I can’t think of anyone I know who hasn’t wanted life to change overnight. We want to go to bed at night with dreams in our heart and wake to find that, while we slept, our Fairy Godmother, Guardian Angel, or Magic Fairy Dust will have made them into reality.
We want to get thin. Become better known for our work. Be in love. Be rich. Be famous. Be successful.
We want the recipe for the secret sauce or magic formula to make it happen. The honest truth, kitten, is that there is no secret formula or magic sauce. There isn’t an exact recipe.
No, darling, creating success is really more like a dinner party made up of a series of dishes and courses.
The Theme for Your Dinner Party is Time
Darling, there is no such thing as overnight success. Every single “overnight success” has been on their path for years before they hit that space of being known or seen as successful, no matter what their endeavor may be. It just seems like overnight success.
I get that you sometimes crave a dramatic (and quick and painless) change. You want to be further along the road than you are now. Oh, baby, do I get it. Life is a big long road, though. And that road is traveled in steps. Sometimes we run, sometimes we take big leaps, sometimes we stop….
Now, darling, one of the ways to propel time forward is to make a decision that IT has to change (no matter what IT is). But no matter what IT is that you desire to shift, transform, create, or stop tolerating, it’s going to take time for that decision to grow the necessary legs it takes to get “there”.
I’m a quick start, and in truth, can be quick at making big things happen in a short amount of time, like creating a website, transforming a garden or moving my home. In truth? Those are the kinds of steps along the road that are leaps, but that doesn’t mean I get there any faster!
This time-thing can be painful. The waiting. The wishing. The living in limbo. Be patient, darling. And if you’re exhausted in that space of limbo, try the Three L’s that I shared with you last week.
The Appetizer? It May Include a Dash of Pain
We believe that getting what we most desire should feel like sunshine and roses. That it should be easy. Well, baby, I don’t know who sold that line, but creating the life of your dreams isn’t a lot more painful than pain-free. In fact, it can be downright excruciating at times, but the end results allow us to look back and see the painful stuff as exquisite and necessary.
While we can choose a path of “ease,” that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Oh, sure, listening to that little voice of our heart is pretty simple, but following the voice of our heart never is. Growth and change can be painful. Sore muscles and a sore heart. New ways of living mean leaving behind comfort. Change can mean upheaval.
But, let me tell you this, kitten: if you think you can avoid pain by doing nothing and not moving towards a dream? That’s a whole other kind of pain right there. The pain of stagnation. The pain of regret.
The Main Course Always Includes Work
Darling, you have to be willing to do the work it takes to get from here to there.
Recently, I mentioned being interviewed by another reporter for The Huffington Post on my Facebook page. I got a message from an acquaintance asking me how I snagged the interview because she does great work in her field and wanted them to notice her. I shared with her the truth of my “success”: more than three years of weekly blog posts, guest posts for a variety of websites, and regular writings at other websites, like YourTango, so that I would become better known. I offered to connect her to a fabulous business strategist as well as my editor over at Your Tango.
(Her response, by the way? Crickets. No “thank you for your time.” No “that wouldn’t work for me.” Nothing.)
Don’t get me wrong, I get it. I didn’t give her the answer she wanted, so she didn’t bother to reply. I couldn’t share my secret formula for being sought by reporters. I had no magic fairy dust to that allowed people to know who I am.
It was about doing the work.
The thing is, this applies to all areas of our lives, not just building a business. When you want to change your beliefs, your body, your living situation. Transforming beliefs about who we are in the world, changing our bodies or building a business all requires that you do the work.
In the process of doing your work, by the way, don’t forget that it’s ok to ask for some help. Whether it’s hiring a personal trainer, a virtual assistant, a coach or someone to clean the house.
(And anyone that helps you? Darling, be sure and thank them, even if they don’t give you the answer you desire to hear.)
You have to be willing to do the work it takes to reach your goal.
A Side Dish of Courage is Required
The first thing that comes up when you plant the seeds of anything? Dirt. Every. Single. Time.
It’s easier to look at challenges from the voice of fear and tell yourself things like “If this was meant to be, it wouldn’t be so hard,” or “maybe your dreams were a little too big.” Our inner critics try to keep us from changing. The fear beast will leap up and try to scare us into old ways of being.
Fear comes up as anxiety. Fear puts on the face of reasoned logic. Fear is the cause of self-sabotage or getting in the way of our dreams. Fear manifests as worry and anxiety. Fear causes us to build walls and create drama. Fear tries to convince us that we are crazy for wanting our dreams.
Change is fucking scary. Even when the outcome – the dream, the goal, the business, the success, the body, the life – is an improvement over what we have now – it’s still scary because it’s different.
But here’s the truth about courage. Courage isn’t about the absence of fear, darling. It’s about moving into and through that fear.
Don’t Forget a Big Serving of Faith & Dedication
There are going to be times when you want to give up. Times when it all feels too challenging or too difficult.
Be Dedicated. Have Faith. Don’t give up.
The best tool I know for cultivating faith is gratitude. Creating a gratitude practice actually helps you re-wire your brain to thinking positively. Then, when times feel a little more challenging, your mind goes to the positive.
Our dreams also demand our dedication. If you half-ass your efforts, you’ll never achieve your deepest desires. If you are fickle in the way you approach your dream? It won’t come to fruition. We must become dedicated to our deepest desires. There are lots of little tools to keep you motivated and vary based on who you are, but it all boils down to ritual.
Now, this has been a hot topic between myself and clients as well as myself and other soul-dedicated friends. I’ll be sharing more about the idea of rituals next week, which is the best way I know to grow your faith and be more rooted in your dedication to yourself and your desires.
Sometimes, Dinner is a Flop
When you go towards your goals with the understanding that sometimes you’re going to fail, then it’s easier to recover from setbacks. Websites are going to crash. A trip may get you out of your exercise routine. You may become ill. A parent dies. You fall in love.
Sometimes, really good things happen to you that shifts your timeline to reach your goal, which can feel like a failure. It’s shifting priorities, darling, that’s all.
Life isn’t perfect, even when you love it. Life isn’t perfect, even if your dreams can become your reality. Life isn’t certain. There are going to be stumbles along the way. It will be OK if you don’t see a stumble or a failure as the end of your dreams.
The Best Dessert is Your Success
And by your success, darling, I mean your definition of success. Not society’s definition of success. Not what your high school friend is doing. How you define success. Your life – on your terms.
And baby, living a life you love is truly sweet.Though there isn’t a secret formula or recipe for being successful, know that it’s within your reach. Be willing to use these elements, offer yourself patience and love, and continue to move forward. Life is truly delicious, darling. I know that you desire – and deserve – to achieve your deepest desires.