A month ago I quit my job without having another one lined up.
Think I’m crazy? Take a ticket and get in line. Think I’m way braver than you are? On this count, you’re probably wrong. When I did it I felt terrified and filled with doubts, but this step, this leap of faith, is one of the many I feel is on my path towards living the life I’ve been dreaming of living and I’ll likely write more about the specifics as time goes on.
Through it all, I’ve found 6 things that have helped make this leap less scary and more enjoyable and I think they can be helpful not just for quitting your job, but for any kind of leap that you’ve been thinking of taking.
When you hear stories about people quitting their job or doing something else that sounds risky, the tendency is to immediately discount them as something beyond your reach. “I could never do that! She’s just lucky! He doesn’t have the obstacles that I have.”
Well, I have news (or a reminder) for you: most things are possible with enough planning and consistent action taking. That is how I quit my job. I thought about it for a while. I saved money over time. I determined some possible options for making money beyond my savings. I talked to people who had done similar things. I set the date. And then I leaped.
Of course I’m oversimplifying it here, but I’m sure if you sit and think about whatever you’ve been dreaming of doing (opening a bookstore, taking a trip around the world, telling your boyfriend how you really feel about your relationship), there are ways to prepare for it.
And while preparation does not completely remove fear, it gets your idea out of your head and into the light of possibility and helps you feel less afraid, giving you a path in which to move forward. And planning can actually be fun, letting you flex your dream muscles and anticipate your future.
There is a limit to preparation though. This is where letting go of the outcome comes into place. You can never know with 100% certainty where your leap will take you. And that’s ok.
Demanding certainty actually makes fear worse.
When I decided to quit and set the date, my mind went wild. Some nights, I would just sit in bed with my mind racing through one scary, unanswered question after another.
“What if my money runs out faster than I expect? What if I’m making a mistake? What if I can’t find “in the mean time” work? What if things turn out worse than they were before?”
Well, what if? These might be great questions, but I could never find a fully satisfying answer because I can’t see the future and neither can you.
Not knowing can be beautiful and interesting if you let it. Certainty about the future is an illusion. And letting fear convince you that you can’t move forward until you know what will happen means that you stay stuck where you are.
If you’re still struggling with this, I read the most comforting blog post about being ok with uncertainty by my friend, Vishnu. Perhaps it will give you comfort too. Check it out here.
When you’re taking a leap that feels scary, there is a tendency to overlook the good things that are happening in your life as a result of the leap in favor of worrying over what might happen.
Yes, you may be scared and unsure, but you’re doing it! You’re taking that leap you’ve been thinking of! That is cause for celebration so make sure you take the time every day to savor the awesome things that are happening.
The method of celebration doesn’t matter; it’s that you take time every day to do it.
You can make a list or keep a journal or take photos or draw a picture or spend two minutes jumping up and down and pumping your fists into the air (that last one is especially fun!). Just make sure you find a way to really let the good sink in.
Savoring and noticing the good makes you notice even more good. It also helps divert your attention from how afraid you might feel.
Support from other people is so important, but only if you get support from the right people.
Reach out to people who are supportive, loving and honest. Stay away from people who encourage your fear and doubt to grow or who try to pull you back down to earth because they’re projecting their fears onto you.
This may sound harsh, but taking a leap of faith requires focus, courage and persistence and those things need to be protected as you learn how to use them.
I told very few people about my leap in advance of taking it and when I finally announced my plans, I still reserved the full details for people who fit the first description.
And sometimes it’s hard to tell who is who up front. That’s ok. As soon as you get any hint that you might be reaching out to someone who is poised with their bubble bursting push pin ready to inspire fear and doubt in you, walk away.
This is not to say that you should ignore what the people around you have to say. By all means listen, but notice within yourself whether what is being shared is helpful and said from a place of loving care or if it’s not. You’ll know the difference by the way you feel.
