3 Ways to Keep Confidence When People Doubt Your Goals

 
 

 
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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!

Why Availability is Key to Kicking the Avoidance Habit

 
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It is not uncommon to get into the mindset and pattern of knowing what you need to change, why you want to change, and how to change…and then things stop there. Knowing how to make a change and actually making that change are two very different things. Often what stands in the way is avoidance. Avoidance differs from procrastination in that avoidance is typically tied to a mental/emotional block that persists, while procrastination is more short-term and situational.

When avoidance is persistent, it is typically a sign there is a deeper block — an inherent pattern, irrational belief, fear, etc. — keeping us from the change we want. It’s as though our mind is battling itself — our conscious goals are saying “make this change,” while the unconscious mind says “avoid, avoid, avoid.” Though avoidance may stem from many different deep, underlying motivators, one strategy to lessen the avoidance is to explore availability. 

When we say we want and are ready for a change, are we really available to and for that change? Availability entails having the mental, emotional, and physical space/capacity to hold and enact the growth we are seeking. You might say “I want to grow my business” or “I want to repair my relationship” or “I’m ready to tackle my depression,” but if not actively shifting to allow the change to happen, you aren’t truly available. 

To be available, we need to stay active, intentional, and clear about what we are working toward. And working toward a goal doesn’t just mean taking action steps on a plan; it means staying in tune with our full being and remaining open. For example, if the goal is to be more physically healthy, it takes more than just following a meal plan and working out. It involves be available to a healthier self. This could look like tackling underlying emotional issues that triggered unhealthy coping mechanisms with food, believing you are worthy of being healthy, redefining what “healthy” means,” recognizing subtle changes in the mind-body as progress occurs, etc. Try taking this example and inserting your own goal for change. 

Another way to understand availability is to ask: if this change I’m seeking were to happen suddenly today, would I be ready? Like a visitor coming over unexpectedly, is your mental, emotional, physical home ready or would you need a frantic cleaning session to be ready and available?

In order to explore availability versus avoidance, ask yourself:

  1. What inherent beliefs do I have about this change I’m trying to make? 

  2. What would it look like if I were to really make the change? What mental, emotional, and physical shifts would occur? Am I prepared for these shifts?

  3. Am I available for this change? How do I know? If not, what’s in my way? 

  4. What are three things I can do today to become ready for the change I want?



When "Treat Yourself" Turns Toxic

 
 

How wonderful that the messages we hear online, from friends, and from (healthy) workplaces now include the importance of self-care. We are hopefully making a shift into honoring our needs instead of running ourselves ragged. However, the notion of self-care has turned into its own sort of trend…to the point that it has become an excuse for unhealthy behaviors. Spent too much at a department store? Self-care! Ate one too many cookies? Self-care! Got drinks instead of the gym? Self-care! It’s easy to call these things “self-care” because when we make those choices or indulge in splurges, it’s usually the mentality of “I deserve it…” taking over.

For example, you’ve had a long, stressful day. You’ve spent way more time at work than you want to and you’re not even getting any recognition for it. Your exhaustion has been building the whole day, week, or even month. Finally, you’ve hit your breaking point and decide it’s time to “treat yourself.” Why, then, after this “treat” [over-eating, over-spending, over-indulging of some kind] is the satisfaction temporary? And, more importantly, why do we need a “treat” quite regularly…sometimes even the same or next day?

Whether the trigger is work, home, or some combination of both, the underlying issues are often the same. The rationalizing and justifying that comes along with the “I deserve it” mentality means we not only tell ourselves that we need a break but that it’s ok if it’s not healthy because what we’re going through isn’t either.

Here’s the key: you do deserve it. You deserve relief and recognition. You deserve health and happiness. You deserve calm and connection. But over-indulging is not the “it” you deserve. It’s a short-term solution; it’s instant gratification for a much deeper underlying cause. 

So what can we do? (1) If feeling run down, treat yourself by honoring your needs and (2) Take action to avoid feeling run down in the first place. Below are some pointers to get started on these two ideas.

Honor Your Needs

  • If you find yourself justifying unhealthy choices because you “deserve” over-indulgence, ask yourself what you really need. Is it connection? Is it a moment of calm? Is it relief? Identify the feeling you’re searching for and take action to really meet that need.

  • Take a bath, meditate, light a candle, call a friend, take a walk, paint, read a book, shut off your phone, practice yoga, breathe…the action does not have to be a major challenge. Try something to honor rather than ignore your needs.

Avoid Toxicity

  • The ultimate goal is to create a life that you don’t need to escape from. Doing the deeper work of discovering what is sending you into rationalizing toxicity in the first place will help you avoid giving up on your healthy goals.

  • We typically encounter patterns around our justifications. Try journaling about your needs every time you feel the “I deserve it” mentality coming on. Can you notice a theme about what is setting you into a cycle of toxic thinking? Try to discover the underlying needs rather than common situation. For example, one day the trigger may be your relationship with your partner and the next a long day at work, but maybe the thread between them is feeling inadequate.

Laura Folkes and I are leading a workshop on September 13th to discuss the “I deserve it” mentality and strategies to help. Join us! 

Reading this after the workshop? Reach out to either of us to learn more.