Has this happened to you as often as it has for me? You’ve spent a great deal of time preparing, studying, and believing in the opportunity that will get you closer to your dreams, but when that moment actually comes, you don’t seize it. You are then kicking yourself asking yourself why you didn’t do what you were supposed to.
This was my life for a long time. It was almost as if I was having an out of body experience while it happened. I knew exactly what I had to do and why I had to do it, but yet I wouldn’t take full advantage of my opportunities. You may have had similar situations whether you’re an athlete, a business professional or a student.
You see, we all have this voice within our head that tries to guide us, but often we doubt that voice because we don’t believe in our own power. Instead of acting out of instinct and doing what we feel is best, we hold ourselves back because we worry; what happens if I say the wrong thing or what happens if I do this, and it turns out badly? I’ve been there plenty of times.
I’m the kind of person that plans everything in my head before it even happens. I want everything to go perfectly. But how is that even possible? How can you enjoy your life if you are constantly thinking of your next step. Don’t get me wrong, you should visualize and plan your goals beforehand, but you should also learn to just live in the moment. I’ve ended up missing out on a lot of moments that I could have been, because I worried too much about what others would say or what they would think of me. This is no way to live so I made a decision that I would not live this way any longer.
Embrace the Process
I knew that if I was going to pursue my dreams, that I would have to go through a lot of ups and downs. I decided to embrace the process and make every situation the best I could. Some of these moments have been the best memories I’ve had in my life. While others left me with a learning experience.
The more pressure you feel the more you allow yourself to respond based on instinct. Whenever I was the most comfortable was when I did not allow myself to push through that proverbial wall. The size of your dream determines the amount of pressure you must face. Pressure is not a bad thing, this can be a very good thing. Pressure is something that forces you to be in a position where you must give it your best.
I still remember the day I was lead my first business meeting. I was 21 years old then and I had to give a talk about productivity in the workplace in front of an entire room of 250 people. One thing you should know about me, I’ve never wanted to be the center of attention. In fact, I would be perfectly fine just sitting in a meeting, taking notes, and learning from others. But do you know where that gets you? Nowhere.
To be a leader, you must step out from the crowd and do things that make you uncomfortable. So as I began to take more leadership positions, I had the opportunity to lead this meeting, and I felt excited about the experience. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I was afraid of stumbling my words and embarrassing myself. But then something happened, as I got up there and started to get things going, I began to live in the moment as I had never done before. I’ve heard people refer to this experience as being in “the zone”. I didn’t even need to refer to my notes or try to plan out what I was going to say next. It all came naturally. I simply felt engaged in what I was doing and did not have a single thought of doubt. I truly believe this was because I had 500 eyeballs on me and there was no time for me to doubt. These people were counting on me to deliver them a message that would empower them, and I simply could not spend any mental energy worrying about myself.
What Should You Do?
I cannot answer this question for you. Your situation is different than mine. Your story is unique, and that’s the beauty of it. You have a path that you must take, and I don’t know what that path is. I do know something about you, though. I know that you have a dream that you care deeply about, which is why you are reading this. And that only you know what that unique path to reaching your dream is.
Too many of us try to find our “why” by looking in the wrong place. We watch motivational videos online and search for our inspiration by looking outside of ourselves. “Are you saying I should stop watching these videos?” Not at all. What I’m saying is you must look within yourself to find your true inspiration.
So why are you are reading this? Whatever it is that just came to your mind, that is what you should pursue. It may not be a burning desire yet, but it is a start. Now learn how to cultivate that desire into something you MUST have and start to put yourself in a position which creates pressure towards excelling towards that dream. I can tell from my own experience that it is much more rewarding to conquer your fears and doubts than to live an easy and comfortable life.
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John is an entrepreneur, speaker and business consultant. He has read over 200 books on the topics of personal development, psychology, success, and business. He has also listened to and studied over 3,000 hours of audios on those same topics. John has a passion for empowering people and helping them to reach their fullest potential.
With the fall semester marathon now ended, most students are by now enjoying the tranquility of their home for the winter holidays, catching up on TV shows and seeing old friends. And while some are already making New Year’s resolutions, others would rather argue that these resolutions are very short-lived goals that miserably fail to make it until February. If you are interested in leadership and entrepreneurship, chances are you know something about setting goals and seeing them accomplished.
In fact, aspiring leaders should always make resolutions – but your entire year should not be guided by an idea you had in between two glasses of champagne on the 31st December and never reconsidered since. Setting shot, medium and long-term goals is a process that should be ongoing in your mind throughout the year, yet it does not need to become a complicated, rigid and stressful chore.
There are as many ways of setting goals as there are goals one can set. Some need to sit down and write everything down while others have a less formal way of going about their goals and simply keep them in check in their minds, and whether you are the first or second type is actually irrelevant. The difference between successful leaders and people who fail to see their goals accomplished is not that one had a better goal than the other, or that one wrote them down in a notebook and the other didn’t.
What do leaders actually do differently then?
Leaders have a sense of finding what changes they need to make in their lifestyle and the strategies they need to develop so as to work towards their goals – and that is where they invest their energy instead of simply focusing on the said goal. Creating the “nest” for your goal is more important than the goal itself. If the goal is a seed engrained in your mind, you do not need to worry about the plant when you begin, but you should definitely grab some compost and tools and get ready to dig.
No matter how different goals are, they are all conditioned by the time variable and when you start creating the nest for your goal, it should be one of your main considerations. This way, you won’t be able to say “I couldn’t accomplish my goal because I didn’t have the time for it”. You can work around time constraints by adding more discipline to your routine. For instance, you can wake up earlier and hit the gym every morning and still have the time to take care of all your courses and extra-curriculars during the day. You can work with time by finding your own ways of maximizing it. Keeping up with e-mails can be a very time-consuming task, and one way of reducing the time spent on them could be to set various moments of the day when you check them and answer them, thus avoiding you to always be in the process of drafting a reply and never getting to send it. A more responsible management of your time spent on social media can go a long way when it comes to freeing up time for other activities or simply relaxing. There are tons of small changes you can make in your 24h planning once you know what your priorities are.
In conclusion, you need to find out what your goals are, question them and adapt them to your situation, all year long. Minimize and control the obstacles between you and your goals. If you are flexible and critical of your lifestyle you can successfully create the environment you need to achieve your goals for the year that lies ahead.