Worry & Doubt: When Your Goals Aren’t Happening Quick Enough


This article is for anyone who is on a mission for self-change and/or life change. You have some definite goals and you are ready to see action. You are ready to see your mental health improve. You are ready for your life to look different and be more fulfilling. Maybe there are moments when you feel like you are making progress…but there are other moments when you feel like you should be much further along by now. Even though you have acknowledged some progress previously, in these moments, you start to question if you have made any progress at all.

If this sounds at all familiar..I have some suggestions to keep in mind in these moments..


Positive Self Talk

First, and foremost, is positive self talk.

These are the moments that are going to be really tempting to put yourself down.

Some negative things that might be tempting to say in this moment, are:


You are never going to get better.

You are silly for thinking things could ever change.

You will always struggle with the same things forever.

You might as well give up.


Do these sound familiar at all? If so, it is time to change these thoughts…and quick!!

Again, I know it is tempting to think the negative thoughts. And they may actually be automatic thoughts at this point. You may not purposely try to think these thoughts – they just pop into your mind in a way that feels out of your control.

Good news: You have control over your thoughts.

Now, if you haven’t had much practice in this area it will take some time before these thoughts stop being automatic. What I suggest is that you simply “hear” the thought and then shift to a different thought that is more encouraging or gives evidence for why your negative thought isn’t true, like giving yourself an example of a time you did succeed at something.

I have spent time practicing having “better thoughts.” With practice, the negative thoughts are not so automatic for me anymore. It feels like I have a moment to choose. Sometimes I imagine that I am at the kitchen cupboard and there is one shelf with a box of cookies and another shelf with a healthy snack. Maybe it feels tempting still to take the cookies, but I now feel like I have a choice with which one I will choose.

Sometimes, when I am feeling my worst, and don’t have time to fully analyze what is going on because I am at work or somewhere else- I just tell myself some simple positive statements:


You are doing a good job.

Things will get better.

You are doing your best and that is enough.


Maybe it’s hard to say those things to yourself because you don’t yet believe them? Say them more and you will believe them more.

If a child grows up with a verbally abusive parent, they will have a hard time believing anything positive about themselves, even if they eventually get out of the situation. But, if they hear that they are worth something and valuable over and over and over again…it will start to sink in. They will internalize it.

As strange as it sounds, you are a parent to yourself. Don’t be a verbally abusive parent – be a parent that is an encourager that shows love.

Build yourself up rather than tearing yourself down.

Also, just so you know, optimism and positive thoughts are more likely to breed the outcome that you want. When you put yourself down, not only do you make yourself feel bad, but you also make yourself less likely of actually reaching your goals. It is a form of self-sabotage.


Live Now, Worry Later

I know this sounds like really bad advice – but if you are a worrier and find yourself constantly obsessing about your problems – it is actually just the advice you need.

Sometimes we sabotage the moments we are in because we are filling them with obsessive thoughts, rumination, and worry. The actual moment you are in, may not be be a bad moment, but you are allowing your obsessive thoughts to take over.

I know the feeling. But if I’m not going to worry about it now, when am I going to worry about it?? I can’t just let it go…

Set aside a “worry time.” Really. I’m not joking.

Maybe it’s Saturday mornings? Find some space in your schedule when you have time to worry.

And whenever you find yourself worrying – just remind yourself that now is not the time, and commit to worry about it at your designated time. If you are afraid that you will forget what you were worrying about, write a quick note to yourself that you can access later at worry time.

And when worry time comes, let yourself worry. Put a time frame on it though. And once you are done worrying, commit that you are not allowed to worry again until next Saturday morning (or whatever day/time you picked).

Believe it or not, this actually works, as long as you don’t allow yourself to worry outside of designated times. It works, because, in those moments the thoughts feel really pressing and urgent. It doesn’t feel right just to let them go. But, if you know that they will be addressed later, you can relax a little, and let them go knowing you will address them at the set time. It allows your mind to be free of worry when you need to be concentrating on other things.

Also, what I have noticed in my “worry time,” is that this worry time is much more productive. Usually, worry is not a productive activity. You know the old saying “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

In your “worry time” you have permission to simply take up time and worry. But, for me, I have made it a habit to take at least one action step during my worry time. Something that feels like I am addressing the worry and taking an action step toward the solution. Not only is this helping toward a solution, but it actually reduces my worry significantly. The worry feels addressed, and I can move on.

