I sincerely believe that every seed of ambition and thought of aspiration we have, comes with it a corresponding gift of effort that is equal to the task of achieving that particular dream or vision. While this belief is very much along the lines of the maxim “if you can dream it, you can do it”, my caveat is this – in order to do it, we must be able to tap into and access the energy and commitment levels that are equal to the task of achieving our aspirations or goals.
Just dreaming it is not enough to do it. Countless people have grand dreams and ambitions every day that go unachieved. Without the energy level needed to apply consistent effort and the discipline to commit to the vision, the dream will never be actualised. The bigger your dream and vision, the greater the amount of energy levels and commitment you will need to conjure up if your dream is ever going stand a chance of becoming reality.
When our energy levels are low and our commitment levels are low, we will find ourselves applying a haphazard effort toward our goals, we will get discouraged at the first sight of challenges, we will lose interest in the goal relatively quickly, we will find it hard to take the difficult but necessary steps needed to actualise our dreams and our pace of progress will appear slow.
So, how do we boost our energy levels and our commitment to the cause?
Firstly and very importantly, we must believe that we deserve success as much as the next person and no matter how big our dreams are, we deserve to accomplish those dreams. I’ve talked often about people sabotaging their own attempts at success, often, subconsciously, because deep down in the recesses of their subconscious, they do not truly believe they deserve success. As our beliefs drive our actions, they undermine themselves and then find themselves doing everything contrary to what is needed to realise their dreams. If you do not believe you deserve something, trust me, it’s quite hard to remain committed to it and the entire process of pursuing the goal will appear laborious and tiring. Take time and identify what self-limiting beliefs are holding you back and sabotaging your efforts. Then begin to unseat these beliefs by identifying points in your past when you succeeded and begin outlining all your past accomplishments. When our seminar attendees perform this exercise, they often find that they are far more capable than they initially believed and they have a greater amount of potential than they give themselves credit for.
Secondly, you’ve got to believe that you have what it takes to achieve your dreams. Now, I’m not just talking about thinking that you have what it takes in your mind; you’ve got to believe it in your heart. So often, we perceive ourselves as being of lesser abilities than others – we don’t think we are smart enough, good enough, educated enough, wealthy enough, old enough, young enough, experienced enough and so on. Again, because we hold such limiting beliefs, we would then act in accordance with these beliefs and then get the results we expected in the first place anyway. We create a self-fulfilling prophecy for ourselves through our beliefs, and it is this belief that drive our actions. If you don’t firstly believe you can achieve your goals or ambitions, it’s going to be one helluva struggle. Think of it this way, you really don’t have much of a choice – because if you are going to go after a dream, you might as well believe in yourself because until you do, no one else will believe in you; and people will only support you and assist with the resources you need in achieving your dream, only if they believe in you.
Thirdly, no matter the size of your dream, choose to remain undaunted and resolve to remain focused.. The problem with approaching a huge goal in one piece is that it can appear very daunting and sap the energy levels pretty quickly; and when energy levels are down, people tend to give up very easily. Instead of tackling a huge goal at once, rather break it down into smaller goals and milestones with timelines. This way, the goal appears less challenging and the sense of achievement that comes from accomplishing the milestones step by step actually increase your sense of commitment and provide the drive to keep moving forward.
Fourthly, do not think of mistakes and sets backs as the “be all and end-all”. Focusing on failure will only drain your energy, demotivate you and discourage you. Instead of using your past failures to benchmark your ability and potential, begin seeing them as “school fees”, and learning opportunities. Make a concerted effort to learn from them, establish what you would do differently and move on.
Fifth points – reinforce your emotional state and refuse to allow other people’s negative opinions and criticisms deter or discourage you. Yes, by all means, listen to and apply constructive criticisms, however never focus and hold onto negative feedback. As Napoleon Hill put it, “opinions are the cheapest commodities available, everybody has one”. Understand that people drive their own agendas and attempting to please everyone is both a fast-track to frustration and failure. Remain true to your vision. No one will ever know you like you know yourself, therefore no one can place a limit on what they believe you can or cannot achieve. The only person with that right is you, so do not give it away.
Finally, always remember that the determinant of success or failure in life is not determined by the size of the challenges, but rather by 3 things – the power of one’s self-belief, the determination to take action and the c commitment to persevere.