Say No to Distractions

Photo by Ashley Richards

Having set a goal, it’s time to clear the road ahead and focus on progress. How do you set a goal? It’s not an exact science. It takes introspection and a desire to face your dreams and failures to find a way to move towards success. If you’re stuck in a state of wanting but incapable to persevere, this piece on Adjusting Your Goals Makes Them Attainable might help.

Distractions play a great part in weather or not we will make progress. When we think of distractions, the internet may be the first thing that pops into your mind. And that’s certainly a key player, but we don’t often consider:

  • the news
  • unnecessary phone calls
  • shopping and wasting time on making decisions that have little impact in the long run
  • chit-chat, gossip and criticism towards others

A distraction is anything that will take you off the road that leads to your goal. More than willpower, we need better planning to succeed. Plan to avoid situations where distractions might occur and set the expectations low from those close to you when it comes to social activities. It doesn’t all have to be about sacrificing a good time for a productive time. Limiting distractions will not only help your progress, but turn a good time into a memorable time.

How Perfect. The Mistruth of Perfection

Photo by Valeria Bold

How often did we get paralyzed by the fear that we won’t reach the absolute form of perfection of ourselves through our image or through our work? It happened at least once to all of us and it can be seen in the details – the fiddling with the tie, hours spent on a tiny, unimportant thing, sculpted makeup and the not too strong and not too weak handshake. The philosophy of being imperfectly perfect seems to escape our thoughts at times, particularly when exploring a new territory.

Perfection is a manifestation of fear, the fear of failure or success, the fear of social judgement or letting people down. Remember the times when it used to be fashionable to say at job interviews that a great weakness is perfection because it made us look cooler? Perfectionism is indeed a weakness. Striving to do a great job is different from perfection.

Perfection is an event that requires stillness while us, as human beings, are ever evolving. We can work at our best ability and show up with determination. We can accept inconsistencies as stepping stones towards building up success. We have to overcome our misconception of perfection and take perfection as what it really is – performing at our best, based on the circumstances and our ability at any given time.

The Reality of Sharing Ideas with the Inner Circle

Photo by Etienne Boulanger

If you’re passed that stage in your life when grownups look at you with empathy and tell you You can do whatever you set your mind to, you might feel like you need reassurance for every idea, big or small. But as we grow up and the reality of social norms and the expectations of fitting into the 9-5 pattern kick in, people who are emotionally invested might not be best fit to run by ideas.

You might be thinking – hang on a second, my mom, grandpa or loyal puppy have my best interest at heart. And although that might be the case, new avenues are always scary. Not just for ourselves, but for the people we care about (you can read more about limiting mindsets in the piece on How Much Can You Handle?). Being supportive of new ideas takes an openness that someone else’s judgement might also work. It also takes accepting that even if no one in the family or in the whole world dared to aim so high, that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done.

In the idea phase of a project, when our self-confidence is so fragile, why give an opportunity to nay sayers to deray us? What do we have to lose, ultimately? If it is time you are worried about, it will be time invested in learning. Money? Don’t invest what you can’t afford losing. Failure? You fail if you don’t learn anything from the experience and as a wise mind once said, if you don’t try, you fail by default.

Seeing Through Clutter

Photo by Michael

This isn’t a Marie Kondo style article. Although physical clutter plays an important role in our ability to focus, often what takes us away from the present are thoughts, worries, assumptions, fears, social media, other people… you name it.

Before going to sleep, when you’re running through mental clutter, is there any wish or thought that stand out clearly? If so, does it reflect our focus and our direction or is it a belittling thing, a momentary happening which takes too much and too often time. Time we can invest wisely.

Writing down one goal for the day that feeds into our bigger purpose helps us not only to see clearly where we are headed, but can be used as an anchor into the present that we choose to live in and build ourselves up towards. Easy wins is still winning. Think big and start small.

Are You Standing Between Yourself and Success?

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado

We are the only people who can push ourselves towards success, failure, or just passivity in life. Do you ever worry about achieving something even though you haven’t even made a start yet on our project? You might instinctively think that this ‘long-term planning’ is beneficial, that you should plan for the worse and so on. But planning for the worse gives us a sense of what the future can look like in a negative light.

The main thing to note when you get sidetracked by your own thoughts, worries, doubts and second thoughts is that this time is taken out of action time. Action gets us closer to results. Doubt is the stranger disguised with friendly intentions when in fact just wants to rob you from your dreams. Stay focused. Ultimately, everything that matters is what action you take and time to act is now.

Taking in Other People’s Experiences

Photo by Toa Heftiba

‘We can only learn from our mistakes’

If that was true, how come we can easily repeat not only the mistakes that we know other people have made, but – let’s face it, our own mistakes.

With the same principle in mind, we should be able to learn from different sources rather than through putting ourselves at risk unconsciously. I came across an YouTuber reaction to their videos from 10 years ago. There was no harsh criticism and I admired that, but when the 10 years younger self said ‘I’m so busy with school, I don’t have time to do more videos’, looking back they actually remembered people making fun of the videos at school. This allowed my own fear of failure to surface – all the ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘Why would anyone appreciate my work’. The little voice that whispers insecurities in a scripted loop.

Hearing another person’s experience about facing their own fears taught me more about pain and pleasure, the balance between what we perceive and what we allow others to project on us than any self-growth book. It sometimes takes unexpected triggers to help us address our fears and these triggers don’t always have to come from our lived experience.

Listen. There’s more going on than it meets the eye.