Now, of course, a new worry pops up next week. But I kindly inform the worry: “Not right now, we are scheduled for Saturday.” I free my mind for the rest of the week, and then on Saturday I take an action step during worry time.

When worry pops up while we are driving, at work, or in the middle of something else – it may seem really important that you think about it in that moment, BUT it is really unproductive too. There is actually nothing you can do about the worry in that moment. Save your worries for a time you can actually address them and take action.


Help Your (future) Past Self

Your future past self is…your current self. But your current self, will one day be your past self.

What am I talking about?

Can you think of a time in your life that you were in a similar situation as you are now? A situation where you weren’t sure how it was going to work out, but it did end up working out positively? A goal you were working toward that you actually reached? Something you thought you would struggle with forever that you actually overcame? Something you were worrying about that you actually didn’t need to be worrying about at all, and wish if only that past version of yourself could have known that it was all going to work out?

What advice would you have given your past self? How would you have encouraged her? What do you wish she would have known in those moments?

I’ll give you an example from my own life, so you have an idea what I am talking about.

After college, in the fall,  I moved out of state to attend another school. I thought it was the right move for me at the time. Even though I liked the school, I became depressed while I was there. My boyfriend (who I thought was going to be my future husband) had just broken up with me. I was living away from my family and missed them. I felt lonely and had at least expected that my boyfriend would be visiting me to keep me company. I questioned why I was there and the degree I was getting, but felt too indecisive and embarrassed to leave. On top of that, I was not making enough money to pay my rent and buy groceries. I felt hopeless and believed I would be sad and lonely forever.

Flash forward to my life right now. I found my husband and we are very happily married.I now live near my family and see them very regularly. I left the school and have found fulfilling pursuits. I have a stable income and don’t worry about groceries or rent. I am not sad and I am not lonely.

Now, of course, my life is not perfect. But my point is, all the fears I had during that time did not actually come true. I would have saved myself a lot of despair if I could have just believed that things would get better, even if I did not yet know how.

So what advice would give my past self?

I would tell her:

I know this is hard, but things will get better. I know, because I have seen it. You will have such joy in the future. Dreams will be fulfilled. Things you imagined struggling with forever, you will no longer struggle with. Hold on to hope, because there is so much for you to hope for!

This letter would not have fixed everything, as it still may have been a difficult time for me. But what made it the hardest, was the lack of hope. The belief that things would not get better. It is much easier to move through difficulty if you truly believe things will get better. But because I lacked hope, I was stuck in a whirlwind of despair.

So, now, I encourage you to do this for yourself. Think about that time in your life. And write yourself a letter or a little note. Or if you don’t have time to write it at this moment, just think about what you would say.

Now read that advice for yourself now – in your current circumstance.

Because, one day, there will be a future self looking at you now, thinking: Oh, if only she could have known just how amazing things would be…


Active Patience

I have mentioned the idea of active patience before, because I believe it to be so important.

I know that I have been caught in the mind trap plenty of times of black and white thinking.

All or nothing.

Either I am changing everything right now or I am doing nothing about it at all.

Or, have you ever known anyone on either of these extremes before?

There are the people who use force. And there are the people that are passive.

Neither of these methods really work.

The people who use force try to exert their control over everything. But as much as maybe we would like to, we cannot control everything and everyone. You can’t force a flower to grow. It grows on its own time. You can tend it, care for it, and water it. But you must give it time.

On the flip side, the people who are passive simply hope everything will just happen naturally. Which is great, except that doesn’t always happen either. You must plant the seed, for it to grow. You must water the seed, for it to grow. You must weed, trim, and prune. It requires action.

Have patience that something beautiful is growing in your life right now. But also plant the seed and show up every morning to water it.


May the Force be with You

One day I was driving home from work. I was feeling particularly down that day – I had given into the thoughts that things were bad and not getting better. I was trying to exert force and problem solving on my drive home and it definitely wasn’t my worry time. How will I figure this all out? How will I make all the changes? How will I overcome all my challenges?

Just as I was thinking these things I looked up and saw a Star Wars bumper sticker:

May the Force be with You.

And all of the sudden, I felt okay. I breathed a deep sigh of relief, and realized I didn’t have to figure all this out on my own.

Okay – so I know you might be wondering how in the world a Star Wars quote made me feel encouraged. I know it sounds so silly, and I’ve never even seen Star Wars (I know, I’m weird), but a few months ago my pastor had done a sermon about Star Wars and the Force being the Holy Spirit.

