Losing your way when you have an important goal can be disheartening...how to find your way back and achieve it! Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
I don’t know if others have had this experience, but sometimes, when I deviate from the pathway of my goals, I lose my confidence I’m capable of fulfilling them. When I’m like this, it can be easy to “throw in the towel” and just allow myself to sink into the sands of ineptitude.
So, what are some practical ways you can dust yourself off, pick yourself up and regain momentum and that all important feeling of self-confidence?
1. AVOID BLACK AND WHITE THINKING
That is, try not to think along the lines of “I’ll do things perfectly all the time” and “I’ll never get there”.
This can happen when you err from the path of your goals. Sometimes I have a tendency to be a perfectionist, I can be so hard on myself that if I make a mistake I can swing into the opposite mindset: that I am capable of nothing, and I lose all faith in myself – and my goal. I allow myself to wallow in my mistake, and a feeling of shame and being out of control besets me.
In other words be realistic rather than swinging between perfectionism, and self-betrayal by abandoning what is important pursuit.
2. DECIDE AND INTERNALISE WHICH GOAL IS MOST IMPORTANT
It is normal to have many competing goals. Decide which is the most important; what is your most important value, and what actions are necessary to fulfil it? Other goals of course are important, but sometimes one aim is a precursor or a necessary pre-requisite to the attainment of other dreams.
In other cases this is not so, and you may have all the necessary resources to try to live a few or even all your values.
However, it’s when one value competes in a way that is counterproductive to something more important to you, then you need to prioritise. For example, if you want to eat extremely healthily and exercise every day and you want to get through your exams, these two goals may not co-exist that harmoniously. It simply may not be realistic.
If I get off track with my most important goal, I ask myself to prioritise my values, all the things that are important to me. Or you could try to be less perfectionistic and more realistic with just your prime goal, the one most important to you.
3. GET BACK ON TRACK AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
To regain lost confidence and that out-of-control feeling, decide to retrace that is, what became more important to you? Put those goals aside and go back to your most important one.
Just like if you miss a turn-off driving before you can drive along the main highway to Goal Attainment, you need to concentrate on getting back on track.
4. MAKE A PLAN OF HOW YOU WILL DO THIS
For example if you get lost you look at a map to see the way back. Take time to think about and internalise how you will reschedule and rejuggle your life again so as to support your goal(s).
5 . REMIND MYSELF OF WHY ACHIEVING THE GOAL IS SO IMPORTANT
What inspired me in the first place? How can I become re-inspired? What benefits did I enjoy while ‘on the right track?’
So if you take a side-step when you meant to take a forward one, take a breather, reframe your experience, and get back on track with a smile and head held high!