You start something new. You’re excited and the ideas are flowing. You get right to work and doors begin to open. Great things start to happen. You wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. You can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to put them into action.
Then BAM! You hit a wall. Everything stops flowing. Things become harder and more complicated. There are obstacles. The learning curve is bigger than you thought. You see other people further ahead of you. You get tired. You have flashing thoughts of doing something different. Then you lose momentum and motivation.
Is this a sign to stop and go in a different direction? Is it time to reconsider your passion?
No, it is simply the natural cycle of success.
It goes like this. We have an opportunity. It could be starting or growing our business, losing weight, fixing or finding a relationship, a career move, etc. We get excited about the opportunity and we take off.
Then something happens, we get anxious and fearful. Things don’t go our way. It’s hard. The more we get into it the more complicated it becomes. We get frustrated. We don’t see results fast enough. We get tired and second-guess ourselves. We wonder if it will work.
This is when most people give up. This is when failure defeats us. Fear, confusion, and overwhelm take charge and we want to quit. This is why such a large percentage of businesses fail. This is why we don’t lose weight. Why we give up on our marriages. It’s too hard.
But if we hold on and just keep moving, we breakthrough. This is when we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We’ve heard story after story of people who overcame incredible challenges to succeed. They motivate and inspire us. But when we face our own challenges, it feels different. It becomes hard to motivate and inspire ourselves to keep going when we are in debt, out of money, on the verge of divorce, tired of eating salads, sick of going to the gym or exhausted from working too much. We just want it to be easier. We want the payoffs to come quicker.
Some of your biggest breakthroughs will come after your biggest breakdowns if you just don’t give up. If you keep going, you will make it out of the quicksand and back into that place where everything flows.
When my kids were young, they played the Super Mario video game. I remember that little man with the hat would be faced with obstacle after obstacle and all sorts of things would try to kill him. If he could make it through alive, he would go to the next level. The next level was harder than the last one, but it represented greater success. If he got killed, he would have to go back to the beginning of that level and try again.
Our success is the same way. There is never an extended period of time where everything is perfect. You are always working on the next level and fighting new devils. But you get those periods, after you win and advance, where you feel amazing and it’s all worth it.
That is, if you don’t stop playing.
When you make it through the obstacles and advance to the next level, things start to work and you feel good. Everything is starting to click and you see the results of your efforts.
Then you repeat the cycle. Success is a process, not a destination. It is a series of levels that you attain. It’s a feeling you choose to have. You can decide to feel successful in the middle of a breakdown because you know it’s part of your process. You will be back on top soon.
When you have big goals, you need to get use to feeling uncomfortable. Keep expanding your comfort zone as you move toward your goal. When you reach your goal, set another one. The excitement is in the journey.
Your perception of your circumstances is crucial to your happiness and success. When you view your challenges as part of the process, you feel calmer and are more able to take the necessary action to reach your goals.
Always remember, God gives his biggest challenges to his strongest warriors. Your life will always be filled with tests that are designed to help you fulfill your greater purpose.
Push through, press on, and propel yourself to the next level. (and if you get killed, just start over!)