How to Have Long Term Goals AND Get Instant Gratification

If your only payoff for all your sacrifice and hard work is years away, you might give up.

Now-vs-doing-later-450x299

You understand that you have to delay gratification sometimes. You put your head down and work hard on your goals so that when you achieve them you will reap the rewards. And you have a lot of goals.

You have goals at your full time job. You have goals for a new career that you’re starting on the side. You have relationship goals, personal goals, physical goals, spiritual and financial goals.

Oh, is that all?

Do you ever get tired of working so hard for the hope of future happiness? I know I do.

If we’re not careful, and all we do is deny the now for the future, we can lose our motivation and give up on the goals we truly want.

I’ve been thinking about that as I’ve been building my professional speaking business.

I have some ambitious goals on who I want to present to, how often I want to speak, where in the world I want to speak, how much I want to earn, and more.

To achieve those goals, there is a lot of work to do. Some of it I don’t enjoy very much. I don’t really like creating my website, editing my demo video, cold calling prospects, following up on the cold calls, and tracking every contact I make.

It’s a lot of work without a quick payoff. Staying focused on my why helps. But, if I don’t get some instant gratification as I go, I might give up before I reach my ultimate goal.

I have to be more than goal destination oriented. I need to be process oriented as well.

The good news is there are a bunch of things I love about being a professional speaker. I can choose to focus more on those things, and enjoy what I’m doing now, while also continuing to pursue my long-term goals.

I love:

  • Creating presentations that positively impact people’s lives
  • Presenting to people and organizations about the importance of purpose in and out of the workplace
  • Helping businesses create more engaged employees and a better bottom line
  • Helping people find and pursue their Passionate Purpose
  • Meeting new people before and after each presentation
  • Seeing people change because of my speech
  • Getting referrals for more events
  • Traveling to new places to give my talks and seminars
  • Signing my book for people who are all in on living extraordinary lives

I can go a step further and even find things I enjoy inside the things I don’t.

I can turn cold calling into a way to meet new people and offer ways to serve them – not sell them.

I can focus on the fun parts of creating my web page and demo video. I enjoy making those look good and being great resources for people.

When I get my focus right, I can enjoy my journey to my long-term goals. And that makes all the difference.

Questions for discussion:

What destination goal is frustrating you?
What parts of working toward that goal do you love?
What could you do to make the journey more enjoyable on a daily basis?

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Three Questions For Your Weekend

Determine your Passionate Purpose, become world class at it, use it to serve others, and enjoy the entire ride.
–Greg Knapp

If you’re struggling to find your Passionate Purpose, or you just want more out of life, I have three questions to ask yourself this weekend.

1) What things have you done that you’re passionate about and that bring you joy?

2) What things have you that you felt brought meaning to your life?

3) What are you good, or even great at? (Or what could you become great at?)

To have this work, you need to spend some real time doing deep thinking. Start with your childhood and slowly work your way to today.

Look at every type of thing you’ve done in every category you can think of. Go DEEP.

Don’t censor yourself, or let other people’s expectations color this exercise. This is all about you.

Action steps:

  • Schedule some time by yourself. Ideally, find a quiet spot that you enjoy.
  • Turn off all electronic devices – yes that means your phone!
  • Pray or meditate on the questions
  • Keep writing answers until you have at least 10 answers to each question.
  • Then come up with 10 more
  • Look for overlapping answers
  • Narrow the answers down to your top 3

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

How to Avoid Settling

paint

Remember the last time you painted a room? You went to the store, picked out a color, they put a few drops of it into the base paint and then put the can in the shaker machine. They shook the heck out of it until the color drops where whipped up into a frenzy. It created the exact color you wanted.

When you got the paint can back to the house and opened it up, you stirred it again, didn’t you?

Why?

Because the paint had started to settle. Even in that short trip back from the store, it began to settle and lose its consistent color.

Months later when you needed to touch up a spot on the wall, what did you do with the original paint can? You shook it like crazy again.

Why?

This time the paint had settled hard. It needed to be shaken, stirred, and whipped up to get it back to its full color and vibrancy.

