Updated: Jan 12
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong. ~ Mandy Hale
Obstacles are created when we focus on our weaknesses. It takes far less energy and time to build upon your strengths than it does to remove your shortcomings. To begin the process of tearing down barriers to your success, identify your strengths and place your primary efforts here.
Our growth and progress are hampered when we neglect to take the time to reflect. Self-reflection allows you to look deep within and discover your true passions and ambitions. Self-reflection is an opportunity to open your mind and allow new perspectives to enter. Ask yourself the questions; who am I? and, where do I want to be in the future? Self-reflection should occur frequently and requires you to be completely honest.
Without a specific destination identified, it’s likely your roadblocks include frequent detours. To avoid this dilemma, set your goal(s). The more specific your intention, the better. Which of the following ambition statements provides the most clarity?
1. I want to go back to school. This statement is vague and doesn’t provide enough details to keep you motivated.
2. I want to earn a degree in nursing. This statement is somewhat better but not by much. It still doesn’t provide the information you’ll need to keep your focus on the end result.
3. I want to earn a master’s degree in nursing. This statement is much more specific regarding what you want to achieve, but there’s still something missing.
4. I want to earn a master’s degree in nursing by 2025. This is the best statement. It establishes both what you want to do, and the deadline you want to meet.
Deadlines help to keep you motivated and on track. They allow you to measure your progress and evaluate how you’re doing.
Are you thinking to yourself right now “I’ve done all of this but I’m still not getting anywhere”? Don’t be hard on yourself. There are a couple more things you can do that will help.
Create an action plan. Every goal should have one. Your action plan must include:
· The goal you want to achieve.
· The tasks and steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal. (micro goals)
· Those who will be in your support network and the responsibilities of each.
· The completion date for each task.
· Your available resources.
· The milestones you’ll celebrate.
Don’t forget to design your plan around your strengths and what you discovered during the self-reflection process.
When we rely on ourselves, we sometimes get side-tracked by other things happening in our lives. It’s always good to appoint someone to be your accountability partner. This person isn’t meant to nag, advise, or shame you. They’re role is to check in on you, offer support & encouragement, and celebrate your successes along the way. If you find your accountability partner is practicing a different role, find a new accountability partner. Your goal is too important to trust to someone who isn’t as vested in your success as you are.
Finally, stay away from negative self-talk. This is our own worst enemy. When you allow limiting beliefs to enter your mind, it’s possible you’ll listen and give up. Instead, keep focused on the mantra, I can.