We’ve all been there, standing in the way of our own dreams and ambitions and happiness and success. Maybe its an email you forgot to respond to, a phone call you missed, an offer of help you turned down. Maybe it was your pride, your forgetfulness, your anxiety or your obliviousness that caused you to miss an opportunity that was knocking on your door. Maybe you’ve done vision boards, two-cup methods, affirmations, morning journal pages and post it notes on your mirror to no avail.
So how do you get out of your own way, and achieve your dreams? It’s so easy its almost embarrassing. But it takes commitment, so lets break it down, but first click the graphic below to download your free printable worksheet so you can easily follow along!
1 | Define Success
Be as specific as you can here. Maybe your idea of success is a 9-5 job, or a family, or completing your bucket list. Maybe its having enough money to take a vacation once-in-a-while or buy the on-brand version of your favorite food. Maybe its being a millionaire or retiring at 30. Whatever your idea of success is, define it. Tell me (yourself) all about it. Get down to the nitty gritty details.
Choose only one item of success at a time. Sure you may want a 9-5 and a family and to complete your bucket list. But make those three different ideas of success. Do these steps for each of those items separately. This will allow you to get far more specific for each other individually and really break down WHAT it means to be successful.
Consider this step to be free writing. Just write what comes to mind about the successful item. Get more and more specific as you write. But when you hit the end of the page, stop. I don’t care if you have more to say, just stop. (And likewise, don’t stop until you hit the end of the page)! Now move onto step 2 immediately!
2 | Summarize Success
Immediately following step 1, summarize everything you just wrote into 3-5 bullet points. Each bullet point should be a quick statement, NOT a complete sentence, and certainly not multiple sentences. Be quick and dirty. If there was something you wish you had a chance to write on the previous page, do it now in a bullet point statement. Make this list no less than 3, and no more than 5 statements long! Now move onto step 3.
3 | Create Excuses
Yup. Do it, look at the bullet points you’ve written and write down every excuse you can think of that will keep you from achieving this success. Could you not answer the phone call? Put that email in your ‘read later’ file? When someone offers to help you, would you shrug it off or say “maybe”? Do you have a mama brain and would forget your head if it wasn’t attached? Write it down, write each and every single one down. It might be 5 things, it might be 50 (although if you truly find 50 ways of keeping yourself back from one single idea of success, I highly recommend you should try a therapist to work through some of them!). Once you have your list and feel comfortable that you have discovered every avenue that you will (consciously or subconsciously) block yourself from success, move onto step 4.
4 | Remove OBSTACLES
You know the obstacles that stand in the way of your success. You have clearly described each and every way you block yourself. Now remove them. Go back through each item and brainstorm at least one way you can beat this to the punch and remove the obstacle. Some may require you to be creative, while others may be shockingly simple. Here are a few common excuses and some possible ways to remove the obstacle:
- Forget to return phone calls? Try building phone time into your schedule. Choose a day and an hour to sit down, look through your call list to remind yourself, look through your messages to make sure you have the list, and return each and every call.
- Lose emails? Create a system that won’t let you forget. Maybe its color coding, or star systems. Try folders and organizing your emails. Try scheduling time to read and respond to emails on a daily basis. It may require some testing and trial and error, but you can and WILL find a system that works for you!
- Someone offer to help? Say yes! Say yes please and offer a bottle of wine to say thank you. A gift forces you to stay in contact, and they will be more likely to keep you in mind next time an opportunity comes up as well. Saying yes before you forget to, or before pride gets in the way commits you to the situation.
5 | Commit to yourself
You’ve done the hard work, you have an excellent understanding of what success means to you and an even better understanding of how you tend to ruin opportunities that would bring that success. Now you are better prepared when these situations come up how to handle them and ensure the opportunity can come to you and success will reach you! So what is the last step? Commit to yourself. Admit that you are worthy of success. Worthy of the opportunities trying to reach you. Commit to yourself that you are worth all of this hard work and you won’t keep hindering yourself.
Because no matter what your dream is, what your idea of success is, and where you currently are on the journey to achieving that dream, you are worth it. You are important, and unique, and valuable. And its OK to accept the opportunities that your hard work brings you, your acquaintances provide for you, and the universe pushes on you. It’s even OK that after you achieve said dream, it turns out it wasn’t the right one. It’s OK to keep trying, and I hope no matter what you do keep trying. Because you are worth it. So make this commitment to yourself, and get out there and make your dreams come true!