Finding Motivation

Motivation is a bitch to find. Some days it is slapping us in the face and other days it is nowhere to be found. Days can go by before motivation shows up and then it disappears before it makes any kind of difference. Nothing can be done until motivation shows back up. Just waiting for motivation to come back.

Does this sound like you? Are you sitting around, waiting for motivation to do that thing you keep putting off? Why? Seriously, why are you waiting for motivation?

Motivation isn’t something you will always have. The top one percent of performers aren’t always motivated. Motivation doesn’t come natural to anybody, even that top performers. You know what comes naturally? Procrastination. Laziness. Waiting.

Life isn’t about finding the motivation to get things done or waiting for motivation to start working towards that goal. You have to manufacture motivation. You have to be consistent. You have to do that thing even when you don’t feel like it. If you keep waiting for motivation, if you keep waiting to feel like doing it, you will get nowhere.

How do I know? Fucking experience.

Ha, yeah right. I’m sitting here reading this blog. You have to be motivated to keep up the schedule of posting that you do.

No. I’m not motivated every single day to get a blog post written. I’m not motivated to share my thoughts all of the time. As I’m sitting here writing this post, I have procrastinated on my goals this week, including writing. I’ve talked to those close to me about starting a podcast. I’m not motivated to record audio, so I haven’t done it. Writing is easy, recording audio is not. Even though writing is easy, it takes effort. And truthfully, I may have just said it was easy, but it isn’t always. Sometime I can’t come up with anything to share with you. Sometimes I procrastinate because I’m in a mood and can’t figure out what to say.

I am not always motivated. The only reason you see such consistency with these posts is that I am determined. I am determined to put my thoughts and my learnings out there. I am determined to be the friend, sister, role model, mentor, confidant, whatever, that I never had until I started my own personal growth journey. Even if this is the only post you ever read of mine, my goal is that you take something away from it. This may sound like motivation and yes, it kind of is. But putting thoughts and feelings out to the world and people I don’t personally know is not motivating. It is scary.

Motivation doesn’t always show up in my life. Determination and consistency doesn’t always show up. Procrastination is a bigger player in my life than I care to admit. But you know what? Every time I push through that procrastination and get something done, my motivation meter fills up a little.

Whatever you keep putting off, whatever you want to do, just make it happen. Take the first step. One step at a time. That is all it takes. One step.

I Don’t Qualify

Have you ever muttered these words to yourself? Did you just have movie reel roll through displaying all of the times you have, or did you say no? If you said no, I would like to meet you because everybody I know has disqualified themselves at one point or another. How do I know that? Because we all say it for so many things.

I am extremely guilty of disqualifying myself before even taking a chance. I used to do it for my career. I’ve done it for this website. I’ve done it for our overlanding adventures. I do it frequently for my looks and my body size. I do it when thinking about how good of a friend I might be. Or wife. It is so much easier to say “I don’t qualify” or “I am not good enough” or “I don’t have what it takes”, than it is to put one foot out there and say “hey, I’m here and I’ve got this”.

But you know what? We are going to stay exactly where we are if we don’t take the fucking first step! As Brené Brown refers to this, it’s okay to dive into your Fucking First Time (FFT). How does a first time align with whether or not we qualify? Um, because most of the time that I have disqualified myself, it has been for something I would be doing for the first time. It is far easier to disqualify myself than it is to do something for the fucking first time.

FFTs suck!! We are more often than not going to either fail, trip over ourselves, or stumble along for a while when we do something for the first time. It is scary and intimidating. But what usually happens after that failure or stumbling period? We start to excel and then we succeed. But we can’t get to the point of success if we don’t embrace the suck first.

Stop looking to disqualify yourself.

Trent Shelton

I have spent most of my life disqualifying myself for one reason or another. I probably do it at least once a day. That sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Well, it is. Every single time I disqualify myself, I hold myself back. I tell myself that I’m not good enough. I tell myself that I don’t believe in myself. THAT, that is depressing.

