Traditionally when we think about our goals, we think about the end. We imagine the achievement and how incredible we will feel when we get there.
The beginning is also fun. When we set the goal, we are often excited, motivated, and energized.
Setting the goal and reaching the goal both feel pretty awesome.
But in the middle of the goal, it doesn't feel exciting. It doesn't feel incredible. It actually feels kind of terrible.
And most of the time, we think that something has gone wrong.
We think, "I didn't know it was going to be like this. I didn't know it was going to feel this bad along the way." From the excitement of the beginning and our idealized view of the end, it's easy to gloss over that long, painful middle part.
This happened to me this week. I finished my coach training ("Yea! This feels so good!") only to realize that I'm only halfway to my goal. The entrepreneurial part of my program begins today—the part where I build my coaching practice from scratch.
Exhausted by all the work I have already done and overwhelmed by all the work still to come, I told my coach despondently, "I thought this was going to be easier."
"That is not a thought you're going to want to keep," she said.
Because when we think it should be easy, and the reality is hard, we stop taking action towards our goal.
The truth is, I'm in the middle of my goal. The middle is the part full of negative emotion. The middle is about work without reward. The middle is the part that separates the dream from the reality. The middle is the price of the goal.
This is the truth for every one of us.
It's not supposed to be easy. This is the middle.
And going through the middle is the only way to the end.