“Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.”
Imagine yourself taking a ride on a rollercoaster. You strap in, and soon you’re soaring to spectacular heights, twisting and turning with supersonic speed toward the ground, and floating through a series of gravity-defying upside down looping spirals before gliding to a stop right back where you started. Fun!
But imagine having that exact same experience … in an Uber. Not fun! Knowing what you’re getting into from the beginning makes a world of difference, doesn’t it?
If you read my previous post, then I hope you’ve decided to take on a challenge requiring you to learn and grow through some kind of process. You’re prepared for an intellectually demanding journey. But there’s something else that you need to know before you dive in: it’s going to be an emotional journey, too. And while knowing what to expect won’t guarantee a smooth ride, it will go a long way in helping you to navigate what can be one of the trickiest parts of working through any process.
Whether you’ve decided to become a concert pianist, a world champion hot dog eater, or something in between, a big part of successfully achieving your objective is going to be managing the emotions that crop up along the way. When we’re deeply invested in a project, the feelings that get attached to it can be intense and widely varied. Your initial excitement may turn into hesitation, or fear, and then to frustration or anger … and more fear (that one has a tendency to stick around). You might feel all of these at once and/or bounce back and forth between some or all of them. You may even reach a point when you question whether the whole thing was even worth taking on in the first place.
But just like the intellectual steps, these emotional steps are integral to your process. Every lesson along the way will have an intellectual component and an emotional component, and you’ll need to apply and build upon what you’ve learned in both areas as you move forward toward your ultimate goal.
So by now it probably sounds like I’m asking you to voluntarily sign up for a lifetime of frustration, anger, and fear. Why would anyone want to do that? Do you really want to take on a challenge that’s going to make you experience all those uncomfortable feelings?? The answer is a resounding YES. It might not seem like it when you’re in the thick of it, but your goal is just on the other side of all that frustration. It can be tempting to quit when the tough feelings surface, but stretching outside your comfort zone and learning to work through difficult emotions will allow you to reach new heights and reap all the emotional rewards that come with that. Goodbye fear! Hello joy, confidence, and satisfaction.
Being ready and willing to tackle the emotional obstacles alongside the intellectual ones is essential to your success, and will serve you well now and in all your future endeavors. You’ll go forward feeling more capable, empowered and in control. Now that sounds like fun.
As you prepare to embark on your new adventure, remember:
Be ready. The emotional rollercoaster is a necessary and healthy part of working your way through any process. If you’ve chosen a goal that really matters to you, there will be feelings. Embrace them.
Hit pause. When a difficult emotion stands in your way, don’t ignore it. Take a timeout to acknowledge and work through it (or take a breath and let it move on through — not all feelings have deep roots).
Don’t go it alone. Enlist the help of a coach or mentor. They can offer valuable perspective and encouragement, and give you new tools for sorting out and working around emotions that could be getting in the way of your progress.
Now buckle up and enjoy the ride!
PS - I’m here for you! Click here to book a 1-hour coaching strategy session (first time clients only).