Last time we spoke about Focus, now we are moving on to the second F in the line-up, FIGHTING!
So, you are probably wondering what I mean by that, who are we supposed to fight and why?...
There are actually 3 elements to this matter. Not only will you have to ‘fight’ people around you and society, but perhaps most surprisingly, yourself as well.
As per usual, no need to worry, I will of course elaborate on all of this.
So, let’s talk about why you would have to fight society.
As humans, it is in our nature to want to belong, to connect and to feel like we are a part of something bigger.
We want to be accepted, and a lot of the time, without even thinking much about it, we conform.
We will conform because we don’t want to upset our parents, our teachers, we don’t want to be a disappointment. Sometimes it can take decades to realise that we actually never wanted to become a banker, an attorney or we never wanted to take over the family shoe shop, but at that point, it might be a bit too late.
Some of us won’t ever even come to that realization and just suffer in silence.
Having a dream, a purpose doesn’t always have to be about saving the world. At least not in a traditional way. Perhaps your parents were really keen on sending you to medical school, but you’d much rather be a hairdresser or a dress maker.
Now I ask you, what is wrong with making someone’s day, by giving them the most amazing haircut or creating a truly fantastic garment for them, that will not only give them a superb silhouette but a lasting smile? What could possibly be wrong with that?
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!” – Maya Angelou
Never stop going after your goals, just because you feel that society might not approve. When you don’t have your heart in what you are doing, people will notice, you won’t perform at your best and let’s face it, you are wasting your time and probably everyone else’s.
There are many expectations and very well-defined blueprints shall we say, of what we are supposed to do but everyone is entitled to their own lives and to live it the way they want to and guess what, we only get one chance at it.
I truly encourage everyone to do some soul searching and to find what makes you really happy.
Pro Tip: what you are truly passionate about started developing at an early age, roughly between the ages of 7 and 14. These are the years where you were already self-aware enough but not yet influenced by parents and teachers so much.
I realize that this can be a bit harder sometimes but please feel free to contact me if you think you would need some further guidance.
So, let’s say that you’re not worried about what the world thinks, you’re quite happy following your path but every now and then your friends feel the need to express their opinion on your journey, and more often than not, they will have a very strong opinion about it!
Having a strong belief in yourself and your plans is of course very important but when we hear the people closest to us doubting and questioning our ideas and decisions, we can end up having second thoughts as well.
Let’s just take a moment to understand why this is.
Our upbringing is extremely important and can very much effect how we turn out. Unless we consciously work on ourselves, learn, and grow to be able to go in the direction we want, sometimes we end up drifting in life. Some are more determined and disciplined than others and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when we see a friend or a colleague excel at something we immediately like to put ourselves in their shoes. We think about how we would handle the situation, what we would do etc.
Now I have already mentioned in a previous post, that we humans are riddled with fear and doubt about the unknown. We are also projectors on two legs.
So let’s just picture the following situation.
Say my friend Ricky comes around one day for coffee and starts telling me all about his plans to open that restaurant he’s been dreaming about for 17 years. He goes into all the details about the menu and the venue. I near enough choke on my coffee and have 2 thoughts immediately race through my mind.
Wow that’s a risky business! I mean, I spent so many evenings binge watching Gordon Ramsay trying to save restaurants from bankruptcy … is he serious?! So you guessed it, the fear is here.
I’m going to be left in the dirt. My friend actually has the guts to follow his dreams when I possibly don’t even dare dream…
Unfortunately, we do this quite a lot, and we don’t mean anything bad by it, most of the time. We don’t even realise we are doing it. The reality is, we don’t want to be left behind. We don’t want the people closest to us to succeed while we are stuck in the same place we have been for the past X amount of years.
It shines at light on us, that quite frankly isn’t very flattering.
There are 2 great motivators in life. Fear & desire! The only question is, which one will have the upper hand?!
In the above scenario, my friend has a burning desire to open his restaurant while I’m too busy thinking, in fact obsessing over the what if’s!
So just to conclude this idea, when you’re out chasing your dreams and you are telling your friends & family about it, don’t be upset if you hear the odd negative comment. Instead, remember my words and where it all comes from. It comes from a place of fear and perhaps a touch of envy.
If you’ve done your research and prepared, there is nothing wrong with taking some calculated risks and remember, the biggest risk is not taking one at all!
Accept that people around you might not share your mentality and that’s fine. They are just trying to express themselves and what they say has much more to do with how they feel, than cold hard facts.
So, after we’ve dealt with society and friends, let’s now move onto facing ourselves. And this is a big one!
In my next post I will talk about how to ‘figure ourselves out’ but for now, let me just share a few ideas on why we have to fight with ourselves to reach our goals.
There are many reasons why we don’t take action when we need to, but not feeling worthy is a major contributor.
This may come as a surprise to some but there isn’t just fear of failure, there is also fear of success and it’s very real.
Success comes with a lot of responsibilities and commitments that need to be kept. We want the benefits it comes with but we probably don’t feel like we can tackle the obstacles along the way as well. We might not feel that we can rise to the occasion.
If we were not praised, encouraged much as a child, we simply won’t feel worthy. We won’t be equipped with the self-belief that is absolutely crucial to achieve our goals. We might think that we are supposed to go forward in life and improve along the way but if we don’t believe we are worthy, we will self-sabotage. If we spent most of our lives feeling inadequate, that isn’t going to change overnight. The funny thing is, we might not even be aware of it. We might blame many other aspects of life before we start to look inwards.
When we feel lazy, we procrastinate or get our priorities mixed up a bit, there is always something else, something much more complex at the bottom of it.
If you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you couldn’t fail at something, would you still put it off?
I was reading a remarkably interesting book not long ago and felt the need to make a note of an idea:
“Believe and your mind will come up with a creative solution.” – The magic of thinking big by David Schwartz
Some say that belief in yourself is far more valuable than talent. Much like when building a house, getting the foundations right is the most important thing! So, invest the time and get it right!
Next time, we will talk about the 3rd element of the 3F formula, fear!
For now, all I ask is that you really take a moment, look inwards and reflect on my words. What resonated with you the most?