We all hit a point at certain during life where we feel like we have stalled out. Progress seems minimal at best and we can’t quite understand what’s going on.
Sound familiar? It should. We’ve all been there. Trust me.
Plateaus are extremely normal, and quite frankly they are healthy to some degree. I challenge the athletes and clients that I work with to view plateaus not as a negative consequence, rather a realization that you have found the limits of your capacity and are ready to progress forward. A simple way to look at this is that you have achieved your previous goal and are in search of a new challenge.
So how do we break the cycle of stagnation? How do begin moving forward again?
The answer is simple, but not sexy. Consistency.
As a coach, I find that my job relies heavily on my ability to communicate with others and gain their trust. You see athletes have to buy-in to the message and more importantly the process. It’s not enough for me to want success for someone else - they have to want it for themselves.
When I think about my own career in the last 10 years, I can name a number of times where I felt stagnant and needed to change. Early on this used to happen every 3-6 months. It was extremely frustrating and left me feeling helpless.
In an effort to begin embracing the plateau moments rather than avoid them, I came up with a 3-step process as a way to evaluate my progress in an effort to help re-focus my efforts and push me through the rough patches.
1. Clearly define my expectations for myself and honestly assess if I am doing everything I can to support those.
The 80/20 or 70/30 rule is truly something we should strive for (80% discipline to stay on track x 20% enjoying life and what you want or 70% x 30% if you like that better). We have to give ourselves the opportunity to “enjoy life” and not worry, but in the same vein we need to understand that if we want to achieve a desired goal - we have to work hard.
2. Evaluate whether I need a coach or if I already know what to do next.
Being self sufficient is awesome. But understanding when you need help and guidance AND be willing to ask is even more powerful. A lot of times I have found that my own discomfort and frustrations are a result on my stubbornness. Learning to ask for help is not a weakness. It’s a strength.
3. Embracing that consistency is the secret ingredient to success and sometimes, I just have to bite down and get back to work.
Knowing when you need to change something up and when you should get back to work is key. I realized early on that I have the tendency to set lofty goals for myself. Which is great, but that also means I have to work extremely hard to achieve those. Personally I interested in finding out what I am capable of and then pushing past those limits - which means I need to always work hard!
So today if you are finding yourself in a bit of a rut or thinking that you have stalled, take some time to evaluate your progress and use the three points above to guide your thought process. If you come to the conclusion that it might be time for you to find a coach to help get you over the hump, I know a few that could assist!