But, regardless if you are Christian or not, the idea is that there is a Force that guides us.

There is something beyond us. There is a source where we can draw wisdom and peace and hope and guidance.

You don’t have to do this alone. In fact, you are not doing this alone. There is something else at play here.

And, it is not your job to figure everything out.

In that moment, I realized I could take a break from my consuming thoughts and simply trust.

Again, I still argue for active patience. Do your part. But once you have done your part, relax. You don’t have to “force” anything…because there is a different kind of Force already guiding you.


You will be given a Counselor.

  This Counselor will guide you to truth,

and give you peace.

Will you have trouble in this world? Yes.

But the Counselor will always be with you.

Take heart,

for Good has already overcome.

(John 16, paraphrased)


Journal Questions:

  1. How will you switch to more positive self talk? What do you currently tell yourself in times of frustration, worry, or doubt? What are some phrases you would consider telling yourself instead?
  2. Are you willing to embrace the worry later technique? When could you commit to worry so that it does not consume your life? What action steps could you take during your worry time?
  3. Can you think of a time in the past when you thought something wouldn’t work out and it did? What advice would give your past self? Are you willing to take this same advice for yourself now? What would be different if you actually took this advice?
  4. How could you implement active patience into your own life? Do you tend to be passive or do you tend to try and force things? Or bounce back and forth from each extreme? What could you do differently?
  5. Are you willing to believe that there is a Force, beyond yourself, guiding you? What would it look like for you to trust in this Force more?


You will do amazing things. I hope you believe this too.



6 Things to Remember on Your Passion Journey


1. The Importance of Cultivating & Maintaining Passion

Passion is an infinite resource. Passion does not run dry. But, we may need to cultivate passion and we may need to seek sources of inspiration to continue feeling passionate.

Think of it as a well that you must keep going back to, to replenish. We can’t drink water once, and expect to never need water again.

We must access the living water that brings life to our spirits.

Find the places and people that inspire you and continue gaining sustenance and inspiration.

Don’t feel discouraged if you feel passionate one day and not passionate the next. Passion is fleeting but it does return. Keep your palms open, ready to accept the gift of passion when it comes again. Seek it out, but also have patience.

Rest assured that it will return, but also place yourself where it is likely to be.

Just like a good marriage – we should do all that we can to cultivate passion, and at the same time, be willing to put in a labor of love – even on the days we do not feel the passion.


2. The Radical Power of…Baby Steps

Not sure how to start on your passion journey?

The answer is baby steps.

I know, I know – baby steps don’t exactly sound thrilling.

But what if, starting today, you committed to one baby step a day for the next year?

A baby step maybe won’t cause a noticeable change in a day or a week. But 365 baby steps will. If you take one baby step a day – trust me – July 2017 will look very different for you.

A small step is very different than no steps.

Every night before I go to bed I have a series of questions that I ask myself. Because I know I will ask myself these questions every night, it keeps me more intentional about my day. One of the questions I ask is “What did I do today which moved me closer to my goals or dreams?”

So everyday, I have that question in mind, and everyday I do at least one tiny thing. Nothing is too small. It could be researching an idea. Sending an e-mail to someone. Writing out a goal list. Just as long as I do something.


3. Inner Work is Not Selfish

I used to worry that “inner work” was selfish. I thought I should only be focused on helping others and not myself. It turns out, helping ourselves and others are both pretty important.

When I first started working in the mental health field, I got a client that reminded me a lot of myself. She struggled with anxiety, negative thought patterns, and overthinking. All things I struggled with.

At first, I was so excited to work with her. Until I realized I had no idea how to help her. I had not yet worked out how to cope with these things myself, and therefore, really did not have a lot of helpful wisdom to pass on to her.

I have since realized the value of inner work.

Also, I have realized the importance of self-love. We are called to show love and gentleness to others – but this may be difficult if we haven’t yet learned to show these things to ourselves.

With this being said, I don’t necessarily suggest waiting to help others until your inner work is complete…because…well..that’s a life long process. But, don’t devalue inner work – it not only helps you, but it will help others too.

You can’t teach what you don’t yet know yourself.


4.Embracing Uncertainty is Non-negotiable

I am not a very big fan of uncertainty.

But, I have learned to embrace  it – mostly because, we really don’t have any other option.

Life is uncertain.

And when it comes to a passion, the truth is, none of us know exactly where following our passion will lead us.

