What are your aims in life? Do you plan to be rich, to be a top footballer, to be a good parent, or to become Prime Minister? However efficiently you plan your life, sooner or later you are going to come up against obstacles to achieving your goals.
Most of us gradually understand that whatever our ambitions, we’re unlikely ever to the best and that not all our goals are achievable. While you might accept that you might never be the best at something, the secret to a happy life is to strive to fulfil your potential and be the best you can be.
To achieve a significant ambition, you have to cope with many challenges along the way. It’s how you respond to obstacles in your path that determines whether or not you can achieve your aims.
As you come across each challenge, you can either give up or press onwards. Some might despair and give up when they encounter a roadblock while others see it as just another obstacle that can be overcome. This might mean taking a different path and adapting your plans as circumstances change.
So you’ve set out your goals and decided that this year you will make real progress towards achieving them. But there’s a risk that blocks and obstacles will prevent you from realising your dreams.
Recognising and anticipating that barriers that stop you from being the best will help you to overcome them. While unforeseen circumstances might cause you to change or postpone your plans, the main reason for not being the best is you. You may well be inadvertently sabotaging your success because of a fear of failure, negative thinking or a lack of planning.
Here are some strategies to help you be the best and fulfil your true potential.
As you think about your ambitions, what fears and negative ideas come to mind? It might sound counterproductive, but write down a list of all the barriers that you see as standing between you and your dreams.
Now, take each item in turn and think about ways in which you can overcome this obstacle. You’ve now made a plan and by taking each challenge in turn, you can achieve your aims.
Learn from others. Whether in the real world or on social media, take advantage of networking with people who have succeeded in their aims.
Ask them about their mistakes, what challenges they came across and how they overcame them.
While keeping an eye on your ultimate goal, don't just look at the bigger picture. This could lead to discouragement as it seems so far away. Keep working through your list of challenges and concentrate on solving each one in turn.
Taking continuous small steps will prevent you from being overwhelmed by the scale of the task.
Come up with a list of reasons why you have chosen the goals that you are aiming for. Think about the benefits that achieving your ambitions will bring. How will you feel? What will your quality of life be like? How will the lives of your family change?
When you feel in need of motivation, reading the list will remind you of exactly why you’re striving to achieve your goals.
External circumstances may influence your course of action. Bear in mind that being the best isn’t just about material wealth. You need to look at your life holistically.
For example, you might be offered the promotion you’ve been striving for but it means moving to another part of the country… and your child has just settled at the local school. In these circumstances, you might well decide to revise your goals towards being a better parent and spending more time with the family rather than having a high-flying career.
Every challenge that you overcome brings you a step nearer to your goals. Rather than waiting until you have achieved your dream, reward yourself with a small celebration with each minor victory. Small treats like these will keep you on track and motivate you to fulfil your ambitions.
Add a mini-treat to each obstacle you listed the plan you came up with in #1 above and celebrate as you tick off each one in turn.
When you face challenges, don't dwell on the negative aspects but find solutions that carry you forwards. Take pride in your skills and achievements in overcoming problems. ‘Most importantly, keep an open mind, be prepared to adapt your plans to meet changing circumstances, and never stop learning.
Be determined and don't give up on your goals: while you might never be the very best, savour each achievement along the journey and enjoy living your best life.
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