Image thanks to courtney
“To change and to change for the better are two different things.”
You’re too hard on yourself. Your ambitions outweigh your success (who’s don’t?) and suddenly you’re a good-for-nothing nobody. Rejection, self-deprecation, dreams so big that you feel you’re merely floating in an abyss trying to go about achieving them – any of this sound familiar? It’s sure the way I feel a lot of the time.
What matters, of course, is that we try; that we attempt our goals. Just by trying, you are one of a magical, minute percentage of individuals who go after what they want, as opposed to what is conveniently presented to them. You may not know it, but you’re already up there with the greats.
If you’ve taken just one step towards what you want, even if that’s merely announcing it, writing it down, sending an email, making a phone call, making an application – whatever – you’ve made it onto the yellow brick road. You’re there, sister. Now, it’s all about walking. From experience, we know you’ll meet bad witches, glitches, and slumber-inducing poppy fields, but no one, absolutely nobody whom you perceive to have ‘made it’, has completely avoided these hurdles.
The key to emerald city is this: just keep getting better. We know we are often our own worst critics, but that’s just one side of the coin, and I think deep down you know you can be your own biggest fan – even if that seems to ‘vain’ to admit. It’s okay with me if you keep it to yourself, just try and believe it. Only then can you go forward, aware that, whatever comes, you are able to keep improving; in small ways, massive ways, or average-everyday-ways.
At this time of year it seems people are either rabidly pursuing absurd resolutions, or wallowing in the failures of the past year. It is up to you to navigate a path between these extremes, knowing that, sure, it’s a slow process, but you get better every day; you got better last year and you’ll get even better this year.
Task: Think of one tiny improvement you can make today, regarding your biggest goal. For me it’s writing a new tagline for Charade. For you it might be writing a life roadmap, identifying a mentor, starting on the journey to Make Your Life Amazing, learning some new facts about your industry, or taking an action step such as applying for an internship.
Once you’ve completed this small improvement, take a moment to metaphorically glance over your shoulder at all the minor improvements you’ve made to get from wherever you were to wherever you are. Perhaps at school you were shy but you now have a great circle of friends; maybe last summer you were groaning about not having done any work experience and now you have something great organised. These things matter, but we have a nasty habit of discounting them as soon as they’re complete: our focus doggedly directed at the ‘ultimate goal’. But remember: it is the pieces that produce the puzzle, the thread that forms the tapestry, and the notes that make the song.