And that’s okay.

Going back to the “baby steps” method – I know that it can be hard to even take a baby step, when you are not clear on what direction you are going. But the important thing is, is that you start moving. It almost doesn’t matter what direction you are going at first. You can always correct the direction. But honestly, what I have found, is maybe the end result is very different than that initial baby step and where you thought it was taking you, but that baby step still was a step there.

Also, it is okay to try a few different things at once. Some days I have an idea for one thing and the next day I have completely changed my mind. Or I go back and forth on two ideas. Try both. See what works. See what leads somewhere.


5. There is No End Result

I used the phrase “end result” in the above section, but if I am being perfectly honest, there is no end result.

Just really good views. You stop and appreciate the view. And then you keep climbing – because life is a journey. As long as you are breathing, the journey isn’t over.

I know that “it’s about the journey, not the destination” is an overused cliche…BUT that doesn’t change the fact that it is true. I know I have spent much of life waiting for a destination that would finally fulfill me. But the truth is, it is the journey that fulfills and motivates us to keep going.

As I said, there will be beautiful views to stop at and enjoy along the way, but you must continue on the journey. There is always new life to be found.


6. It’s Okay When Things Go Wrong

Things will go wrong. In fact, plan for it and anticipate it.

Know this is part of the journey.

We don’t chase after failure or difficulty – but when it happens, trust that it is leading you somewhere.

After college I landed a job that I was trying to force into a destination. But it wasn’t a destination. My journey had not concluded.

After a few years at my job some frustrations came about. And those frustrations gifted me with a desire to explore “new territory.” And it was through those frustrations that I was propelled to make changes in my life. And those changes gave me new life and new hope and new joy. I am thankful for the frustrations.

And although I am living more within my passion these days, that doesn’t mean I am free from failure, frustration, or disappointment. But when it comes, I will again trust that it brings the gift of growth and will take me somewhere new.



Wishing you much joy & wisdom on your passion journey.





Journal Questions:

  1. What are some ways you could cultivate and maintain your passion? What are the places and people that inspire you?
  2. What are some baby steps you could take? What is a baby step you could take today?
  3. What inner work do you need to do right now? How can you start working on this?
  4. What are some other thoughts or ideas that came to mind while reading this article? How could you act on these thoughts or ideas?

Decisions & Your Internal Board of Directors


I have always struggled with decision making.

So many options.

So many perspectives.

I would get lost in a sea of my thoughts and not know what to do.

Also, I have mentioned that I have struggled with anxiety – so not only was it that there were so may options to choose from, it was also that anxiety did not like any choice that involved any kind of risk or uncertainty.

So basically, being lost in a sea of thoughts and having anxiety happy to have me there, I had trouble progressing to anywhere new.

Have you ever been in this situation before?


Your Internal Board of Directors

I was once talking with a counselor about trying to make a decision and as I talked she clearly saw that everything I said was coming from the angle of anxiety. All my decisions were being informed by anxiety.

She asked me-
“When it comes to decision making – what if you acknowledged that Anxiety is on your board of directors? Make sure Anxiety knows she will get to share her concern and that she will be heard, but at the same time, she is a voice of many, and will be given equal weight.”

It got me thinking.

First, it helped to balance my perspective. Often, in decision making, I would go to extremes. I would either give Anxiety all the weight, or I would be trying to kick Anxiety off my board of directors completely.

Maybe Anxiety was that person in your work meetings that always had an opinion, but everyone was secretly groaning when they began to speak. But bottom line, they are on your team, and they get to share their opinion.

BUT, they don’t get to have all the weight. They are just one team member. The problem for me is, Anxiety can be a bossy team member. And think she is in charge. But she’s not. I am the CEO, and ultimately I make the final decision, based on everyone’s perspective.

This idea also got me thinking about who else was on my board of directors. And how there were some members, I had not given a voice to for a long time.

Visionary and Creativity both came to mind. They are both on my board of directors. But for a long time, I ignored their voices. They wanted to do something creative, meaningful, and new. But Anxiety didn’t want to do that, and shut their voices down.

Since I started this blog, they have been much happier, and have finally felt heard.

And I did consider Anxiety too, when deciding to start the blog. The problem was, Anxiety wanted to shut down the whole conversation altogether.

Creativity and Visionary would love to travel from place to place and do new things constantly.

But every time this subject would come up, Anxiety would loudly shout “But you need stability!” and would shut the whole conversation down.

