This season, we’ve been talking quite a bit about stumbling blocks on the Productivity Paradox podcast. Today, I want to dig into discovering your purpose when faced with an obstacle or failure.
Living in this world of perfectly curated content can be especially difficult whenever we’re feeling unsure of ourselves. While it may not feel like it as you scroll through your social media feed, the truth is, we all stumble through life and business from time to time.
Instead of letting a stumbling block get you down, you need to turn it into fuel intsead. Fuel to reignite and accomplish your goals.
So, how do you change your perception of a stumbling block from negative to positive?
Instead of calling it a “stumbling block”, I like to think of these as “starting blocks”. After all, you’ve made it far enough in your journey to be abruptly halted by a massive boulder. Take a moment to celebrate that you’ve made it this far since your last off-road detour!
After celebrating, you can now reframe the giant rock in front of you as your next starting point (rather than something weighing you down and holding you back). It’s the first puzzle piece of a new set and you’ll figure it out with some time and creativity.
In order to truly get beyond this massive roadblock, you need to figure out what you want in your life. And not in a general way, either.
Saying you want to be a millionaire will not help you get anywhere. You need to get more specific than that. I’m going to walk you through a simple example, but you can read more about how to work toward your dreams and goals in this blog post.
For now, I want you to ask yourself these two questions:
What pain are you willing to go through to get what you want your life?
What are you willing to struggle for?
If you said you want to be a millionaire, but you don’t really want to work hard or struggle to get it, then chances are you probably don’t want to be a millionaire as bad as you think you do.
Once you’ve identified if that boulder is worth moving to you… it’s time to set yourself up for success. Often, we get in our own way when we’re trying to pivot around a failure or obstacle. We zig when we should have zagged.
I’d invite you to rethink your definition of “busy”, so you can instead focus on your priorities and create the habits and routines that will lead to success. I go over these ideas in depth in this blog post, but for now, I want you to create a list with two columns.
The first column is titled, “When I Say No To This” and the other is titled, “I’m Saying Yes To That”.
When you do this exercise, you’ll want to put all of the things that unwillingly take up your time under the “No” column, and what those activities are taking away from you. For example: “When I say no to extra work, I’m saying yes to more family time.”
Writing this exercise out is a great way to solidify and see what you want to say yes to! Realizing that you get to decide when (and what) to say no to will reaffirm your yeses. It’ll also remind you why you want to focus your energy on your Yes column.
But, if you see something in your yes column that doesn’t make you happy, or that you keep putting off, you may want to move it to the no column. I say this all the time, but it is ok to say no to things, projects, people, events, etc, that drain us of time, energy, and happiness.
You have the power and permission to create solutions to habits, good and bad, so that they will actually get your motivated. Try saying no to a little task that bothers you, and see how much time and energy you will get back by saying no to that, and yes to something you enjoy!
Now that you’re in the mindset to create good habits that will support your goals, it’s time to stick to those habits. You can’t just start with the idea and intention. Set the intention, work on it daily, and you’re bound to see progress.
When we train ourselves to follow through with our good habits, we are actually doing something amazing. We are freeing up our brain space so we can focus on the things we really want to do.
The goal with good habits is to take the thinking out of it and the cues, routine, reward formula can help you do that. Here’s an example:
While you already have a good habit of brushing your teeth, maybe you’d like to start flossing. First, create a CUE for yourself: Set out your floss by your toothbrush. Seeing this cue and following through with it each time for around 2 months or so will create your ROUTINE. Be sure to REWARD yourself right after you complete your flossing routine each night. This can be any form of little reward you would like!
Stumbling blocks don’t need to be debilitating. They can simply be the moment—the wake-up call—that it’s time to start the next stage of your journey. By acknowledging these obstacles as they are, you get to learn from them, and move back toward the mindset and the good habits that fuel your passion and energy.
When you redefine your stumbling blocks, get specific with your goals, rethink busy, and create good habits… you are setting yourself up to better handle these setbacks!
I’d love for you to listen to our recent episode, From Failure to Fulfillment with Jeff Goins, and let me know if this reframe of stumbling blocks was helpful to you.