Less than two years ago, I had no goals. There was not one thing I was working towards for myself.
Reading this, there are definitely those of you who are thinking, “How could she not have a single goal?”
However, I know that there are those of you who are also thinking, “Goals? How about just getting through today? That’s my goal.”
That was once my goal too. So maybe I had a few, but they weren’t the type I’m talking about now.
It’s only in hindsight that I realize how important it is to have defined personal objectives. It was a revelation for me, as someone who had unconsciously resigned herself to being the champion of her family’s goals, that as a mother I could chase things other than my career, my marriage and motherhood.
Not that these are unworthy goals. In fact, two of my biggest goals now center around being the best partner I can be in my marriage and being the best mother I can be to my children.
That’s how growth works. It works in all of the places. It affects who you are and the vision of who you want to become. Goals help us define our self-worth and value. They force us to grow. They give us something to work towards. In the absence of growth, life rolls over us like a wave, and we become more like a boulder in the tide, being worn down by the currents.
Goals can be challenging to define. You have to go where your joy takes you; it can take you a number of places before you figure out where you gain the highest sense of fulfillment. There’s a period of discovery involved. Sometimes, you have to throw a number of things at the wall before one or two stick, and curate your way through this process. You’ll likely have to ask for help, and build a community of support.
Growth is challenging. Growth is hard. Growth makes us question our beliefs and our values.
But, we can do hard things.
So many of us choose the comfort of discomfort because we know it, rather than working towards something better, because it is unknown.
And then, when we figure out what might be missing in our lives, this desire to reach for something more despite the fear of the unknown, we’re met with the likes of the inner critic and self-sabotage; fears, worries and doubts crowd in on us, making us question our drive, our determination to step out of our safety zone. We can get stuck.
Having goals is almost more terrifying than not. Because we could fail. We will have setbacks. We might embarrass ourselves. We could be the only beginners in a field of experts.
I have days where I falter; days where I don’t believe in myself, where I question why I’m still pursuing this blog, when there are thousands of better writers out there than me. There are days where I fall back into old patterns, and let the negative inner voices echo around my mind.
But, I also have days where I am successful, where I can see just how far I have come since I began, since I made a choice to start, as imperfect as it was. Days where my words impact someone enough that they feel compelled to reach out and share that with me, which fuels me more than I can say.
And, on the days where I have those setbacks, it’s that much easier to get back to even. My mindset shifts are becoming habit, and the muscle memory is becoming stronger.
This is a journey. There is no quick fix or cure-all. There is no over or under, no around. No short cut. There is only one way, if you want to get somewhere different than here, and it’s through.