I called an old friend the other day and instead of catching up on what’s new, important or exciting in our lives, she was stuck playing the same old broken record. Her amazing life, overshadowed by wishes that are now constant companions and would-be’s that are ruling the day. I wanted to be blunt and ask her to take off the broken record so we could get to something more meaningful, like what’s underneath, stopping her and pulling her down into the stuck-ness of her life instead of embracing the constantly wished for possibilities. Unfortunately, I bopped along to the soundtrack of her life, that feels like a broken record of “Would Be / Could Be”, instead of forcing her to change the station.
Life feels like a broken record? No wonder…
- I’m going to write a book.
- I’m totally going to lose 10 pounds this year.
- I have a new idea for a small business… this could actually be the one.
- I am going to book that trip to Paris as soon as I have enough money.
- I’d love to take some leadership training but it’s just too expensive.
- When I get promoted to (Title Here) I can finally back off on my hours.
- This job is sucking the life out of me but there is absolutely no way I can quit.
- It’s my dream to…
- I wish I could…
- If only…
Here’s what’s happened, those wishes, whens and wants have become a part of your soundtrack. If you took action, the people closest to you may fall over because you’ve danced with the longing for so long it’s what they’ve come to expect from you. Even worse, it’s what you’ve come to expect from yourself.
When life feels like a broken record, change your soundtrack.
Pick a dream
Do you have a dream? You know, the one that keeps you up at night as it seductively whispers in your ear? Most people can’t go after four dreams at the same time, but one, that’s do-able. Now is the time to do more than talk about it – plan, act, reflect, change, refine, and do it all again. Here’s the key, your dream can become a reality when you stop wishing and starting doing.
Build your team
The idea that a leader, entrepreneur or small business owner does it all on their own is absolutely ridiculous. The people on your team may not be do-ers, but they are the cheerleaders, encouragers and straight talkers you can’t succeed without. Your coach, mentor, accountability partner or business partner are your team, your people. Ask people to join your personal board as you change the record and break free from could-be to embrace will-be.
Call on your courage
Could you fail? Could your novel suck or you finally get to Paris and it rains for the week? Sure. But what if it’s awesome? Call on your courage to find out what what’s possible and kick your excuses to the curb. This is the truth: going for what you say you most want, even if you fail, is a success because it means it mattered enough to act. Failure is not a permanent state, it’s like a trampoline for learning. You’ll jump higher and see further with each true step you take. Who decides if it’s a success anyway? Your neighbor, spouse, BFF or you? (Hint: it’s you.)
Be ready to celebrate
Don’t go through the motions prepared for failure, prepare for success. When you think things won’t turn out well, you’ll be right. Your attitude and mindset impact your success almost as much as your actions. Assume you’re going to rock it out, allow yourself to sidestep fear and get into flow. Celebrate being more than a big talker and be a risk-taker in service of your life and leadership. Celebrate every step along the way and break that old LP to bits. Who has records anymore anyway?
What’s your broken record?
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