A common complaint I hear from professional and business women is that they’re stuck. They know what they want and have a good idea of what it takes to achieve their desires, but keep getting stuck as they pursue some of their goals.
What I find interesting in these scenarios is the fact that these women are high achievers. They’ve reached levels of success they never thought that they could reach. They’re able to overcome a lot of challenges when growing their careers or businesses. But they fail to do the same when it comes to other goals, especially personal goals.
How then, can you overcome your challenges and move forward? How can you get unstuck?
In this article, I’ll explore 5 steps I take my clients through to help them get unstuck and start living a balanced, happier, and more fulfilled life. I call this the Break Free process because it will help you break free from self-imposed limitations.
5 Steps to Get Unstuck and Start Living Your Dream Life
Step 1: Prepare for Freedom
Success starts with careful preparation. You’re not setting goals at this point. You’re simply evaluating where you are at today and identifying why you want to make changes in your life.
Self-evaluation is a critical aspect of any change process because it helps you see what you’re doing well, what you need to stop doing, and what you need to tweak a bit. You also get to map out your milestones in life.
It’s very important that you get used to regular self-evaluation so that you start living your life in a deliberate manner. Many people don’t take the time to evaluate their lives and keep moving from one goal to another.
“Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years.”
Anthony Robbins (Author, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker)
Step 2: Unlock the Power of Visioning
In The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey notes that many people work hard to climb the success ladder, only to reach the top and find that the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall.
One way to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you is to create a Vision of the life you want. This is not a vision of you having achieved your goals, but rather, a clear image of how you want to live your life. Your goals are simply one of the ways for achieving this vision.
For example, if you want to start a business, then identify what it is that this business will help you achieve in your life. This vision will encompass all core areas of life, such as spirituality, relationships, finances, values, health, giving, and any other areas that you consider important.
Your vision should answer the question WHY:
- Why do you want to change?
- Why do you want to change now?
- What makes this change so important to you?
Success expert Brain Tracy recommends that you come up with a list of at least 50 reasons why you want to change. The more the reasons you come up with, the more likely it is that you will work on your goals even when you have setbacks.
Finally, it’s possible to set goals that conflict because they require you to move in different directions. For example, say you want to get a promotion while at the same time having a goal to spend more time with your family.
Working towards the promotion may require you to go back to school in the evenings and work extra hours on weekends. In essence, this goal will take you away from the goal of spending time with your family.
Having a clear vision for your life will help you identify such conflicts and create a balance between your goals. The vision is your roadmap and your guiding light at all times.
Step 3: Get Direction
Think of your goal setting and achievement process as a journey. Before you embark on a journey, you must prepare for it. You don’t just wake up and start moving without knowing where you’re going.
Your direction is set when you have SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for:
Interestingly, many people are able to set and achieve SMART goals at work, but not for their personal life.
In my coaching, I add a second level of SMART which is: Simple, Meaningful, As if, ecologically Responsible, and Towards what you want. This level of SMART is based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and it helps you solidify the goal strongly in your mind.
With the second level of SMART, your goal is:
- Specific and Simple
- Measurable and Meaningful
- Achievable and As if you’ve already achieved it
- Realistic and ecologically Responsible
- Time-bound and Towards what you want
SMART goal setting is a wide topic that is beyond the scope of today’s article. I’ve created a worksheet to help you use these two levels of SMART on your own. You can download the worksheet from the link below:
As you set your SMART goals, also identify skills that you may need to learn or improve to achieve mastery in your goals.
Step 4: Get Out of Your Own Way
One thing that a lot of people don’t understand is that most of the reasons why they’re not happy or fulfilled are internal. Some experts have estimated that over 80% of our obstacles are internal and only about 20% are outside our minds.
What does this mean?
It’s simply pointing to the fact that we knowingly or unknowingly create situations that make us not achieve our dream lives. You could be working hard and doing a lot of things to change your life, but there’s something that keeps you stuck.
This happens because of fears, doubts, and self-limiting beliefs that work against your efforts. These psychological factors are learnt as we grow up and they can have a very strong hold on someone’s ability to change their life for the better.
The first thing you need to do is be aware that these factors are there in your life. Awareness will help you shed light on these challenges and start working on releasing them.
Sometimes this step alone is all you need. However, it requires patience, persistence, and determination because it’s not an easy process and you will come up against aspects of yourself that can be scary.
An easy way to let go of self-limiting beliefs and behaviours is to have someone support you through the process.
Step 5: Create Your Own Happiness
Happiness is a choice. It comes from within and doesn’t depend on your circumstances or other people’s actions or opinions.
Similarly, no one can make you unhappy, but you can allow the things people say or do to affect your mood in a positive or negative way.
One of the main reasons why people are unhappy is because they try to please everyone around them. People pleasers lead a hard life because they’re pulled in different directions as they try to impress other people or seek their approval.No one can make you unhappy, but you can allow people to affect your mood positively or negatively. Click To Tweet
It’s also hard to be happy when you don’t have strong boundaries, especially in your relationships and at work. Boundaries help you have some level of control over your life because you decide what is important to you and what’s not.
People with strong boundaries rarely allow others to dictate how they should live or act. They know what they want and go for it to the best of their ability.
Establishing your boundaries will mean evaluating and possibly revamping your environment. This includes (among other things):
- removing toxic people and relationships from your environment.
- starting to hang out with people who empower and motivate you.
- clearing clutter (in your home, car, office, desks, etc).
- being careful about the information you allow into your mind (movies, social media, music, TV programs, news, the internet, etc).
- hanging out in places where you’re naturally at your best.
Happiness is not a goal that you can seek on its own, but you can achieve it in the process of working on the things that matter to you. In order to do this, you will need to re-create yourself anew and become the powerful person that you haven’t allowed yourself to be.
When you create a new you, you will be more Confident, Courageous, and be in Control of your life. These 3 characteristics will help you get unstuck now and in the future.
This article outlines 5 steps you can use to get unstuck and start living your dream life. These steps are:
- Prepare for freedom.
- Unlock the power of visioning.
- Get direction
- Get out of your own way.
- Create your own happiness.
Steps 1-3 are easy to do and anyone can complete them on their own. In fact, when you complete the SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet, you’ll already be halfway through this process.
But, this first half is the easy one. These second half of the process (steps 4 & 5) are where people get stuck.
Steps 4 & 5 can take years or decades to complete if you don’t get the right tools, resources, and support. They are harder to work through on your own and you need someone or a group of people to support and hold you accountable.
Working with a coach, attending a personal development class, having an accountability partner, or joining a mastermind group are ways in which you can have the support and accountability you need.Happiness is a choice. It doesn’t depend on your circumstances or other people’s actions or opinions. Click To Tweet
Your Next Step
Getting unstuck is easy when you have the right kind of help. Are you willing to take that step of faith and have a new and more fulfilling life within the next 6-12 months?
If you are, then I invite you to sign up for the next Free To Be Me group coaching program. I designed this program specifically for professional and business women and have offered it to individuals since 2012.
The program goes deeper into the 5 steps outlined in this article. You will work together with 10 women in your group and make new friends along the way.
The program is available in two formats: virtually via teleconferencing and physically if you’re based in Mombasa.
You can also contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0703-119-241 if you’d like to work with me 1-1 for a more personalized program that is tailor-made for you.
(Images courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net)