How's your business doing?
How is your financial situation?
If you are like most people in America (and around the world for that matter), things aren't as good as you would like them to be.
Sure, in your mind, you might be blaming the economy and things that are out of your control for your current condition - which is not the healthiest thing to do on its own. But I don't believe that's why you haven't done anything about it.
So the question is . . . Why aren't you doing anything about it?
Why haven't you made the changes that you knew you were going to need to make sooner?
Why haven't you change your spending habits? Why haven't you have a garage sale to clean the junk you have all over the place to generate a little more cash? Or why haven't you posted them on eBay or Craig's List? And why haven't you called the credit card company and asked for a lower interest rate?
Or, even harder, why haven't you asked your friends and family for help?
The answers to these questions for most people might surprise you to read . . . although I think you know it already - deep down in your heart, whether you are feeling it now or have felt it in the past. The answer is, you feel shameful.
Ironically, in spite of the causes, many people that find themselves in "tough times" aren't locked into those positions because they don't know what to do. Instead most get stuck in ruts and difficult situations because of Shame - because of the painful emotion caused by a conscious (or even unconscious) awareness of their guilt or personal shortcoming that caused them to be where they are. And taking the steps necessary to fix the situation requires them to admit both privately and publicly that they did have a hand in the situation. And we all struggle with forgive ourselves of our own shortcomings.
The First Step - Face the Truth
Before you can do much else in repairing your situation, you have to face the truth. I don't care who you are, and what your situation is, you have to believe that you control your destiny, if you want to change your life for the better. Now that doesn't mean that bad things don't happen to good people - there is no doubt about that. But no matter the situation, you get to choose your response and eventually how the situation will turn out for you.
Accept responsibility for your choices that led to the situation. And then look inside yourself and decide whether or not you are stuck because someone or something is holding you back . . . Or if you are stifled in your position because you are holding yourself back, and why?
The Second Step - Release the Guilt and the Shame
Now that you have faced the truth of your situation, if not publicly, at least privately, it's time to take what is often the most difficult step to take in any change effort. And that is forgive yourself for the choices you have made to this point . . . both the good and bad choices.
Forgive yourself and release the guilt and shame that is holding you back from becoming all that you can and truly want to be. Because if you don't release the guilt and the shame, you will self-sabotage your efforts.
Remember, you can't change the past. But you don't have to relive it every day for the rest of your life either.
Learn from it.
Put it behind you.
And move on to making the choices that will help you become the you that you truly want to be.
The Third Step - Build a Plan and Enlist Help
Now that you have faced the truth and released your negative feelings so that you can move forward, it's time to do the fun stuff - planning the way forward.
The third step in the process of turn around your business and personal struggles is building a plan - a way forward. Suffice it to say that I could write for hours on this subject, but let me KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) for you:
- Figure out the real truth of your current condition (where you are)
- Define your goals / vision (where you want to go)
- Break down all the steps along way that you will have to accomplish to achieve the goals (what you have to do - one step at a time)
- List the obstacles that are going to get in your way (including your own mindset, if applicable).
- Figure out who can help you and enlist their support (who do you need help from)
- Build into the plan, a method for staying on track - a form of accountability to keep you from falling backwards and / or help you recognize the hiccups that come up along the way. (what is your feedback loop to keep you moving in the right direction)
The Fourth and Final Step - Take One Step at a Time
If you have gotten this far, you are about 90% there. Now all you have to do is follow your plan.
Just remember, you wrote a plan for a reason . . . you can't do it all at one time. As the saying goes, "You can't eat an elephant in one bite".
Take things ONE STEP AT A TIME . . . Obstacle at a time . . . One day at a time . . . And before you know it, you will have reached your goal and put what ever was "in your past" in your past for good.