Did you know that there’s an ugly, scary beast that will try to eat you alive when you are working towards your goals?
Lately, it’s been giving me a run for my money trying to fight it off. 👹
And let me tell you, this beast is relentless.
You see, a while back I set a goal to build a YouTube channel on personal growth topics and to put out a video at minimum once a week.
And in the beginning, it was exciting and easy…
Then I went through a 6-week cohort that teaches you every single aspect that you could think of in growing a successful YouTube channel, and it was hard truth time. 🤦
Creating quality videos consistently that people actually want to watch is HARD!
There’s a lot that goes into it from getting the right gear, understanding proper lighting, learning video editing, camera presence, storytelling to understanding copyright issues.
The sheer magnitude of all the different things you need to do and account for to get one video published can make your head spin. 😫
And so the long slog began. I started churning out videos rinsing and repeating every week, all the while trying to avoid looking at my video view stats to avoid feeling discouraged.
Because the truth is, goals are easy to start.
We get really excited in the beginning — seduced by our future achievement, visualizing what the end result will be like for us.
We hit the ground running with loads of energy but after several weeks or months, the buzz wears off, momentum slows, and our enthusiasm wanes.
And right on cue that “beast” I mentioned earlier begins to emerge.
When it arrives things go from thrilling and full of movement and then boom out of nowhere you hit what author Seth Godin calls “The Dip” — that long grind between starting your goal and reaching success in which you have to actually put in the work. 🐪
It’s that challenging time period that can be stressful, truly tests your mettle, and everything you planned for is up in the air (yet again).
It’s when you get reminded of that hard truth: life is wildly unpredictable, messy, completely uncontrollable, and it doesn’t give a crap about your “big goals”.
Whether it’s trying to reach a fitness goal, starting a business, taking on a new project, or running a marathon, all big goals get hit with the messy middle.
Because during the middle of any endeavor, it becomes easy to give up, talk yourself out of it, and flat out abandon ship when that “beast” starts throwing its punches.
This is when you’re “in the weeds” trying to accomplish your goal, where the mistakes are made, and when your constantly reworking and adjusting things on the fly. 🧟
The time when your original plan begins to falter and hard lessons are learned.
It’s when the work required to reach your goal becomes more demanding and maybe more personal sacrifices are needed.
Those blissful moments you used to spend daydreaming and visualizing your future success have now been replaced with worrying if that success you envisioned is even likely. 😟
That “beast” may even bring its good friend impostor syndrome along with it for the ride — as you find yourself questioning whether or not you have right the skills or have what it takes to make your vision a reality.
I did say it was relentless. 🤷🏻♂️
The messy middle is the point when your insecurities and fears are at the surface pleading with you to just give into them.
It’s a point when you have to decide which path to take…
The easy and comfortable path which doesn’t excite you but feels safe and gives you instant relief from this turmoil. Or the uncomfortable one which can lead you to your pot of gold but is dam hard and demanding!
And if you do decide to retreat and give up, you then face having wasted a great deal of time and energy and are left being haunted by “what could’ve been”.
Here’s the hard truth that I keep having to remind myself of: Goal achievement especially for big, bold ones is like running a marathon. 🏃🏻♀️
I never ran one but everything you hear about what it takes to complete one is that there are very few things that will test your mettle like a marathon.
I mean, 26.2 miles is indeed a long way.
There’s a reason why not everyone who runs a marathon finishes.
Marathon running epitomizes the qualities of determination and perseverance that are necessary to reach outsized goals.
Just like the runners who cross the finish line are uniquely successful because they didn’t give up when things got tough, so are those people who stick to their vision despite that “beast” of the messy middle having its way with them. 🏆
Because we often think that chasing our dreams is a path paved with roses because we see others “just doing it.”
It might appear on the outside as easy, but what we see is the end result, a result that came from slow starts and advanced into something concrete after taking their fair share of right hooks and left jabs from the messy middle. 👊🏼
It’s the by-product of someone who had to sweat, get knocked down, and maybe even wiggle through some mud and barbed wire to finish the race. 🧗🏻♂️
And guess what? If you don’t get the end result you initially envisioned but still endured having the kitchen sink thrown at you…
You WON ANYWAY — because you’ve more than likely grown in remarkable ways you can’t possibly even imagine right now.
And it’s quite possible the Universe has something better in store for you.
At least it’s what I try to tell myself when shit hits the fan and that “beast” comes creeping to swallow me up and spit me out.
And if all else fails, I just watch this inspiring scene from Rocky VI when Rocky tells his son:
“You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” 🥊
— Rocky Balboa
No matter what you’re facing, hang in there and keep giving that “beast” hell despite what it throws at you.
You learned about the messy middle, now arm yourself to take down that beast by checking out these insights:
How Goal-Setting and Manifesting Work in the Brain 👉
How To Create a Life Vision By Transforming Your Identity 👉
Walking the spiritual path?
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