You Can Do Hard Things: 3 Steps to help you reach your goals
This past weekend I went on my first official hike with a small group of friends. Let me start by saying I’m not an outdoorsy type of person. It was not a cake-walk at all. There were more times than I could count on both hands that I thought, “Okay, I’m done now.” I assumed I would walk along a nice peaceful trail and enjoy nature. I did not anticipate the rocky terrain, the high elevation, and cliffs where one wrong turn could cause a life-changing injury or plummet me to my death. It may sound dramatic, but it is the truth.
Have you ever tried to do something new without proper expectations? How did that make you feel? I was filled with uncertainty—and maybe a little fear—but I knew this was something I still wanted to accomplish. Not long into the hike, a sense of assurance became my guide and I chose to watch the feet of those in front of me. Yes, I was also looking for snakes, but I mirrored the same footsteps and patterns as those in front of me because they had walked the same trail.
I believe what I learned can help you if you are facing challenges.
Do Hard Things
What hard thing have you been talking yourself out of doing? Why do you feel like you cannot accomplish it? I didn’t have one ounce of true hiking experience, but I wanted to try something new and challenging. I wanted to push myself beyond what I was comfortable doing. Having the support of friends around me helped to challenge and motivate me to continue. I know I would not have gone as far as I did during this hike if it wasn’t for the coaching of others. I still have a portion of this particular trail remaining to get to the top, but I know it’s doable with determination and coaching from others.
Think of me as your personal coach right now. Go to the nearest mirror, look at yourself, and say “I can do hard things.” Don’t allow a challenge to deter you from starting. Look directly at that mountain or challenge and seize the opportunity to stretch yourself into doing something you have never done before. No more excuses.
Take One Step
It’s possible to look at challenges as mountainous and unachievable. It was easy for me to look at other hikers that had more sophisticated equipment or experience and say “I can’t do it because I don’t have what they have.” Have you ever compared yourself in that way? It just takes one step at a time. One step in the right direction will get you closer to accomplishing your goal. We will always be in process as we meet one goal and head to the next, but if you don’t take a step, you are guaranteed not to be successful.
What is the next step you need to take? What is that thing you have wanted to try but have talked yourself out of doing? Take that hike, gain info on starting that new business, apply for that job you believe you are only 90% qualified for. Don’t let the fear of rejection and failure be your guide. Take the step!
Celebrate Your Successes
Throughout the hike, we celebrated our successes and how much we had accomplished. As I said, I still have a little way to go to complete the next part of the trail, but I’m more encouraged now than ever in completing the next phase. How well do you do at celebrating how far you have come? It’s easy to say “I’m not there yet” but there is power in encouraging yourself and celebrating even your small wins.
When both of my children started to walk, we celebrated every step. We didn’t focus on the fact that they couldn’t walk on their own. Instead, we applauded and smiled because they were trying. We knew with every step they would learn how to carry their weight, successfully balance themselves, and eventually walk on their own.
Celebrate yourself and others on their journey towards success! After every semester, celebrate how far you have come. Celebrate the successes of starting your small business. Celebrate the success of writing even just one chapter in the book you’ve dreamed about writing! When you acknowledge your small successes, it acts as fuel to motivate you to accomplish future goals.
Remember, you can do hard things!