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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

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      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

      Freelance Writer

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      Last Updated on August 16, 2018

      10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

      10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

      The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

      In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

      Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

      1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

      What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

      Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

      2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

      Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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      How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

      Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

      Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

      3. Get comfortable with discomfort

      One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

      Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

      4. See failure as a teacher

      Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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      Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

      Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

      10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

      5. Take baby steps

      Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

      Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

      Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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      The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

      6. Hang out with risk takers

      There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

      Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

      7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

      Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

      Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

      8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

      What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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      9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

      Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

      If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

      10. Focus on the fun

      Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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