By Jack Canfield
As I mentioned earlier, 2009 may bring greater uncertainty and more unsettling economic news than recent years, but these circumstances should compel us to take a deep breath, and pause to think about our lives.
When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our individual control, it can feel unsettling.
Don't give up on your goals and dreams just because "the time isn't good"... you can still make 2009 the year you uncover a whole new you for the better!
Even in tough times, you get to decide how to respond to certain conditions, opportunities, and outcomes--both good and bad.
Life will always be a series of choices and YOU get to decide on what will move you closer to your goals, or farther away from them. External forces will always be part of the equation, even during the good times when the world is thriving.
When people ask me about the single most important ingredient to success, I always share the same response: realizing what's making you achieve success, and then realizing what is stifling your success.
Sometimes recognizing the things that are NOT working in your life can be painful, yet VERY powerful to shaping the life you want.
Don't try to rationalize them, make excuses for them, or hide them. This is when it's even more critical to take personal inventory and evict those excuses, rationalizations, and hidden habits that don't serve you. These things will keep you from the life you want to be living. Let me give you some examples. Ask yourself if you relate to any of these questions:
Do you want to be active, fit, and strong? Then you have to stop making excuses about your weight, diet choices, and lack of exercise.
Do you want to be in a loving relationship based on friendship and respect? Then you have to stop rationalizing why you and your partner are not communicating well.
Do you want to embrace Monday mornings and feel excited about going to work every day? Then you have to stop hiding your true passions and go after whatever it is you really want to be doing day in and day out.
Do you want to lose the debt forever? Then you have to stop ignoring your spending habits and get real about a creating budget that will pull you out of debt and allow you to reach financial freedom.
Do you want to feel more connected to the people in your life, such as your children, friends, and colleagues? Then you have to stop complaining about your poor relationships and figure out why you don't feel as connected as you'd like to be.
These things can be painful to look at because the truth is that you have to do something about them in order to make it work in your life.
You'll have to say no to the second helping of dinner and the dessert to follow and go through the awkward stage of getting into shape... You'll have to confront your partner about the areas that need work... You'll have to get past fears about changing your job or professional path... You'll have to cut back on your spending and be frugal... You'll have to take a good hard look at your personal relationships and perhaps consider your own shortfalls and weaknesses in communicating your needs and concerns.
Plain and simple, you will have to do something uncomfortable.
Successful people don't waste time in denial (or complain or make excuses for that matter). They face situations like a warrior. They look for the warning signs, they find out why things aren't working, and they go about fixing them- even when fixing requires problem solving, hard work, risk, and a level of uncertainty.
It's okay to identify a problem even though you haven't a clue about how to go about solving it right away.
The first step is just recognizing the issue, and then having faith that you'll figure it out with careful attention to it. That's how successful people live--in constant focus on goals, on results, on problem solving, and on the actions that get them to where they want to be.
Following are three things to do constantly in pursuit of your goals and dreams, however big or small:
Awareness: Keep your awareness on the feedback you are getting from life and decide to address the situations immediately. Don't bottle up feedback, cast it aside, and avoid it like you would a pile of dirty laundry or a stack of unopened bills. Life tells you things every day. Do this. Don't do that. Think about this. Try me. Forget that. We live in a world that seemingly encourages us to live on autopilot. Successful people fly manually every day and so should you. When those feedback signals come in, listen to them and use them in planning your next step.
Commitment: Commit to finding out why things aren't working and learn what will fix them. Once you start the process it will be much easier to continue. Nothing fruitful stems from inaction.
Trust: Trust that making changes to the situation will ultimately bring about the best results. Sure you might go through a bit of discomfort during the change, and some unlikely or unwanted outcomes, but in the end you will triumph!
So are you ready to admit the things that just are not working out?
Make a list of the things in your life that are working against your success and ask how the situation can be improved. Commit to tackling just one of those issues and be brave!
If you need help organizing those "things" in your life, try using the following list of categories. I recommend reflecting on each of the 7 areas and ask yourself, what's not working here in each one and then brainstorm 3 potential solutions.
1.) Financial Goals, 2) Career/Business Goals, 3.) Free Time/Family Time, 4.) Health/Appearance Goals, 5.) Relationship Goals, 6.) Personal Growth 7.) Making a Difference
Remember, by facing what is not working, you can only improve your life!
© 2009 Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com