Thank the Universe (or God, or other humans) for the internet and books. It’s incredibly likely that the leap you’re taking or thinking of taking has been taken by someone else. And even if you can’t find someone who’s taken your exact leap, there is a high chance that someone’s done something similar. Seek out these stories online, in the bookstore or library and in person.
We tend to be more like each other than different so if you see or hear an inspiring story about someone else’s leap, just know that you can do it too. Take pleasure and solace in reading or listening to those stories. Seek them out every day and treat them like nourishment.
And if you really want to boost this nourishment, ask someone who you admire for taking a leap similar to your own if they would spend a few minutes talking with you in person, over the phone or on Skype. This allows you to ask questions, get feedback from someone in the know and you might even make a new friend!
When leading up to taking your leap, there are lots of opportunities to give up. Lots! You need a motivation to keep you going when the fear gets so loud and you want to turn back around.
I like to think of motivation as a quiet inner reserve of energy that you can tap into when times get tough.
One of my motivations is death and wanting to live the happiest and most fulfilled life with no regrets. Knowing that my time is limited has helped me over and over when I’ve considered turning back towards “safety.”
When I consider that I will die, and that I want to live a life without regrets, I feel motivated to keep taking steps forward.
I’ve sat with the truth of my mortality so much that in times when I’ve worried over whether I was making the right choice, just thinking to myself, “I’m going to die. I don’t have forever,” has given me so much comfort, reminded me of my goals and gave me the encouragement I needed to keep moving forward.
Choose a motivation that matters to you. It doesn’t have to be death (although it would be cool if it was). All that matters is that when you think of it, it helps renew your energy to keep moving forward through the fear.
So those are just a few ways that you can decrease your fear and boost your enjoyment when taking a leap. Did anything stick out to you? Have any insights from your own leap?
Until next time,
If you’ve been coming to visit for a while, you know I love a good interview with someone who has found a way to do something amazing despite feeling afraid. If you’re brand new to the site, Welcome! You picked a great day to stop by.
There is something about seeing a real live example that can take you from “I want to do that, but….” to “If they can do it, maybe I can too!” Well today I have 13 mini interviews with 13 amazing people and a fun giveaway.
Just a little background before we get started.
On September 9th, Chris Guillebeau (one of my introvert idols) released his third book, The Happiness of Pursuit. The book is part “how to” and part “how I did it” all about the act of pursuing quests (basically adventurous goals with a set beginning and end. For example, the quest that began it all for Chris was visiting every country in the world by the time he turned 35).
After going to this year’s World Domination Summit, I got the chance to read the book (which features over 50 other quest stories!) and before I could put it down I got an idea for how I could share the awesomeness of this book with you. In a mini quest of my own, I asked 19 of the people featured in the book, including Chris G., to answer the following question:
How did you manage and move through fear when it showed up during your quest?
As my intro gave away, I got 13 super helpful answers. While you’re reading them, consider taking part in this week’s giveaway. I will be giving away one copy of The Happiness of Pursuit, signed by Chris Guillebeau. All you have to do is leave a comment below. One comment and one entry per person. Maybe share what quest you’d like to take, or a quest you’ve taken, or what one of these brave quest takers said about fear that caught your eye.
That’s it. Easy peasy. You have until Tuesday, September 23 at 12am EST to leave a comment. I will randomly select a winner and announce it on this post and on my Facebook page on Wednesday, September 24.
Now to the answers:
Brave Quest Taker: Chris Guillebeau
Quest Taken: Visit every country in the world by the age of 35
Answer: Whether it was fear or insecurity or anxiety, one or more of these emotions was a constant companion on my journey to every country in the world. Yet —and this is critical—I can honestly say that I didn’t allow these emotions to dictate my decisions. They never completely went away, but I was determined to negate their impact on my life. I decided that I’d pursue my adventure no matter what happened… and I’m so glad I did.
