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Do you have a goal or a dream you’ve been trying to reach for years and can’t seem to get there?

Do you find yourself pulling back from your dream because you are frustrated and can’t figure out why it is not working for you?

Today, I want to teach you to fall in love with the journey.

I will share what you can expect on the road to your destination. Whether the destination is a career, a goal, a relationship…the journey has many of the same challenges.

Ponder on a trip you have been on with your family…the energy and excitement for spending time together, all of the fun times you will have. What happens from the time you leave your home to the time you return is a blank slate; it’s a mystery!

Does the trip turn out the way you envisioned it?

No! it doesn’t! Kids get sick, someone gets hurt, you get in a fight with your spouse, etc., etc.

Were there bumps in the road? What did you take away from the trip that you would repeat and what did you learn you’d never do again?

These are the same questions we must ask ourselves on the journey towards our goals.

I have an exercise for you. Take a piece of paper and place it on your desk in landscape position. Now draw yourself as two stick figures; one on the far left side of your paper and the other on the far right side. The stick figures represent you. The one on the left is the beginning of your journey, and the one on the right is you at the completion to your goal. Now draw a road in between the two people. The road represents your journey and what I like to call the “in-between.”

The “in-between” is where the magic happens because you learn to become a better version of yourself. And that, my friends, is what life is about. It’s about learning to grow yourself, push yourself and fight for what you want. The destination is the icing on the cake.

You’ve heard the phrase “enjoy the journey,” and it’s true.

So what can you expect from the journey?

1. Push back

Nay-sayers: people who try to stop you, don’t support you and some who walk away from you.

But WHY?

Because your forward movement causes regret to surface in others.

Now the naysayers truly could be people who are watching out for your best interest and don’t want to see you fail. But what those people don’t realize is that there’s no failure when we learn and grow.

In a single day, you can hear compliments and trash. If you rely on the opinions of others to define you, the emotional rollercoaster will make you crazy.

Let me ask you a couple of questions…Who are you living this life for? Do you believe the way your life should be lived is based on the opinion of others? Or do you believe this life was given to you to live, full-out?

I know it’s pretty surreal when you look at those questions, but it’s true that sometimes we base our lives; what we do and what we don’t do; on the opinions of others.

And if you’re not careful, your biggest naysayer or dream-stealer can become yourself. You can become ruled by doubts from the messages you’ve collected about yourself along the way and the reel you create for yourself:I’m too old. I am not pretty enough. Who am I to think I can do this?

Take out the road graphic you just drew. Stick “yous” on each end. Road in between. Ok now in that between space, write DREAM-STEALERS.

2. Doubt

You will want to quit. You will get frustrated with yourself and lack of progress, hindrances, mistakes, etc. The most frustrating emotions arise from not seeing the results of our actions. But by the very fact that you are moving towards your goal, you are creating traction. And traction creates momentum. So don’t stop, less you lose your traction.

In our society, most everything is at our immediate disposal. Take Amazon, for example. On Monday you may decide you want something for your house and you can have it by Tuesday with the click of a button. Or you’re out of coffee. Without getting out of your pajamas, you could have Starbucks delivered. Today’s game is: If I want something, I should be able to get it now.

But. When you are chasing a dream-when you’re going for a life of excellence-you will not get what you want overnight. You cannot buy your dream on the fast track by ordering it online and having it delivered the next day. Success does require work.

Every time you push through frustration, it makes it easier to overcome the next obstacle.

These are the words you will hear in your head.

I’m good.

I don’t need a pay raise. I’m good.

I am able to make my house payment. I’m comfortable.

Maybe working for myself will be too busy for my family. I. Am. Good.

Well friends, ‘good’ is the enemy of excellence.

Ok. On your road graphic, add the word DOUBT.

3. The Unexpected

Your kids will get sick. Your spouse may lose his job. The loan you need might not go through. COVID-19 might strike. Learn to control what you can control and do not dwell on what you can’t. Give it to God.

4. Make the Shift to Being “Others” Focused

Offer a service with your skill. Make an impact while making an income.

Here’s a tangible example for you to use for keeping your journey in perspective. My husband was a collegiate volleyball coach, and he always had a goal for where they wanted to be at the end of the season. What happened from the beginning of the semester through the end of the semester would determine their success. In order for the end-goal to be reached, Mark had to help the girls on his team believe they could, in fact, reach their goal. He poured into these girls with all of his heart. He was determined not only to make them great players, but also a great team, full of strong, confident women.

Throughout the season I witnessed several elements of the “in-between” process I outlined above. The season began full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm. There was a kind of an “ignorance on fire” type of attitude. Then the two-practices-a-day began, and the reality of the hard work set in. Then came the unknown: injuries, grades, boyfriend break-ups, coping skills, college shenanigans, conflicts between players, etc.

Towards the end of the season, the players, as well as the coach were beaten down. They were very tired and had to muster up their last bit of energy to finish the season.

The team learned to fight. They learned to fight for the finish line. They learn to fight for their teammates. They learn to never give up, and they worked through many obstacles leading up to the final tournament.

So here we have it.

Excited and unstoppable in the beginning.

Starting their journey as individuals (I will be the best player on the team).

Then things get hard.

Obstacles get in the way.

Fatigue sets in.

Individually, they want to give up.

Then the realization sets in:

In order to succeed, we need to stop working as individuals and start working together as a team.

They pushed through because they realized they were each valuable parts of the whole.

I watched these women grow.

I watched them stand up for their team.

These are life lessons that they’ve taken with them and can incorporate into the next season of life.

What’s different between these women and your journey? Not much. You have to fight for what you want. You have to be consistent. You have to work through the emotions and the unexpected.

But the best part? This is when growth happens, and when your confidence grows. Each time you push through; each time you reach your goal; each time you hit that destination; the impossible becomes possible. After the hard work that you’ve put in to reach your goal, your eyes become open to the possibilities that with hard work you can achieve anything.

I have pushed through many obstacles and passed by many who didn’t believe in me. I have been broken. I’ve had no cheerleaders. I’ve been made fun of. I’ve stood tall. I’ve achieved. And failed. I’ve made mistakes, learned from them, and because I am still standing, I know I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Because I know what it’s like in the “in-between.”

Now add to your map: GROWTH= CONFIDENCE.

Push through my friends!

Decide you will not quit. You have everything inside of you to reach any goal you set. You just have to choose to believe it. You are on a path to greatness, and what an honor you have this day to create it! Right now! Don’t wait! We don’t know what tomorrow holds. Live each day as if it is your last. Do the hard stuff! It’s supposed to be hard! Make a choice not to give your dream away to the lies in your head, to people in your life, or to the distractions around you.

Rosa Parks refused to give up her dream of racial equality by staying seated on that bus! If you want something different, you have to do something different. When everyone was giving up their seat, Rosa Parks DECIDED to stay seated. Refuse to give up your seat. Stay on your BUS!!!

Roger Bannister was the first to break the four-minute mile-because he believed he could.

You break the record in your specialty!!! You be the first!!!

Jeff Bezos makes $13.4 million and hour. YOU be the one that makes $14 million an hour!!

The road to excellence is worth it!

You’re worth it!

The journey to your greatest self is waiting. Take the road less travelled.

The only certainty you have on your journey is what you can control. You can control your emotions, your consistency, your determination and your faith.