Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stay the course

Do you get discouraged easily about your dreams and goals? Do you change direction when things get tough, even to the point of letting go of your dreams and passions? If so, you may like to consider this quote by author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar: "When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there."

You don't need to see obstacles as a sign that you're pursuing the wrong dream. Obstacles happen. Period. Is the obstacle something you can surmount? Is there a work-around? Can you change direction and still keep the same goal or dream? Sometimes obstacles are merely good pause-points—times to stop and reflect on what you're doing and whether you're going about it in the best way. Often, you just need to tweak something to better suit you.

When I received my training to become a life coach, the professor asked each of us to develop a HUB statement (Hottest Undeniable Benefit) that would say who our target audience was and what we offered them. I created several drafts and finally settled on one; so did my classmates. We were told to be very specific with our target audience (not "women," for example, but more like "middle-aged women in career transition" or something similar). I started out with a different target than I now have, and it wasn't working well. That didn't mean I had to give up life coaching. It just meant I needed to do some tweaking and think more about who my gifts might best serve.  And that tweaking made a huge difference. I absolutely love what I'm doing—and the variety of clients I'm now serving.

That said, there are times in your life when an obstacle arises and a pause-point may show the need for a left turn or a total shift in what you're doing. Know the difference. Know yourself.

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