We are all paint cans. No matter how energized we were when we began our purpose, project, marriage, parenthood, life…

…we all start to settle.

How much settling are you doing right now?

What can you do today to shake and stir yourself into the vibrant, colorful, enthusiastic person you are when you are at your best?

Action steps:

1) Take a look at your current goals for every part of your life. (Do you have any? If not, create them today.)

2) Update those goals for what your truly passionate about.

3) Create action plans that support those goals. Make sure your actions include things you enjoy doing so you can find some happiness now and in the future as you’re achieving your goals. If you’re just a destination goal, and not a process goal person you’re setting yourself up for failure.

4) Start taking consistent daily action today.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to NOT be a Victim

victim

Everything that goes along with being a victim is in direct conflict with what you need to succeed. When you see yourself as a victim you are helpless, hopeless, depressed, self-pitying, blaming, negative, and unlovable.

Other than that, it’s a gay old time.

Definition of a victim: a person to whom life happens.
–Peter McWilliams

We’ve all been through times when we felt like the victim. I still have times where I throw myself a pity party. Because even though victimhood holds us back from moving forward to the success we want, it also holds rewards for us.

It’s a lot easier playing the victim than taking responsibility for our own life and working hard to achieve something. It can also be a great excuse.

  • You are not expected to do much of anything, certainly not work hard and succeed.
  • You have no responsibility for what happened to you.
  • You have a right to be depressed and angry.
  • You are entitled to a bottomless pit of sympathy.
  • You have a right to be rescued.
  • You may win millions of dollars in a lawsuit.
  • No one can question you or they are “blaming the victim.”

But that small pleasure and avoidance of working on fixing our problems comes with a huge cost.

Once you believe you’re a victim at the mercy of circumstances, what’s the point in trying? You are not in control of your own destiny, so why put in the hard work it takes to change, grow, and achieve what you want?

If you have no power to change your life you’re doomed to whatever life, other people, chance, or fate does to you.

Gee, sign me up for that life. That sounds super.

Victimhood is Self-Sabotage

When things aren’t going well for us it’s easy to play the victim:

Divorced three times? Your parents were bad role models.

Didn’t get the job? The boss must be racist.

Lost your job because you keep showing up drunk? It’s not your fault. You’re an addict.

Didn’t make the sale? The customer hates fat people.

You might be thinking to yourself right now, Greg is a moron. Some people really are victims. Sometimes it’s really not their fault.

And you know what? You’re right (except for that Greg’s a moron part). Sometimes you are a real victim of racism, or fatism, or sexism, or whatever other -ism you can come up with.

But even if you are a true victim, how is being a victim going to help you make your life better? It won’t. It can’t. So it’s up to you to say, No matter what has happened to me in my past I am not going to let that become my future. I am not going to let anyone or anything have the power to ruin my life.

That doesn’t mean all the pain and depression will go away overnight. But realizing that maintaining your victim status will do nothing to help you overcome your current situation is absolutely necessary to getting you back on the path to success.

Circumstances, event, tragedies, and what people have done to you do not have the power to make you a victim unless you give them that power. You get to decide. Your responses, your attitude, and the way you frame things in your mind can help or hurt you. What will you choose?

Action Steps:

1) Realize that believing you are a victim, regardless of your situation, will not help you reach your goals.

2) Change your mindset to an internal locus of control – where you believe you are in charge of what happens in your life. Your past and current circumstances don’t control your future, you do.

3) Reframe everything in your past in the most positive way you can.

4) Choose to make everything in your past part of what is making you stronger and better. Believe it’s helping make you who you need to become to create the life you want.

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

How to Buy Happiness

money

I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor—and believe me, rich is better.
–Attributed to Sophie Tucker, Pearl Bailey, Mae West and everyone who’s ever been both rich and poor.

Uh, Greg, I think you’ve been watched the movie, Wall Street, one too many times. Or, maybe you’ve taken one too many hits on the noggin. Everyone knows money can’t buy happiness. People who chase the money end up empty in the end.

I agree with you to a point. If you think earning a ton of money and buying a bunch of things will make you happy, you will eventually end up disappointed.

