Staying hopeful when frustration sets in.

The other night, I was lamenting about how hard I was trying, yet still falling short of the goals I set for myself  in spite of all the time and energy I put into it.   I kept thinking to myself, “I’m trying so hard…why the hell haven’t I yet reached my goals?

So, I thought I’d share an interesting shift in perspective with you in the hopes that it can be helpful to someone.

As I was pouting about my apparent inability to reach my goals, a thought popped into my head…

“if you’re going somewhere…aren’t you just doing it?  How can you be trying to do something when in fact, you’re actually doing it?  If you’re doing it…then you’re not trying anymore because trying would imply that you’re not yet doing it.” (I know…I know…it’s a real circus inside my mind some days!! lol)

This lead me to think about what happens when I’m driving somewhere.  Even though I’m not yet at my desired destination, I don’t think to myself, “I’m trying to get there.”  What I do think is “I’m on my way.”

Perhaps it’s the same thing with my goals. Maybe I’m not trying (and failing/struggling) to get there at all; I’m just ON MY WAY.

I immediately felt better, congratulated myself on solving that pesky little limiting belief and turned my attention back to the music playing in the background.

But of course…that was way too easy.

Another discouraging “realistic” thought crawled out of the conditioned machine that is my mind  (clearly my negative mindset was not yet ready to throw in the towel) and said…

“Ya…but you only think that you’re on your way when nothing impedes your progress.” (i.e: flat tire).  I realized that if I had an obstacle as I drove “on my way” to my destination, I would in fact think to myself that I am trying to get there.

So, there I was…discouraged all over again, wondering how to better think about the whole situation so that I can feel more optimistic and happy about where I’m at in life.

I imagined myself driving down the road, on my way to whatever destination awaits me, when a flat tire becomes an obstacle that I must deal with.  This is what came up for me:

1- Perhaps that tire was old and needed changing, in which case, my car and I are better off with a new one.

2- I could replace the old tire with a much better quality tire that will last longer, provide a better ride and be safer. (which would lead to planning to upgrade the other 3 tires to match).  The better quality tires would fare much better and reduce the chances of getting another flat in the future.

3- Perhaps getting that flat tire saved me from getting into a terrible accident down the road (Divine intervention type of thing). Or I will meet someone who will have a positive impact on my life because of this unforeseen turn of events.  The list could go on forever.

I’d have no way of knowing of course (if the flat tire saved me from some terrible fate), but it sure feels better to believe that life is conspiring on my behalf instead of believing that it’s deliberately screwing me over (or even worse…unaware of my existence).  I figure that if I can’t know for sure one way or the other, I might as well believe the story that will make me feel happiest.

The thing is, we all get “flat tires” in life (health scares, financial issues, disagreements, losses, heart break, etc…), it’s all part of the journey.

Basically, I realized that being ON MY WAY includes the obstacles and that if I can see the benefit in them (and since nothing has any meaning in and of itself except the meaning I give it, I can determine what the benefit is), I can use those benefits to build a more positive outlook and maintain the state of mind that I am on my way as opposed to trying to be on my way, yet failing/struggling.

And lets face it, it feels much better to feel like we’re making progress as opposed to stumbling around trying to get there in spite of unforeseen/non-beneficial obstacles.

The obstacles presented to us in our journey are not there to stop us, they’re there to strengthen us, educate us, empower us, and prepare us for what lies ahead.

Our perception of these obstacles is coming from our mind, so we might as well make our mind work for us and train it to see the benefit in all those “flat tires” that are in fact here to bless us as we make our way to our desired destinations.

 

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