We all have goals we want to achieve. But we also have shortcomings that block our ability to achieve our dreams. Anxieties, fears and the memory of past failures lurk in our minds even as we set out lofty goals. How to overcome the gap between our past experiences and the future we want? This is a question asked by many. This article will attempt to clarify the question and help you answer it for your own, unique life situation.
To begin, sit down with a blank piece of paper and make two columns. In one, list your strength, talents and achievements. In the other, list your weaknesses, failures, and the situations you find intimidating. Then you can take two approaches. You can make plans to develop your talents, perhaps through classes or through doing volunteer work. Or you can plan efforts to overcome your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Actually, it is a good idea to do both, as much as possible.
Don’t dwell too much on past experiences colored by anxiety and leading to failure. This only tends to keep you repeating the same cycle and identifying with it too deeply. Instead, look back and think what you could have done to make things turn out differently. Did you lose a valuable relationship by failing to appreciate the person, forgetting to send a greeting or make a sympathetic phone call? These are things you can easily correct in the future. Learning to do better the next time is a lot of what life is about.
As in the movie “The King’s Speech”, practice can make perfect–or at least much improved. Every effort and exercise done to overcome a disabling anxiety will strengthen your ability to vanquish it. Only lack of effort can make you fail. Anxiety can be an all too convenient excuse, ensuring failure. So plan specific activities to overcome the characteristics that drag you down. Any positive effort strengthens your will and leads to mastering your shortcomings.
When you have made progress in reducing the anxieties that block your way, shift your efforts to developing your talents, learning new skills, and actively putting yourself in front of others. Perform your music or recite your poems to an audience, even if it is just your classmates or family. You may draw some criticism, but you will also receive appreciation. People will take a new look at you and raise their estimation.
Try to focus less on what others think of you. This is a formula for worry. Instead, define your own values and stand by your principles. If you know the value of the work you are doing, you will not be too worried about what others think. When you change your own self image, others will begin to shift their former image of you. Doors to new possibilities will begin to open. Work hard at the talent you have decided to develop. Others will see the results and begin to appreciate your work.
Developing your talents and overcoming your flaws can go hand in hand. Both are necessary in order to achieve your goals.