But, money can do a lot of great things for you and the people you love. It can be a great motivator if it’s for the right reasons and doesn’t become more important than the process you’re using to earn it.

I’ve never been truly poor. I’ve never had to worry about having enough to eat. However, when my wife, Anne, and I were just starting out, we weren’t making a lot of money. We had a couple things go wrong and we weren’t exactly rolling in the dough.

I will never forget the day she called me sobbing. Anne’s not overly emotional or given to crying at the drop of a hat, so I instantly thought something horrible had happened. She explained through tears that she was visiting our friends at the beach, parked where she thought it was ok, and got a ticket. Anne felt horrible because she knew with our financial situation we couldn’t afford to waste money.

It was a $12 parking ticket. That’s it. Our income was so low that a $12 ticket was enough to make her cry.

We laugh at that story now, but it reminds us that there is nothing great about being poor. It makes everything you want to do harder. It puts stress and worry on you that make your daily life tough.

People who say money can’t buy happiness are right and wrong. I agree that trying to buy happiness by acquiring things is a fool’s game. But if you don’t think you’re happier knowing you have enough money to eat and pay all the bills at the end of the month, you’re crazy.

Quite a bit of research now shows that as we earn more income our happiness increases – up to a point. The debate is about the level where increased income no longer has a corresponding impact on our happiness. The latest studies I’ve seen claim the effect holds true until you reach the top 10 percent of income earners.

In the book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton explain some of the ways money really does buy happiness.

1) Buy Experiences

When we buy experiences instead of things the result is a bigger, longer lasting feeling of happiness.

The memories from a fantastic trip to Europe will stick around much longer than the feeling you get from that new-car smell. You can tell those stories from your European trip for years and each time they will bring a smile to your face, especially if you made those memories with your friends or family.

There is a caveat, though. You need to buy the kind of experience that you actually like. I love going skiing. Spending money on a ski trip will definitely move me up the happiness scale. But I’m not a ballet or opera guy. If I get dragged to one of those events and I’m paying for it, not only will I not be happy, I’ll probably be a bit grumpy.

2) Buy Time

Buying time increases your happiness. When we spend to keep our free time for what we want to do, that pays dividends. Paying for a maid service, for someone else to mow your lawn, or paying extra for your home or apartment in order to shorten your daily commute have all been shown to move you up on the happy scale.

3) Buy Freedom

Imagine having time, location, and financial freedom to live the life you want. That could buy some happiness, couldn’t it?

Imagine having enough money to do what you want, when you want. To live where you want, work only when you want – on what you want, and having time to volunteer where you want. Imagine having enough money so you can help whoever you want, and to have the ability to spend time with whoever you want – doing what you want. Imagine taking whatever vacations and trips you want with your family and friends.

One caveat: If you’re not careful, you could spend your whole life as a slave to money in an attempt to earn enough to someday be free. What if someday never comes? What if you’re too old to enjoy it when it does? What if you’ve given up too much to get your someday?

It’s a balancing act for sure. The key is to earn the money doing what you love while serving others. Tough to go wrong when you do it that way.

4) Give It Away

Some research shows that when you give as little as five dollars to a charity, or to someone who needs it, your happiness level goes up more than when you spend it on yourself. I know that’s true for me.

Giving away your money for happiness doesn’t just work when you give to charities, churches, or people who really need it. Believe it or not, picking up the tab when you go out with your buddies gives you a little jolt of happiness. (And I’m willing to allow you that happiness if we ever go out for drinks together.)

Think back to a time you donated to a good cause or a friend who needed help. Still feels good, doesn’t it? Make it a goal to increase your giving and increase everyone’s happiness.

Money Doesn’t Make You Mean or Nice

There are nice rich people and mean rich people. There are also nice poor people and mean poor people. The money doesn’t make the person. More money tends to make you more of what you already are.

Most people do not become rich by exploiting others or by acting like jerks. Most people make more money the more they serve others. That’s a good thing for everybody.

