“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” -unknown
There’s a reason movies about people who have achieved great things and overcome all odds, really resonate with us. They inspire us to think big and show us, to some extent, that our dreams are achievable. But these cinematic, dramatized memoirs rarely prepare us to handle the stuff that happens in between the dream and the fruition of it. You know–the beginning point, full of courage, excitement and energy and the point far down the road, where we are actually successful at whatever it is we started out to do.
It’s that middle part that is the hardest to see through. It’s the work, the disappointment, the frustrations and the one step backwards right after you’ve just taken two forward. It’s the reason many of us give up on the very ambitions that set us in motion in the first place. It’s the place that’s outside of our comfort zones and feels unnatural. It’s always the place that we become our own worst enemy–with the self-doubt and negative thoughts that we let complicate the process.
Think about the excitement you have when you begin working towards a new goal. Your energy is positive and un-containable. Then suddenly, those little questions creep in to your psyche, forcing all of the positive momentum back in to the hard to reach areas of your brain:
Do I have enough experience?
Am I too young? Am I too old?
What did I get myself in to?
What if I fail?
What does everyone else think?
Am I good enough?
What will I do when this does not work?
Have I wasted my time?
Allowing questions like this to take over our thoughts wastes the energy we should be using to look for opportunities, engage creative thinking and overcome obstacles. We’re all going to question ourselves at times. It’s how we handle those questions, how we process them and how we move forward despite of them that determines our success. Our grit–our ability to persevere, stay ambitious and work through the hard stuff–is what gets us to the goal.