There are many times in my life where I’ve been guilty of putting my goals on a pedestal.
I can’t get onto that course. I’ll never manage to do that exam. That job is well beyond what I’m capable of. I’ll never be able to do that well enough, so what’s the point in trying?
They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
But what if you see nothing but obstacles before you embark on that journey?
Finding the motivation to set off on a tough road can be the hardest thing of all. If you don’t believe in yourself before you do it, it’s nearly impossible.
A leap too far
I saw a job advertised a few years ago and was thrilled at the prospect of doing it.
But it was a massive leap from what I was already doing. I didn’t believe I was capable of doing it.
Even when I aced the interview and was offered the job, I still questioned how I was going to get through each day. I seriously thought my new boss had made a mistake.
One year down the line and I was still in the job, but still felt like a fraud. I regularly questioned if I could actually do this.
I never let my self-doubt show, I blagged it. I pretended I had a clue when I actually had none at all.
But then one day I realised I actually was doing it. It took a long time, but suddenly it clicked that there wasn’t some mystical secret to the job I was doing.
There wasn’t anything I was missing. I was pleasing my bosses with what I was doing and I was producing good results. So why did it take me so long to see this?
I did the same thing for months before I started this blog. I questioned why anyone would ever want to read stuff I had written.
I couldn’t see how I could possibly set a website up and run it. I’m not a technophobe at all, but I’ve never done any significant web design stuff.
I also looked at the wealth of amazing blogs out there already and couldn’t see what the point would be in even trying.
But then I took a step back and thought about what I would be setting up a blog for. It would be for me alone. Sure it would be nice if other people did read my writing, but really I just wanted a hobby.
Plus there was no point in even thinking about competing with established bloggers. At the end of the day it’s not even about competing, there’s plenty of room for everyone in the blogging world.
Once I had that realistic reason in my head, that idea that I would be doing something for me and writing about stuff I know – handling young kids – I decided maybe it wasn’t such a ridiculous plan after all.
I love the following saying, I think it really sums up what I’m talking about:
If you don’t believe in yourself your ultimate goal – whether it be a career path you want to take, course you want to complete or some other idea – will always seem like a pipe dream.
Tips to help stop putting your goals on a pedestal:
Make a list
Write down what you need to do to reach your goal. Breaking it down into steps can make it seem less daunting. Take it one step at a time.
Try not to look at the bigger picture of where you’re going too much.
Remember everyone had to start somewhere
People aren’t born into their profession or hobbies. They discover what they like, what they’re good at and then they have to nurture those natural talents.
When looking at others it can be easy to imagine they have some magical secret that will always elude you.
Actually most successful people will say they have had to work hard to get where they are. It wasn’t handed to them on a plate.
Think about what makes people successful
They go out there and they try. They might fall at the first hurdle or the second a dozen times, but they keep going.
Very few people are an overnight success or learn their trade in a short space of time. They put in the graft and they are rewarded.
Fake it until you make it
You might believe that what you’re doing is wrong. Just keep smiling and keep on trying, even when you feel like a fraud.
Even if you don’t feel confident, put on your best act and tell yourself that you’ve got this.
One day you may unexpectedly find you’re already doing what you set out to achieve.
Reach out to people in the know
Mentors can be a friend, they can be a colleague or they can be someone you’ve never met. If you know someone or discover someone who might be able to help you, reach out to them.
Most people are pretty decent. They will offer advice or help if you ask nicely.
Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day
Major changes don’t happen overnight. It’s hard not to be impatient but try to take each day as it comes.
And finally, remember what Dory says, “just keep swimming”
Don’t stop trying. If one method doesn’t work, try another one.
Do you have any tips for achieving your goals? Have you ever surprised yourself by achieving what you thought was impossible? I would love to hear your thoughts.