I like not having to worry about where my next meal is coming from, don’t you? That’s a start, but I like to take inspiring vacations with my family and make lifelong memories. I enjoy living in a beautiful home and eating out at nice restaurants. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in a position where you are able to donate to your church, charities, and people in your neighborhood. Making more money isn’t just OK, it can be what allows you to do all the other things you’ve been dreaming about.

So, go ahead and buy some happiness – and help others buy some too.

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

How to Avoid Becoming Too Successful

rich-jerk.0.0

One of the biggest obstacles to success for some people is what they were taught as children. Quite often society, our parents, and our schools teach us to limit our dreams or, worse yet, that too much success is bad.

OK, right now you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, Greg has gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs again. No one says that too much success is a bad thing.” Au contraire mon frère. You hear it all the time. Look at what’s said about CEOs and corporations. Things like, “That guy makes too much money,” or, “That company makes obscene profits,” or, “No one is worth that salary.” All of those statements are saying that too much success is bad.

We have a weird situation in America where we like to see the little guy go from rags to riches, as long as the riches don’t get too great. Once he hits a certain level, he suddenly becomes someone who’s exploiting the people.

Those ideas can lead you to being double minded about success. On the one hand you want to be successful in your career and earn a great income. On the other hand you’re worried that to achieve your dreams you’ll have to step on people and become a greedy jerk. No one wants to turn into that guy, so you sabotage your success and hold yourself back from all you could do and become.

Quite often, those thoughts remain in your subconscious and you’re not even aware of how and why you’re undermining your own success.

The truth is you can live the extraordinary life of your dreams and help people at the same time. In fact, that’s the only way to true success.

Of course, there are people who step on others, act unethically – or even illegally – to get ahead. Most of the time, they eventually have things collapse around them. Their businesses go under, they get divorced, maybe they even go to jail, and their life becomes miserable. My dad has a saying about people who behave that way: Time wounds all heels.

But most people who succeed do it the right way. They end up getting what they want by providing other people with what they need and want. They run their affairs with the Golden Rule as their guide. They provide great products and services, create jobs, and make the world a better place. Those are all great things.

Money Is Not the Root of All Evil, and the Bible Doesn’t Say It Is

Much of society teaches that money is bad or evil. The people who make a lot of money are uncaring and coldhearted, we are told. Some people use the Bible to justify this. They claim it says money is the root of all evil. But that’s not what it really says.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

–1 Timothy 6:10, NIV (emphasis added)

The Bible is clearly saying that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. When you love money more than you love God, more than you love your family, more than you love what is right, that’s when you’re going down the wrong path. You’re turning money into your idol, your god. But money itself is neutral. The pursuit of money and the use of money can be good or evil.

  • When the leadership of Enron cooked the books to make it look like they had a better financial statement than they did, their love of money was evil.
  • When politicians take bribes or unethical campaign contributions, their love of money is evil.
  • When lending officers gave subprime loans to people they knew could not afford them and borrowers took loans they knew they could not pay back, their love of money was evil.
  • When a mechanic makes unnecessary repairs on a car just to get a little more cash, his love of money is evil.

But money can be used to do wondrous good works. It can lead to starting or growing a business that provides jobs and income for countless families.

Money can equal charity, medicine, food, clothing, shelter, schools, books, and much more. Money can help get you everything you need to physically survive and to help others. It can provide you time to do what you love.

Money makes everything you want to do, have, and be easier.

Profits made by companies big and small can be used to expand the business and create new jobs, to give their current employees raises and stock options, and to donate to worthy charities in the community.

You need to change your mindset on success and money so you don’t sabotage your own dreams.

Action Steps:

1) Meditate on the idea that money can be used for great things and the best way to create it is to help other people. You are going to become a beneficent millionaire.

2) List all the ways you will help other people on your way to your success.

3) List all the great things you will be able to do with the extra money you earn. Who will you help? What will you do? How could it change your family tree?

4) How will you use your success to help others become more successful? Who could you mentor? How could you pass your success on to the next generation?

What could be better than becoming rich by helping other people and becoming an even better human being than you are right now?

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Have You Bought the Myth That Real Artists Starve?

