Sticking to your goals is really important if you want to achieve your dreams. It isn’t as easy as saying that you will stay committed though. Not straying from the path is difficult, sometimes the reasons we are sidetracked aren’t even in our control. We keep trying to hold ourselves accountable but fail. We try to say committed but fail. We then give up.
“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.”
Many people find holding themselves accountable to be difficult. It is easy to come up with reasons to convince yourself that not doing something is most probably okay. Why do we make excuses in the first place?
We lie to ourselves, we are scared to experiment with our capabilities, we scared to fail; we have fear of embarrassment, fear of rejection, fear of uncertainty; and most importantly, we scared of change.
Think about what reasons and excuses you often make and you will get some answers. You need to know about yourself – your fears, insecurities, and flaws. You need to know what makes you feel the most under-confident. When you know the trigger, only then will you be able to fight it. Knowing your weak points lets you rise above all fears and achieve self-confidence.
You must have heard this popular anecdote, it describes what we are talking about really well –
Five frogs were sitting on a log. Four decided to jump off. How many are left?
Five. Why? Because deciding and doing are not the same. It always seems impossible until it’s done. Cut the crap and just do it. Now, that you have decided to keep working, try finding ways to hold yourself accountable.
A good method to help you stick to your goal is to commit to another individual who will make you accountable for it. For example, imagine that you are an overweight person and wish to shed about 30kgs. You draw up a 6-month diet and exercise plan with monthly targets that define the process.
The next thing you should do is to get in touch with a very close person, a friend or relative, and share the goal you have set for yourself. For example, you can disclose the plan with your brother coupled with the condition that you will pay 20% of your part-time income to him if you fail to meet the target. The prospect of failing in front of your brother and the loss of your income will act as a good motivation for you to try and meet the set goals.
Begin With Avoiding Comparisons
Comparing your progress to others is you being unfair to yourself. You cannot compare your start to someone’s middle and come out happy from that thought. All it will do is take you down. When you start working at something that involves a huge risk, it is easy to look at everything with distrust, it is easy to compare, it is easy to judge. You have to try to think of ways to change your perspective during crises. You have to actively stop yourself from thinking about external things that are completely out of your control.
External roadblocks are easier to pinpoint, but the ones we create ourselves, our mental roadblocks, those are what stop us from succeeding. Living in denial about how you yourself are holding yourself back is not going to help. Instead of doing that, you need to recognize the signs that tell you that it is time to change your mindset for a better standing point.
When you start holding yourself accountable, it becomes easier to not compare your progress with others. Because you know how much effort you have been putting in, and what changes you can make to move faster. When YOU and YOUR GROWTH are what you are focusing on, it becomes easier to not make comparisons and let that bring you down.
Avoid Dwelling on the Past
You can’t spend your whole life cribbing and blaming the mishappenings of your past. Having a positive outlook is necessary. Every bad experience teaches you a thing or two, let’s focus on that rather than feeling sorry about ourselves.
So what if you were not appreciated for your work before? That reason is not enough to stop you from trying again. No hard-work goes unrewarded. Failing your commitments can easily break your confidence. You start losing trust in yourself and your promises. This stops you from making further commitments because you know what is going to happen.
This is exactly what you are supposed to fight. Unless you commit to achieving something and learn how to not deter from the path, it will be difficult to work toward something with determination.
Stop allowing your yesterday to ruin your today. Accept what has happened. See every day as a new challenge, a new chapter.
Take Full Responsibility for Failures and Mistakes
We have a habit of blaming everyone or everything else instead of ourselves for our own actions. It is easier to not take responsibility. Life is built on our ability to successfully adapt to the changing conditions that life throws our way.
Courage is admitting your mistakes and taking full ownership of your mistakes – learning from them and growing. This helps you go further – it enables you to make better judgments and keep little problems from growing into big ones.
Focus on solutions and new opportunities whenever you feel stuck. Seek alternate perspectives by asking other people for their opinions, comments, and feedback, but always be the one to take the final decision. Focus on your strengths and use your weaknesses to better yourself. Same thing when it comes to developing a sense of commitment and accountability.
