Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

How many times have you started something new, with the best of intentions, only to stop when it got challenging? Or when you didn’t see results right away?

You were so excited about that new diet. You were committed to sticking with it. Your goal was to lose ten pounds. But when you didn’t see much progress after a few weeks, you started sneaking the Oreos and chips back into your diet. Before you know it, you’re back to your original weight. What gives?

All you’ve been hearing lately is how beneficial meditation is. It promises anxiety and stress-relief. You’re in! So, you try meditating for a couple of days but you keep losing concentration and you don’t feel zen right away. Eh, this must not work for me. So, you stop. And you’re back to feeling anxious and controlled by your thoughts again.

Finally, you’ve started your blog! You excitedly share your blog posts, just knowing everyone’s going to love it. But when the response is underwhelming instead of quickly becoming an explosive success, you stop posting. It’s not fun anymore. That blog you were once so excited about is now collecting dust.

Why do we do this? Why do we have such a hard time seeing things through? Why do we give up when the going gets tough?

We aren’t consistent enough to see success.

In the scenarios above, the missing ingredient, the reason why we aren’t succeeding, is due to a lack of consistency.

Consistency is the unsexy, hard work that takes us from where we are to where we want to be. It’s easy to be consistent at first when we have a new goal we’re fired up about. We’re ready to take on the world! But as time goes by and we don’t have any big wins; aren’t really seeing the fruits of our labor, yet — it becomes challenging to stay consistent.

This is the point I like to call “the messy middle”. It’s where most people give up. Think about how full gyms are the first few weeks in January. They’re always packed with people eager to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions! But come mid-February, gym attendance is back to where it was before the new year. Why? Because working out is hard and people aren’t willing to stay committed to the work.

Got it. So, how do we become more consistent?

You need to have a strong reason why you want to do something or else you won’t keep at it. It’s as simple as that. There’s no trick to make the work less hard. You’ll just be more willing to do the work when you feel really strongly about why you’re doing it.

So, find your “why”. Get real with yourself. Why, in my heart of hearts, is it so important for me to build a daily meditation practice? Because my anxiety is negatively affecting my health and I don’t want to create major health problems for myself down the road.

Your “why” must be something that genuinely propels you forward. It must be something that moves you; that you feel deep in your heart. If you’re only doing something because you think you “should” be doing it, you’ll never stay committed.

Once you’ve got your reason why, write it down, and place it somewhere you’ll see every day. Let it be a constant reminder to you to keep going.

Be a professional instead of an amateur.

One of the biggest differences between an amateur and professional is how they react when things get difficult. When the going gets tough, the amateur sees it as a reason to quit. It’s too hard. The professional, however, keeps going. They understand that success lies on the other side of difficulty.

Act like a professional and take your commitments seriously. I promise you’ll feel so proud of yourself when you keep showing up no matter how difficult it is at times. Staying consistent even when it’s challenging is where you’ll build resiliency, self-confidence, and grit.

On that note, consistency compounds. When you put in the work consistently, you will inevitably build momentum. It may take weeks, months, years, depending on what you’re after, but you will start to see changes. With consistency, the things you desire will come to fruition. But my friends, it takes patience.

Do you know how many incredibly successful people have been working at their craft for many, many years? I mean, you’ve heard the stats. Rachel Hollis wrote five books that barely got any attention before she experienced insane success with her book Girl, Wash Your Face,

We often don’t realize how long and hard people have worked to achieve success.

How do we keep showing up when we aren’t seeing big wins right away?

Celebrate the small wins along the way. If your goal is to build a brand that changes the world, get psyched about someone reaching out to tell you your work has really helped them! Instead of focusing on how small your audience is, get excited that you’re making a difference for even one person.

If you’re on a mission to lose 20 pounds, celebrate every pound you lose along the way. Instead of thinking about how far away you are from your goal weight, get pumped about how much healthier you’re feeling!

The point is, don’t focus on how far you are from your goal. Focus on how far you’ve come. Focus on feeling proud of yourself for staying consistent and not giving up, when many others would have.

And of course, remember your “why.” Feeling strongly about why you’re doing what you’re doing will carry you through the hard times, my friends. It won’t matter how challenging the path is because you’ll know you’re on the right one.

You can do it.

I know it’s hard to keep going when you aren’t seeing your hard work pay off. I know, I know, I know. For the past year, I’ve been writing consistently, daily. I can’t tell you how many moments I’ve felt like a failure because I put my heart into something I’ve written and barely gotten a response on it. It stings!

But you know what makes me feel better? Continuing to get up and write every single day.

Along with the moments I’ve felt embarrassed or disappointed, I’ve also experienced awesome wins. Through my writing, I’ve created really cool connections with people I would’ve never met otherwise. I’ve built an unshakable confidence in myself because I trust in my ability to always follow through. If I had just given up when things felt tough or uncomfortable, I would’ve missed out on those blessings.

If you want to stop sabotaging your success, start being consistent. Get clear about your “why”, celebrate your small wins, act like a professional. When things get tough, keep going. Being consistent will set you apart from the crowd. It’ll build momentum that’s guaranteed to get you closer to what you want and it’ll strengthen your relationship with yourself.

Win, win, win.