My interview with Jeff Goins

starve

If you’re anything like me, once or twice you’ve probably told yourself something like: “Self, I have a dream – a Passionate Purpose – that I want to pursue and share with the world. But, that’s risky. I might fail. I should probably stick with my ‘safe’ job. I don’t want to become a starving artist.”

But what if the starving artist is a myth? What if there’s a way to start working on your Passionate Purpose, build success over time, and then take a strategic risk to make it your full time endeavor? That would be sweet, right?

That’s what Jeff Goin’s new book, Real Artists Don’t Starve, is all about. He walks you through the myth of the starving artist, the lies we’ve been told by (mostly) well meaning people, and gives you strategies to pursue your art without ending up eating government cheese in a van down by the river.

In my interview with Jeff we cover:

  • How to not be a starving artist
  • Why you should steal from your influences
  • How to apprentice under a master for free
  • Why it’s important to build patrons who support you
  • How to take strategic risks, not reckless ones
  • A great story on how John Grisham became a best selling author

If you’re receiving this in an email, click here to listen to my interview with Jeff. Otherwise click the play button.

 

(If this post resonated with you, check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Do You Believe in Luck?

Greg, all your talk about finding your Passionate Purpose, finding a strong why that supports it, creating goals that go with it, then creating action plans to support those goals, and then taking consistent daily action sounds like a lot of hard work. Besides, we all know it really comes down to how lucky you are.

Well, it is a lot of hard work. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But the hard work is worth it. And, when you’re pursuing your Passionate Purpose, even hard work can be enjoyable.

As to the second point that it’s really just luck, for just a second forget about whether that’s true or not. Let me ask you a question. If you really believe that your success is out of your control and is determined by luck, will that belief help you achieve your goals?

If you believe you’re not lucky enough you will be right.

How would you ever expect to succeed with those beliefs holding you back?

Unfortunately, we are bombarded daily by so-called leaders, experts, and friends telling us how we will never be able to fulfill our dreams and accomplish our goals. Some of them are trying to help. Some of them are jealous (consciously or unconsciously). Some of them are trying to excuse themselves for not reaching the level of success they’d once hoped for.

Regardless of their reasons for feeding us that defeatist philosophy, if we believe them, they will be right. But if we reject those negative beliefs and stay focused on our Passionate Purpose we will achieve more than we ever thought we could.

If you believe you can find the husband or wife of your dreams, you’re right.

If you believe you can run a marathon, you’re right.

If you believe you can become a financial success, you’re right.

If the American dream really is dead, then how are people still going from rags to riches every day in this country? How are some people able to go from nothing to super successful in one generation?

Luck?

I believe in preparing yourself to take advantage of opportunities that will appear as you stay focused on your goals.

If you are constantly thinking about where you want to go and improving yourself in every way to be the person you need to be to achieve the success you are working towards, you will see opportunities appear with increasing frequency. Is that luck? No. It’s the result of hard work and taking consistent action.

Some people would rather believe that it all comes down to luck. For them, believing in luck is a way to feel better about themselves when they don’t reach their goals or someone else is achieving the success they want.

Before and after I had my own syndicated radio talk show, I guest hosted for other national programs. I can’t tell you how many people would comment on how lucky I was to fill in for so many big-name radio stars.

The truth is luck had nothing to do with it. I worked hard at becoming a good host. I asked for, and acted on, the constructive criticism that I received and kept getting better. I kept making demos and sending them to program directors all across the country.

Then I started asking the producers and hosts of the national shows if I could fill in for them when they were on vacation or whenever they needed someone on short notice.

Now, when one of these hosts got sick and they needed someone to fill in at the last second, was it luck that I often got the call? Once I filled in and they liked what they heard, was it luck that I was asked to guest host again?

When a smaller syndication company was looking for a new national host, was it luck that I was one of the ones they interviewed for the position?

I like what Don Sutton says: Luck is the by-product of busting your fanny.

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Your New Mindset

Glowing_Brain.slider.right_2_crop_630x306

Extensive research shows that most successful people have a mindset that is positive and optimistic. They believe they have control over their lives, not that events control them. They believe that being successful helps everyone and exploits no one.

