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How To Stop Other People Crushing Your Dreams

How To Stop Other People Crushing Your Dreams
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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.

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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 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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