Brave Quest Taker: Nate Damm
Quest Taken: Walk across the United States
Answer: Since I was walking everywhere, the solution to most of the fear I encountered on my walk across the U.S. was to just keep stepping along — to put one foot in front of the other. Sounds simple, I know, but it worked. I could either stop or keep going, and those were my only choices. As long as I just kept going no matter what, even when it was extremely hard, I knew that I could overcome anything in my way. I put a lot of faith into that process. I trusted that it would take me where I wanted to go and get me through the times when I was nervous, unsure, and scared. It ended up working perfectly.
Brave Quest Taker: Izzy Arkin
Quest Taken: Move to Japan to become a ninja
Answer: We often assume that fear is a bad thing. But really, fear at its core, is merely a source of energy flowing through the body. When I look at fear like a source of energy, I don’t have a need to hide from it. Rather, I sit in my fear, I ask myself questions: ‘What scares me about this?’ ‘Why do I feel this?’ and most often I discover I am afraid because it matters to the evolution of my soul. And then from there, I feel compelled and inspired to go for it. I think one other piece is that I know that even if I mess up, everything is still gonna be okay. I mean, shit… I’m alive. I’m breathing. Life is good. I don’t need anything. And paradoxically, as I let go of needing, the doors of opportunity are so much easier to step into.
Brave Quest Taker: Elise Blaha Cripe
Quest Taken: Structured “serial-crafting” projects
Answer: Whenever I feel fear on a quest or when I’m trying something new (like speaking at WDS!) I ask myself “what’s the WORST that can happen?” Usually the answer, “this project will fail.” or “no one will buy this.” or “everyone will laugh at me.” is scary, but it’s far from the end of the world. I’ll still be me. I’ll still have my health and family. I’ll still be able to try again. Recognizing that gives me perspective and helps combat fear.
Brave Quest Taker: Travis Eneix
Quest Taken: Keep a daily food journal and practice tai chi daily for 1,000 days
Answer: I would love to say something about my experience. Yes, there was fear during my 1,000 day vow. So far I have taken three of those vows. The first was for Tai Chi and food journaling. The second was for meditation. The third (which I am in the middle of) is writing every day.
The fear in these vows comes in several forms for me. There is the fear of failure. There is the fear of not being able to push through. There is the fear of some accident, or illness taking me out for a day and having to start over. There is the fear of letting people down. There is the fear of not being able to start over if I should fail. There is the fear of not getting the results I hope for.
The solution to most of these fears (except the last one, which I’ll get to in a moment) seems to always be the same thing for me: communication of the vow with friends and family. Plenty of communication. In all cases, the love & support I feel from those who love me gets me through.
In regards to the fear of not getting results; I saw through that one fairly early. The result of taking a 1,000 day vow is the vow itself. Benefits and accomplishments will undoubtedly come along, but they are beside the point. Doing the vow, day in and day out, is all the result you will ever need.
Brave Quest Taker: Martin Parnell
Quest Taken: Run 250 marathons in one year
Answer: When I get to a point that I’m overwhelmed and there’s a knot in the pit of my stomach I think “What is the worst that can happen?” Usually it’s not the end of the world and I just push on. That’s all you can really do.
As a side note, Martin wanted me to mention that he’s about to embark upon his 10th and final quest: attempting to set 10 Guinness World Records in 26 days at 10 different Canadian universities! Check out the video here.
Brave Quest Taker: Matt Krause
Quest Taken: Walk across Turkey
Answer: Fear is usually something you feel before a task, not during a task. During a task, fear tends to subside because your focus tends to turn to executing the task itself. My advice for getting over fear is to pick hard tasks and stay so busy doing them that you have very little time to be afraid.