I know that if I were to flip that thought every time I have it, my life would change drastically. I would improve my own impression of myself and I would be dramatically less stressed and dramatically happier. But it isn’t that easy. We can hear a quote or hear a statement and fall in love with it and know that we need to apply it to our lives, but then go about life and never actually apply it. How often do you do that? Me, I do it all of the time.

I’m finding that I have done so much personal development reading and listening and training and yet, I can’t remember it all. Why? Because I read it or hear it and then move on with life. I disqualify the importance of application.

I am here to say, I qualify. I am a badass woman and I deserve everything I want. I qualify. I qualify. I qualify. And I’m going to remind myself that every single day. I’m going to use the power of my phone wallpaper and reminders. I am setting reminders as soon as I’m done typing this to tell myself I qualify.

Are you willing to do the work and tell yourself multiple times a day that you qualify? How are you going to do it?

Fear of the Future

I sat down tonight to work on my road map to accomplish my dreams. I sat down to listen to Rachel Hollis explain how she does it and during the meditation, a realization hit me in the face. I am afraid of the future. I am afraid to fully let myself dream and see myself in that dream. I’ve been holding myself back because I can’t see myself in the future that I’m trying to create for myself.

I’m still stuck in the future that we left behind. I’m stuck and I haven’t allowed myself to grieve and move on the way I need to. I have let my fear of a different future hold me back.

The future I am stuck in has us raising children. I don’t know why I’m stuck there, we have made the decision and I’m truly happy with the decision to not have children. Maybe there’s a part of me that still wants to feel the baby growing within me. Maybe there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to let go just yet.

I am happy without children. I have found oh so many blessings in not having children. I couldn’t consciously imagine having children anymore, it just isn’t part of my life. But when I daydream as I’m falling asleep, I can’t envision a different future.

I have spent so much of my life daydreaming different scenarios of having children. I have spent so many sleepless nights conjuring up these amazing futures in imagination of children and happiness.

But I haven’t pivoted those dreams. I haven’t pivoted those thoughts right as I fall asleep. I haven’t fully allowed myself to move on.

As I was listening to Rachel, I realized that I have been fearful of the unknown. I don’t know people in my inner circle who have lived child-free lives. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know where I want to be in five years let alone ten years. I haven’t allowed myself to fully dream the new dreams.

I have work to do. I am going to get back to this video and start working on dreaming up my new future. I am going to push through the fear of the unknown to create a new future, even if I don’t have any examples of what I’m going to dream up.

Where do you see yourself in five years? What about ten years?

Excuses

Excuses, we all have them. Chances are, you, like me, try to justify an excuse. Chances are, you don’t know that what you are saying is truly just an excuse because you believe in it so deeply.

In You Are A Badass Everyday Jen Sincero states “We get extremely defensive about our excuses, because excuses free us from taking responsibility for our lives.” I can easily think back to many times that I was adamant about what I was saying or doing and realize that I was just rattling off excuses. Excuses are part of every person’s life regardless of how successful or centered they are. Excuses are something that we will always have to overcome.

If you look back to my previous post, Making Fun of Me, you will probably be able to identify some pretty obvious excuses in it. I sure do.

It is easier to look back and identify excuses than to identify them when you are living them. In fact, I only occasionally can identify excuses right when I’m making them. I can sit here writing all of this and realize that almost every reason I have after work and after dinner to not work on my dreams are probably just excuses. One of my biggest excuses is that Eddie just wants to watch TV. So?! Why can’t I do something else? Because I just want to relax on the couch and not in my office and I can’t write or read or do a coaching with the TV on.

I keep letting this excuses hold me back over and over and over. It is one of my most frequent excuses I use. How do I overcome it? By being intentional and finding other places to sit and relax. Yes, my couch is comfortable as hell, but so is my bean bag in my nerd nook. And soon the chairs on the porch will be usable because it will be warm enough for me to sit outside. Remember all of those years laying in bed reading when I were growing up that you treasured? Why don’t I do the same thing now? I have a wonderfully comfortable bed that would be great for reading. Why? Because I want to cuddle with the dogs and they aren’t allowed in the bed. That my friend is just one more excuse.

