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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams

How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams

Most of us have experienced negativity in life and have gone through phases where we were consistent in doing only one thing – procrastinate.

If this is the present reality of your life, you are not the only one. Difficult and dark as it may appear now, it’s not the end of the tunnel. Light and hope are waiting just round the corner! All that it needs is little change in your approach.

It is easy to fall prey to the habit of procrastination or getting distracted by trivial and unimportant affairs of daily chores in life. However, building self reliance and a benchmark for consistency is no astrophysics either. All it needs is consistent will power and motivation to keep the show on.

The critical part in this journey lies in how to take the first few steps towards being steady and positive in all life situations. Let’s take a look at these 15 inspirational ideas on how to stay consistent and realize your dreams.

1. Make Sure They’re Your Dreams

Often our dreams and desires are contrast, influenced and shaped by social perspectives, rather than being fuelled by raw passion which leaves us relentless!

It is important to harbor and nourish dreams solely made of our own desires. That’s elementary!

Dreams that are not products of genuine fervor and interest will lose steam eventually as dreams feed solely on pure passions. To keep pursuing the goals, you need to be assured of the vitality and intensity of your dreams. If you are sure about what you want to achieve; consistency will follow suit.

Till 1993 J. K Rowling was a single mother struggling with unemployment, divorce and bankruptcy. Indomitable that she is, she braved the challenges and even the rejections of the Harry Potter script by 12 major publishers. It was in 1995 that Bloomsbury, a nondescript publishing house, came up with the first copies of the now a classic Harry Porter. Rest, as we all know, is history.

2. Break Down Your Goals Into Smaller Pieces

Realizing your dream is like a road trip to your favourite destination. We need milestones to reassure us whether the path we’re taking is the correct one and will soon bring us close to our ultimate destination.

Crossing these milestones will give us a small sense of achievement and egg us on to work consistently. Start by listing out these milestones on a planned timeline of your journey to realize your dreams and strike them out one after the other.

As a computer programmer, Pierre Omidyar once thought of auctioning off products from his personal website, at a very personal level. He was getting happier by the day as traffic kept increasing. Omidyar crossed his designated milestones fast and one day saw the need to upgrade his account into a business Internet account. Omidyar’s site is the now known as eBay.

3. Segment Your Efforts and Tasks

Split your goal to realize your dreams in segments of achievements.

If your dreams are that of establishing your company, segment them into smaller tasks like attaining a business license, building a website, marketing your product or service and finally achieving profit targets.

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This will bring in consistency and order in the operations of your company and the benefits will surprise you. You will also find room for more tasks and as we know the key to incorporating more work is to break them down even further.

Joyce Meyer – the Charismatic Christian author and speaker and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries – says,

“Getting organized in the normal routines of life and finishing little projects you’ve started is an important first step toward realizing larger goals. If you can’t get a handle on the small things, how will you ever get it together to focus on the big things?”

4. Get Organized and Be Systematic

Clear the clutter on your desk, as well as your calendar. Getting organized gives you clarity about your priorities and helps you manage your time better. It gives a big boost to your consistency while executing important assignments.

Ever wonder why Mark Zuckerberg wears grey t-shirt and blue jeans every day? Because he doesn’t spend his time and energy deciding what clothes to wear and instead focuses on important agendas.

Be systematic about every approach in life. Every small step taken in running a business needs well-conceived and systematic approach to achieve the targets. By devising your own ways to ease-of-operation your performance will improve exponentially.

5. Remind Yourself Why You Started

Keep your goals in sight. Write them down and pin them to your desk. Revisiting your goals before starting your day keeps you away from procrastination and makes you conscious of the worth of all your daily actions.

Do you dream of being the next Elon Musk? Or is it your desire to win gold medal in the next Olympics like Abhinav Bindra[1]? Either way, it is your actions which are going to bring you closer to what you wish to make out of your life.

A simple daily reminder is a great power booster. It also helps you survive the tough times when you feel like giving up. As Mick Jagger aptly said,

“Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind.”

6. Talk to Your Partner Often

Your partner is someone who is accountable to your well-being and encourages you to work towards your dreams. Partners are known to be supportive, honest and often play the role of a serial motivator. It could be anyone in your family, a friend or a colleague.

