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I gave up before I began, and I had good reasons. Writing that book just wasn’t going to happen. With life full from sunrise to bedtime, I could not see giving up dancing at night or sleeping my eight hours to find the time.
Book writing never made it on to my lengthy list of January set goals that typically looked like this:
I host a summer rooftop party by May 31st.
I submit an article to The Nebraska Lawyer by September 1st.
I take a hike on the John Muir trail with Jack by October 15th.
My focus was not on this goal but on the obstacles to achieving it. All the challenges. The barriers and would-be bumps. With my eyes on the obstacles turned excuses, I had not only lost sight of a goal, I failed to even set it. I allowed my obstacles to talk me out of my goal.
The truth was I was afraid that the final product would be a disappointment rather than an inspiration. That my words wouldn’t matter. That I would be unable to bear the embarrassment I would feel when it flopped.
My fears drove me away from my would-be goal instead of committing me to it. Fear that I would not matter. That I would be a disappointment. That I would be a flop.
But despite those voices in my head, the nagging thoughts to write never left. I gathered notes. Jotted down ideas. Studied the subject. Made a multitude of connections among the concepts. Soon I could no longer ignore the truth that I had not set the goal because I was afraid. It was time to face the fear and to heed what was calling, even if it mattered to no one else in the world but me.
Choice is one of our greatest human powers. Today I choose to shift my focus from the obstacles and fears. With this choice I put my goal in writing.
I complete a first draft of five chapters by October 15th.
I choose to stop keeping it a secret and say it aloud to those who can be trusted to hold my dreams. I remember that what others may think of what I do is not who I am.
With my choice to shift my focus, I can act on what is next for me. I can trust that I can go from goal unset to goal set to goal met.
Do you have a goal that your obstacles have talked you out of?
What dream have you been putting off because of your fears?
With a focus on your goal, might it be easier to overcome the challenges?