Are you getting the picture? Do you see how little things that don’t seem like excuses actually are?

What excuses are getting in your way of your dreams?

I Don't Know How to Set Goals

I’m not a goal setter.

Goals are too restrictive.

I was never taught how to set goals.

Goals aren’t achievable in my life.

I’ve set goals before but have never accomplished them, it’s no use.

Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking any of those? I have. The one I used to use the most was “I’m not a goal setter.” I would come back to that over and over again. I look back now and see that it was just another excuse to stay stuck, to not do hard things.

I wasn’t ever taught how to set goals, but for some reason, that was never an excuse for me. I actually didn’t learn how to set goals until within the last couple of years and it still took me time before I set goals.

In my opinion, goals require feeling behind them. If I set a goal and I am not emotionally vested in the outcome, I’m never going to do the work required to reach that goal. If I set a goal that I’m kinda invested in, but am not sure how I truly feel about it, then I’m still not going to do the work. I have to feel into what I want the outcome to be before I will actually put in the work.

Goals can be huge or they can be extremely simple. It doesn’t matter. One of my goals right now is to get through this social distancing a stronger person. Most days have been downright difficult. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Especially because I’m an introverted homebody. But I hit a low point and it took a day or so to realize what the hell was making me forget ALL of the work I’ve done.

Another goal I have is to plant and truly take care of some herbs. I have these cool planters, but I always let the herbs die. I don’t plan enough meals to use the fresh herbs. Now I’m looking to find more meals to make that use the herbs that I plant.

A big goal that I have that I keep having to come back to is to become debt free. It isn’t an easy goal to achieve, especially when there is so much to buy and make life easy. Or food to eat. Or cute clothes that can make me feel better in my own skin. Or, or, or. To accomplish this goal, I’ll have to make a huge mindset shift. And I have, but then I get lax on my mindset and it goes to hell. Each day I am closer to achieving my goal, the more I feel the feeling of relief and joy.

So how do you set goals?

You have to have things that you are emotionally invested in achieving. Did you read my last post I Don’t Know How to Dream? If you haven’t, go back and read it.

To know what goals to reach for, you have to know what your dream for your life is. You have to sit down and truly look into the future and what you want out of your life. You cannot just simply set a goal and hope for the best. You have to be invested in the goal.

Setting goals just to set goals doesn’t work. If you set a goal to run a 10K but have absolutely no interest in running or physically cannot run, you aren’t going to achieve that goal. If you set a goal to become a millionaire but have no interest in working your ass off, then you aren’t going to reach it. If you set a goal to pay off your debt but keep spending frivolously, you are never going to pay that debt off.

Take all of the dreams you wrote down from the previous post and break them down into action items. Some with have high level action items that break down even further. That’s good. Those are your stepping stones. Keep breaking these steps down until you have actionable steps that you can achieve one after the other. You just set goals. Each of those actionable steps is a goal.

You can set goals. You just have to get out of your own way and allow yourself to dream and become emotionally invested in those dreams.

What are some goals you are working towards right now?

I Don't Know How to Dream

This is not an uncommon thought. I was one of the people who didn’t know how to dream for many years. At least, that is what I thought. I was wrong.

I may not have thought that I knew how to dream, but I knew I was able to push forward. In all that I accomplished up until realizing and truly beginning to dream, I simply pushed forward for something better. I knew I wanted more, even if I wasn’t sure what I truly wanted. I knew I couldn’t stay stuck, that wasn’t the life I wanted to live.

Do you want more? Are you refusing to stay stuck by pushing forward through anything?

Girl you are dreaming! Seriously. You are. You might not have direction towards those dreams, but you are dreaming. Just like I was. You are already one step closer to opening your mind up to big dreams.

That one step for me was to sit down and write out who I saw myself being in ten years. I learned how to do this best from the Start Today Journal practice. I had heard multiple books or podcasts explaining this process before, but Rachel Hollis explains it so well and lights a fire within me that helps me to open my mind. Every time I do it, I dream bigger and more clearly.

