Goal setting can inspire you, motivate you, and also make you feel like a total failure if you don't reach them as soon as you'd like. You're taught to set timely goals…..to have a deadline that you'd like to reach them by. But what if you've been plugging away at something, and it's just not happening? You think you're doing everything you can, but you're goal seems out of reach.
I'm all for putting a little pressure on to make sure you get things accomplished. Otherwise you'd just be sitting around day fantasizing about that mystical "someday"….the day when all your dreams come true. But sometimes we have to relax, let up a bit and let the Universe take over. Or, we have to admit to ourselves that maybe we're chasing after the wrong dream. Ouch. Sucks to hear that I know.
If you haven't got to where you want to be in a certain area, maybe it's time to go back to the beginning and ask yourself if this is something you REALLY want. Have you journaled or meditated about it? Do you know if this is something you have the skills for, or can learn how to do?
Example time….I will never make it as a back up singer/dancer for Madonna. No matter how many hours I spent in my room as a child working on my "moves" and crooning along to Like a Prayer, my vocal and dance skills are pretty much non-existent. I've accepted this (sorry Madge…we could've been a great team…), and I've moved on. I learned to focus on things I'm good at, and that come more naturally to me.
I'm not saying to give up on your dreams and goals-just make sure they're attainable. Lofty and out of your comfort zone is good. It gives you something to strive for, and that'll help you grow. Hooray for growing!
But take the time to revisit the drawing board and re-evaluate your goal. Maybe it no longer resonates with your true self and you've outgrown it. Or maybe it just needs a little tweaking to make it better suited to your strengths. If you're clear on your goal, it's doable for you, and you still want it-fantastic!
Still stressing because it hasn't happened yet? I'm a big fan of this exercise I heard about from Jerry and Esther Hicks….
Sticking with the driving theme, here's another gem from Jerry and Esther that I heard during one of their lectures. (I don't remember the exact details, so I'll make them up, but the credit goes to the Hicks).
Imagine you're planning a road trip from New York to L.A. (goodbye snow-hello sunshine!!). You know exactly where you're going in L.A. Your destination has been plugged into the GPS, you just have to follow the prompts to make sure you're going in the right direction. You get all tingly with excitement because you're going to have so much fun once you get there. You're looking forward to the drive too-it should be fun…maybe meet some new people, and have some cool experiences along the way. Things are going great at first…then the novelty of being on the road starts to wear off. You're getting bored, and you're really wishing you were there already. It feels like you're never going to get to L.A. No sunshine and beaches for you. No celebrity sightings on the TMZ Hollywood tour. You're stuck in a car in Utah, and you've had it! You just want to be in L.A. dammit! So you turn the car around and drive home.
How ridiculous would that be?! But we do it all the time with our goals. You know where you're going, but you get frustrated along the way and give up when things are just about to start happening for you. If you know that your goal is aligned with who you really are, then KEEP GOING! Don't turn back! It's right around the corner even if you can't see it yet.
Doing a thorough house cleaning used to be a regular seasonal chore at my house when I was a kid every spring and fall. It was when everything was dusted, de-cobwebbed, vacuumed, and polished. The windows were opened up for fresh air, and at the end of the day we were exhausted but it felt soooo good to relax in a home that had been cleared of all the junk and crap that had built up during the previous season. We kept up with the regular cleaning on a daily and weekly basis, but during the seasonal clean, we got into the basement, the hidden corners, and other areas where the grime hung out.
Can you guess where this is going? Ooooo how I love analogies!
Keeping your physical home clean and shiny is just like keeping your mind clear of clutter and garbage. On a daily basis it's awesome to be aware of your self talk, and your thoughts. You know how important it is to keep your thoughts aligned with what you want. It's like keeping up with the dishes, laundry and cleaning the pee from under your toilet seat (gross I know, but it happens). The surface things can be easier to deal with because they pop up all the time and they're in your face. But how often do you check out the dark, creepy corners of your mind where you stuff things you don't want to deal with. Whatcha got hiding in there that you'd rather not deal with?
Maybe it's time to clean house and deal with something you've been sweeping under the rug for way too long. You can figure out what your "stuff" is by meditating or journalling. Or maybe someone or an event has triggered something inside that brings your mental dust bunnies to the surface. Once you know what it is (anger, fear, or insecurity about something in particular for example) you can acknowledge it, then toss it in the trash where it belongs.
You can do this a number of different ways, but here are two of my favourites:
1. Sweat it out, and leave it behind
Ok you've identified your icky issue and you're ready to leave it behind. Why not burn some calories, and get in shape at the same time. Hooray for multi-tasking! If you're into cardio, jump on the treadmill and start running. Once you're warmed up and in the zone (you know the place when you feel like you could outrun anything), picture the thing you want to get rid of behind you and see yourself running away from it. As you're physically running, see your mental issue getting smaller and smaller behind you as run in the opposite direction. Don't actually look behind you. You could trip and fall, and that wouldn't be good-just visualize it in your head. Once you've outrun it, know that IT IS GONE, LEFT BEHIND, and it no longer takes up space in your mind.
2. Bury the shit and walk away
Visualize yourself putting your problem in a pretty little box or a chest ( like a pirate's treasure chest only it'll be filled with your mental bs instead of gold). See yourself carrying the box while walking deep into a forest. Feel how heavy and annoying it is to carry it. Go far enough into the forest so that nobody will see you. Once you've found a spot that's hidden, see yourself digging a hole (pretend you just found a shovel on the ground-how convenient!) and bury your box of bs. Know that this box and whats in it will never be found. It will dissolve and disintegrate back into the earth, never to rear it's ugly head again. Then visualize yourself walking back to where you started only this time you're empty handed. You have nothing weighing you down. Ahh…sweet sweet freedom!
