I Give Up…I’m Not Making Any Progress! [And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves]
When you’re in the process of working on a goal, it can be difficult to notice any progress. You’ve put the hours in, and yet, it’s unclear whether you’ve actually moved the needle any closer to where you want to be.
So, what do you do?
If you’re like the majority of people in the world, you quit. You feel like you’ve been stagnant for too long and you should’ve seen results sooner. You’re not moving fast enough. You’re not meeting your own expectations and you eventually conclude that it’s just easier to throw in the towel. Sound familiar?
In the same way that you don’t notice your face aging in the mirror, you also don’t see your daily progress towards your goals. Without taking a step back and looking at the big picture, we tend to be ‘too close’ to notice any real evidence of progress. And, if we do happen to notice some progress, it’s usually nowhere near as much as we wanted.
When you think there’s no (or not enough) progress, you probably say something along the lines of, “I’m not making any progress, this is too hard…I give up!” The worst part is that many of you actually do give up. You give up on your fitness goals, growing your business, nurturing relationships and so on. You abandon your goals and to justify your decision to give up, you tell yourself a bunch of lies.
These lies can stifle your growth and progress, which is why I want to take some time to discuss them further. So, keep reading to discover why the excuses you tell yourself about why you can’t or shouldn’t do something are just lies in disguise!
Stop being so quick to quit!
When something becomes ‘too difficult’ to pursue, it’s tempting to move onto something else that we can see results from.
Maybe you have a goal to lose 10 pounds. It’s an achievable goal but for some reason, you’re not seeing the results you hoped for. So, you grab a tub of cookie dough ice-cream from the fridge and chow down for the night, telling yourself you’ll go back on your diet tomorrow.
The problem is that you’re expecting too much too soon. If you want to lose 10 pounds, you need to put the work in and celebrate each pound or half a pound lost along the way.
Here’s a quote from author, philanthropist and life coach, Tony Robbins:
“Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.”
In other words, we tend to set our expectations far too high for what we can realistically achieve in a year. But what if you never gave up on your goals? What if you paid your debts one penny at a time? You might not see the progress in the moment, but in a few weeks, months or years, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come.
If you didn’t give up because it is ‘too hard’ or ‘not working’ and started celebrating the small wins and achievements along the way, you’ll see that you’re much closer to reaching your goals than you thought.
We’ve got to stop being so quick to quit!
Stop breaking promises to yourself!
When we set our sights on a goal, we make a silent (or loud) promise to ourselves that we are going to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.
However, when we quit, we are breaking that promise to ourselves. We’re letting ourselves down, not to mention all the people who look up to us for guidance, support and as a role model. When you quit your goals, you’re letting them down too.
The language of a leader is doing what you say you’re going to do. If that means eating clean, then you’ve got to eat clean. If that means saving up for a deposit on a house, then you better start saving. Even when you can’t see the daily progress, you’ve got to keep going and keep at it.
Stop telling yourself to wait!
A common lie that we tell ourselves is, “what I’m doing isn’t making a difference.” This usually comes about when we can’t see our own progress.
The truth is that every decision you make about your goals is either going to be positive or negative. There is no neutral option. Life is not stagnant. If you decide to put off your goals and wait, that’s a negative decision because it’s moving you further away from your goal.
You need to stop waiting and stop telling yourself that time doesn’t matter. Or worse, that your goal doesn’t matter. It does matter! It might not be something you can accomplish within 24 hours, but you can slowly chip away at it and make positive decisions that’ll help you get there someday.
Start tracking your progress!
I’ve been tracking my weight every Monday for the last two years. I don’t have a fancy spreadsheet or anything, I just use regular note cards. Sometimes the number goes up, sometimes it goes down and sometimes it remains the same. Tracking my weight helps me to know where I’m at and it lets me see my progress, however big or small that may be.
Tracking your progress towards your goals is a must. It helps you to see where you’ve been and where you’re at right now. You must chart your numbers, whether it’s your weight, your savings, or relationship time numbers – chart your progress!
The biggest lies we tell ourselves are these:
“I’m not making any progress, so I might as well quit.”
“Today doesn’t matter, so what’s the point?”
“It’s too hard and I can’t do it.”
The only way that you can overcome the lies you tell yourself is by replacing them with the truth. You will never make a significant change until you start telling the truth to yourself – and those are some hard truths. But, they’re necessary.
Get real with yourself and start keeping promises to yourself!
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