Getting to where you want to be in the future heavily relies upon your mindset and ‘where your head is at’ in the present. Nothing quite chokes the flow of successful energy into your life like feelings of failure, rejection, frustration and uncertainty that inevitably arise along the way, when chasing your dreams. Here are 6 ways to stay positive to achieve any goal in life:
1. Acknowledge your feelings.
Staying positive doesn’t mean having to beat away or ignore negative feelings. No good will come from whitewashing over perfectly normal human emotions. You can acknowledge your insecurities without allowing them to take hold. In fact it’s important to bring awareness to these feelings in order to stop them taking a silent seat somewhere in the shadows of your unconscious where, left ignored and unchecked, they can start to do corrosive damage. When you recognise the shadows in your mind and show them some love, it is far easier to cast light onto them. In this moment you may feel “unsuccessful”, in this moment you may be scared things won’t work out, in this moment you may be comparing yourself to others. It’s all OK. It is all part of the human experience. No state of being is ever permanent, and that includes the lows. There’s no need to hide from your emotions, or label them as “bad”. Don’t layer extra negative emotion into the mix by beating yourself up over feeling a certain way.
2. Stop expecting your hard work to “pay off”.
Sometimes we feel as if positive thinking and the ability to keep going in the face of obstacles has some kind of right to be rewarded. That the justice of the universe will bestow on us our just deserts for having managed to fight through it all. We need to accept that this is sadly not the case. Whilst it is certainly true that everyone with a success story also has tales of adversity to tell, we need to accept that things don’t always turn out the way we would like. Famously Van Gogh, who felt so much torment, disappointment and struggle over his work, despite his perseverance was never rewarded in his lifetime with money or recognition from society. You may think ‘well that’s not particularly motivating’, but it’s crucial to accept that whatever you create in life along the way, positivity and perseverance are a reward in themselves. They are vital tools if you want to be happy on the journey towards your goals, regardless of the final outcome. They also provide you with the resilience to keep on going. The people who achieve anything of note in life, are ultimately the ones who didn’t give up!
3. Return to your “why”.
Sometimes you can become so focused upon markers of success that you lose sight of the real reasons that drive you to achieve your goals. It is in these moments of doubt that you need to reconnect to your motivation for pursuing your goals in the first place. Is it a better quality of life you are seeking for yourself and those you love? Do you want to help others in this world? Do you want to be able to say that you lived life to the full and embraced your dreams?
4. Focus on your achievements.
I mean focus on YOUR own personal achievements based on where YOU started and where YOU are now. Resist looking towards someone else’s talents, skills or perceived successes as a yardstick. If you are growing, if you are moving forwards (no matter what pace) then there is always something to celebrate. Please don’t neglect this celebration of where you are now, along the journey to where you are ultimately going. Your life is so individual, your path is so unique. Give yourself credit for what you have done/do/and are trying to do everyday…because it can only ever be measured by your own experiences.
5. Don’t be carried away with either the highs or lows.
We all know life is full of waves and whilst we’re encouraged to let them pass over us it is only natural that some carry us away with them. Whether you like it or not, external factors can always end up changing your mood. A “win” on the road to achieving your goal has the power to put a spring in your step, whilst a set back has the power to knock your confidence. If you see these waves for what they are and don’t identify too much with either the lows or the highs, then you can begin using that energy, whether positive or negative, as fuel to carry you forward. When you aim to accept the constant changing ups and downs, you avoid becoming despondent during the lows and complacent during the highs.
6. Stay focused on today.
There is nothing wrong with having strong goals and a sense of direction. It can be a great motivator, but only if it doesn’t cause you to forget the present. Looking too far ahead can be overwhelming when only staring at the mountain you need to climb. It’s important not to have your sights so fixed upon the horizon that you neglect what needs doing right now. After all, those long term desires will never be realised if you can’t channel energy into action today. You don’t need to conquer the world by tomorrow, and any pressure you are putting yourself under to do so can be a very destructive force. Keep your eye on every footstep you take on the path to your goals.