Life Coaching Tip: It’s not unusual to underestimate the amount of work it will take to achieve a goal and then think you “should” be further along after a minimal amount of effort. This tends to then generate feelings of disappointment or frustration, and you may want to quit. You think, “It’s not working. Why bother?” If this is you, I encourage you to stick with it. It will be worth the effort!
In last week’s blog post, I wrote about my family’s trip to Traverse City, Michigan, and I told the story of the fun we had hiking at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.
In one part of my account, I mentioned that although my family members and I knew that it would take about three hours to hike the dunes all the way to Lake Michigan, we all seemed a bit surprised and disappointed when we didn’t make it to the lake much sooner.
It was like we all seemed to be experiencing the same illusion. After climbing a few of the immense dunes, we were disheartened to see yet another set of gigantic mountains of sand before us. For some reason, we thought we should be seeing the lake after about an hour into our trek, even though that assumption truly defied logic.
After a quick conversation, I’m happy to say we came to our senses, but I found the whole thing rather curious.
It made me think of something a client recently shared with me after she set a goal to lose some weight.
She joined Weight Watchers and also committed to running 20-30 minutes every morning before work. This client told me that she followed her plan for three days and then decided to weigh herself. When she found that her weight had not changed, she said she was stunned.
She confessed that her first thought was, “Forget this BS, it’s not working!”
Fortunately, she reflected on the situation a little bit longer and realized she had deceived herself into thinking that she should have noticeable results after only three days of effort.
She laughed as she told me this, but also acknowledged that this is the point when she has often given up in the past. She said, “It’s not working,” has always led to “So why bother?”.
Oh man, I think we can all relate to this!
In another instance, a client I was coaching decided he was going to change careers. He put a lot of effort into researching the path he wanted to take, updating his resume and reaching out to his contacts. Then, after applying for ONE position and being rejected, he was ready to throw in the towel.
His reasons? “No one” is hiring, due to the economy and pandemic, and anyway, clearly he was trying to make too big of a jump into this new field. You know, “It’s not working. Why bother?”
Fortunately, this man has a life coach who would not let him sit with that story for another moment! We cleaned up his story, he applied for several more positions, and received lots more “nos” before finally hearing the “YES” his heart desired.
Thank goodness he didn’t follow the advice of his primal brain, who was desperately trying to keep him “safely” tucked away in his comfort zone!
Have you ever had an experience like this?
Do you ever underestimate the amount of work it will take to achieve a goal and think you “should” be further along after a minimal amount of effort?
Does that thought then generate feelings of disappointment or frustration?
Is this the point when you typically quit? You know, “It’s not working. Why bother? Forget about it!”
If so, you are now officially onto yourself. You have an opportunity to break this pattern and stop the needless suffering.
The next time you assume that something is taking too long or not working, take a moment for a reality check.
Are you being reasonable?
Does your assumption hold up under scrutiny?
What are your “whys”? Are your goals worthy of perseverance?
What might happen if you kept going or even increased your efforts?
Consider the delicious feeling of tenacious persistence. Isn’t it the best?
So, keep going.
YOU are worth the effort!