Fear is a natural human emotion, and if you try to make it go away, you will almost always fail, and you will waste a lot of time and energy doing so. When Fear appears at the door (mine usually takes a physical shape, and it looks a lot like the Grim Reaper without the scythe), invite it in, tell it you are busy, and invite it to sit down and tell it you will be with it in a second, as soon as you finish this. “This,” of course, is whatever fear-inducing activity you are engaging in (writing a book, jumping out of an airplane, walking across Turkey, whatever). When you finish and look up to give Fear the attention it wants, your task will be done, and Fear will probably have gotten bored and left.
Never try to conquer fear. Fear is a normal human emotion, and if you fight it you will always, always lose. “Hello Fear, welcome, have a seat, I’ll be with you as soon as I finish this.” Fear is not a symptom of the Resistance, it IS the Resistance. You will never, ever beat it. (you probably recognize the Steven Pressfield reference — The War of Art)
Brave Quest Taker: Shannon O’Donnell
Quest Taken: Travel throughout Southeast Asia
Answer: In the moments I felt paralyzed by the enormity of journeying solo around the world, I asked myself to shift the fears into perspective and assess which were informed fears—fears based on a situational truth to keep me from physical harm—and which instead masked fears of change or fears of challenging the status quo. Personal growth comes not by doing outright risky things, but by confronting the small fears that are boxing us in and not allowing us to live the life we want.
Brave Quest Taker: Sasha Martin
Quest Taken: Cook a meal from every country in the world
Answer: I’m not sure I knew what I was getting into! Cooking and eating a meal from every country in the world is a tremendous undertaking. I once compared my Global Table Adventure to a three-hour drive to my in-laws. Each country worked out to be less than one minute of the drive. So, even after 3 months of hard work, I was only 12 minutes into the drive. It was overwhelming and if I’d kept thinking that way, I would have soon been discouraged. Whenever the scale of the project overwhelmed me, I’d narrow my focus to one question: “what country am I cooking this week?” And suddenly I had an appetite again. The truth is – a quest can only be accomplished one step at a time. For me, cooking the world was accomplished one country per week. A weekly goal, like this, is measurable and attainable – a small thing, really.
Brave Quest Taker: Nancy Vogel & Family
Quest Taken: Bicycle from Alaska to Patagonia with their twin 10-year old sons
Answer: Truthfully, there were only a few times during our travels when I was scared and, at that point, you have no choice but to just go. For example, in northern British Columbia I came face-to-face with a bear. I stood there a few feet from the bear for a full minute, and things only escalated from there when he started chasing my son down the road.
So what do you do? You react. You make the best decision you know how to make and you just do it. That’s the easy part.
It’s after the fact that you start to second-guess yourself. That’s when the what-ifs settle in and you start to doubt why you ever thought this was a good idea in the first place. And that’s when you go back to your why.
The reality is that the vast majority of things we fear never materialize at all. The danger points are rarely predicted and spring up when you least expect them. Yes, they happen, but rarely.
Does that mean we should call it off? Because we faced a bear once during our entire 17,285 miles on the road, should we call off the journey? When you put it in that perspective, you realize it would be silly to call it off for that. Realize that we are all in a certain amount of danger all the time – even at home – and carry on. We don’t give up on life at home because something bad happens, so why should we give up on our dream?
Brave Quest Taker: Scott Young
Quest Taken: Complete the 4-year MIT computer science curriculum in 1 year
Answer: I focused on process. I think a lot of fear comes from the unknown–not being sure whether you’ll succeed or fail, or if things outside your control will align in a way you need them to. Instead, focus on the daily habits and systems you’re using as a way of reasserting your control and managing fear.
Brave Quest Taker: Sandi Wheaton
Quest Taken: Travel and photograph America’s Route 66
Answer: For me, it all came down to simply remembering the alternative. I had done the same thing for so many years (fulltime jobs, working for someone else), and for years I had yearned for a different lifestyle – one that was more self directed and involved travel. I just kept telling myself that this was my last chance: if I didn’t do it now, it wasn’t going to happen. At least if I failed, I would have tried. I couldn’t stand the notion of looking back on my life knowing that I was a chicken shit and didn’t take a chance to create the life I wanted, when I had the chance!
