Can I let you in on a little secret? As a creative, I often feel judged by others for being made this way. While I am ambitious in my daily work efforts—public relations is a real job, I carry a sense of shame as I pursue what I want as a writer and content creator. Writing is a crucial part of my career and gets my creative juices flowing. I work with amazing people on awesome projects, but they aren’t my projects. Even knowing that I have great ideas of my own, I fill my schedule with PR work because I’m good at it, and it pays the bills.
For years, I subjected myself to the unsolicited advice and comments of others. I wish I could play on the Internet all day and not work. Your family needs two incomes to survive. How is that making money for you? If you are self-employed, have a creative side, or want to work in non-traditional ways, you have probably heard similar comments from well-being friends and family members. I’m not sure about you, but those words caused me feelings of shame that haunt me even today. I allowed their words to cause me to hide until I decided to be shameless in my goal pursuits.
When I heard the comments about being on the Internet all day, I knew that it was a necessary part of my work, but it still stung. Even the comments about my family needing two incomes to survive bothered me. Intellectually, I knew that while working part-time to build my public relations firm alongside raising my boys, I was earning significantly more money than some women earn while working full-time. I had fewer work-related expenses—childcare, dry cleaning, clothing, etc. Besides, I didn’t have the stress of wondering if my manager would be angry if one of my children got sick, and I needed to call into work. I controlled every aspect of my schedule. Why should I be ashamed of anything?
Honestly, the hardest thing to hear is how’s that making money for you? That’s a loaded question you don’t have to answer. Everyone has a hobby or something that costs. The people who’ve asked me this question are shopaholics, gamers, gamblers, and foodies. Except for the gambler, there is little or no monetary return on their hobbies. As a writer, I earn royalties on the books I write and money from affiliates. I even get work inquiries from my blog. Who should be ashamed? Not I.
How to Be Shameless In Goal Pursuit
As I mentioned earlier, the judging words of others still show up in my thoughts. Fortunately, I have learned to press through and do what I need to do to make my dreams come true. I want you to do the same.
The late Stephen R. Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) encouraged those who follow his goal planning philosophy, to begin with, the end in mind. It is a common-sense principle, considering that a goal is the desired outcome of an effort. But, we often become so enamored with the idea of achievement that we forget to look at where we are today.
When I started my business, I took a long, hard look at my current situation. I was a mother married to a nomadic strength and conditioning coach. In collegiate sports, it is rare to be somewhere longer than four years. Our average stint in any place was about 18 months. Let’s just say that most employers frown upon a disjointed, inconsistent work history because the candidate (me) was following her husband from state to state. I knew that one day the boys would grow up, so I planned to increase my workload as they became more independent.
From there, I started. It wasn’t a sprint either. In my first year in business, I earned roughly $8,500. But, I was able to grow because I started with a plan and a prayer. According to Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord plans his steps.” In my heart, I knew what I wanted during that season. But, I also went to God for clarity and direction. Aligning my will to his will for me drives me to reach my goals.
You have to know what you want—your destination—and what it takes to get it—your route. What do you need to do to reach your goal? What resources do you need to have in place to get there? Resource planning is one of the most important things you can do as you attempt to reach your goals. You will need money, time, and people around you to help you reach your goals.
Then, there is God, the Source. God provides strength and ability (Philippians 4:12-13), unfailing compassion (Lamentations 3:22), peace (I Peter 5:7), and provision (Romans 8:32), amongst other things. He offers all of this, and God sees everything. Why not be directed by someone who can provide a precise direction? It is essential that after you set your goal, you make a plan while letting God lead your path. Be a shameless follower of God’s will for your life.
And, knowing that God has a plan to prosper you and to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) can go a long way to fortify you on the days when the words of others are discouraging. You don’t have to be ashamed because He already gave you success in Him. When you have a plan that is aligned with direction from God, you have an opportunity to walk in your destiny. You can reach your goals if you pursue them. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17), so you have to work your plan. Be shameless in your work.
A critical factor in executing your plan is motivation. Motivation is that drive, which causes a person to keep getting up when the world knocks them down. It is that tunnel vision that compels a person to keep moving towards the light when they are surrounded by darkening failure. Motivation is the energy that burns within when negative people speak failure over seemingly too big undertakings.
It is easy to lose motivation if you allow failure or fear to paralyze you. Never take failure personally. Take it as a learning experience and use the newly acquired knowledge to your advantage. Never allow the embarrassment of an unmet goal or milestone to cause you to quit. Take it as an opportunity to re-group, re-tool, and re-examine your plan. Motivation keeps you going when you miss the mark. Most great success is preceded by profound, agonizing failure.
Tips to Shamelessly Pursue Your Goals
- Have shameless focus: Keep your eye on your goal.
- Be shameless in your pursuit of knowledge: Develop a plan.
- Be a shameless follower of the Word: Submit to God’s direction.
- Be shameless in your determination: Stay motivated as you work your plan.
- Shamelessly pursue your goal: Don’t let failure stop you.