In business and life, sometimes you have to fight for what you want. You must declare what you want and go after it with vigor. This is especially true for growing a business and in pursuing your dreams. You must be the champion of your own success. But who are you really fighting? After working with hundreds of professionals and observing my own patterns, I’ve learned the painful truth. The battle is only in your head.

I didn’t know this when I launched my professional career and started my first business. I thought success was solely about doing great work and being the best you could be at your job. I thought others would recognize the effort, tell their friends and colleagues, and that promotions and referrals would be easy. Success can follow that trajectory for a while. And then you hit a plateau.

You begin thinking, “what’s next?” “Am I really on the right track?” “Is this what I really want?” The job may feel safe and the salary sufficient. Your client base may be consistent and profits steady. However, your soul is screaming. Do you dare to listen?

This is where the fight can get rough. You push away that little voice inside with, “it’s not the right time,” “I’m too old,” “I should be happy with this,” and, “what’s the matter with me?”

If you dare to listen, a whole new world begins to emerge. This is the world of infinite possibilities. This is the world in which you shake off fear, take a good look around, and give yourself permission to go after what you want. Many of my clients have entered this place with trepidation and doubt, fought those feelings, and moved forward into great success. Several have shattered their former beliefs and achieved what they never before thought possible: secured positions $100K more than their previous salary, gained record profits, led $100 million projects, started new businesses, and are living with joy by their own design.

Here are five questions to stop fighting that inner voice and  close the gap between where you are and where your soul may be headed.

  1. What do I really want? (if you don’t know yet, ponder questions 2-4 and come back)
  2. What am I tolerating? Why?
  3. What am I assuming about my situation?
  4. How else can I think about this?
  5. What tiny action can I take now to move toward what I really want?

Start small. Tiny action is low risk or no risk action such as connecting with others who have achieved what you desire, taking classes, giving a talk, or starting a blog. You don’t need to leave your day job, in fact, sometimes you can turn your day job into your dream job. But sometimes you do need to quit. I left a fabulous corporate job with a corner office to answer that little voice, twice. I was terrified, but I knew I had more to offer the world.

No one will fight as hard as you for what you want. Give yourself permission to go after what you want. Your greatness is calling, will you listen?