Most successful people have a mindset focused on growth and learning what they need to achieve all their goals. They have a mindset that asks, “Why not?” “What can I learn from this?” “What if?” They have confidence in their abilities to do what is necessary to win.

Most successful people don’t believe they are in competition with everyone they meet. They understand they are creating the extraordinary life they want. They don’t have to take from someone else to do that. They don’t believe everyone is out to get them.

I have declared myself a Dionarap.

dionarap
noun [dye-oh-nuh-rap]
* One who believes that everyone is out to help him.
(OK, it’s just paranoid spelled backwards. You got me.)

 

Did you hear about the optimist and the pessimist living next door to each other? They both had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to get to work on time at similar jobs. The optimist jumped up when he heard the opportunity clock go off. He pulled the blinds open and yelled, “Good morning, God!” The pessimist hit the snooze on his alarm clock five times before he finally dragged himself out of bed. He peeked through his blinds and growled, “Good god, it’s morning.”

Who do you think is going to have a better day?

Get ready for an amazing insight coming at you. People with a good, positive, optimistic attitude tend to enjoy their day more and accomplish more than people with a negative, depressing, pessimistic attitude. See, I told you—deep insight. You’re welcome.

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, suggests there are two types of mindsets. A fixed mindset believes that your intelligence, talents, skills, and personality are largely set and there is little you can do to change them. A growth mindset believes that you can learn, grow, and improve anything through effort, experience, and practice. There may be upper limits we can reach based on what we were born with, but nothing is set in stone.

Guess which mindset Professor Dweck’s research showed was seen more in successful people?

Mindset explains that people with a fixed mindset play it safe to protect their positive beliefs about themselves. If you’re smart, things come easy to you. So if something is hard, it’s better not to do it. Otherwise, you will have to conclude you’re not smart.

Dweck found that when these people didn’t do well at something, it threatened their belief in their fixed intelligence so much that some of them would even lie about their performance to protect themselves.

Have you ever had a boss who took all the credit but none of the blame? If he received constructive criticism, he would blame the messenger? When you brought a new idea, he would reject it immediately and even become angry with you for trying to move the company to keep up with the times? Those are some of the traits of a fixed mindset manager.

People with the growth mindset are more willing to try new things and struggle with hard tasks. They get excited about learning and getting better. They’re willing to take more risks because every little failure they might endure isn’t proof that they’re not smart. It’s just a bump in the road as they learn, grow, and become smarter. Growth mindset people actually enjoy that process.

This type of manager welcomes new ideas and sees them as opportunities for everyone on the team, including him, to stretch, learn, and grow. He can take criticism in stride knowing that we all have weak spots and with hard work we can develop new skills and get better where we need to. He can share credit with his employees because he doesn’t have to prove he’s the smartest person in the room.

Which type of manager do you want to be, or work for?

The growth mindset leads you to try new things, take on new challenges, learn from criticism, share credit with your team, and keep pace with changes in your field.

The fixed mindset leads you to play it safe, react angrily to criticism, blame others and circumstances for your failures, and avoid new challenges and new ideas for fear of having your intelligence and abilities questioned or threatened.

Well, that’s just great, Greg. Reading this, I have figured out that I’m a fixed mindset person. So I guess I’m not going to succeed.

Whoa, tap the brakes, Speed Racer. That type of thinking is the fixed mindset thinking. You’re born one way and that’s it. Well, I have good news for you. Almost no one has a totally fixed mindset; we are all somewhere on the continuum between fixed and growth. Here’s some more good news: You can choose your mindset. It’s not set in stone.

When you are about to try something new, get yourself into the growth mindset before you begin. Tell yourself you are about to learn and grow. You might not get it right immediately, but if you put in the effort you will succeed. When you make a mistake, tell yourself you just learned something and you’re now one step closer to reaching your goal.

Then pay attention to your self-talk; you can catch yourself making limiting, fixed mindset statements and stop them in their tracks. Imagine you have an opportunity to lead a new project at work. There are some new concepts involved in it and you’re not sure about it. Your fixed mindset thoughts might say, This is risky. What if I fail? I’ll be a failure. Maybe I’m just not smart enough or talented enough to do this.

