Stop Wishing and Take Action: Moving Toward the Life You Want to Experience
When in recovery from an addiction, feelings can get intense. Let’s be real, being a human isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires us to process things that can feel too heavy to handle. Most of us have to deal with loss, grief, fear, and resentments at some point in our lives.
Do you ever feel like digging your heels in and requesting a little time just to coast along?
Yeah, me too. And that’s when I know I have to find a way to move forward rather than stay stuck!
Slowing Down, Processing, Taking Action
When things get hard, we may want to pull the sheets over our head and hide out. I believe that slowing down and processing is very important to healing. And I also believe that balancing that with taking actionable steps is empowering and transformative. It helps us continue to move toward the life we want to experience, rather than just wishing for it.
When we don’t see ourselves taking any sort of action toward what we want, we can begin to feel like we won’t ever get there. And this, in and of itself, is the most common reason people stay stuck. They feel overwhelmed or like they will fail, so they never start. Or, they continually witness a lack of taking that first step, so they lose their confidence in themselves.
The quickest way to create change is to start by breaking your goal down into small steps where you will continuously experience wins. I realize this sounds trite, but it works. Small wins create more wins! Think about it in the most basic of terms. If you want to run a marathon but you have never run before, it is going to seem almost impossible. However, if you start training a year in advance and simply increase your mileage at very tiny increments, you would get there within the time period you desired. Make the goals small and easy to reach so they are not overwhelming. This is a huge key to success!
Another hack is to always understand that there are two goals you are working with. One is the final goal, and the other is the very next action step. Not goal, but action step. This step might simply be to look up where marathons are taking place in one year’s time. Every single action is what is what moves you forward. There is no such thing as too small of an action step.
This method of creating change and achieving goals is called the three-foot toss method. It simply breaks down an entire process to small actions that can feel as easy as tossing something three feet forward. It is that phone call that would create an opening, the research needed to feel educated, or contacting the person you want to be your accountability partner. You make a list and start moving, only focusing on one thing at a time. Once it is crossed off, you go to the next. Keep it simple!
Getting Out of Your Own Way
From a psychological perspective, we are usually our own “blockages” in life. It’s what we believe we are capable of or not capable of that determines our reality. We can change our beliefs by seeing ourselves succeed. We can generate more confidence in ourselves by experiencing our small wins on a regular basis. Actions should be broken down into steps that are going to produce a successful win.
It is quite amazing how simple success can be if we keep our feelings out of it and just focus on strategy.-Lesley Wirth
Of course, we don’t always experience the outcome we were hoping for. At a time like this, you can do what is called a course correct. It is as simple as it sounds. You literally make a “correction” in your course of action. Look at the reason you didn’t succeed, and make your next action step work so that you do succeed. It is quite amazing how simple success can be if we keep our feelings out of it and just focus on strategy.
It is in the act of beating ourselves up, judging ourselves, or feeling unworthy that we are prevented from moving forward. It is in the belief that it’s “just not possible” that we remain stagnate. If we focus on three-foot tosses, there really is no way to not succeed.
The only other variable to consider is outside influences. There are just some times that we cannot move forward due to something that we have no control over. For example, we cannot control it if our phone call is not returned, or we get an injury. We cannot control it if we experience a loss that sets us back. These are moments for course corrections. A win in these moments is deciding not to give up on your goal and setting a date to pick it back up. Or it might be choosing to call on some other healthy resources.
Roadblocks are just detours if you choose to see them as such.
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