Why Can’t Things Just Be Different for Me?

Making changes has always been hard for me.  If you ask my family, I can’t stand changing things I am comfortable with.  I sometimes wish my life was the same as when I was 23 and had the same job and no responsibilities.  Nothing is constant other than change, so I fought them as much as I could by staying as conservative as I could in my approach to things.  These are the thoughts of a typical accountant…….always make the safe journal entry – no risks.

For instance, somewhere in the back of my mind there always was a pull for becoming a teacher.  I had said it out loud a few times but had never acted on it. I never did get around to doing it while I was an accountant, thinking it would take too long.  Many years went by without exploring the idea.

When I started thinking of changes like these about 5 years ago, they seemed impossible.  It’s like I never gave myself the change to embody this kind of outcome.

I did not become a teacher overnight.  First, with some inspiration from my wife, I subbed at various levels, and noticed I really enjoyed being in a school environment and teaching. Then a mentoring teacher pushed me to become a paraprofessional (helper teacher), which I really enjoyed too. A  principal helped me get a backfill full-time position as a technology teacher. I then completed my alternate route schooling. I stayed on board for another year as a paraprofessional as I interviewed for positions – unbelievably I’m finishing my first full year as a full-time business teacher …… and my contract just got renewed!   Without family support, particularly from my wife, this could not have happened and I thank them all the time.

Do you know what changed it all?? Two things::

1 – Making changes in other aspects of my life, showed me that making changes is POSSIBLE and that I CAN achieve seemingly impossible outcomes.

2 – I didn’t focus on becoming a FULL TIME BUSINESS TEACHER right away, because my mind would immediately tell me it is impossible.  So, I took small tiny steps and stepped into this role as a teacher more slowly. As I accomplished each step, I felt more confident that it was possible for me to be a full time teacher.

Today, as a teacher, I still catch myself thinking, “This is crazy, what am I doing here?”… or “Is that me talking?” when I’m in front of my students.

But that just goes to show you – all I did was ‘imagine’ this would be, I did not focus on HOW I would do it, and as a matter of fact, I didn’t think about it too much.  I wasn’t obsessing about being a teacher, but I was paying attention to the opportunities that were presented to me.

I’ll talk about these opportunities on a different post, but for now, here are my TIPS for you to achieve seemingly impossible goals in your career, personal performance or physical performance::

1 – Write down all of the things you have accomplished in your life which you thought was once impossible.  Write down everything you have accomplished since you remember yourself. Think back to that time and really envision what it felt like to accomplish those things.

2 – Break down long term goals into bite-sized chunks that you know you will be able to complete.  Write down every tiny step you would need to accomplish – have fun with this – write down the tiniest steps ever – trust me.  When you have finished writing this list, see if you can go through it and accomplish things one by one. Completing these mini- goals slowly will build up your confidence to achieve BIGGER and SEEMINGLY impossible goals.  

Then, one day, you will wake up having achieved this goal, thinking, “this is crazy, what am I doing here?”

Share your goals with me below, and I will help you break them down into micro-mini-goals that can be accomplished easily!

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

1 Comment

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