You can do these visualizations whenever you feel the need to, or set time aside on a regular basis to mentally clean house. Just keep in mind that although these are handy tools to use, sometimes you may need the professional help of a therapist or counsellor if you're dealing with deep rooted issues. You can be the judge of that, but make sure you seek out the help you need to leave your mental garbage behind and make room things you DO WANT lingering around in your mind. Happy, positive thoughts of self-love, encouragement, hope….all the good stuff.
"Gimme gimme never gets. Don't you know your manners yet?"
Remember hearing that when you were a kid? When we were young, we were taught to say please and thank you when we asked for things, and when we got them. If we were quick little learners we realized that saying thank you and showing your gratitude for what you received was the proper way to graciously get stuff. I'm assuming you've mastered being nicey-nice in your regular life and you don't need a lesson in basic social etiquette. How about minding your manners when you're talking to the Universe though?
It's so easy to not pay attention to the self-talk going on in your head. Nobody hears it anyway (or so you think), so there's no reason to reign those thoughts in and keep them in-line with what you want. You rant and rave, gripe and complain about how things aren't working…how unfair things are, or how things just plain suck. Uh oh. What happened to gratitude? It is soooo important to feel grateful for what you have if you ever expect to have more of what you want. Why is it such a huge deal?
Here are 2 reasons:
1. If you're feeling ungrateful, other people can sense it and it makes them want to run far, far away from you. When you're wallowing in your dumpy "woe is me" place you're vibrations are at an all time low. It feels yucky to be around people that are sending out low vibes all the time. It's like a stinky energetic repellent that keeps all the awesome things you want at a distance. Don't get me wrong. We all have bad days and by no means am I saying you should be a happy, smiley robot all the time (that would be so creepy!) . Just try to set a limit on your wallowing time. Feel your feelings, acknowledge them, then get your ass moving towards feeling better. You obviously want to attract cool, positive things and people, so make sure you're sending out the right message so you can be a magnet for what you want.
2. The Universe isn't going to give you a damn thing if you're not grateful for what you already have. Why should it? Obviously you're not happy with what you've got so far so why on earth should you get more? Here's an example: Once upon a time, at our family Christmas get together, my mom handed my cousin his present. Being a little kid (7ish maybe?), he was super excited, and as kids tend to do, he ripped open his gift in a mad frenzy. When he saw what it was (colouring books, markers, and artsy stuff) he looked at my mom and said "Is that all?". Bad move kid. Not only did my mom want to take back his gift and give it to someone who might appreciate it, I bet she wasn't too keen on buying him anything else for a while. Now, my cousin was pretty young so his social skills were still growing (he turned out to be a fine young man by the way), but what excuse do we adults have? Sure we might show gratitude towards other people, but what about towards the Universe? Have you been given some wonderful gifts but since you were expecting more, you failed to even notice them? Or worse yet, responded with a "is that it?" mentality? Start feeling grateful for what you have right now. Maybe you're really struggling and don't feel that there's anything to be grateful for. Are you wearing clothes? Have you eaten today? Do you have a roof over your head? Running water? Excellent! Start there. Then keep building your list of things to be grateful for. Everyday add a few things to it. Pretty soon you'll start noticing more and more things to add to your list. More awesome things will be attracted into your reality, and it only gets better-it never stops.
I encourage you to start keeping track of things that you're grateful for on paper. Putting things on paper solidifies what we've got going on in our heads. Plus it's a handy list to have when you're having a shit day and you want to feel better. You can also use a physical reminder like a small stone that you carry in your pocket, or a special coin. When you touch the object, that's your cue to find something to say "thank you" for. Take it up a notch and do a gratitude rant when you're stuck in traffic or waiting in a seemingly never-ending line up at the grocery store.
Don't fall into the trap of waiting around until you get that ONE THING you've been craving before you start feeling grateful. Once you start doing that , you'll find yourself in a state of constant wanting…which translates into neediness (which is a total turn off). The point is to start right now and find something-anything to say "thank you" for.
You've heard the ol' thoughts become things line a million times, and you know that lurking around on the low end of the emotional vibration scale will get you absolutely nowhere. If you want peace, love, happiness, and all the good stuff in life, you have to be putting out those vibes in order to receive it back.
Problem is, life can suck sometimes. No matter how hard we try to feel good and "be the change", we're still human. We still get annoyed, frustrated, and pissed off over seemingly little irritations (don't even ask me how mad I was at my dog yesterday when he wouldn't listen to me at the dog park…)
Even if you're not ready to throw a hissy fit, you can still be just plain blah…meh…you know that feeling?
Want an easy, instant solution? Do something stupid.
Here's something to try when you're stuck in traffic, the guy ahead of you is driving below the speed limit, or you're on your way to work when you'd much rather be going anywhere else (I'd stick to using this technique while in your car or house so people don't think you're crazy).
When you want to get out of your pissy state, or funky blah mode, put a big grin on your face and let out a loud WOOO HOOO!!! Don't just say it-YELL IT!
Will you feel ridiculous doing this? You bet! Does it work? Of course it does silly or I wouldn't be sharing it with you.
When you shock your system by doing something stupid like this, you're interrupting your thought pattern and instantly changing your state. Usually that's all it takes to jolt your brain into a happier gear and lighten up a bit.
Once you've done your big WOOO HOOO!!! , laugh at yourself. Take some deep breaths, and put things into perspective. Is your current situation really worth feeling like shit over? Is it really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things? We all experience this kind of stuff on a regular basis. Life never gives us a day off. We can't always feel good and avoid life's ickiness, but we are always in complete control of how we choose to deal with things.