For years I have dreamed of up-leveling my life. From having more, to doing more, to being more, I have spent countless hours studying others who were exactly where I dreamed I would some day be. Their lives seemed so exciting, energizing, and even glamorous. I couldn’t wait to get there. But here’s the cold, hard facts that I learned from my upward climb…1. you may not even notice that your up-level is happening, and 2. up-leveling may unleash an infectious desire to work harder and achieve even more. So, ask yourself before you begin…are you ready for it?
Step number one to leveling-up. Stop making excuses. That may sound harsh, but for many people it is reality. We all have a reason for why we can’t get started, why something might not work out, and why it is easier to just dream about what we want instead of taking the steps required to get there. Instead of allowing yourself to inaccurately assume that what you want is not within your reach, you need to build your mindset and train your brain to believe that everything is possible. Start with a simple affirmation. My dream is possible. Say it out loud so you can hear yourself say it. Repeat it as often and as loudly as you like. Write it out and tape it somewhere where you will see it every day.
The first step in reaching any level is to believe that you can get there. Now that you’ve taken that first huge step, it’s okay to take baby steps. I am sure that you have heard the adage that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It is true. And it is a good reminder that achieving anything of magnitude takes time. Each small thing you do every day toward your goal will build upon itself. What can you do right now that is in line with your vision and is considered progress? If your obstacle is financial, perhaps you could start setting aside X-amount of dollars a day, or take a few minutes to search for a loan or a grant you can apply for. Whatever it is that needs to be done to move you forward, create a list and pick the one thing that you can do right now. Keep going from there and before you know it, your city will be half-built.
You don’t jump from level 1 to level 50. You go from level 1, to level 2, to level 3, and so on. There’s a very clear progression from zero to hero.Steve Kamb, author Level Up Your Life,
Next, take the time to recognize and celebrate your achievements as they happen. No matter how big or small, whenever you have completed a step in your level, pause for a moment to acknowledge your win. Ring a bell, give yourself a high-five, congratulate yourself out loud or text a friend, or take yourself out to do your favorite thing (budget allowing). Showing gratitude and support for the level that you have just completed will feel great and it will give you the encouragement you need to keep moving.
My last leveling-up took me one year and one month to achieve. It felt like forever. After accomplishing a slew of smaller goals, the final feather in my cap to obtain was a monthly monetary sales goal that I set for my online POSHMARK store. It was not an outrageous goal, and I knew that it was achievable, yet month after month I constantly fell below the mark. Though I tried to remain positive and optimistic that my goal would be reached, there were moments over that year where I felt discouraged. On one particularly discouraging day, I took out my journal and wrote a list of what I thought this challenging time could be trying to teach me:
- To innovate a new idea.
- To trust the process.
- To have patience.
- To rest and enjoy the down time.
- To put my needs first (self-care).
- To ask for help.
- To know that it will be okay.
- To adjust my focus.
- To have gratitude.
- To love what I do regardless of the outcome.
Up-level’s can be sneaky and unpredictable. They show up when you are least expecting it, are not paying attention, or after you have declared that you are giving up (for the 12th time) in the face of new challenges and obstacles. But, here’s the thing about why you shouldn’t give up. What if the newest obstacle you encounter during a frustrating and challenging time is the final step of the level you are on. Would you be so quick to give up then, knowing you are standing at the top step before victory?
Unfortunately (or fortunately) for us, we don’t know when we are at the top. So here’s one last piece of advice that you can add to the list while you are waiting: focus on the journey, not the destination. The length of time it takes you to complete a level is exactly the amount of time you need to produce the quality of the outcome desired. And, every piece of knowledge you learn and gather during that time, good and bad, will carry over with you to the next level as your foundation grows.
Leveling-up your life is a Hero’s Journey. YOU are the hero. Celebrate your victory and prepare for the next, because as is true with most heroes and their quests, once the last one ends, a new one is set to begin. A bigger quest. One with even more work and challenges. One with newer people and places. One with greater outcomes and with larger rewards. It is out there waiting for you. Are you ready for it?
Find Steve Kamb’s Level up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness By Becoming The Hero of Your Own Story at your local library or book store, or through your favorite digital book reading app.
NEW to POSHMARK? Use code THREADSBYKELLY when you sign up for the app to save $10 on your first purchase.