Anxiety actually had a point. The problem was, Anxiety was so loud and aggressive, that no one else got to express their views or have their ideas considered.

Ideally, our board of directors all need to work as a team. And you, as the CEO, need to be able to navigate this conversation and make sure everyone is working together.If you have ever sat in a work meeting – you know this to be true. To have a successful meeting, we have to be able to hear eachother’s ideas and incorporate a solution that involves everyone’s opinion.

It wasn’t until after attending an inspiring conference that Creativity and Visionary felt confident enough to stand up to Anxiety and say “Hey- we have an opinion too! You need to hear us out and we need to work together!”

And they did.

And it was through their teamwork that this blog was born. Anxiety was not comfortable with any huge decisions to move from place to place or do something crazy, because Anxiety knows, that I don’t do well with instability. So Anxiety, Creativity, and Visionary brainstormed together and realized that starting a blog would fulfill Creativity’s desire to do something creative, and Visionary’s desire to do something new and something that could change and grow over time. Everyone left the meeting feeling happy.


Vision First, Logic Second

I also recently heard the idea that our Vision is the master and Logic is the servant. So, a problem with decision making I would have, would be having a vision of something I wanted to happen, and then allowing logic to talk me out of it.

I was given an alternate perspective on this. That when we have a vision/dream/passion we want to live out, it is not logic’s job to talk us out of the vision, but rather, to help us actually get to it.

Sometimes people think of following their dreams as illogical. Which, if you don’t use any logic, then it is. But you can actually use logic as a practical tool to help you reach a dream.

I attend a large church, and the pastor has the title of “lead visionary.” That is his job. The people on his team have the job of figuring out how they can practically and logically implement his visions. They are a team and each serve their function to make the vision a reality.

So, going back to the board of directors analogy.

Visionary, Anxiety, and Logic are all sitting on the board of directors.

For me, Anxiety tries to use Logic to try to talk Visionary out of things. But that is not how it works. If they do that, then Visionary never gets to do her job. In the example above, my pastor would never get to do his job of being the visionary, if he just sat in meetings and was talked out of every idea that he had.

So, I know I mentioned the idea of Vision as the master, and Logic as the servant. Obviously, that doesn’t work for the board of directors analogy where everyone is equal, but I don’t think it has to. I think Visionary and Logic can have equal voices, nobody is over anyone, BUT we are not giving Visionary any weight if we are constantly talking her out of all her ideas.

Logic’s job is to help her ideas come to fruition and looking at the practical and realistic steps that would get us to her vision. Anxiety’s job is making sure these visions will be safe and making sure we have stability.


Intuition & Ego

Another perspective I have learned about decision making goes back to the idea of intuition and ego. The way I have heard it explained is that intuition is the still small voice of wisdom and calm. Ego is the loud yelling voice full of anxiety.

So, again, back to the board of directors. I would assume Intuition and Visionary would be in similar departments.

Anxiety, at least for my board of directors, is sometimes like a child having a temper tantrum. Anxiety doesn’t mean any harm, she is just really scared and worked up, and it gets the best of her.

But as the CEO, you need to quiet Anxiety. Let her know she is important too, but with all her yelling, you are having trouble hearing the quiet calm voice of Intuition. So have Anxiety quiet for a bit – and see what Intuition has to say. You might be able to actually hear Intuition, if you give her 5 full minutes, without Anxiety interjecting her own perspective.


So, I conclude with these questions – who is on your board directors? Whose voice are you giving too much weight to? Whose voice are you not giving enough weight to? Whose voice is too loud? Whose voice is too quiet?

What are you going to do different because you read this article today?

Wishing you decisions that bring fulfillment, peace, and joy.




Journal Questions:

  1. Who is on your board directors?
  2. Whose voice are you giving too much weight to? Whose voice is too loud?
  3. Whose voice are you not giving enough weight to? Whose voice is too quiet?
  4.  Are you willing to allow your vision to be the “master” and your logic to be the “servant”? Are you willing to allow logic to help you reach your dreams, rather than talking you out of them? What would you do different, if you embraced this way of thinking?
  5. What would your intuition say, if you were able to quiet your ego? Listen for the calm wise voice – and write down what thoughts come to mind.
  6. What are you going to do different because you read this article today?


Additional Resource:

If there is anything from this post you would like to do some “deeper work” on, there is now an option to do one-on-one coaching with me.

If you think this is something you might be interested in, feel free to check out the coaching page here.