Posted in black dog, creativity, dealing with stress, depression, getting started | keeping going, managing time, valuing you, writing, tagged getting stuff done, goals, hope, inspiration, life, making progress, managing time, no more excuses, small goals, small steps, start today, success on November 3, 2011|
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Start. Do anything. Do something. Act.
If you can do one small thing today, you are one step closer to your goal.
Do you have a goal?
Perhaps today is the day you work out what your goal is. Because that is enough to take you one step ahead and how to make progress. (Well don’t just sit there. Get a piece of paper and do it now.)
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What happens when you put yourself out there – and your ‘baby’ (non-fiction book idea, fiction manuscript, idea for a tv series or screenplay, whatever it is) – and not only does your pitch fail, but you get the distinct impression you should really crawl back in your hole and stay there? It happened to me this week – and, not surprisingly for a sensitive creative type (read neurotic!), it really knocked me around.
All the crappy things in your head come up – things about self-worth, past failures (somehow your successes diminish at a rapid rate) and whether you should give up now, because rejection really hurts (ouch!).
So, after a quiet meltdown, I realised some ‘deconstruction’ was needed! I’d written a blog recently: The Upside of Failure, so I decided to take my own advice. And I know my writerly readers out there will relate to this, because we have to risk exposure and rejection in order to reach for that elusive publication dream. Here’s the lessons I took out of my failure:
- Hold things lightly. Don’t wrap up your entire self worth with the outcome. Because it may just be that you don’t appeal to that person’s area of interest or taste.
- Take risks – but take the risks that involve reaching for your dream, not the risks that are about things you don’t care enough about, don’t really want to do, and aren’t worth wasting your precious energy on (like thinking you need to go for a particular job to be seen as successful, even if you know you’d absolutely hate it!)
- Before you give up – work out whether you’re just going through a dip (so it’s worth sticking at it) or whether you’re actually on the wrong track and headed for a dead end (Seth Godin’s The Dip is a must read…)
- Work on the things you can change, but hang onto the things that are essential to who you are (aka authentically you). Don’t change you to fit anyone’s mould or idea of success.
- Take lessons from failures, then let them go (the failures, not the lessons)
- Last but not least: stop doing what what you do (paint, write, create) just to get a result (like publication or money). Create from the heart. Do it because you love to do it and it’s vital to your wellbeing. Love the process, and you are already a success… the money and recognition will be a (nice) bonus.
And remember, some people are just plain rude. Their ignorance is a reflection on them, not you. If all else fails, crank up a Alanis Morrissette’s I see right through you and sing your heart out. You’re not the first one to feel these things, and you won’t be the last. It’s what you do with how you feel that matters.
So power up your dreams and go for it… I know I am.
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There are a lot of ways you can sabotage your confidence – like making unrealistic goals and thinking you’re a loser when you fail, or comparing yourself to other people all the time (especially airbrushed celebs or people who’ve made it – they have bad days too), or focusing on the things you’re not (instead of the great things you are).
We all have confidence dips occasionally – or sometimes a lot. So here a five ways to boost your confidence…just in time for the weekend.
- Start sweating! Exercise gets those feel-good chemicals flooding through you, so get out and get active. Do a gym class, go for a walk, play tennis, go for a swim! Find some kind of exercise you really love, so you’ll want to keep doing it. For example, if you hate hate hate running there’s no point in making that your focus. Finding an activity you love, even gardening, means you’ll be exercising without even knowing it. What can be better than that?
- Hang out with ‘up’ people. Some people just drag you down, drawing out every ounce of your good energy then bouncing or sloping off leaving you flat. Eliminate the toxic friends, minimise contact with downbeat family, and find the people who make you see possibilities, think more, laugh more, get into life more.
- (a) What’s great about you? You probably don’t really think about that, because all you can see are the crappy bits. Think about all the things you’ve achieved in your life – even the small things, even the things no-one else notices or values. You might surprise yourself. And (b) love who you are, instead of thinking you’d be okay if you could just lose weight, get botoxed, fix yourself up somehow! Take a look at Lizzie Miller in September Glamour mag. Be comfortable with who you are. That’s confidence.
- Treat yourself well… which is what the Art of Moi is all about! Value yourself enough to say ‘no’ when you’re being taken advantage of, and ‘yes’ to life. Do something nice for yourself every day – even if it’s just taking ten minutes for yourself. When you look after you, you have more to give others…
- Dare to fail! It’s too easy to stay in your comfort zone, and not try anything new. It’s time to shed the fear – even if you have to take baby steps – and try those things you’ve always wanted to. And re-define your idea of success. You don’t have to be rich, famous, a superstar. You don’t even have to be particularly good at what you want to try. Remember that great saying: ‘Imagine what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail’. Imagine…
Confident people aren’t all born that way. They’ve had to work on it, just like a body builder works on those pecs. You don’t get results from doing it once or twice. Make a commitment to yourself: Every day, you’re going to build those confidence muscles.
Go on. You know you can.
L & S
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Just a quick note to say – I did it! And not just for ten minutes, but a whole 30 minutes.
Even better still, I plugged my ipod in and listened to a podcast of Radio National’s, The Book Show at the same time.
How ridiculous is that?
And the lesson – ridiculously small goal setting. (Or, give yourself an even chance and you’ll probably get there.)
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