A partner mostly acts as a talking mirror – someone, who can be the sounding board of your ideas, thoughts and emotion. They let you look at things the way they are and sort out the muddle in your head.

Shankar and Jaikishan[2] are a perfect example of an organized, supportive and successful Indian music composer duo. They have only achieved success in their life since their relationship started in 1949-1987.

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7. Schedule Time for Things You Love Doing

Ensure that you take time out almost daily to do what you really love – be it playing squash or strumming your favourite instrument. Do it often! Things you like doing keep your creativity alive. These activities elevate your mood and enhance your productivity.

The famous proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” perfectly describes why you need time off from work. Only work will make you boring and uninteresting. Experts say finding time from your work to do stuff you love will not only improve your consistency but also affect your efficiency dramatically.

Here are some interesting facts about pursuing creativity by the rich and famous:

Meryl Streep the award-winning actress loves to knit; Bill Gates is an avid bridge player; George W. Bush, the former US President is a prolific painter; Tom Hanks collects vintage typewriters; Marissa Mayer, The Yahoo CEO, loves baking; and Warren Buffet plays the ukulele.

8. Travel Solo Often

Travelling clears the clutter in your mind and brings you back rejuvenated to perform better and achieve more tasks than you normally would with a clogged mind.

Travelling also makes you look at the bigger picture in terms of realizing your potential. An amazing example of travel making you look at the bigger picture is that of Elon Musk.

When Musk was only 17 years old his father made him take a tour of the West. Musk traveled to 18 US states by car. His solo trip exposed him to situations that are believed to have helped him take major decisions in life.

9. Money Will Not Motivate You Consistently

Money is not the only motivator that works for consistency. You will tend to procrastinate if you aren’t interested in doing a certain task. Be true to yourself and set goals beyond money for motivation.

The best way to deal with this is to delegate tasks and follow up constantly. Let people help you with the tasks that they like doing and find a way to monetize these tasks profitably. Henry Ford very famously said,

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

10. Surround Yourself With Positive People

Tap into the positive energy of people around you. Positivity brings in a lot of energy to motivate you in performing your tasks faster and work for longer hours. Be constantly aware of your state of mind and be vigilant about getting sucked into the negativity.

Follow successful leaders and inspirational speakers on social media. Read and listen to their daily dose of positivity to differentiate between struggle and negativity.

Want to know the source of inspirations for the big names in industry? Examples are plenty:

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Richard Branson claims to be highly inspired by Steve Jobs.

Paul Mizen, MD, Recruit Venture Group, call on Winston Churchill – as a training resource to inspire the rest of his team.

No one has inspired Tim Cameron-Kitchen, head ninja at digital marketing agency Exposure Ninja, more than Benjamin Franklin.

11. Visualize the Results

Right from dealing with failure to success – every negotiation in life needs to be pre-empted and visualized to prepare beforehand in order to deal with the situations as and when they arise.

Visualization keeps us armed and motivated to execute the required actions. This does not mean having vain chimeras though! In some scenarios, you might even have to improvise your plan to achieve the desired results from a particular task or activity. New challenges will demand you to be flexible and open to changes.

Visualize every intricate detail of your journey and you’ll be motivated to work towards turning them into a reality. This also instils uniformity in your efforts. The more often you visualize your dreams and journey, the more unfailing you will be at working hard.

The oft-quoted lined by Benjamin Franklin, the founding father of the United States of America who revolutionised the world with his discovery of electricity, comes to mind in this context:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

12. Realize That You Can’t Control Everything

Don’t be demotivated if certain plans don’t work. We cannot control everything. All we can do is deliver the best in all we do. The key to consistent performance is in knowing that you need to constantly keep delivering regardless of failures.

Elvis’s recordings were a flop for initial many years and later when he tried to be the member of a vocal quartet he was told that he couldn’t sing. It was till the very day that he became popular, people kept telling him to go back to driving a truck.

Let go of “what-ifs” and approach every task with confidence. Focus on your efforts and performance more than the outcome and keep on adding value to your deliveries.

13. Don’t Lose Sight of the Bigger Picture

Taking care of the menial or mundane tasks can get pretty boring. To keep away from dejection remind yourself of the reasons for getting them done. Keep the bigger picture in mind. All these small tasks are going to complete the jigsaw puzzle in your near future.

