How do you stay confident and ready to push ahead, when it seems as though nothing’s happening? 

In these moments, it seems as though someone or something has pushed the pause button, putting our lives on hold. Our dreams, achievements, goals and desires seem far away. We feel stuck, unfulfilled, unable to achieve more.

Sound familiar?

There are a lot of courses on how to be more successful, how to make more money and how to keep pushing and pushing to achieve your goals. They focus on the future, promising that you’ll be a better you, failing to mention the most important thing: the present.

When I felt that paused feeling, I wrote something down to help others in my situation. Not a theory, not a teaching, but a reminder.

Our minds constantly need to be brought back to the now.

These pause moments have a purpose; to remind us to check in with ourselves and see how much we trust ourselves. Do we need more? Less? Could we boost that self-confidence a bit more?

If we just keep pushing without recognising these signals from our minds and bodies, we will just drag ourselves from goal to goal without truly listening. When we do achieve our end goal, we’re exhausted. Maybe we find out that what we wanted isn’t what we thought it would be.

In order to embrace and achieve the desires that we are truly made for, we need to welcome the pauses. We always want more from ourselves and look to others to give it to us. Very few are willing to listen to their inner selves first. The pause gives us the opportunity to check in with our ego. How much is your ego, and not your authentic self, leading you? 

We think we know why we want to achieve something, and we think we’ll be happier when we do achieve it. But, if you are unhappy now, you’ll be unhappy even when you achieve your goals. 

As you may have heard countless times, the biggest enemy is your own mind. And it’s very difficult to deal with our minds. But you don’t have to. All you must do is be aware and spot those negative thinking patterns when they happen. Acknowledge that our minds try to keep us safe by closing up, and our bodies follow, and we perceive that as a block. Remember that nobody is holding us back, at least not from the outside. 

Think of searching for treasure without a map. Even if you know what the treasure is, you’ll spend all your time wandering around, frustrated and tired. In the confusion and exhaustion, you may even settle for a mirage, an empty image of the treasure you seek. Acknowledging the pause moment, being aware of your body and mind in the present, will guide you to your treasure. 

When you next experience a pause, take the first step. Bring your attention to the present. Observe your surroundings. Your breath. The beat of your heart. See what is already working in your life right now (and don’t listen to the voice that says that nothing’s working, because if that was true, you wouldn’t be here at all). Accept the fact that you are enough just as you are, as your authentic self.

“I am an unfixable unique work in progress”. 

“I am being authentic to myself and people around me”.

Repeat these words at least three times and let them land in you.

Step two: identify three of your core values. Mine were freedom of choice, self-expression and joy.  Write them down and keep the list. You could choose some from this chart to help you get started:

Check in with your core values every so often. See if they change in a few weeks, months and years. What are your priorities in your current situation?

Step three: is to answer these questions: Why do you feel you are not moving towards your goal? 

Why is this important to you and how will achieving it make you a better person than you are right here, right now? 

Is there a conflict between your three core values and what you want to achieve?

Are these really your dreams and passions, or is the ego trying to fill the void, the incompleteness, the need for recognition from others?

I realised that if I wasn’t happy with the small victories that life was giving me right now, I wouldn’t ever be happy, no matter the size of my future successes.

Success isn’t what people think about you, it’s how you feel about it.

Pause. Enjoy your success today. Feel what it means to you. It might be the start of a new journey, one step closer to joy.