People fail when they hit plateaus.
And you’re going to hit plateaus.
Everything worth achieving involves struggle. Losing weight, finding a dream career, getting healthier, or building a rewarding relationship means going through some kind of struggle and hitting roadblocks on the way.
You know a plateau because you feel “stuck.”
And when you feel stuck, it’s tempting to think that the solution is something else. Something new you haven’t thought of. Something you’re not doing right.
Or even worse, being stuck feels like you’re a failure. You’re wrong. You’re in the wrong career. You’re on the wrong path. Everything you do is wrong. You should probably just quit.
I call these plateaus “sticking points.” When you hit a sticking point, you panic. Your fears go into overdrive and the overwhelming urge is to do anything other than face the task at hand.
Suddenly, the thing you loved turns sour. Your progress stalls. The project you’re working on starts to suck. The relationship you’re in goes flat.
This is the point where you feel you need to overhaul your work flow. You must change your goal or change your career. You have to to break up and find a new partner.
And I’m here to tell you:
"No you don’t."
Picture the path to your goal as a straight line.
The sticking point is an obstruction to that line.
When you hit it, you try to move elsewhere. Maybe there’s a way around it. Maybe you should do something else. “Maybe if I just go over here…”
But the only way around it is through it. The only way to get there is to keep chipping away, day after day, at the stuff you can control; the behaviours that will get you to your goal. All you can do is all you can do. Just keep going.
Work through the sticking point.
Sometimes the sticking point pops up just one day into your new venture.
Sometimes it takes months or years to show up.
And sometimes you’ll hit 5 or 6 sticking points in a row.
Of course, don’t try to fit a square peg through a round hole or drive yourself mad by doing the same thing over and over again.
Sometimes a sticking point means that how you’re doing things needs to change. And sometimes it means you need to take a break or work on a different project for a bit. Rest is important.
But if it’s truly important to you, then “what” you’re trying to achieve should not change.
By all means, be smart about your work. Just don’t quit, don’t get distracted, and don’t stop.