6 Tips to Maintain Career Momentum, Even When Results are Slow to Come
So many of us second guess ourselves and our abilities, thinking we have to be absolutely 100% certain of every detail before making a decision and perfect in our abilities before taking action, especially when it involves our careers. In our minds, we toss ideas around back and forth, never really coming to a conclusion. We end up stuck in this place of limbo and indecision, just staying paralyzed in this gray area of uncertainty.
I've done this so much in my life during and after college, when it came to making career decisions for myself that were true to who I am. Now, finally at 27, I'm learning that it's better for me to take a chance on the career path that I really want instead of not making a decision at all and staying in a place that doesn't maximize my potential, doesn't excite me, and brings me no fulfillment. I've seen this in so many other talented and capable people who also have this desire deep within them to find careers that give them more meaning and fulfillment, but they just continue to stay paralyzed by fear, afraid of taking a chance on the unknown.
This year, I declared that 2016 would be my year of consistent action towards my dreams, no matter who else agrees with me, supports me, and no matter what is "expected" of me. You only can live for YOU and at the end of your life, what will matter is what you did that brought you the most fulfillment. Here are six tips that I've been incorporating into my life to keep my momentum going, even when I feel unsure, unsupported, or like results aren’t coming fast enough.
1. Know the "why" behind your goals and dreams.
It's great to say "I want to be an entrepreneur" but without that core reason why, you will not be as motivated to get there. I've been spending a lot of time lately alone with my thoughts to determine what career path is best for me based on the "why" and the purpose and meaning behind it. This has helped me to see things with more clarity and to be unapologetic about going for it. Knowing why I’m doing it all keeps me going, when the results aren’t coming as quickly as I’d like them to.
2. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Embarking on any new endeavor can be scary. Many fears will come up, such as "what if I don't have enough experience?" or "what if I do not get all the things on my wish list and I end up in another job that I'm unhappy in?" These fears are real and legitimate, but you have to think, “what's the worse that can actually happen?” Usually, that answer shows you that it's best to try than to give up and live with regret.
3. Learn to go with your intuition and the desires of your heart.
Logic is great and useful when making decisions. However, it can also cause you to limit yourself to what's "realistic." This can make you to talk yourself out of the dreams you really want before you can even articulate them. Allow yourself to dream freely and visualize what you would want to do with your life if money wasn't a thing. Then, tell yourself that your wildest dreams ARE achievable. You just have to figure out how. Trust me, figuring out how isn't as hard as we convince ourselves it is.
4. Stay away from negative people and naysayers.
Many people have chosen the life path of being content with receiving a steady paycheck without any fulfillment or passion for what they do. There is nothing wrong with that path, but those people will have a hard time understanding people who want careers that they love. They'll often try to talk you down and won't be able to resonate with your drive. Do not allow this to discourage you. Minimize your time with these types of people or avoid them altogether, if you have to.
Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are supportive of you. You can't share your dreams with everyone and not everyone will understand and that is perfectly OK. This will help you to keep a steady momentum going.
5. Be comfortable with not having it all figured out.
It's impossible to have every little detail figured out before making a change. Really, you do not know what will happen until you actually do it. Therefore, you have to plan the best you can and make sure you keep your bills paid, but you also have to be OK with certain aspects of your plan not going as you intended.
Learn to have a bit of a playful attitude with life and view new trying new things as experiments in which you learn with each one, instead of looking at every decision as a “do or die” success or failure. As long as your bills are paid, you are free to do what you want in your spare time to dabble in new things that interest you and to work towards your dreams.
6. Be patient.
Life changes and transitions take time and consistency. That's just how it is. There are no overnight successes. People these days get caught up in images of "social media perfection" and think that things just happened overnight for other people and wonder why things take so long for them. For the most part, unless you were born into wealth, marry rich, or hit the lottery, we all have to grind, figure it out as we go, and keep going through tough times and obstacles. It's a part of the journey of life. Learn to embrace that and have patience and be grateful for what you have while working towards what you want.
I believe that we all deserve authentic lives that feel good to us from the inside out. We all deserve to be excited about Monday mornings and invigorated about the work we do every day. If you truly feel the desire in your heart to create a life with a career that you love, do not ever allow yourself to give up and settle. You were blessed with your talents and gifts for a purpose. Keep trying and keep working until you bring your dreams a reality. You CAN do it. I believe in you! You just have to believe in you. :-)