Willpower in Achieving Your Dreams

The new year has arrived!  People generally either tend to look at this as a fresh start or just another day.  However you view it, what goals have you made for yourself to keep moving forward rather than staying stagnant?   What are your passions and what is your purpose?

Life always gives us obstacles and challenges to overcome.  Keeps things interesting, as one way to look at it.  Although many believe in external locus of control, where once things fall into place, you will have peace, the other perspective is the internal locus of control where once we have peace, things will fall into place.

How do you create strength and willpower from within to overcome obstacles and keep moving towards what you desire?

  1.  Meditate.  Meditation helps to stay present in the here and now and can give a sense of inner peace.  This will help to tame any feelings of worry, doubt, or anxiety that you feel.  If meditation is difficult to do on your own, there’s several guided meditations you can find on YouTube to help put you in that state of calmness.
  2. Tame those thoughts!  Our thoughts are so incredibly powerful and can influence our feelings and beliefs.  Recognize your core beliefs as these tends to surface when things get tough.   Do they tend to be “I’m not good enough”; “see I knew I couldn’t do it”; “this is too hard I’ll never accomplish this” or instead are they “I got this”; “what’s another path I can take to get around this obstacle”; “it’s going to work out!” If you find your core beliefs are really interfering, a therapist can help you figure out where these core beliefs stem from and strategies to modify them!
  3. Affirmations.  What are positive statements you can tell yourself to keep you in a positive and grateful perspective?  If you are getting interviews but can’t land your dream job quite yet, you can express gratitude for the interviews as a step towards your goal or gratitude for currently having a job that’s providing stability.  If things are tough in your relationship, start looking for the things that are going well rather than focusing on what is not.  As you start looking for positives and state self affirmations, even if things are not moving as quickly as you would like towards your goals, you will not be quite as affected by it as if in comparison, you are simply focusing on the outcome and relying on the outcome to help you feel happy.
  4. Remind yourself why you want this.  How will you feel once you’ve met your goal?  Look deeper than just feeling happy.  For example, will a different job provide you with more stimulation or a sense of freedom; will running that marathon give you a sense of accomplishment and determination; will losing weight help you feel more energetic?  If you stay focused on why you are doing this and what the process will provide for you, that will help you stay on that path during the times you feel like giving up.
  5. Write all of the prior steps down.  It is much easier to stay on track when you have a visual reminder.  It can be harder to remind yourself when you are pulling the thoughts out of your head.  How did you feel after meditating?  How did you turn your thoughts around and what affirmations can you remind yourself?  Why do you really want this, what will it create for you?

I wish everyone a Happy New Year!  You can achieve what your heart desires as long as you believe and don’t let obstacles throw you off your path!  In finding inner peace and happiness throughout the process, things will eventually fall into place!

Author: Carolyn Cole, LCPC, LMFT, NCC

I am a licensed psychotherapist in Chicago with a Masters Degree in Family Counseling. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Nationally Certified Counselor. I work as a psychotherapist in private practice where I focus on relationship concerns and I also work in a community mental health agency as a Clinical Director where I provide clinical supervision to new therapists.

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