What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

If You Are Tired of Starting Over, Stop Giving Up!

In what area of your life have you contemplated giving up lately?  It crosses the minds of even the most tenacious – I’ve been there. And this week, I feel led to encourage you to hang in there.  I know, I know. You’re tired.  You thought things would have taken off in your career or business by now. You’ve tried and tried to make the relationship work, but you’re losing hope that it ever will. You’re on your third diet in five months and you weigh two pounds more than you did when you started.

I saw this quote recently:

“If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.”

It is such a simple concept, but in our fast-food world of instant gratification, it’s a concept that we need to be reminded of. The temptation to give up is one of the most enticing temptations you will ever face.  Rather than running towards something new, try digging your heels in right where you are.  Manage your expectations about how quickly things must happen and find the lesson that’s being offered to you in your frustration.  Ten years from now, what will you wish you had done in this season of your life?  Will you wish you had stuck with it? What reward will you reap for staying the course?  Perseverance is not usually fun, but it works.

Don’t get me wrong. Starting over is sometimes a necessity. No need to continue down a path to nowhere.  In such cases, it’s best to turn back and find a new path.  But when starting over is not a necessity, it is a setback. And often you discover that the new thing you pursue – the new job, the new relationship, the new diet – only presents a new set of challenges, often not so different from the ones you have right now. They’re just new and repackaged.  If that’s you right now, on the verge of giving up – out of exhaustion, disappointment or impatience, try these three strategies:

1.  Get some grit.

Research shows that “grit,” that tenacious spirit that sticks with it, is a determining factor for success in school, sports and business. Make a decision not to give up until you reach your goal. Remove “giving up” as an option.  When you do, you can refocus your energy on finding solutions to the challenge before you.

2.  Get some perspective.

When you become worn out on your journey, the negative emotion narrows your perspective and you begin to only see more of the negative.  Isolating yourself can cause you to falsely perceive that you are the only one dealing with your challenge. Not true. Reach out to positive friends or family to get encouragement.  Read articles or books about people who’ve succeeded at your goal – all of them have surely faced failure and disappointment on the road to success. Put things into perspective and you begin to see that the test you are enduring right now will ultimately become your testimony.

3.  Get some rest.

Sometimes you just need to stop trying so hard to make things work.  Give yourself a break. Pray. Trust. Believe. Relax. Research shows that as you move towards goals, you deplete your energy.  Replenish your energy so you can keep moving forward. Getting unstuck takes energy.  Make sure you’ve got plenty for your journey to success.

My challenge to you:

Don’t give up!

Journaling assignment:

In what area(s) of your life are you tempted to give up?  Ten years from now, what will you wish you had done during this season of your life?  Will you wish you had stuck with it? What reward will you reap for staying the course?  Is it time to make a decision that “giving up” is not an option? Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Don’t Go It Alone!

The most persistent fear I have repeatedly overcome is a fear of rejection. The irony of this people-pleasing fear is that it can manifest in a lot of behaviors, one of which is solitude. Without consciously connecting your fear with your choices, those whose core fear is rejection can make a habit of going it alone – insisting they are independent rather than scared, focused rather than collaborative. Perhaps you can relate.

Years passed before it occurred to me how solitary my work is. I write alone. I speak on a stage alone. And in my years of coaching, I coached alone – by phone. For ten years, I worked from home, my team scattered about in their home offices in other states. Until one day, a couple of years after moving to Atlanta – alone – I no longer had the grace to work in such solitude. For ten years, I’d wanted to work from home. Then suddenly, I resented it.

“Alone” is where moments of inspiration unfold. “Alone” is also where moments of isolation steal your joy. We must have a balance. I was passionate and purposeful in my work, but something was missing: Connection. On my journey to more joy these last few years, it is connection that has transformed my life. I made it a professional goal, not simply to inspire and achieve, but to connect. I got an office, hired my first full-time employee to work alongside me – literally, not remotely. Then I expanded our coach training program to include a six-month certification program – twice a week live webinars in coaching, positive psychology and business development. In the beginning, I created and taught every subject, every class – alone. Again, something was missing: Connection. I wanted others to teach, not just me. And if I thought about it, I knew a lot of talented, experienced, passionate experts who would impact our students and do this vision together with me.

Everything in life is more meaningful when you make connection the goal. Connection isn’t “networking.” It is isn’t simply collaboration. It isn’t just communication. Connection is love. It is the moment, however brief, when your soul aligns with another and you serve one another’s needs in some way. It could be a smile, a touch, an idea, a word of encouragement, or act of support. But connection makes life and work juicy.

So I began inviting others into the process – people who could carry the vision forward, teach the curriculum I created, and do this thing with me together. To be honest, it was hard to let go. “Will they get it right?” I worried. “Will the students complain?” I took the leap. They got it right. No one complained. In fact, I don’t even think they missed me! Today, we have five instructors who are as passionate as I am. We have graduated hundreds of students whose lives are transformed. And I don’t go it alone.

LaFern Batie, Kim DuBrul, Christine Duvivier, Breon Michel and Lisa Sansom bring coaching to life in ways unique to their powerful experience – and that makes the program richer than it could ever be from my just my perspective. As for me personally, I just have a whole lot more fun. The first time I sat in one of our training events while Kim and LaFern tag-teamed to teach felt like someone truly had my back. The responsibility was now shared. The program could run without me! We collaborated on improvements. We laughed together. We’ve created an experience – for our coaching students and ourselves – that could never be replicated in isolation, but only through the beauty of authentic connection.

Journaling assignment:
In what way(s) are you trying to go it alone? What would connection give you that is currently missing in a project or goal of yours?

Next step:

Reach out. Connect. Don’t go it alone.

For more on how to get unstuck, pre-order my brand new book Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable and get three free gifts! Click HERE for details.

For info on our last Coach Training Intensive of the year, click here.