Are your resolutions from the start of the year in full swing, or do they need a little dusting off and a new sense of self-belief injected into them? When we take time out to set our goals, whether they be during a drunken moment on New Years Eve, or during a rainy afternoon when you have some time to reflect, nothing can stand in the way of you and these moments of self-confidence and determination.
However, often when we translate these desires into everyday life and we have the more mundane priorities taking over, or we experience periods of self-doubt, persevering and taking the road less traveled can seem daunting and at times, an impossibility.
If you’re feeling this way, don’t give up. You are made of tougher stuff. Just remember, every successful entrepreneur, actor, athlete, mother or artist thought the same before they succeeded. The challenges are there to teach you something, if you’re able to view them that way.
So if discontentment is niggling away at you, and you’re finding it difficult to persist when the going gets tough, here’s three steps to help you stay on track.
Ask The Person In The Mirror… Do You Know What You Really Want?
This can sometimes be the hardest thing to answer. If you don’t know where to begin, start with an afternoon and some pen and paper.
We have 60,000 thoughts swimming through our heads each day – deciphering the useful thoughts from the confused and negative ones can be a task in itself when they’re all competing for your attention.
Go somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, or even sit in your favorite cafe with only some coffee, a piece of cake and your thoughts to keep you company, and start writing a list of the things you want to achieve.
This can be overwhelming if there’s many facets of your life you want to change, so start with just a list of goals for the coming week or a month, with an end goal in mind. Write down practical little steps you can do each day or week, and make sure you stick by them. As you complete each task, take the time to tick them off and congratulate yourself. In doing so, you’ll feel like you’re paving the way for the success and that you’re in control of your life.
Writing your thoughts and desires down is not only incredibly cathartic, it gives you clarity and forces you to pinpoint what your priorities are. Keep your list somewhere visible so you’re constantly reminded of what you need to do, and how far you’ve come.
Drown Out The Destructive Criticism
There’s a difference between constructive criticism, and someone who is just projecting their own inadequacies or jealousy onto you. Of course when they come from someone you’re close to, or if you’re experiencing feelings of self-doubt too, drowning out their views can be difficult, but it’s an important skill to master.
For example, taking others views on board if you’re thinking of investing all your money into a risky project can be invaluable, however, listening to someone criticize a goal or project that will have untold benefits to your happiness and personal development, is not.
Stay focussed with what you want and keep taking baby steps to make it happen. That way next time someone criticizes your goal, you’ll feel more secure in your decision and progress.
Remember, not everyone has to have the same view as you, so surround yourself with people who are also heading in the same direction when looking for support or ideas. Your sister with four children may not understand why you’d want to run that B&B in the south of France with your best friend, however no doubt your friends who have traveled, or other people who have started their own businesses will.
Have No Plan B
Last month, we shared with you a very inspiring video featuring snippets of Will Smith being interviewed over the years and his views towards success. We love his quote:
“ I don’t have a plan B, I find it interferes with my Plan A.” – Will Smith
So often when the going gets tough, we become tempted by the easier path and begin to convince ourselves that perhaps our dreams are too far fetched or unrealistic; that we should just get that office job we don’t want, or give up on saving for that world trip and buy a house despite not being ready for such a commitment.
Aim for plan A. It may be a tougher struggle riddled with obstacles and challenges, but the joy you’ll feel when you get there will flush over you in a wave of satisfaction that plan B never could have mustered!
And if you’ve gone down the plan B path (like many of us have at some point), don’t worry, it’s never too late to change. Work out what you want and start taking practical steps to get there. Remember, action of any kind, is always better than doing nothing.
If you have a method that helps you stay focussed when the tough gets going, tell us about it below. We’d love to hear how your technique helps you, and how it can inspire our other readers!