Imagine that “perfect” storm… you know the one; torrential rain, booming thunder, crackling lightning, and howling wind. The one that has your dog panting, drooling and trying to crawl into your armpit. Now imagine that crack of thunder that takes the whole neighborhood down.
It’s beyond dark; off you go to find a candle, a flashlight, a cell phone. As you make your way, you’re suffering uncertainty, an unclear path and pain as you stub your toe on the leg of the dining room table and step on a Lego left on the floor.
That’s reason enough to not like the dark.
What if you’d seen it coming, prepared hours earlier; flashlight… check, cell phone… check, thunder vest for the dog… check. When the lights go out, you’re ready. Most likely, you would not decide, at that moment, to use candles instead and stumble through the dark feeling your way and stepping on Legos.
And yet in life, you have a goal in-hand, you’ve considered the pitfalls, outlined the steps, and prepared for the dark. When the dark comes, and it will, it is all-to-tempting to abandon the plan, run scared, and stumble with uncertainty for a better solution.
There is no better solution in the dark; you can only see two feet in front on you. Trust in the dark, the decisions you made in the light.
To ensure you are ready for the dark, make your plan with a focused and clear vision.
- Set reasonable goals and milestone; map out a plan in writing. Use the SMART goal writing model to help ensure goal clarity.
- Know what success looks like; identify milestones that ensure forward movement and gage success. Identifying the tasks required to accomplish each milestone can be very helpful, especially in the dark.
- Share your plan; say it out loud to people you trust and who will be supportive.
- Stay positive; claim your success from the very beginning. say things like, “when I…” or “I will…”. Do not give negative thoughts power by saying them out loud – push them away immediately.
- Celebrate small successes; learn to celebrate yourself and the efforts you are making; every step forward is success.
- When you fall, get back up; life has a way of teaching us our own lessons. Mistakes, oversights, setbacks and failures are all part of the learning process. If you listen, you will grow and be better because of them.
- Be prepared for the dark; trust yourself, keep moving forward even when it gets hard. There is light and success at the other end of the tunnel.
- Be flexible; when something is no longer important to you, regroup.
Whatever your goal, big or small, make a solid plan, celebrate “YOU” regularly and navigate through the dark taking your next best step with confidence.