How Do We Stay Encouraged When Change Takes Time?

You have probably heard the saying that “the best things in life are never free!” Well, I am going to change it up a little and share an additional truth.  “The best things in life take time.” Healthy relationships are grown and enriched over time. The health of our bodies requires a lifelong commitment. Financial investments take time to mature. The question is, how can we keep going for the long haul, and how can we stay encouraged?

long haul

I am shaking my head at myself as I think back to something that happened yesterday. Last week I shared in my blog that I was starting the process of looking for a full-time job in addition to my Life Coaching and writing. Over the weekend, I put my job search plan together and hit the ground running on Monday. I felt like I had a pretty productive day, both on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday arrived with a cloud looming over my head. I woke up that morning starting to get discouraged and dead-end after dead-end that same day brought me spiraling down hill. At one point in the day, I just started to laugh at myself. I was on DAY THREE of my job search and I was already discouraged. DAY THREE!

After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked myself, what am I going to have to do to keep myself going for the long haul? How am I going to stay encouraged when the process is so long? Here are some of the things I thought about.

I had to adjust my expectation of the time it was going to take me. Going into this job search I was told that if I worked hard I might have a job in five months. Why then did I expect immediate results? Why is it that I thought it should go faster for me? I think we all fall into this trap, don’t we? We think we should be able to lose weight faster, save up money faster, quit smoking faster. Part of this comes from the fast paced and instant gratification culture that we live in. We are used to having everything right now. I had to adjust my expectation by:

  • Stepping back to reset my thinking.
  • Removing the thought that this was going to happen fast and be at peace with the fact that the process is going to take time.
  • I will have to re-commit and remind myself of this every single day.

I fell into the trap of “I will be happy when…” I don’t know how it happened, but my mind shifted to “I will be happy when I get this new job.” On day number three when I felt down in the dumps, I remembered that I want to be happy right now. Yes, I am really excited about going back to work outside of my work at home, but the only thing that was stopping me from enjoying life right now was me. That night I picked up one of my craft projects and enjoyed my evening. I guess it also goes back to my blog on the Hokey Pokey. I want to keep pushing forward with one foot out of my comfort zone, but also enjoy life while keeping one foot in my comfort zone. Have you ever fallen over while trying to dance the Hokey Pokey? Well I figuratively got off-balance this week and toppled over.

I have to do what it takes to keep myself focused on the positives. I just got off the phone with a loved one and they said to me “I am just trying to stay positive.” This is extremely important because our lives are filled with negative things. It is unfortunate that positive feedback or a complement is a rare thing in our lives. Why is it that it is so easy for coworkers, and even loved ones, to point out everything we are not getting done or not doing things in the way they want us to. I have always said that I love to encourage others because it is so rare in our world today. Let’s ask ourselves “what do I need to do to keep myself positive?”

These are just a few things to keep in mind as we tackle the big, long changes in our lives. Remember, you and I are doing great! We are running a marathon and we will get to the point where we will win the prize as we make our desired change a reality in our life. Let’s keep taking one baby step at a time, take our eyes off the road, look up to enjoy the sunshine and keep going. You can not begin to imagine how proud I am of each of you!

Here’s to the long haul!

Don’t forget this month’s Something To Look Forward To Planning Calendar! Click the image below to get your copy.

April 2017 STLFT Planning Calendar

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