Sometimes in life there are moments where you feel down. You feel out of luck and think the world is against you. You have a goal but you don’t seem to be getting there. The problem isn’t the world or others – it’s you!
Here’s why it might be you who getting in the way of achieving your goals.
When I was younger I hated criticism. It used to make me feel like I was incapable of doing anything. I took criticism personally and never acted on it. I just assumed I was not able in the task and left it there. I then would go to the next thing and continue doing as before and the same result would happen. I never progressed.
I have a rule: ignore praise and embrace criticism. I never seek a compliment, it’s generally a dead end – Casey Neistat
Criticism is more valuable then praise, and it should be embraced. Criticism is telling you what you are not doing. It will also tell you how to get to the finish line.
If you want to do something and you want to do it badly, you need to concentrate on getting the bad good and the good even better. Criticism and critique will help that. Next time someone gives you some criticism, see it as a positive.
Everything you do will not be perfect and even if it is, it can be critiqued. Everyone has a opinion on how something can be perfected. It is up to you to decide if it is good advice or not. Now, this maybe contradictory but some criticism is not useful. If you are doing an essay for example and your teacher who is an expert in the field criticises your essay- their critique can be trusted. It can be trusted because it is given in a constructive capacity. They want you to succeed and they are only trying to advance you. If someone with no expertise critiques your essay but has no experience in the field criticises you, or if you write something online and a person who comments on it is a troll, ignore it! It is all about moving forward and listening to negative opinions and opinions with no knowledge to back them up will keep you back.
Having talked in more detail about this in a previous blog post (The Void or Montony) I will only summarise on why comfort will keep you from your goals.
Comfort in some sense is playing it safe. You know what you are doing, you know what tomorrow holds and the next week and possibly the next year. When you the actually step back to look, you realise that your life is 10 or 20 years down the line and you are not where you imagine yourself to be. Just because you are comfortable.
To combat this you need to take risk. Take steps to achieve what you want to do. Ask yourself every week: ‘Am I close to where I want to be?’ If it is no, then change it. With one life, it is the time you use that is important.
Keep Looking Forward
If life is a road- albeit a non-linear road but a road nonetheless- then we are faced with three options: stay still, go back or keep moving forward.
Will it be difficult? Of course. Will you want to quit sometimes? Yes. It is up to you. If you look back and you hold on to past success at some point, you will wonder where the magic went. If you stay still you risk the possibility of not developing yourself. But, if you move forward only glancing at the past, using it to help you along the road and move forward, you can succeed.
The Little Steps
Having a goal or ambition is amazing. If you are at a point in your life where you need change and you are going to be pro-active about it – good for you!
You know the finish line and you have to take the first step. The first step is to plan and instead of planning the whole journey, it needs to be broken up into smaller achieveable goals. Then, if posssible, make those small goals into even smaller goals. This takes planning and time but is crucial.
The first step should be going from the end backwards. If you wanted to be a blogger for example begin by writing in the middle of a paper ‘ I want to be a blogger’.
Around that should be things like: What should I write about? Who is my audience? How will I reach out to my audience? What is my style? Can I use pictures of the Internet? Do I need to do research on a topic? Can I earn from this? Looking at these things and setting a path will help.
Next is to set a time limit for these tasks. This also means that you will have to look at your steps and distinguish the big tasks from the small ones. A time limit for these will help complete them and discipline yourself to finish them.
Growth vs Fixed Mindset
The theory of Growth and Fixed Mindset by Caroline Dweck sums up perfectly some of our attitudes in life.
Fixed Mindset: Is the mindset where a person accepts who they are. There talents, traits, intelligence are fixed. They see themselves as being at a level that they cannot extend. They are fixed there and that is where they remain. If they see a wall and believe they cannot get over it because they’re small, they will not attempt to get over it because they see themselves as fixed.
Growth Mindset: Is the opposite of fixed mindset. It is where a person will not see themselves a certain way. They see their abilities, talents and intelligence as sonething that can be changed. If they are given an obstacle they will have the mindset that they can control it. If these people see a wall that they can’t get over because they are small, they will find a way to help them get over the wall and succeed.
We all are arguably guilty of having a fixed mindset especially when it comes to work. Growth mindset is a mindset that can be arguably achieved by everyone if they want something. If you feel at some point that you have a fixed mindset when are striving for your goal, then maybe it’s not for you. If it is something you want to achieve then sticking with a growth mindset in the tough times will help you strive.
The attitude you have is a defining feature in the successes of your life as well as the failures. When it gets hard, pushing past the fixed mindset attitude and embracing criticism to guide you will help you to get closer to your goals. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are the person to blame if you don’t get to where you are going. Now, others can factor into this but how much you allow them will be down to you. The first step is yours to take. Will you take it?
(Featured image of Casey Neistat taken from LinkedIn)