Once I was on the road, it wasn’t that difficult. It seems that so much comes back to just making the initial decision to do something. Once you’re truly committed to something, that’s often the hardest part – the rest is just going through the motions of dealing with the challenges that come up. Sure there were many challenges, but I just dealt with them as they came up. The decision and the commitment was the hardest part.
Brave Quest Taker: Alicia Ostarello
Quest Taken: Go on 50 dates in all 50 states
Answer: One way I managed fear was through a mantra: “No major life decisions til Seattle.” My producer said it to me about ten minutes into our trip, when I started crying on our drive to Portland, Oregon, and suggesting we turn around and just go home. She convinced me to get through the next two days, and then make a choice. We hit Seattle, and I was having a great time, so we kept going. Any time after that when I wanted to quit, I told myself to wait two days to see how I felt – and 48 hours later I never wanted to stop.
Another motivating factor was money. We had raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter – and knowing I had that much support made it hard to considering backing down. Anytime I was scared and thought “I can’t meet a guy I met on Craigslist” or “Holy moly, my producer’s driving freaks me out,” I’d remember that we had a ton of backers who believed differently.
When none of that worked, I’d think about something my friend Liz once said to me: “What do you want your biography to say about you?” If someone were to write a book about my life, I’d want to be the person who went on 50 first dates no matter what – not the person who got scared halfway through and felt tired and defeated. Imagining my story, written down and completed, really helped.
So that’s that. Are you feeling as inspired as I am after reading those 13 answers? I hope so! Leave a comment to enter the book giveaway to win a signed copy of The Happiness Pursuit. This book is fantastic, and will definitely inspire and teach you how to take a quest and make the most of it. Consider buying the book here if you don’t win. I got a free copy and I bought another to share! All book links are affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but a small percentage goes to support me and this blog if you choose to buy any of them. Thank you!
Until next time!
Meet Jody Temple White! Jody hugged her fear to leave a job that went from wonderful to ethically compromising. This interview is filled with extra helpful stuff (and a few miracles), so I’ll let the questions lead the way! See you at the end.
I am Jody Temple White. I am an author, speaker, adventure and strategist. I currently live in Beaverton, Oregon, but consider myself a citizen of the world.
Who I am is an ever-evolving being who loves learning, laughing, adventures, and transformations. I love to spark Courage and equip people to build everyday bravery into their lives and work so they can experience the rewards only Courage brings.
My other experiences include owning businesses, international adoption, divorce, single parenting, mothering a special needs child, blended family, foster parenting, and a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer. I am the co-founder of The Courage Vibe, a company that creates opportunities for people to Live Brave, Give Big, and Have Fun.
Most people close to me would expect me to tell you about the courage it took for our family to sell and give away most of our belongings and take our kids out of traditional school to spend nine months traveling around the world on a low-budget, high-adventure voluntour trip. While that did take courage and there were many opportunities to “hug our fear” an even scarier time in my life occurred over 13 years ago.
My scary leap involved resigning from a job that I really loved, leaving co-workers I respected, speaking up about possible illegal practices and saying no to an influential and somewhat powerful leader. I was the Operations Director for an international adoption agency.
Over a very short period of time, the Executive Director began letting staff go even though our adoption numbers were increasing. Each time she did it, more duties landed on my desk. I was originally hired for 30 hours per week, but with each week that number grew until I was averaging between 60 – 80 hours per week, putting a huge strain on our family.
Then gradually, I began noticing inconsistencies with the finances and in some of the policies that were in place. These were not minor issues, but ones that were potentially huge legal liabilities and ones that flew right in the face of my own personal values. I attempted to address the issues with the Executive Director to no avail.
The resignation wasn’t the only scary part of the decision, it was also the possible aftershocks that scared me.
