Have you ever given up on a project about halfway into it? Many of us do that with our goals and dreams. Living your dream and creating the life you want is hard sometimes. The actual work becomes so difficult, we forget about the reward at the end – living our dream - so we quit. Then a few months down the road, we decide to start again, only to follow the same pattern.
Successful people have a way of visualizing the big dream – they focus on the result, not the work. I can’t tell you how many times in developing this website I’ve almost given up. I have literally had the thought, “Forget it. This is too hard, I can’t do this. No one should have to go through this, there’s got to be an easier way.” Then I realized there was an easier way; I could hire someone to design the site for me. But then I’d be at their mercy every time I needed to change it. I want a site that I can re-design and customize on a moment’s notice. If I give a speech and want to make materials available to that audience alone, I want to be able to do that immediately and on my own. Luckily, I’m a very determined person who doesn’t give up easily. I don’t like to give in and let something beat me. More appropriately, I was able to keep my thoughts focused on the desired result instead of how complicated the process.
I’m still working on my site – constantly. There’s a lot more I want to change and the list grows daily, but I can do it all myself and I’m constantly learning. I also enjoy the creative side of maintaining my site myself. With each new language I learn, it seems as if there’s another that must be learned to go with it. Then there’s the marketing side with new methods introduced daily. There’s also the profitability side, which accounts for a lot of stress as well. The important thing is that I’m living my dream of motivating, educating, and inspiring others to be their best through my writing, speaking and consulting. This site is the glue that holds all of that together and to turn it over to someone else would not work for me. So when the going gets tough, even painful at times, I let my “control freak” kick in and guide me through the process.
How to overcome the strong notion to quit
So what are some ways that you can overcome that strong notion we all get when the going gets tough to just call it quits? I’ve put together some ideas and thoughts for you that have helped me. First of all, take a step back and ask yourself, “What am I trying to do? What is the desired result?” If that desired result is strong enough, it will keep you going. That’s what kept me going on this project and does so almost daily. I remind myself of my unwavering desire to have complete control over my website. That’s the most important aspect of my career right now.
Realize that it’s not really you
Those thoughts of, “I’m not smart enough to do this,” or any version of, “I can’t,” are just hogwash. You can do it or you wouldn’t have started/been assigned the project to begin with. More than likely, you just need to eat something, take a break, go for a walk, read something light, or get some sunlight - REFRESH! At the very least, you need some perspective. Refuse to give in to any negativity, wherever it’s coming from.
Make sure it’s your goal/dream
It’s common for us to get caught up in someone else’s dream. If you’re faced with a situation where the work should be easy for you to accomplish, and you know how to do virtually everything required to accomplish it, but you’re still confronting blockages, think about whether or not this is your goal. Or, are you being used to accomplish someone else’s dream? When you work for someone else, it’s easy to get caught up in this, especially if you’ve chosen a field you’re not passionate about. Assuming you can’t quit, (and I strongly recommend you not quit a project you’ve given your word to complete), think about what your individual reward is for the attainment of this goal. Is it money? Is it a better position within the company once this project is completed? Find that incentive and focus on it. As Brian Tracy puts it, “Let your vision of the future guide your present performance.”
Think of it as easy
With whatever you have to do today, think of it as easy, and it will be. Don’t believe the voice in your head telling you that the accomplishment of a particular task is going to be difficult. So you have to design a new website today? Easy! You’re on your way to an important meeting where you’re expected to a sign a $5 million account? Easy! You have only two hours to clean your two-story home? Easy! Why is it easy? Because it’s important to you.
Anytime you concentrate on the difficulty of the work instead of its results or rewards, you are likely to become discouraged. Dwell on it too long, and you will develop self-pity instead of self-discipline. The next time you’re facing a must-do task and you’re thinking of giving up instead of paying the price, change your focus. Count the benefits of doing what’s important, and then dive in.
Until next time,
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This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on November 17, 2008