Stop saying I won’t, I can’t, I’ll do it later, I’ll try, I may do it, tomorrow, day after… NO! DO IT NOW! If you want to get from where you are in life to where you want to be, you need to avoid making excuses and focus on the tasks that are going to get you there. While these qualities will take you where you want to be – you need to work to develop them as well.
Why Do We Need Measurable Goals?
Measurable goals are the first step to setting a realistic goal. It is very important to have a clear idea of what you want so that you can have a proper plan as to what needs to be done to achieve that. When people aren’t dead set on achieving something is when they set vague goals and that gives them an out for not doing it.
Unrealistic goals can be goals with either no defining line as to when it can be considered as complete or goals that are way out of the realism of achieving them. In both cases, you are going to end up failing and, in turn, being demoralized go after the said thing again. Being ambitious is important and setting goals is important – the problem occurs when you overdo both of these things.
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”
-Orison Swett Marden
Let’s start with the basics today – Why do we need to set goals?
“Man does not live by bread alone.” This is what Jesus says when Satan asks him to turn a stone into bread.
The world has discussed this popular maxim for over years. What does a man need to truly live?
The moment we are born, the society categorizes us, labels us, gives us a name and expects us to make our presence count. We are sent to school, then to college, all this to get a job and continue the same cycle with our children. But why do we need a job? We need a job to make our stay on this planet comfortable.
Some of you may interpret this statement as basic requirements one needs to lead a normal-ordinary life. But ‘bread’ stands for much more than just food, clothes and shelter. There is deeper meaning to the statement. There is a difference between living your life and merely existing.
We all have this phase in life when we are pressurized to choose our career options. We either go for engineering or medicine or maybe even law or accounts. This is the point where you should choose what you like rather than what would pay better in future. If you are passionate about your choice, then you would eventually find your way to success. Choose a path you are willing to travel despite all the hardships you experience on the way.
Some of you say you are not even clear with your passion. In that case list your talents and interests, weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose one.
There is always a way, a choice because 30 years from now you cannot afford to have regrets about the one thing which shaped your whole life. This is why goals are needed and to achieve them, measurable ones are the most logical way to go.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
Measurable goals define a goal that is specific and measurable and that makes it more likely to be achieved.
Imagine having hundreds of immeasurable goals written down on your list – what do you think you are going to achieve or how many goals do you think you will be able to achieve? If I say I want to get a healthy body and that is my goal. Now, because I haven’t specified how much weight I need to lose in order to get to my desired weight, I cannot make a proper plan and I will not know when to stop or how dedicated I need to be. I will not be able to mark it as achieved and move on to another goal because this one will always linger in my mind as incomplete. Marking goals as achieved or complete is what drives up to aim for new ones.
This is why your goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt
Self-doubt is an issue that a lot of us face. We don’t always need external factors to generate stress for us, we often do it ourselves. I have talked about how we give rise to self-doubt by comparing our journey to other people’s among other reasons. Today, I have Ellen Tran from ZyraKuma to tell you guys about the best ways to deal with self-doubt. Here’s what she has to say-
Have you ever felt like you’re just not good enough? Or you just want to run away from “fear of failure”? It’s ok! People deal with self-doubt plenty of times because it’s just a human thing we suffer from day to day.
The term “self-doubt” revolves around the mental state of feeling uncertainty or distrust within oneself (a.k.a. you). In easier terms, the feeling of rejection (“fear of failure”). A lack of low self-esteem delaying a certain action because you think you are “not good enough” for that certain thing based on lack of evidence.
Here’s an example of self-doubt: pretend you have a job in any creative industry. You’re about to do a presentation in like 15 minutes, and you’re all prepared. But at the last minute, your anxious mind is telling you all these negative thoughts like “I can’t do this!” “What if I end up embarrassing myself?” “What if no one likes my work?”. You’re there standing in a daze where you’re doubting your success and wanting to escape.
If you’re in a similar situation, don’t feel discouraged! Here are ways to deal with self-doubt.
1. Talk to a Close Family Member or Friend
It’s always good to talk to someone you trust who can be empathetic and non-judgemental (I’m probably talking about a therapist), but you can always talk to a trusted friend or a family member.
