I have always been steadfast in my approach when I really want something, and generally when I work hard enough I’m successful. About 90% of the time I would imagine. Everything I’ve ever truly put my heart into, eventually comes to pass. I’m proud of that.
Career wise though that has not been the case always. I’ve struggled to reach the mountain top of my dreams…and its brought me too an array of emotions from feeling discouraged to vulnerable to confused to a complete failure. All fleeting, but still floating around in my head. The great thing about it is that I know I am not alone. There are plenty of young entrepreneurs, hell plenty of seasoned folks as well, that battle these same demons. So the question I’ve been looking to answer is- how do you keep fighting when you’re running out of gas? How do you fight the “funks” and bouts of depression that set in some days when you feel like you’re not where you think you should be in your career?
It’s a painful process pursuing your dreams, that’s just being honest. Not painful in a way that you don’t love what you do, but painful when things don’t move as fast as you’d like…or when you feel things may be getting away from you after all of your hard work, that’s painful. Gut wrenchingly so.
All that said, I will never (ever) stop pursuing my dreams- and neither should you- but I am employing a few helpful reminders to keep me on my way that can hopefully answer the question- “How do you keep yourself going?”
Don’t discount yourself (or your previous achievements)
I am so thankful for the career I’ve had thus far and don’t discount any of those experiences. I just know in my heart of hearts, there’s SO much more to accomplish. Ultimately, that’s one of the main things that drives me daily. Even with that said, you have to still be able to appreciate where you’ve been and what has gotten you to this point. Not to revel in your own success, but to simply give yourself the recognition you deserve and understand how far you have come to this point. Sometimes we simply forget about how much progress we’ve made and just need a little reminder to stay encouraged.
Prayer and Meditation
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, the impact of prayer and/or meditation on your life can heal and bring so much clarity, often in your most weary moments. This is also something you can do independently or get a little help with. If you do need a little guidance, resources like the app Headspace or Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Mediation Experience are great and very helpful. Implementing this as a daily exercise can truly heal, help you to center yourself and find the inner peace to move forward.
Never forget, it’s a process
Look, the bottom line is success at anything in life is a process. You have to do the work. You have to get the bumps and bruises. Remember when you learned to ride a bike? The first few times you wobbled around, couldn’t center yourself to ride in a straight line and more than likely fell a few times, getting a few knicks in the process. But once you finally got it on your own, that moment the wheels started turning forward and the wind hit your back and you realize “I’m doing this?!”, that is probably one of the most self-fulfilling moments you can have as a kid. Getting to your own personal career success as an adult is the same process. You have to keep at it. You have to get up, dust yourself off and keep it moving- until you get it right. If you just keep trying, keep working at it, it’s almost certain that work will manifest and the wind will be at your back again soon enough.
The moral of the story is YOU CANNOT GIVE UP on yourself. You can never, ever give up. If you’re in a slump it’s OK to take a little time to decompress to clear your head, but also actively look to find inspiration to dig yourself out of that hole. Whatever the spark is that is driving you towards your goal, find what it is that can re-ignite that. Things will not always be easy and it’s likely a continued rough road ahead, but the first step to moving forward is literally to just start by putting one foot in front of the other. So go get some air, take a walk, appreciate all you have accomplished, meditate and start thinking of your master plan to get to what’s next. Remember, it’s like riding a bike.