Kicking yourself for not learning a new language during lockdown?
Have a dream, goal or ambition sitting on the back burner? Or the back of your mind?
Have you ever had a dream and wondered ‘what if’?
“Don’t procrastinate” is a wish for you, not an order or accusation.
I sit here a couple of weeks from the (virtual) Business Book Awards ceremony shaking my head that I actually have a book out let alone being a finalist in the Business Self-Development category.
Two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had an idea, no know-how and little actual motivation or ambition to write a book. I hummed and hawed, thought a lot about it and did nothing. And less than two years later my book exists (Soft Skills HARD RESULTS).
There was no magic wand to get me from there to here. I didn’t all of a sudden feel motivated. It was a lotta luck, getting help and some self-awareness of works for me.
If you’re doubting yourself, wondering what if and giving up before you’ve started, don’t, you can do it too. That doubt is false. No matter how composed someone appears on the outside, like ducks they are madly flapping their feet under the surface to make progress.
How to Achieve Your Goals?
Imagine it might be possible. What would that be like? How would it feel? Feed the flicker of possibility before extinguishing it. Write a list of pros if it were to happen. Make a collage of what success looks like. A client yesterday said she diagrams the ideal state for her of her idea. Create a picture of success, dream it, our imaginations are powerful. Do this at a head and heart level – intellectually and emotionally.
Figure out what works for you. Does structure help you assess something? What helps you get things done in your life? Enact those things for your dream. Does accountability to others work for you? If so, find or create structure, be accountable to a buddy. I signed up for a 10-day book proposal writing challenge to actually see if there was a book idea in me because structure and accountability work for me.
Start with micro steps. What’s one thing that would progress your ambition? If learning a new language is on your list, a baby step would be downloading the language app, Duolingo. Another step would be to do a 4-minute lesson on the app.
Project yourself far into the future. Imagine you are 80-100 years old looking back on your life. What will you have wanted to achieve? How does this dream or ambition fit with the legacy you want to leave? Will you regret not having tried?
Seek out like-minded people. Find people who have the same passion or dream. Surround yourself with people on the same journey for the support, learning and companionship. Want to run a marathon? Join a running club. Download a podcast and training schedule. Learning from others that are either experts or ahead of you on the journey is an easier way to proceed.
Go public. Tell other people about your hope or dream. Firstly, by you saying it to someone else it’s no longer just living in your mind. And secondly, stating things to others creates accountability to delivery on what you said.
Make a plan. Having an objective, ambition or dream is great, we call than an outcome goal. Create some process goals to support that outcome. If you want to run a marathon – finishing the marathon is the outcome goal. Running consistently 3x a week is a process goal. You can often control the process more so than the outcome.
Make friends with discomfort. As you pursue a dream you might get scared, feel overwhelmed or doubt yourself. That’s ok. Everyone feels that way when we are going outside our comfort zones.
It’s natural to feel uncertain when pursuing something new. You’ve probably felt this on a new job, on becoming a parent, or learning a new hobby or sport. And you got over it.
Enjoy it! You are making steps to create your ideal life or at least pursue a dream. Enjoy it.
What is Failure?
The definition of failure is lack of success, not meeting a desired or intended objective. I think I disagree. Failure is not even trying. I like Thomas Edison’s quote “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The younger generation talks of pivoting; when you hit an obstacle, pivot to an alternate path to make progress. Your journey and progress do not have to be linear, most things in our lives aren’t linear and are still successful and fulfilling.
I have a whole chapter in my book entitled Living a Life of No Regrets. If you think you might regret letting go of your dream, ambition or potential goal, then don’t let go.
What one thing would you love to try?
Are you curious to investigate your ambition, even just a bit?
Read more of my journey about following my ‘hint of an aspiration’ by clicking here.