Back then, I was at my lowest of lows after being rejected from job applications after job applications. I talked to one of my closest friends, and they helped cheer me up after that whole incident. So if you know your “go-to” person, just straight up throw words at their faces and tell them your thoughts and feelings even if it ends up with you throwing a fit or being overly emotional.
2. Write in a Journal
If you’re the type who is afraid of expressing their self-doubt to someone else, then you can always try journaling because no journal will ever judge you.
I can feel that way sometimes too. Some days, I don’t feel like talking to someone about my rejections, so I go to my diary instead. You can always write about anything that comes to your mind and what’s giving you self-doubt. Journaling helps you release a few emotions and gives you a clearer mind to the barrier that’s stopping you.
A suggestion that journaling can help you overcome your self-doubt is to figure out your problem-focused (how you can attempt to change the situation) or emotion-focused (how you can attempt to change the thoughts or emotional consequences of the doubt) triggers. This can work out if you’re in a stressful situation too.
And note, you DON’T have to go out of your way to buy yourself a journal. You can always use your phone’s note app to do that. But writing by hand is preferable, it helps you feel more connected.
3. Motivational Thinking
It could be a motivational video on YouTube or a podcast. There are also motivational quotes that you can write in your journal or stick a sticky note where you often see it (like a mirror or bathroom door, for example).
Give yourself motivation. Tell yourself “I can do this” or “I know I can do this”. The more positive reinforcement you give yourself the more your mind will do what you’re telling it to do.
I do this a few times before a group presentation or before a test. I tell myself “Just get this over and done with!” or “Do it for the credits. Just do it for the credits!”. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter once you get it over and done with, right?
4. You Have Other Chances
One true realization I had recently was after my first test for my unit. I’m not afraid to share my score here so I’ll just say it. I got a 19/30. Was I disappointed? Yes. If I had scored another point, I would have been happy.
Then my professor said to everyone in the class “If you guys scored a 23/30, you would have graduated as a psychologist” or something like that. That made me self-doubt about graduating a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The whole day, I thought to myself that I’m going to be another failed drop-out with no degree and fall into a lot of debt.
But the thing is, that test only results in 10% of my credits. Why worry about something that little when you can always find another way?
People say “Learn from your mistakes,” and that’s what I’m telling you. People make mistakes for a reason, and that reason is to learn and use it to climb to success. Did JK Rowling give up when she couldn’t find a publisher to publish her “Harry Potter” novel? No, she didn’t! Now it’s one of the most popular novels worldwide and has made Rowling a billionaire.
If it’s a dream that you want to accomplish, you should never give up unless you know that you feel that it’s impossible to achieve it. Balance the optimistic and pessimistic thoughts. This is also a reminder for you to practice better for the next time (a.k.a. don’t be like me and fall asleep at 4 am before a test day).
5. Change Your Mindset
Has this happened in the past? If so, look at the patterns and look at what it’s doing to you. You shouldn’t fall back into this self-doubt trap again, and adopting a positive mindset helps with that.
These traps are known as “faulty thoughts”. These include:
- overgeneralization (categorizing those as a never-ending negative cycle),
- overlooking the positives (bias towards the negatives than the positives),
- definite statements (believing in great expectations),
- blaming other factors (targeting other reasons for your failure),
- categorization/labeling (another way of looking at things in black-and-white),
- emotional reasoning (using your feelings as facts and basing it on your decisions or actions),
- exaggeration (overlooking the “other side” or someone/something and extending more of the good qualities),
- predicting the future (predicting the negative event or situation),
- mind-reading (thinking something negative based on their reaction or attitude) and
- mentally filtering occasions (overlooking the positive and focusing more on the negative details).
You can read more about these in detail here.
Ph.D., Karyl McBride states “You don’t need to brag, but give yourself credit where credit is due,” and I couldn’t agree on enough. She also exclaims about narcissism and being stuck in the “imposter syndrome.”
This is where you feel like you can’t accept accomplishment, knowing that you might feel like a complete “fraud”. If you do feel like you have imposter syndrome, tell yourself “If it’s something to be seen as worthy of a celebration, then celebrate it! Only I can give myself credit”.