When you notice these thoughts yell, Stop! Replace those thoughts with growth mindset thoughts. Say to yourself, This is a great opportunity for me. I may not know everything about this right now, but with hard work I can learn what I need. This will be a great chance to grow and expand my skills.

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

If You’re Stuck, It’s Time to GROW

man-stuck-in-box-no-control

If you just feel stuck, how do you get unstuck? What I do with my coaching clients, and what I do to coach myself, is GROW.

GROW stands for:

Goals
Reality
Options
Way Forward (or Will)

When I coach, I see my clients as having the best answers to their questions. My job is to help them become more self-aware, fully develop their goals and options, and help them choose the best ones.

When you take responsibility for creating your life, you become much more invested in the work and the outcomes. You also become more successful.

Begin with the end in mind. What do you want? If you aren’t clear on that, it’s going to be much more difficult to get there.

Goals: Which part of your life do you need to change? Your career, relationships, physical fitness, spiritual development, what?

Some of the great questions I use to figure out my goals come from the book, Coaching For Performance, by John Whitmore. If you’re looking to improve your career you might ask yourself questions like:

  • Imagine 1 year in the future – what would your ideal work situation be?
  • What would a typical day be like? Describe it in detail.
  • What part or parts of that ideal work situation do you desire most?
  • How important, on a scale of 1 to 10, is each one to you?
  • Now, what is your work goal?
  • If that seems to big a goal, what are some smaller, more attainable goals that will get you on your way to your ultimate goal?
  • When would you want this goal achieved?
  • How would you know you achieved it?

There are times that just getting clear on your goal will get you unstuck. Most of the time, however, you’re going to want to go further to ensure success.

The next step is being brutally honest about your reality.

Reality: Objectively look at your current situation. A key here is owning the responsibility for where you are and what it will take to get where you want to be. Self-awareness is crucial to getting unstuck.

Staying with a change in career as the example, start with some questions like these: 

  • What is your current reality at work?
  • What is your reality on what it would take to change that?
  • What and who don’t you like in your current work situation?
  • What and who do you like in your current work situation?
  • How much of this do you see as under your control?
  • How could you make it something you could control?
  • What makes your work meaningful?
  • What do you see as your purpose in your work?

Now that your clear on what you want and where you are, you need to come up with options.

Options – What options do you have for changing things? (Let’s use the example of having a goal for a new job.)

  • What might you gain by changing jobs or starting your own business?
  • What might you lose?
  • How do you make sure the same things you don’t like about your current job don’t crop up again in your new job?
  • How would you find it the new job?
  • How else?
  • Where would you find it?
  • Where else?
  • What would you have to change to get that job?
  • What could you do to change that?
  • What’s been holding you back from these options?
  • What else could you do?
  • If you knew the answer, what would it be?
  • What advice would you give a friend in this situation?
  • Of all the options you’ve come up with, which 3 do you like the most?
  • Which would make the biggest difference in your life?

You’ve come a long way, but if you stop here you really haven’t done anything meaningful. You must take action. It’s time to plan the Way Forward.

Way Forward (or Will): What specific actions will you take to achieve your goal?

  • Which options are you going to take action on?
  • What actions have you taken on this so far?
  • How did those actions work out?
  • When will you start?
  • How will you know when you achieve your goal?
  • What’s your deadline for achieving your goal?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how strongly do you feel you can achieve your goal on time?
  • If it’s not at least an 8, what can you do to make it an 8?
  • Do you need to take smaller actions you believe you can achieve in order to ramp up to bigger ones?
  • What can you do to stay motivated when you hit obstacles?
  • Why do you want this goal? How can that keep you motivated?
  • How often should we review your progress to keep you on track?

This is just a small look at how the GROW process can help you get unstuck.

You may need to improve your education, skills, and talents to get where you need to go. But, your goals, options, and solutions for what you want – and why you want it- are inside you. It’s time to start pulling them out.

Let’s GO!

I have personal coaching available now. Click here to learn more.