The great scientist, Alan Turing said,

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“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Your goals and dreams are way bigger than the small tasks and such tasks will utilize a lot of your time. However, it will be unjust to compare this effort to the overall value of your goal.

14. Follow Your Industry for Positive Information

Know about the success stories of others who are trying to do what you are doing. Once you start following the industry, you will be empowered with right knowledge and facts. This learning will nourish your mind and keep you motivated towards your goal.

You will also get competitive and zealous once you follow the progress of other people in your industry. You could also find opportunities to connect with like-minded people who are working towards similar goals. You could even get into a healthy competition with your ally, which in turn will enable you perform better.

Jack Levin nailed it when he said,

“I think healthy competition is good for business, and really at the end best for end-users. Just think about what Android would have been if it was for iPhone – a better blackberry?”

15. Blame Yourself Before You Blame Others

All of us make mistakes. Review what you do to find out where it goes wrong and improve your skill in that area. It’s easy to blame your boss, your investors or your trainers but that doesn’t address the issue.

Ask yourself before starting a blame game. Hold yourself accountable and make the most from the mistake by taking serious lessons and building your capacity so that the mistake is not repeated in future.

Courtney Lynch, founding partner of Lead Star, puts it in the most articulate way when she says,

“Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame.”

No matter at what stage of life you are in, there is nothing as right time or right place. You can start right now.

Remember, unless you execute, you’ll never know your true potential. Be consistent, be happy.

More Tips for Success

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Amit Ghosh

Amit likes to experience and observe everything that life has to present in front of him.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong

How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong

She could hear her beautiful baby crying but was frozen in the doorway unable to move. The crying got worse and she knew that unless she comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet her feet wouldn’t move. She didn’t look at the cot but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat before her…. .okay it was a UK spider so not likely to kill her at all, and yet still her body was frozen as the tears fell down her face. “What a useless mother you are” she berated herself.

That awful mother was me 14 years ago. My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me but now that fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders but I’m not going to leave the room because of one and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact on us, how they can destroy (and I don’t use that word lightly) our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and most importantly how you can fight your fears too.

How Irrational Fears Impact Your Life

The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at them. It makes us feel inadequate, weak and daft because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to:

  • Avoid situations where that fear may have to be faced. Dodging parties, new jobs, new experiences where we aren’t sure we will be able to protect ourselves.
  • Stop us from sleeping for fear the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!
  • Feel ill with the stress. Stress can be the cause of wrong decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better, the list of excuses is long that we hold on to so that we can avoid the cause of our stress.
  • Cause more distress as our minds overload us with negative thoughts of inadequacy. This can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.
  • Risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives too.
  • Feel debilitated. Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world but to the sufferer they are debilitating. Even impacting on their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

Why Bother to Fight the Fear

Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport, another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now at the height of their profession they had no choice, what were they going to do? Quit? There was another who could never ask for help and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

All these fears and many more can be fixed but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

Let’s look at the benefits of fighting your fears:

If you’re going to change the way you do something, something that has impacted on your life, thoughts and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

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The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

I can still see the spider trapped in my hair because it had obviously been on my hairdryer. I also remember that I probably looked ludicrous in the South of France in my underwear running down the lane screaming and flinging my hair everywhere. The poor spider had not only been flung a long way from my head but was probably destroyed in the flight.

Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards, for me it meant that every time I picked up a hairdryer I could see a spider crawling towards my ear in my hair. Guess how helpful that was for reinforcing my reactions and irrational fear?

Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body, doesn’t feel good does it?

When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. So new opportunities can come your way and instead of fearing them and what people will think of you for your choices, you can be open to;

  • New hobbies
  • New travels
  • New opportunities
  • More success
  • Financially more secure
  • Happier
  • Healthier
  • Confident

The list is long so what can you do to get rid of your fears?

How to Fight Your Irrational Fears

In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact on success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious but they all have far reaching impacts on our lives.

Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

Why Did This Happen?

For some people they really need to know why the fear started, for others all they want is to get rid of it. If you need to understand yours then don’t skip this tip. Learn how your fears are made and appreciate where yours came from. If you don’t care how it arrived, you can jump to top tip 2.

I’ve seen some clients who are not prepared to look at how to get rid of the fear until they’ve understood how it got here in the first place. It’s not my place to tell them that is right or wrong, just to help them find the right steps to lead them to a happy path.