Rachel goes into depth in one of her podcasts and in her Start Today Journal, I’m going to summarize what I learned here.

Rachel asks a few key questions that get you started on envisioning yourself ten years from now. Why ten? She does this ten, ten, one process. Ten years, ten dreams, one goal. I’ll let you listen to her podcast to learn more, but here are the key questions I absolutely love.

  1. Who do you want to be in ten years?
  2. A decade in the future, what is the very best version of yourself doing?
  3. What’s a bigger version of the best version of you living every day in the best state that you know how to be?

There are many other questions that she poses, but those are the three that prompted me the most. The next step is to write it all out. Write out everything that comes to your mind, even if it doesn’t seem realistic. As you are writing, do not judge anything that is flowing, just write it down. Do not hold anything back.

This is how you open up and prompt yourself to dream. Now that you have it all written out, you can see what dreams you truly have. Your dreams are there, you just have to stop burying them. You have to open your mind and emotions to letting these dreams come out of hiding.

It’s okay if you don’t get much written down the first time. I didn’t. I had hardly anything. But I do this dreaming every three months. Every time I do it, my page gets fuller, my mind opens more, and I feel more and more connected to what flows.

Now you have a starting point of how to set goals to become the person you dream to be. Yes, you can be a goal-oriented person. This is another practice you have to open your mind to. You already did the hard part of opening your mind to your dreams. Now you get to turn those dreams into reality.

Dreams

There is so much programming out there telling us to “follow your dreams” or “let your imagination run wild” or even “you can be anything your heart desires.” The problem with this programming is that it isn’t universal. Depending on where you grow up and where you come from, you might not have dreams, an imagination, or even know anything more than the small environment that you are part of. Dreams are not universal.

I was one of the kids who didn’t actually hear any of this programming as a child. My programming was more along the lines of “graduate high school before getting pregnant”, “anybody better off than us are assholes”, or “so-and-so should be taking care of us because they are better off.” There was no hope, no dream in the future that was being programmed into me. There was nothing bigger than living off of family who made a life for themselves. Doing more, being more was never a thought.

My imagination as a child was very limited. I didn’t know anything outside of the small town and poor life I was growing up in. I didn’t have good examples in my everyday life of following dreams or even dreaming big. Goals were not something that ever crossed my mind.

Today I am living a vastly different life than the one I grew up in. Why? Because I took the glimpses of life outside of the poor situation I was in from what little TV and movies I watched and books I read and knew there was more out there. I didn’t know how much more. I didn’t ever consider that I would be where I am today. I just knew I wanted more.

My first real dream I followed was going to college. It was never a consideration for my parents to even encourage college, but I knew I wanted to go. I figured going to college would give me an edge on living a better life. Once I was in college, I started seeing more and more of life outside of living a poor life, counting on everyone else. I knew before college that I wanted to live my own life and support myself, but my eyes were being opened and my mind was learning.

I never dreamed of getting my MBA or becoming a project manager, or being a traveling professional. I never dreamed of making the salary I do today or buying a home. I never dreamed of sharing my life with random people or becoming an overlander who has gear to travel to places most vehicles can’t make it. I never dreamed of working from home from a mission-driven company. I never dreamed of most of what exists in my life today.

I did dream of being a writer as a kid, but thought that would never happen because I wasn’t rich enough. I attributed everything to money. Yes, money does provide a lot, but so do goals and dreams.

Today my dreams are bigger than I would have ever expected growing up. I wouldn’t have even imagined my dreams were a thing. That’s the difference of the environment that we are in.

I frequently question why people don’t get off their ass and do something about their situation. I did, why don’t they? I’m learning that it isn’t that easy for some people. The programming that we receive during our formative years can and will determine everything about our life. Some people don’t have the mental acuity to look outside of the hear and now. I frequently lose my patience when people limit themselves, then I have to remind myself that I have limited myself in various ways throughout my life.

