Do you feel stuck or not as successful as you’d like to be in one area of your life?
Are you someone with a dream or a goal?
You may have a goal to write a book, or complete a triathlon. You may have a dream to get promoted, find a partner, start a business, or create a better way to live on this planet. My current dream is to nurture a community of people, especially those who want to nudge their organisations and local communities into become more thriving places to live and work.
Are you someone who considers themselves smart, creative and usually proactive?
If so, you are probably frustrated and you can’t understand why you keep getting stuck in relation to this goal or dream. It may be willpower and it may be your beliefs. You may doubt this dream is possible “for you”, or fear that you are “not good enough”. These doubts can be toxic for your dreams.
“In life, you don’t get what you want, you get what you think is possible”
Does it feel as if you take one step forward and slide two steps back?
You may notice that you get hopeful for a while, then fall into despair and each time it gets harder to believe in the dream. You start hearing yourself arguing for your limitations – why you can’t – rather than arguing for your dreams – what you could do.
Patterns of Hope or Doubt
After years of fulfilling some of my important dreams but not others, I noticed there was a distinct difference in the pattern of my successes compared with my failures. The failures started with doubt and were compounded by lots of thinking but not much action, which created a negative spiral and no result. In contrast the successes started with hope or curiosity and were built on taking action, thus generating a positive spiral towards success.
The other big difference was that the positive spiral was nurtured by connection. I’ve come to recognise that connection is my dream catcher. I had a group of friends who trained with me for my first Ironman Triathlon. I did an online course with a world-wide group when I wrote my first book. And now, I am buddying with three colleagues to get a new social business up and going. Each time the friends and colleagues encouraged and challenged to me to stay committed to my dream.
How we can encourage and challenge each other?
My skills are as a facilitator and adult educator. I love to facilitate workshops that show people how to get the results they want. I have honed my skills at ‘chunking down’ all sorts of thinking and people skills into their component parts so you can learn almost anything. I’ve taught this to people in businesses, as well as those in the not for profit and the education sectors. I’ve been successful and yet have felt dissatisfied because there are a proportion of people who have a barrier in the way of being able to get the results they so clearly want. These people seem to have doubts that detract from their dreams. They doubt their capacity or their worthiness to achieve their dreams. And so did I, when it came to some of my dreams.
In the mid 1990’s I came across American psychologist Martin Seligman’s book on optimism and learned helplessness. I was a committed realist at the time. I often sat on the fence because I could see the pros and cons and they seemed equal. But Seligman’s work showed me that if the situation wasn’t life-or-death, there was a benefit in thinking positively and hopefully, rather than realistically or pessimistically.
Since then, I have pursued eclectic studies in the area of positive psychology and have been accredited in The Leadership Circle, TechWerks Resilience Program and the Rob Kelly Thrive Programme. This has helped me to build a portfolio of tools and approaches. I’ve also written the book 21 Ways to Get Unstuck: Keep moving towards your dreams, to show you practical ways to get unstuck and get moving.
I don’t have “the one true formula” to taking action and getting results, because people are so different. What I do have is a curiosity to find out what can work for you. I offer questions and activities to encourage and challenge you to think and act differently, so that you can get unstuck and get moving in the direction of your dreams.
You can also email me sharon at apassion.com.au to join the mailing list and be reminded of webinars, telecalls and events.
“I wasn’t as good as me when I started.” Neil Gaiman, writer