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How To Stop Other People Crushing Your Dreams

How To Stop Other People Crushing Your Dreams

What You Need To Remember When Setting A New Goal

As we embark on a new year, many of us will be devising new goals to chase and dreams to follow. However, staying committed to a new goal can be difficult. One common obstacle is the attitude of family and friends who may raise objections to your plans. These comments can be mean-spirited or well-intended, but either way they can trigger self-doubt and need to be dealt with.

It’s important to remember that the larger your goal, the more likely you are to be on the receiving end of people who doubt your ability to attain it. It’s a good idea to prepare yourself for their reactions.

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Why Do Other People Try To Bring You Down?

You may be thinking that your family and friends will want to support you every step of the way, but unfortunately you may well come up against their objections and even put-downs. They may say that your goals are unattainable, that you lack the relevant skills, or that you are wasting your time.

This behavior can be motivated by a range of underlying desires and insecurities. For example, your sibling’s snide remarks may be triggered by their feelings of jealousy, and your friends’ putdowns might stem from a simple lack of understanding as to what you are trying to achieve. Whether motivated by ignorance or malice, unhelpful comments can set you back if you let them.

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Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to build your own self-belief and keep on pursuing your goals even if others do not believe in you.

How To Stop Letting Other Peoples’ Attitudes Crush Your Ambitions

1. Ascertain whether any objections are made in the spirit of concern or malice and act accordingly.

If someone repeatedly makes you question yourself and your abilities, take direct action and ask them to stop. Set aside time to have a conversation in which you make it clear that you have taken their comments on board, but do not need to hear them again.

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If their comments are motivated by spite, tell them that you will not be bullied and will even leave the room or hang up the phone if necessary in the future. If it turns out that their remarks are well-intended, thank them for their concern but tell them that their support would be much more helpful.

2. Keep a list handy of all the reasons why you want a particular goal that have nothing to do with winning anyone’s approval.

Write down at least three of your reasons for pursuing a particular goal that have nothing to do with winning attention, awards or social status. This will stop you chasing dreams just to secure the positive affirmation of others and therefore make you less vulnerable to their criticism. If you have the time, keep a regular journal in which you celebrate every small milestone on your path to success. This will help keep you motivated.

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3. Visualise a white light of positivity around you when others start directing pointless, unhelpful criticism in your direction.

If you are forced to listen to someone’s toxic comments, imagine a powerful white light surrounding you like a protective bubble. Imagine their words bouncing off the outside of this bubble and back in their direction. You don’t have to be spiritual or religious to do this exercise – it will help anyone feel more positive and protected against pointless negativity.

4. If you are relying on someone else’s resources or encouragement, make a backup plan in case they pull out or lose faith in you.

Even the most independent among us occasionally rely on others. For example, you may be depending on financial backing or emotional support as you pursue your dream. However, if your backer begins to doubt your abilities, you can rapidly lose faith in yourself.

It is sensible to always have a backup plan. How could you get the money and psychological support you need if your current sources were to be withdrawn? Write it down and keep it safe. When you have a Plan B, the end of a particular individual’s support does not have to mean the end of your dream.

5. Always Keep Your Focus Where It Belongs

If you have chosen your goal carefully and planned out the required steps you must take, you have nothing to fear from the negative opinions of other people. Focus on you and the end result. If others lift you up then so much the better, but know that you can achieve your goals even if others question your judgement.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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