Not only does it take hearing or learning about what else is out there, it takes desire to do more. For those of use who come from places where dreaming isn’t or wasn’t a thing, it isn’t just about the dreaming. It is about what we have access to. Some people don’t even have the limited TV or movies that I had. Some people don’t even have books. These people may have a burning desire for something more, they just don’t know what that is because they are in a place where their imagination and ability to dream is limited.

Unfortunately in our world today, there is still so much limitation on the ability to dream and imagine a different life. We have a long way to go.

I am sharing my story because I hope that if you are reading it and you are someone who is in a position that doesn’t have access to anything that will stoke your imagination and dreams, it will give you a little bit of hope for something more.

Growing up I didn’t dream of a better life without the input of TV, movies, and books. I thought the only way to get a better life was to be born into it. Today, I work on my thoughts, dreams, and overall knowledge every single day. My inputs have changed my life tenfold. I am where I am today from one little dream, living a better life than what I grew up in. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I chased it.

What did you dream of when you were a kid? Did you have big, audacious dreams? What life did you dream of?

What Are You Committed To?

Are you committed to your goals or to your excuses? Do you even know?

I used to think that I was committed to my goals, but I kept making excuses. I had some goals that yes, I was absolutely committed to. I wanted to have a better life than my parents. I wanted to explore the world. I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted happiness and freedom. I pursued all of those goals every single day.

But I kept making excuses. I was committed to the excuses I kept making as to why I would never be good enough, or why I couldn’t do something for me even if my partner didn’t like it or didn’t want to do it with me, or why I kept feeling like I had to prove myself to absolutely everybody in my life.

I was somewhat growing as a person and meeting goals, but my excuses were holding me back from my full potential. One of the excuses I was wholeheartedly committed to was my need to make sure everyone else was supported, approved, and/or wasn’t offended by absolutely anything I did. This excuse ran my life. It was at the center of everything I did. I was committed to this excuse more than I was committed to anything else in my life.

This excuse continually held me back and prevented me from reaching and even dreaming big audacious goals. I was never going to fully meet the goals I listed above if I didn’t uncommit myself from the excuse of needing to look out for everybody else first. I had to commit to my goals, do some difficult internal work, and let go of my excuses.

I have mostly stopped living my life for others. I no longer care if so-and-so likes my posts. I no longer care if my posting or my sharing offends people. I don’t say anything horrible about people, well most people, and I don’t name any names in most of my posts. I started creating and sharing my growth journey on YouTube and don’t care if my family or friends think it’s weird or that I am sharing too much. I don’t share about them unless I am giving them credit for helping me. I take time for me, even when all of the family is together.

Limiting my excuse of needing to do for others before doing for myself has been liberating. I have been able to focus on allowing myself to dream big audacious goals and have started going after them. I have changed my commitment from my excuses to my goals. I schedule time for me to have simple me time and to do activities towards accomplishing my goals without worry of people being offended that I’m not out with them.

Change. Change is how we can be more committed to our goals than our excuses. Nothing can happen without some kind of change.

Which are you committed to, your goals or your excuses? Have you ever thought about it?

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You Don’t Need A New Year

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At one point in our life, we’ve all said it, “on January 1st, I’ll start making changes.” We might say that in December, or September, or May, or even February. We have this habit of putting off the changes we want or need to make in our life until that big date. Forget the, “I’ll start on Monday.” That is nothing compared to what we keep saying we will start on January 1st.

You know what happens? January 1st comes and goes and those changes are nowhere to be seen. It doesn’t have to just be about changes you want to make. It can be things we want to start working on. Our goals. Yes, the goals probably require changes, but we push off our goals for living in the here and now and not getting uncomfortable.

Why? Why do we do this? Because making changes or going after goals is uncomfortable. Staying exactly where we are. Staying in the pain or the shitty job or the habits we have now, that’s more comfortable than trying something new. Here’s the thing, you probably feel like you need these last few days, weeks, months to enjoy what you are thinking about giving up. You want to savor it just a little longer, then you’ll remove it from your life. Or, you don’t want to start reading those books, taking those classes, writing those posts, doing those videos, whatever, because you are afraid you are going to suck. So, you’ll wait until next year so you can learn more and start with a bang.