1. The agency was part of our church and the executive director was the pastor’s wife. We were very involved in the church and were friends with many of the leaders. I didn’t want to lose friends or have to change churches because of my decision.
2. We were in the middle of an adoption ourselves and by resigning, it could stall or stop the adoption all together.
3. I had no back-up plan for how to replace the income we were losing.
4. I had to decide what to do about the information I had about the possible illegal activities happening within the agency. I did not want to cause a scandal, yet there were bigger factors at play.
I did resign and that is when the magic and miracles appeared.
The Executive director fired one of the last project managers and had no intention of hiring another one. At that point, I knew that I could not stay because staying was riskier than leaving. If I stayed, my hours would go up (my pay would stay the same), my stress would go up, the strain on my family would increase and I could be held accountable for some of the unscrupulous activities. It wasn’t worth it to me even if it meant losing friends, our church family and our adoption falling through. The pain of staying became greater that the fear of leaping.
I use journaling and meditation to help work through my fears. I write down, “What is the worst thing that could happen if I do this thing that scares me?” I try to think of everything possible. I find that what I am the most afraid of rarely happens.
I have a very close group of friends and trusted advisors that help keep me centered especially when I might have the tendency to spiral to the “fear” side. I trust their knowledge and insights and I do my best to listen to their advice. Although it doesn’t mean I always follow it.
There are so many good books. One that I have recently read and still refer to is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. There is so much gold in this book, but one thing I took away the way he talks about the importance of discovering your limiting beliefs and how those beliefs impact your life in ways you could never imagine. I have found that when I am experiencing fear, it might be because I am bumping into my own limiting beliefs and I am using my fear as an excuse to not take the action that is required.
Each time you face your fear and step forward you are expanding your identity and becoming who you were meant to become. You will also be making room for magic and miracles to appear in your life.
The magic and miracles that appeared in our lives after I made this leap:
1. I got a job at another agency which allowed me to do the parts of my previous job that I loved the most. Plus, I got to do it all from home and they matched my salary!
2. Our adoption did stop with our previous agency, but we were able to participate in a pilot program and met Allison, our daughter and perfect match for our family. The adoption was completed within months of my resignation.
3. We did lose some friendships and had some uncomfortable interactions at church, but gained other friends and a new community of people more aligned with our values.
4. I learned so much about the do’s and don’ts of international adoptions and what to look for with an agency that I was able to use that information to educate and protect parents who were new to the process and exploring where to start.
5. I did share my information with key, influential individuals and the agency did eventually make significant change in their policies and financial procedures.
If you are struggling to take the step or jump, I can tell you from my own experience that when you do jump, your magic and miracles will appear. It will be your job to recognize them. Every jump you take expands you, your perspectives, your insights, your confidence, so jump even if it is scary. It will be worth it.
Courage is contagious.
People all around you are watching to see how you handle your fear. If you are a parent, your kids are really watching you and learning from you how they should behave or react. When those people and/or your kids watch you “hug your fear” and step forward courageously, it gives them permission to do the same. We have all heard people say, “If they can do it, so can I!” That is what I mean when I say, “Courage is contagious.” Go spread your courage!
I love this interview with Jody! Here’s a couple of things that stood out to me:
1. I completely co-sign Jody’s recommendation of The Big Leap. I read it recently and had so many aha moments about limiting beliefs and self-sabotage. The book link is an affiliate one, no extra cost to you, but a small percentage goes to support me and this blog if you choose to buy it.
2. I love what Jody shares about the miracles that happen when you take a leap through your fear and especially love how she shared examples. So often when we are considering taking a leap, but feel afraid, we allow our minds to wander through all the worst case scenarios while ignoring the potential for magic and miracles!
3. And finally, courage IS contagious! This is such a powerful reminder. Being close to or even just observing someone else’s courageous behavior can inspire you to be courageous too. And as a warning, this also works for things like complaining, pessimism and gossiping. Wouldn’t you rather have courage rub off on you instead? Choose wisely!