When a fear first starts, we don’t acknowledge a fear has entered our lives. It is only after a few occasions that we begin to notice that there’s a strong negative emotion connected to this “thing”. That’s how fear is allowed to grow because as humans we have in-built responses that have kept us safe for our entire existence. This means we are meant to perceive fear and either run or fight, either way our bodies jump into action creating physical responses to the perceived threat.

Look for when you first noticed the fast heart beat, the shallow breathing, the shaking hands, the redness. You have created an automatic way of dealing with this fear. It could be that it felt sensible to fear this because you had an unhappy outcome, although it is usually the case that your head has the facts and your heart is not prepared to hear them as it creates a version of the event that is far scarier than it actually was.

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Learning how to remove the emotions and feelings will help you to change your body’s response. The first time I fixed someone’s fear of public speaking, they told me that it physically closed their throat, I worried that was it possible with words to change our physicality? The answer was yes! With the tools and techniques I share below.

The Tool Kit to Fight Your Fear

From the many people that have contacted me after reading Fight the Fear to my clients, I know for even myself creating a tool kit is a must. This is not a bag that you physically must haul everywhere. This is about learning tools that really resonate with you so that when you can feel the fear start to impact on you, you’ve got your kit ready to take it on.

I don’t have the space in one article to share all of those tools so let’s visit a few:

1. Why I’m Awesome?

Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions and feelings. It is not easy to write, and I get many messages telling me so however it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish.

2. Draw out Your Emotions

Earlier we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down you can follow the positive spiral up again.

I draw these individually for clients and with each action, thought or feeling we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different. Top tip 3 will help with that.

3. Acknowledge That You Need to Change

It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Top tip 4 could assist further, however for this tip, remember that when you want to do, think or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what). But if you aren’t sure yet if there’s really something different you want to do, this story about Nancy may help you to figure it out.

Then it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

Then for 2 weeks, decide that you won’t allow the thought to be in your head. There are usually some negative thoughts allowed to fester in your head. At this stage, just say “No I’d like you to stop.” After 2 weeks choose a new thought that you would prefer to hear in your head, maybe “I can cope with situations that scare me” or “I am stronger than I know”.

There will be times when you fail. Don’t berate yourself because that is another negative thought you are allowing your head to process. Just start again and at times like that have a read of your “Why I’m awesome list”.

4. Choose Your Words Carefully

I’ve heard many clients tell me that “It’s going to be hard to change” “I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t petrified” or “This is a lot to ask”. Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully.

Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved xxxx and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for”. (Take the xxx from your why I’m awesome document.)

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5. Believe That You Have the Control Power

The only person that can control what we think and feel is us. I know it can feel like other people are impacting on us, however they can only do that if we give them permission to do so.

If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

6. Put up Physical Reminders

Working one to one, I can find the fear, work through it and create a tool kit of thoughts, feelings and actions that will help them fight that fear and get rid of it. For some, they don’t need physical things to help them; others do.

For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought, imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

Or the client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome document”.

So they had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job and they could do it. These daily reminders all come down to one key point — help you to Hack the Habit Loop.

What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

7. Physical Supports

Music, environment and even smells can impact on us. Know the music that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energised. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

Changing these things is physical and giving yourself physical ideas to action can help power up your emotional state too.

8. Don’t Go It Alone

The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book) so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design and as such it can be tough to admit that you have a fear impacting on you.

However, by sharing your fear with a trusted friend, colleague or loved one can mean that when you are feeling the fear. you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your fear. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

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9. Get Physical

One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, once repeated the behaviour and it became a formed habit that was accepted.

Challenging a fear can be done using our body too when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose[1] was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe and even the speed at which we speak can impact on us as well as those around us.

If you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of people thinking you are stupid or a fear of what people are thinking you can look at how you speak, stand and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

The research around placebo’s reinforces us that if it feels like it is working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

Final Thoughts

A little fear can be good. As someone famous once says:

“It is not fear, it is performance energy.”

Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear says “Are you well prepared?” “Do you know your audience?” “Have you rested your voice?” “You really want to deliver to this audience what they need” And those thoughts are sensible.

So as you reduce your fear, be aware of a good level of fear.

More About Fighting Fears

Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

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