Guess what? I seriously just said this to one of my friends in the last week. In fact, this is exactly what I said:

“I want to be able to plan out my blog posts better, then start adding in YouTube”
“I have to get way more consistent with my time too”

Let me take you back a step. I had been thinking that for soooo long, but I kept it to myself. I didn’t want to tell anyone what I wanted to do because I didn’t want anyone to judge it. I didn’t want to hear their opinions yet. I thought all of other people’s opinions about me doing videos would be negative. But I took a small chance when we were talking about her videos. We were talking about recording YouTube videos on our phones. I opened the door by saying that I’d probably use my phone. I opened the door for her opinion. I didn’t even think about it. But you know what? Her opinion was something that I hadn’t expected.

“please tell me you’re going to do videos”

That’s what she told me. Her opinion is one that I’ve really come to value and I was afraid to mention it. For what? Why was I afraid? I have no idea. I think fear in general.

That fear is what has prompted me for months to delay starting a YouTube channel to compliment this blog until next year. I didn’t even say January 1st. I said next year. Next year is 366 days in 2020. That is a lot of year to delay my goal to.

It was so open-ended because I didn’t want to put a timeline on me getting my shit together. I didn’t want to start now because I didn’t feel confident that I even knew what my message would be. Shit, I can barely keep a consistent schedule on doing Instagram stories.

I don’t have to be consistent to begin. I don’t have to have it all figured out to start. The only thing that I need to start is sitting my ass down and doing it.

I don’t need a new year. You don’t need a new year. What do you want to change about your life? What goals do you want to reach for?

Let me tell you what I normally would say I’d start on January 1st:

  1. Ditching the unhealthy carbs that slowly crept back into my diet
  2. Walking enough each day that my hips and back feel good
  3. Drinking the green tea
  4. Doing the thought work
  5. Cutting out the spending on random Americano runs

I have implemented all of those in my life. I am using today to be healthier and reach some of my goals. Now, I just have to keep using today to start on the other goals that I have been delaying for no reason other than fear.

What are you delaying until next year? Why?

Fear of Not Being Like Them

If you can’t get over your fear of not doing it as well as they do, you’ll never have the opportunity to be a trail blazer for someone else. – Rachel Hollis, Girl, Stop Apologizing

I have a lot of fears in life. I was pretty much only taught how to be fearful. I have let most of my life been run by my fear. In fact, this isn’t the first iteration of me sharing my growth or my struggles with people. I killed each of those blogs because of fear.

Not this time. My dreams have rooted themselves within me and I am pushing back on fear. One of my fears is that, as I grow and as I work towards being a life coach, I will not be as good as the coaches that I follow. I will not be as good as those I look to for mentorship. These fears can easily hold me back. And I’d bet to say they have so far.

But if I live in this fear of not being as good of a coach as them, I won’t ever help the women who need my experience and insight. The reason that each of these coaches that I follow is successful, is that they have different stories and different focuses. Some do primarily one-on-one coaching, some never do. They are all different even though they carry the same title of coach.

If I stay in the fear of not doing coaching as well as them, I will never become a coach. I will never grow this blog into something more. I will stay living in the past and in the pain that I so desperately want to work through.

If I dig in and I do me, if I find my voice, I can inspire and help countless women. Women who relate to me. Women to want to hear what I have to say. Women who are going through similar experiences to what I’ve gone through. Women who like me for me. If I dig in and realize that being different is a good thing, I can accomplish my dreams.

I have to get out of my own way. I have to stop living in fear and living in the past. It is time to set all of my fears and anxiety aside and start pushing myself. It sure as hell isn’t going to be easy. And I sure as hell will offend some people. Probably even some of my family and close friends. But my dreams are my dreams and I need to pursue them.

Are you living in fear or are you pursuing your dreams?