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Don’t Feel Beaten Up When Your Road Is Blocked, It’s Never Too Late For A Comeback

Don’t Feel Beaten Up When Your Road Is Blocked, It’s Never Too Late For A Comeback

Goals and dreams are what makes life exciting, motivating, purposeful and worthwhile. When the path is easy and straightforward, it can be the most fulfilling feeling but inevitably obstacles and roadblocks come around the corner; not to tell us our dream is unreachable and unattainable, but to allow us to learn, grow and become the person we need to be in order to get there.

For many of us, once we come across a hurdle, it can simply be what stops our dream in its tracks – the motivation wanes, our beliefs in achieving our goals breaks down and it can seem impossible and dejecting.

In a society where we are judged for our looks and age alongside our abilities and competence, having our dreams placed in the hands of others’ opinions of us is a dangerous game and one that will quash the dreams of even the strong-minded of people. If you’re feeling beaten down or even that it’s too late for you to achieve your life-long ambition then take a page out of Meryl Streep’s book.

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A talented, award-winning actress, Meryl Streep is loved and admired by millions for the countless roles she’s played in our best-loved movies. But it has by no means been an easy road for her; struggles to break the Hollywood mould in more ways than one has meant she has had to reach her dream the hard way compared to many but the lessons she learnt has made her into the well-known, talented actress we know today.

Love Yourself, Be Yourself And Never Give Up

Meryl Streep 3

    At a very young age, Meryl wanted to be on the stage performing. But it was at an audition for King Kong, aged 27, that she came up against something that would stop many from continuing their goal pursuits – she was told by the producer that she was simply “too ugly” for the role.

    Like many of us doing with ourselves, Streep found fault with her looks and sometimes struggled to really embrace them. But she realised that by caring what other people thought of her was only bringing her down and stopping her from fully going after what she wanted.

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    “This was a pivotal moment for me. This one rogue opinion could derail my dreams of becoming an actress or force me to pull myself up by the boot straps and believe in myself. I took a deep breath and said ‘I’m sorry you think I’m too ugly for your film but you’re just one opinion in a sea of thousands and I’m off to find a kinder tide. Today I have 18 Academy Awards.”

    “For young women, I would say, don’t worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things. For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength … I used to hate my nose. Now I don’t. It’s OK.”

    We can’t ever let other people determine our future and – even worse – the thoughts we have of ourselves. To truly achieve what we want in life we need to learn how to embrace ourselves, love ourselves and believe in ourselves. Resilience is immensely important when it comes to happiness and continuing the path to our dreams and goals. Developing a mindset that keeps you on the path no matter what you are faced with, will prove to be the linchpin in becoming successful in what you want to achieve in life.

    Embrace Getting Older. Never See It As A Reason To Give Up

    Meryl Streep 2

      It’s another societal view that getting older is somehow a decline in achieving your hopes and dreams. It’s often associated with a lack of ability or incompetence but this is quite the opposite.

      Although Meryl Streep is a world-famous actress now, she took numerous roles from a young age without much success or acknowledgement. Once she hit her 40s, she noticed a definite shift in the types of roles she was being offered mirroring the attitudes Hollywood and society as a whole view older women.

      “When I was 40, I was offered three witches in one summer. And I thought, ‘OK, this is it. You turn 40, and oh my god.’ The only reason I have a career at 64 is that I’ve had hits later in life. I’ve found that once certain movies are out, audiences aren’t so age-phobic. They were willing, and they were happy.”

      It wasn’t until she was getting prestigious roles about strong, independent, older women such as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada that she started receiving more mainstream recognition and more and more roles portraying older women were becoming more desirable. Considered today as one of the greatest american actresses, Streep’s career and attitude has helped change this Hollywood mindset by working steadily on various projects including mentoring women at The Writers Lab – a new initiative nurturing female screenwriters over the age of 40.

      Streep’s understanding of the discrimination that older women face has been to the benefit and gain towards the shifting of ageist attitudes in our society. While age and getting older is a scary concept to many, the message that she puts forward is that it’s never too late – it’s never too late to continue on with your dream or even start pursuing a dream you always had. Don’t let others stop you from living your life and never use it as a reason not to be happy.

      Featured photo credit: Gareth Cattermole via thedailybeast.com

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      Jenny Marchal

      A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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      Last Updated on August 4, 2020

      The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

      The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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      1. Value Your Time

      Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

      2. Know Your Priorities

      Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

      For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

      3. Practice Saying No

      Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

      4. Don’t Apologize

      A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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      5. Stop Being Nice

      Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

      Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

      6. Say No to Your Boss

      Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

      But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

      7. Pre-Empting

      It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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      “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

      8. Get Back to You

      Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

      “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

      At least you gave it some consideration.

      9. Maybe Later

      If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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      “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

      Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

      10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

      This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

      Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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      Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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