STRENGTH & FOCUS: Are you giving up on your dreams too easily?
Sometimes it may seem like the path has gotten too hard or too time-consuming or funds are running low. It is at this very precipice that you must not stray from your dreams because it is then that may just very well be the move that makes your dreams a reality.
Before you give up on your dreams, you must ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly. Remember, no one regrets trying and failing – we tend only to regret not trying. Are you willing to fail over and over until failure turns to success? Are you willing to just perform the actions you need to do to get where you know you want to be?
If you are at that struggling point, here are a few questions to help you make that decision to either try again or give in.
1. Why did you have the goal or dream in the first place? What, if anything, has changed?
You must have had a good reason for creating and committing to the plan. Perhaps you visualized what it would be like once you got the dream or reached the goal. Stop visualizing what you would do after you get there and start acting like you’re there now. If your dream is success, then act successful because you are, and you have everything that you need to be the person in that dream of yours. You know what you need to do to get to where you want to go, so if you push through the pain of no immediate results, will it still be worth it in the end?
2. Have you been planning more than acting?
I think that they call this paralysis by analysis. Sometimes there is just too much information out there, and you can get stuck trying to be the expert. Sometimes you just have to do something. Make it up, see what happens, learn from what doesn’t work, and do something else. Planning on “one day having a great life” is never going to happen unless you start creating it.
3. Did you set a SMART goal?
SMART goals are:
- Specific – you know exactly what your world will look like when you achieve this goal.
- Measurable – you have a specific plan to mark your progress as you go.
- Attainable- you have the attitude and aptitude to make your goal a reality.
- Realistic – you’re willing and able to do the required work.
- Timed – you have set a concrete timeframe for completion to create a sense of urgency.
If you didn’t set a SMART goal, you may have set yourself up for failure. How can you possibly make something happen if you don’t know exactly what you want, or didn’t really believe you could do it? Are you really willing to walk away when you didn’t give yourself every opportunity to succeed?
4. What would happen if you kept going and didn’t reach your dream or your goal?
Often, when I feel like stopping, it is because I am afraid of failing or disappointing or letting other people down. The truth is people never judge us as harshly as we do ourselves. Actually, people are probably busy judging themselves so harshly that they really do not have the time to judge us. Many times, failure leads us down a different path than we first imagined, but it can be just as beautiful and just as rewarding, if not more. Actually, there is no such thing as failure – there is only feedback on how not to do a thing. Failures are stepping stones that bring us ever closer to our dreams and goals. Remember that the moment you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
5. What would you tell someone else who was in your shoes?
Step outside of the obstacles and the small defeats. Do not take them as emotional burdens – disassociate from them. Make them decisions, not emotional tribulations. Decisions are neither good nor bad; they are just decisions, so treat them as such. Silence the defeating internal dialogue and treat your situation as the person that you are trying to help; you will be more creative, more giving, and more gratuitous. It is important to focus on what you want and what you are doing, not what you don’t want and what you are not doing. Either way, you will get what you are focusing on.
Remember, if it isn’t working, “try something else,” and if that doesn’t work, then “try something else,” and repeat!
Best of luck! You already have everything you need to be the person that you want to become.
Larunce Pipkin is a Master Coach of NLP, Master Life Coach, and co-author of “The Change 5: Insights Into Self-Empowerment.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in education, focusing on cognition and problem solving, from the University of Texas. His interests include meditation, Qigong, traveling, and photography.
by Rich Perry
Rich is a Master Coach of NLP, consultant, speaker, musician, trainer, student of life, and an all-around great guy. He also claims to make the most amazing hummus in the universe.