When you have big goals and dreams that are taking time to grow and cultivate, it can be easy to get down. Maybe you’re working toward a growing business, preparing to move across the county, or want to make a major life change. It’s hard enough to keep yourself focused and working toward these goals, but when people around you greet your ideas and dreams with a wide eyed “what?!” or flat out criticism, it’s important to re-focus on your intentions.
The naysayers can be important parts of a successful journey - critics encourage seeing parts of the goal you hadn’t considered before, can provide fuel for the fire, and can encourage a return to the original mission and vision behind your goals. That is IF you can reframe the critiques in a positive light rather than caving, giving up, or falling into fear-based cynicism.
In order to remain focused on and working toward your big plans, try these strategies:
1. Boost your self-awareness & ask questions
Be sure you are aware of your strengths and blindspots, and know the difference between realistic goals and impossible dreams. If someone is doubting your vision, try and listen to the underlying message. Is there a part of the critique you can utilize to modify your plans to make them more effective and efficient? Rather than taking a critic’s “that will never happen” statement at face value, ask a series of genuine “why?” questions. Approach with an authentic and enthusiastic desire to uncover what’s behind their doubting. Remaining grounded in your own self-awareness will help you let go of any projections of their fear and instead use their outlook in a constructive way.
2. Surround yourself with "yes" people
We often encounter "no" or "maybe" people who are paralyzed by their own self-doubt and fear and then project this on to others. Sometimes this can be fuel for the fire, but that fuel is usually short-acting and can quickly turn into resentment or giving up all together. Find others who are making it work - join groups filled with like-minded people, find social media accounts that boast successes, read books about entrepreneurs and doers, listen to podcasts that feature people you admire. Take the actions you can to surround yourself with others who believe in themselves to boost your self-confidence on the journey to success.
3. Understand your unique process of decision-making
Decision-making has three parts: the what, the why, the when/how. Understand your tendencies and where you may get held up and where you thrive. Break down your dream into actionable steps to turn the overwhelming into the achievable. The more you experience the feeling of accomplishment, the less others' opinions will matter. Knowing your strengths and blindspots within decision-making will help you ensure your process is as successful as the outcome.
Success, however you define it, takes time. That time can be seen as an adventure-filled journey or a scary, treacherous trek. The way you see it is largely determined by how you view yourself and who you surround yourself with. Stay focused, stay positive, invite new learning, and reframe “no” into “why not?”
Reach out to Katie for additional insight and coaching on your unique strengths and blindspots!