These are some of the best ways you can overcome self-doubt about yourself.
5 Lessons for Communicating Efficiently and Professionally Through Quotes
Considering we have been communicating since we were born, by crying and yelling, in the beginning, to get our message across, to slowly learning the words to do the same, you would think, we would have mastered it by the time we reach adulthood. How right yet how wrong that logic is?
When you think about it, communication is one of the first skills we learn. We have been talking and conveying our thoughts for our whole lives, yet, it becomes harder to effectively communicate as we grow up. There’s just something about communications that’s harder than it should be for us.
Of all the skills we develop as leaders and professionals, communicating is one that many people fail in. We frequently miscommunicate, bypass the point, cause an unintended reaction, or avoid a messy discussion altogether. As a result, not communicating holds us back.
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”
How many times has it happened that you have had a great idea, an obvious solution, known the answer to the question that’s worrying everyone, but haven’t voiced your thoughts? When you have difficulty putting your thoughts across, you choose not to speak at all. While that saves you from discomfort in that particular moment, it only harms you in the long run.
You might never stand out from your colleagues, even though you have better ideas. You might never be taken seriously because you don’t speak when it is needed. You might miss opportunities because you were too afraid to put in your two cents. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no.
“Communication is the solvent of all problems and is the foundation for personal development.”
Following up on the previous quote, when you speak out, you get feedback. When you get feedback, you understand whether your idea is brilliant in reality or just your head. You learn how to implement it or learn where it falls short.
While not speaking out means your ideas will never fail, it also means that you will never learn and you will never grow. Hence, it will stump your personal development.
Apart from that, it is really a solution for most problems – personal as well as professional. Many times the things that are bothering you can be easily solved with communication. Putting up boundaries, being open to discussion, raising objections, apologizing, a lot rides on words and how you put them.
“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise, you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
You communicate to be heard, to be understood; so if you use words that aren’t that common while speaking, then you are going to be getting nowhere. Try to keep your dialect as simple as you can when conveying something. Try to think of the least qualified person in the room, if even they can comprehend what you are saying then you are doing great.
This also applies to exaggeration when we are trying to sell an idea that isn’t great. We might succeed in selling it now, but no one is going to believe it when you actually do have a great idea.
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
-Sydney J. Harris
This goes hand in hand with not using big words when putting your thoughts across. If it is a meeting with people from different departments, then chances are that not everyone is going to be familiar with the jargon of your sector.
While using jargon and technical mumbo-jumbo will help make you sound intelligent, it won’t help you put your point across. Try to communicate your information by finding a balance between speaking in layman’s terms and including enough to make you sound authoritative.
“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”
-William Butler Yeats
This is more applicable in professional life, even though it has an influence in personal life as well. When you are in meetings or business setting, not everyone is going to have the same expertise as you. While you might think in the terms of statistics, it might mean nothing to the person who thinks in the terms of profit margin. This is where it is important to learn to put your messages in a more understandable dome. If you have ever been into public speaking, then you will know that it helps you with being tactful about what you say, how you say it, and it is received.
In personal life, you might be able to look at a situation logically being at the outside of its direct impact radius, that does not mean you can put it as it to someone who is clearly in the center of everything. This helps no one, instead, it has the power to ruin, something that could have been easily solved. Sometimes you have to use your knowledge to help you navigate a situation without quoting your knowledge.
Communication might not be your strength, but it isn’t something that can’t be developed. Read books about communicating effectively. Basically, sound confident when you speak, try being concise with your words. Think about what you need to put across and mould your words to that. The words you choose should not be based on you but on the listener. Simpler the dialect, better it is perceived – fewer chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
When you start reading more, listening to more than just words, and writing down your thoughts – it becomes easier to communicate. To be able to give, you should learn how to receive. Communicating is a skill that is a necessity. You need to be able to put yourself out there to be seen, to be heard, and to be understood.
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The Importance of Having a Purpose in Life
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How to Break Free From Your Boring Life to Live Your Passion
How Making Decisions Using the 10/10/10 Method Can Change Your Life
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