With my head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory.
“Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think I‘m right. I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now, I’m faltering. I’m losing my courage. Now, I am afraid. And I can’t let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone. — Martin Luther King, Jr. – January 27, 1956
This was written the night he’d received about 40 threatening phone calls and letters and was starting to feel, for the first time, that something could happen to him.
This is so powerful because it’s a reminder that no great feat is going to come easy. And while you may think that Dr. King’s mission is no where near yours, every calling that we pursue is necessary (because it’s our calling) and nothing worth having is going to come without its naysayers, challenges and second thoughts. Whether you are fighting injustice, running a non-profit to serve world, committed to volunteering to help those less fortunate and under-served around the country or the world, raising your children, building strong family relationships, or working to live out your true purpose, you must know that it won’t be always be easy.
Every person we view as “great” has had at least one time in their life – if not more – when they wanted to give up, give in or let go. Reading something like this shows us that they also realized that it was not just about them. And it‘s not just about you. We are all working to make a difference - whether it be in our own lives, within our families, in our communities, workplace or beyond.
Have you ever felt this way? Lost? Overwhelmed? Burdened? Weak? Afraid?
As we wrap up this year, many of us are reflecting on what we’ve done and are celebrating the successes, wins, progress and goals met. If you haven’t taken the time to do that, be sure to pat yourself on the back and give yourself a “hi-five” for all that you’ve accomplished.
However, there may be some of you who feel as if you’ve been spinning your wheels – trying, working, sweating, crying and hoping your way to your goals and are still not where you want to be.
Can you relate? I know I can.
There were many days during this year when I was tired, frustrated and ready to quit. How about you? It could have been because people let you down, deals fall through, you made a bad decision, you take on more than you should, you let others steal your time, things happen out of your control or you are headed in the wrong direction and need to stop, regroup and go a different way.
If you’re tired, frustrated and ready to quit, here are a few tips to get you back on track:
1. Acknowledge your frustration and clearly identify it.
2. Evaluate it – ask yourself “How did I get here?” and “How can I move past it?”
3. Remember your “Why”. Remind yourself of your bigger vision, the bigger impact, the bigger contribution you are making and pull on that energy to keep going.
4. Build on your successes – remind yourself what is working and how far you’ve come.
5. Commune with like minded individuals who can support you on your journey.
6. Read inspiring stories to know that others have achieved and so can you.
7. Tap into your higher power. Have faith.
After Dr. King prayed, he said he got a clear answer:
“Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness.Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you.Even until the end of the world.”
And so I say to you – you may be challenged right now, but continue to stand up. Stand up for your vision.
Stand up for your goals. Stand up for your purpose and calling. Stand up for those whose lives will be positively impacted because of who you are and the work you do.
“RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients Get RADICAL – by defining success for themselves and getting the guts to go after it. Get her FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit at www.doreenrainey.com.“
© 2012 Doreen Rainey