People who truly love me will always respect me.”
Repetition, can take place through affirmations, journal work, meditation, the list is endless. The secret is to make these new thoughts a habit. Now, to be perfectly clear here, It won’t happen overnight! We all know our brain loves what’s easy (existing thoughts), loves routine and doesn’t like to be wrong. So it will take time and there will be conflict between your brain giving you your routine belief (subconscious) and you actively installing new beliefs (conscious).
“Like everything, practice and consistency will be your best friends here.”
Jump In – What Have You Got To Lose?
I am not advocating that we should wait to our beliefs have ‘changed’ before we start pursuing our goals. The point I am trying to get across is that whilst reframing your beliefs jump in with some action – don’t wait to you are 100% sure or you’ll be waiting forever!
By setting up specific dates and times in your calendar you will be forced to take action and start going after what you really want. The reason I mentioned the reframing above is that whilst you are taking action, it will give you the perfect opportunity to put those new reframing thoughts into real-life situations and let your brain find the evidence for you through the actions you are taking.
If an unexpected event comes up – some people call these failures – use it to hone your new belief that failures are just lessons in disguise. Similarly, if you realised that you do not like the new job that you left your old job for, at least now you know, and you can put the plan into place of what you are going to do next.
“In my opinion, knowing and experiencing what something feels like is a lot better that wondering or guessing what something would be like.”
I love teaching others. I think it is a skill and craft like no other. You get to give to others for a living, and at the same time make a positive impact. But I had to leave teaching to realise this. Over the past couple of years I have taken time out to experience things that I have always wanted to do; Become a full-time Dad, start a business and write a book. All these things I would not have experienced if I did not take the leap of faith and leave my secure teaching job. After a few, years I feel that I am ready for the classroom again so I will start off by going back in to teaching part-time so I can still have my business on the side as well. Will this arrangement work? Only one way to find out!
Am I saying that everyone should quit their job and chase their goals? Absolutely not. There will be planning involved and you will have to have a ‘mental plan’ in place when you change your identity and do something different. It will feel weird at first though that’s a good thing. You may want to try something out on the side first. Just make sure you take the first couple of steps into putting actions into place to go after what you want.
If it’s a new job you could research the job then find someone in that job already and informally interview them over a tea or a beer. Perhaps you could do some volunteer work in that field. Whatever you do have a plan, yes, but make sure you jump in and start taking action.
“Because action is where the clarity is.”
Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Research anyone who has become successful – they’ve achieved what they set out to do – and more often than not one of the major obstacles they would have had to overcome was stepping out of their comfort zone. Similarly, when they have reached their goals, they push themselves even further, again out of their comfort zone, because they realise that stepping out of your comfort zone is where the growth is.
So what does this mean for us. If you go into a new environment, situation or challenge expect to have that feeling in your gut where you are a bit uncomfortable as then you will know you are on the right track to growth and ultimately success.
Article In A Nutshell
A lot of us are scared to step out and do the actions required to get what we want. A big factor of this fear comes from the meaning we attach to something if we fail. Our beliefs have taught us that failing is not a good thing or that it will make us look bad. However, by reframing your thoughts, and validating them through evidence, we can change our beliefs to realise that going after something regardless of the outcome is a good thing. Putting in daily actions towards our dreams goals and desires will bring us clarity. Plus all the action we put in will give us success; whether it be through achievement of through failure (lesson).