From Finish to Start

When you’re thinking about starting a new project and looking at what lies ahead, do you feel excited? Ready to tackle the world? Jumping for joy? Or do you think to yourself, “Sure I’m smart and highly competent, and (whatever the thing on your horizon is) is what I want. But. How in the world am I ever going to finish / accomplish / achieve / have / do be…that?”

 

As soon as the “but” is uttered your confidence goes out the window. You see what lies ahead and it seems overwhelming. Daunting. Impossible. Your inspiration fizzles and you’re left feeling like a deflated balloon looking at yet another failed project. Before it’s even begun.

That’s why you should never, never, never begin at the beginning. Always start at the end. I admit I feel a bit like Yoda sharing that tidbit of wisdom.

 

 

 

Sound like an oxymoron?

Life coaches understand that when you’re staring at the project from the beginning of it, looking down the horizon with a steely stare and more than enough grizzled determination to get you through, chances are high that you’ll get spooked like a horse looking at the devil with your first step forward. You’ll kick and scream and tell yourself, “No way can I do that!” Excellent life coaches will tell you that you must start at the end and work your way backward to the beginning.

First ask yourself: What RESULTS do you want to achieve?

It’s OK if you don’t have a clear picture of the entire end result. But you likely have a few ideas and feelings about how things will be *then.* And that’s precisely where you start.

I’ll give you an example. Back in 1998 I signed up for a year-long massage therapy training program. I wasn’t excited about my first day of class, or about learning anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. I wasn’t looking forward to chemistry or learning the nervous system.

I was excited because I went to an open house, heard the owner of the school speak about what she did that made a tremendous difference in the lives of others and how much she loved her career. I signed up on the spot without a clue as to how I was going to juggle school, raising my daughter and a job, or how I was going to pay for my education. I was excited because I wanted to transform people’s lives through the healing power of touch. And I wanted to feel amazing about what I was contributing in the world. And the universe responded to my excitement by lining everything up so that I could attend school and enjoy the entire process beyond my wildest imaginations. The universe even supported me by gifting me one of the best jobs I’ve ever had…a month prior to graduation.

When I signed up for a year-long certification program to become a professional life coach I wasn’t excited because it was one of the three International Coaching Federation approved coaching programs in the world, or because of the intensity of the coursework involved, despite the fact that I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to learning, or because I’d be certified in Energy Leadership. I got excited because I couldn’t wait to become savvy, successful, grounded, insightful, and equipped with an array of tools to help people become happier, more successful and find deep purpose and fulfillment.

Let’s look at it another way, shall we? Someone who aspires to climb Mt. Everest doesn’t start out thinking about arriving to Base Camp to acclimate to the altitude for several weeks.They start with their dream of the summit. Then they think about the journey itself. They think about training for the summit (a year in advance), travel arrangements, reserving a guide, supplies. What’s needed. What the experience might be like. Who they might meet. How cold it might be. They think about oxygen. About their pack. The point I’m making is that they START with the summit in mind, and then they plan the entire trip around that single goal.

And what keeps the climber moving toward the summit when her fingers and toes are freezing, her lungs are fighting for oxygen with each crisp lung-deflating hard-earned breath, when she begins to lose faith in herself, when her courage wanes, the weather doesn’t cooperate, and she begins to obsessively think that maybe she won’t make it? She keeps the summit at the forefront of her mind. Of what she’ll feel like when she is standing on the pinnacle and embracing her hard-won achievement. About her change in identity from someone who attempted Mt. Everest, to one of the few females who successfully summited it… and lived to tell the tale.

The goal (destination) is the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the lighthouse beacon that keeps ships from crashing into the rocky shores.

It’s the same with you. You start with the end result in mind, and you work your way backward through the steps until you get to the first step. That way you’ll know what the beginning looks like, and what the end result will be. The middle will take care of itself if you will only put your feet on the path, and trust that you will succeed if you just keep moving forward.

To be clear, I’m not saying that your goals have to be as magnanimous as summiting Mt. Everest. Your goals should be ones that really matter to you. Like earning (or finishing) your degree. Like learning to watercolor or play the piano. Like quitting the job that sucks the soul-life out of you to pursue a career that makes your heart and soul sing. Like leaving the co-dependent relationship. Like trusting in yourself. Like sharing yourself authentically with others. Like going sky-diving, or taking that trip to Rome, or Paris, or Belize, or walking the Camino de Santiago. Like selling everything and starting over. Like listening to your heart instead of your head.

Sure it will take commitment, dedication, perseverance, trust in yourself, trust in the process, and trust in life supporting you along the way. But doesn’t anything worthwhile ask those things of you?

The alternative: do nothing, simply because you looked at the thing from the beginning, got scared, and allowed fear to freeze you in your tracks and keep you stuck, unhappy and deeply unfulfilled.

If you’re ready to stop living in fear, overwhelm, and tolerating I would LOVE to help you stop struggling with lack of clarity and feelings of “not good enough” despite (often significant) career success. I would love to help you stop feeling stuck and frustrated, and to begin trusting in your deep knowing that you’re here to contribute something beautiful and amazing in the world.

Maybe you aren’t sure what needs to shift or how to do it. The good news is that we’re here to help each other, and it just so happens that I specialize in helping you identify your unique gifts, get unstuck, cultivate a relationship with your feminine wisdom (intuition) and come into greater alignment with your soul’s path and purpose. I would love to work with you. Give me a call.

To your freedom,
Jennifer

“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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