There’s no getting around it: life is hard. Everyone has high hopes for their future and dreams of doing something big with their life, but not everyone understands exactly what it takes to make these dreams a reality. Unfortunately, many of us spend way too much time acting in ways that are completely counterintuitive to success and end up missing the chances we’re given to achieve greatness. Everyone vying for success has the following thoughts once in a while; it’s the ones who push past them who are able to get where they want to be in life.
1. Waiting for "When It's Right" to Make a Move
So many of us put our dreams on hold until tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow again, when we should be working on them today. But we always have some reason why today isn’t the right time to get to work. “There’s too much noise to get any work done”; “It’s raining. I’m not going out to look for a job in this weather”; “I’ll get to it once I finish this last episode.” Unfortunately for those who procrastinate, while you’re waiting for the “right time” to get moving, someone else has already beaten you to it. I won’t be cliché and say “tomorrow is never guaranteed”, but I will say that every day you wait to make something happen is one less day of your life you have to achieve greatness.
2. Assuming Things Will Work Out
Perhaps it’s because we’ve grown up watching too many movies, but many of us seem to think things will just magically work out for the best for us, as if we’re the stars of the show. To put it rather bluntly: we’re more like the background extras who fade away and are forgotten—unless we do something worth remembering. Yes, if you’re dedicated and hard-working, you optimize your chances of things eventually “working out” for you, but nothing great will just happen to you. You have to earn it some way or another.
3. Thinking Things Will Never Work Out
On the other hand, some people seem to think that things will never work out for them. As detrimental as it is to see yourself as the star of the entire show, it’s equally detrimental to not see yourself as the star of your own show. Even if you are dedicated and hard-working, you also need to be perseverant. Don’t expect good things to happen right away just because you’ve started to put some effort in. Keep at it until good things start to happen. Even then, keep pressing forward; never let up, or else you’ll end up falling short of your true potential.
4. Worrying Too Much About Money
If you’ve ever thought “There’s so much I would do if I had the money”, you are not alone. Sadly, the thought of being buried under a mountain of debt holds so many of us back from doing what we want to do with our lives. We end up taking the “safe” job that pays the bills rather than taking a risk doing what we love. It’s a sad state of affairs when the majority of people will defer their dreams to another day because they’re scared of not being able to afford to live. It’s important to remember that money isn’t real, but your life experiences are. And you can’t put a price tag on making the most out of your time in this world.
5. Listening to Naysayers
Alternative rock band 311 has a saying about naysayers that can’t be printed here, but I’ll let you figure out what it is. Nevertheless, there are always going to be people around you trying to bring you down. And for the most part, their words are going to ring louder in your ears than the voices of those who try to build you up. It’s human nature to listen to the negative criticism you receive, but it’s how you use it that determines your character. You can either let these toxic people’s venomous words get to you, forcing you to quit your pursuits, or you could use them as fuel to improve and show the world what you’re made of. When you start to experience success, are you really going to care what others think of you?
6. Trying to Go it Alone
Nobody—and I mean nobody—can reach the top of the mountain without being boosted up by someone else. I’m not saying you should look for handouts and float to the top by using others; that’s not what success is all about. But there’s no shame in creating a network of friends, family, and colleagues that will support you on your climb. The most successful people of our time have hundreds, if not thousands, of people working with them to make their vision a reality. We live in an age in where it’s incredibly easy to connect with likeminded individuals who will happily team up with others who share a dream; seek out these people and make something big happen.
7. Thinking You Have to Be Perfect
This goes along with the point about waiting for the “right time” to do something, but it’s more about yourself than your circumstances. Too many of us live with the crippling fear that we’re not “good enough” in some way or another. This fixed mindset leaves us wasting day after day wishing we were better than we are. But the truth is, every single day is another chance to excel, and while you waste it thinking you’ll never get where you want to be, someone else is working hard to improve themselves.
The truth is that most people are afraid that they aren’t good enough for their job, especially when they’re new to the position. But the more they work at it, the better they get. Live with a growth mindset, and know that the more you experience, the more you’ll improve. You’ll probably never be the absolute best at something, but that doesn’t mean you’re the absolute worst, either.
8. Comparing Yourself to Others
Continuing on that last point, there’s no use in comparing yourself to someone else when it comes to your abilities (or really anything, for that matter). If every basketball player quit because he wasn’t the next Michael Jordan, there wouldn’t be enough players in the league to field a single team. Instead of aiming to be better than everyone else, aim to be the best that you can possibly be. Get in the growth mindset we discussed in the last point. If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Sure, you’ll face some setbacks here and there, but in the long run, you should see that you’ve improved upon your own worth each and every day of your life.
I’ll be the first to admit that taking these pieces of advice to heart and acting on them is much easier said than done. But it’s worth remembering that everyone on Earth experiences at least some of these detrimental thoughts. However, it’s how they act upon them that determines whether or not they end up realizing their dreams.
What else do we do that stop us from doing something really awesome in life? Let us know in the comments section below!