If you want to get in touch with Jody, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook or her website. And if you’re curious about the 9-month family trip she mentioned above, definitely check out this trailer of the upcoming documentary Living the Courage Vibe.
Let me know what in the interview stood out for you!
Until next time,
Do you trust yourself to do what it is that you say you want to do? You’ve got an idea. You feel some (or a lot ) of fear. Do you doubt that you can make your dream come to life? I know what you’re missing: PRACTICE.
Every time you say that you will do something, but don’t follow through, your belief in yourself and your abilities plummets. You may try to convince yourself that it doesn’t really matter, especially if you’re able to keep your word to other people, but the word you keep to yourself matters just as much.
The awesome thing is that the opposite is also true. Every time you say you will do something and follow through, your belief in yourself and your abilities skyrockets!
So how do you do this in practice? I’ve found one way that might work for you.
Set a time limited challenge for yourself. Choose one activity that you will do every day during that time period and stick to it. That’s it. Didn’t I say it was a simple exercise? To help you visualize this, I will use myself as an example.
I set a daily meditation challenge. I’d been wanting to meditate regularly, but kept falling short. This made it the perfect area to start with.
At the beginning of the month, I decided to work my way up to sitting in meditation for 30 minutes by meditating with the date. I would meditate for 5 minutes on the 5th, 6 minutes on the 6th and so on, working my way up to 30 minutes of meditation on the 30th. I started at 5 because I could sit for that long with little problem.
Having the challenge get progressively harder made it take more strength and perseverance than I thought I had, but also made the victory of reaching 30 minutes so much sweeter. I wasn’t even sure at the start that I could do 30 minutes or even 20 on my own!
If there is a way to up your game throughout your challenge (even progressive upping, remember I only did 1 more minute each day), I fully recommend it.
I wrote down what I planned to do in my journal and downloaded a habit tracking app to help remind me to sit each day. If writing a more formal contract with yourself works, do that too.
This exercise is simple, but at many times along the way it can be quite hard. Having some strong motivations can help you move through those rough patches.
For example, I was fully clear that I wasn’t just doing this for the benefit of meditating; I was mainly doing this to build my trust in myself. I was motivated to use this as a teaching moment for myself (teaching me how to stick with something important to me) and as a confidence builder (showing me how strong I really was).
Also, as someone who has struggled with overlooking my strengths, I didn’t want to give myself the room later to downplay my efforts by saying “I only did this because I didn’t want to lose face or disappoint anyone” so I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this challenge until I was almost done.
If this isn’t motivating to you, then by all means tell someone to help you keep accountable. Do what works for you.
Remember, this exercise is meant to teach you things about yourself and how you handle reaching your goals. Use everything that happens as helpful information, not as an opportunity to judge or shame yourself.
If you stumble or miss a day, notice why this might have happened and what you can do going forward to make that less likely.
If something that you do works especially well, consider how you can use that knowledge to make other areas of your life better.
At the end of your challenge, bask in the sensations of pride and confidence you feel. Really let it sink in that you set this goal for yourself, stuck with it and completed it. You did that! So own it and celebrate it.
If you want to tie a reward to completing your goal, go ahead. It’s whatever helps you to appreciate your efforts. Also take some time out to review what happened, what worked and didn’t work and how you can use this boost of confidence to reach another goal you’ve been wanting to do. If you can do this challenge, you can do others.
And if for some reason, you don’t complete the challenge or it takes you longer than the time frame you initially set, use that as information too. There is no need for shame. You can learn and grow from everything, especially when you fail. And if you learn and grow from your failures, consider that a success!
I hope that what I’ve shared is helpful to you and encourages you to not just take my word for it, but try it out for yourself. Let me know if anything jumped out at you, if you are going to try a challenge for yourself or if you’ve tried one before and had similar (or different) results.
And please share this with your Facebook and Twitter friends if you think they could use a confidence boost!
Until next time,