Love, Always

Didn’t get what you wanted? Don’t be discouraged. Your rewards are coming.

When you’re a life coach, like me, you spend a lot of time thinking about “goals” and “rewards.”

After all, people rarely hire coaches when there’s “nothing” they want to achieve!

People hire coaches when there’s something they want to do, create, achieve, or change — and they need support and regular check-ins to make it happen.

I’m a big fan of setting goals. Like an archer aiming for a bullseye, specific goals give you a sense of purpose and direction. A place to focus your energy. That’s always good!

When we set specific goals, we often have a very specific reward in mind, too. (“I’m going to change my diet, commit to exercising three times a week, lose weight and then — yay, big reward! — I will fit into my favorite dress, have tons more energy, and feel so proud of myself.”)

When you commit to changing your life — and when you are driven to change by self-love, not fear or self-loathing — you will always be rewarded in one way or another.

There’s no doubt about that.

The rewards invariably arrive — and they are beautiful.

What I have found, though, in my coaching practice — as well as in my own life — is that the rewards that come your way are often not what you’d expect.

Take me, for example.

About a year ago, I created a specific goal for myself:

“I want to write a series of guidebooks to help people navigate some of life’s most challenging situations — like dealing with an uncooperative child, figuring out how to shift from a career you hate into one that you love, and figuring out how to take care of yourself when you’re a caregiver for somebody else. And more!”

This goal excited me so much. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I made it happen.

I wrote the books. Eleven guidebooks, all together. Got them up on my website. Recorded audio books to accompany them. Built an entirely new Shop to house them. It took a huge amount of work, but everything came together beautifully.

I felt deeply proud of myself. Ahhh. All done. It was finally time to relax and wait for the “rewards” to come tumbling my way.

Here is what happened:

The specific reward that I’d hoped for — thousands of sales! thousands of downloads! millions of international fans! — did not happen. (Maybe someday! Still hopeful. Anything can happen. :)

Instead, I received a number of very different — yet equally sweet — rewards.

– I received emails from men and women (regular folks just trying to do life as best they can) who had purchased my guidebooks. Emails filled with stories about challenges they’d been able to overcome. Breakthroughs. Moments of triumph. Gratitude. Love.

Each email reminded me, “Whoa… I really can impact people through my writing. I’m not just ‘wasting my time’ here. I really am helping people.”

Knowing this is one of the best feelings in the world.

– I also received a flood of unexpected opportunities to speak and appear on the radio, on TV, and on major websites. Tons of media requests. Not part of my original plan. Still: totally beautiful rewards. (Ironically: I have been able to “reach millions” through all of these combined media appearances, which was part of my original goal. It just didn’t happen in the way that I planned!).

– The biggest reward, perhaps, is that my “inner writer” has been fully awakened. I’ve always loved writing, but lately, I feel completely unstoppable. I’m in the process of completing THREE books right now (two new books plus a re-release of a book I wrote decades ago) and hope to self-publish all of them by the end of this year. This fills me with such intense joy. Would this immense burst of productivity have happened if I hadn’t tackled my “guidebook goal” last year? Maybe. Maybe not.

What I know for sure is that when you work with love, the rewards will always come — though not always in the exact form you expect.

If you are working towards a highly-specific goal right now, I applaud you. That kind of focus and self-direction is wonderful.

But as you roll along, try not to get discouraged if the reward you originally envisioned doesn’t get delivered to you on a silver platter. That doesn’t mean you’ve “failed” in your quest. It just means that the Universe is conspiring to shower you with different rewards.

In the end? These “unexpected rewards” might be better than anything you previously wished for. Take it from a woman who knows. :)

Keep working, keep loving, and keep trusting:

They might completely surprise you, but rest assured…

Your rewards are coming.

Love, always.

xo.