Counteracting feelings of defeat is crucial to staying committed to your goals and dreams in life, if you ever want to eventually succeed. I learned this lesson the hard way over the years, but it was definitely a lesson worth learning. This is not to say that I have finally succeeded in reaching my own goal of being a best-selling author. I haven’t. But after a whole lot of tears and a lot more self-analysis, I discovered something about my feelings of defeat.
No matter what specific events occurred to make me want to give up, the same self-defeating attitudes were usually the blame. Thank goodness, over time, I began to verbalize and identify those reoccurring negative attitudes. I wrote them down, along with my personal strategies for counteracting those feelings when they sneak up on me.
Ask Yourself Questions
On any given day, when I feel down, depressed or just unmotivated, I start by asking myself, “What is wrong with you right now?” Then I read over the list of items that I’m about to share with you. This list helps me to identify exactly how I’m feeling and why. Just because I might already know the source of my concern, doesn’t mean I automatically acknowledge how and why I’m being affected.
You can probably relate to what I’m talking about, if you’re a writer, author, artist, freelancer, self-employed or an entrepreneur. These are the people who tend to have the biggest dreams and aspirations. But we are also the people who experience a roller coaster ride of emotions, while trying to achieve those goals and dreams. The upside of the ride includes excitement, joy, pride and a sense of eagerness. But the downside is often fear, reluctance and self-doubt, which ultimately ends in defeat.
Positive Talk Vs. Negative Attitudes
Negative, self-defeating attitudes really thrive in our minds when we fill our heads with negative talk. It stands to reason that positive talk can have the reverse effect, if we let it. But believe it or not, according to Healthline’s Tim Legg, MD — not everyone engages in positive talk with themselves on a regular basis. In the article What Are the Benefits of Self-Talk? Legg had this to say:
“Although positive self-talk comes naturally to some, most people need to learn how to cultivate positive thoughts and dispel the negative ones. With practice, it can become more natural to think good thoughts rather than bad ones.”
10 Warnings & Tips
I’m relieved to have finally been able to articulate and write out what I think are the most destructive, and counterproductive attitudes that tend to plague us all. As you read over the following list, be sure to pay particular attention to the tips located under each potential obstacle. These are the tips that I successfully apply to any related situations and believe it or not, they actually help. This list helps keep me on track with my writing goals whenever I start to stray (as I still do on occasion).
Read the following statement aloud and select the negative attitude(s) that could be plaguing you right now.
When it comes to projects and activities related to my dreams, goals and career objectives…
#1 “I start but then I get distracted”
It’s not unusual to start a project or begin to engage in something that could be really beneficial, only to stop abruptly. There are so many things to get distracted by online, that sometimes we’re like kids in a candy store. When it comes to the internet, you’re always just a click away from the next biggest and best thing. Getting momentarily sidetracked from your online venture can easily turn into being completely distracted.
TIP: The key is to have a visual of what you want to accomplish each day. I don’t mean just in your mind, I’m referring to an actual visual reminder; something you can literally see each day. One good method is posting notes on or around your computer and work space, in addition to posting an actual agenda. Do this daily to help you stay focused on one thing at a time. Usually, that one “thing” may already involve multiple activities, so don’t get to thinking about all the other stuff you can pile on, since you only have one thing to do that day.
Making the mistake of piling things on will cause you to end up doing everything EXCEPT the one thing you were supposed to do. You have to remember to factor in ALL the other related activities when you consider the “one thing” you need to get done. Not only that, but make sure you accomplish whatever it is first. Then, if you still have the time and the inclination, you can get something else done. Either way, the most important thing will be completed, which means that you have had a productive day.
#2 “I start something, then forget why It was a good ideal”
All too often, I’ve started out with a lot of zeal when working on a new ideal or online activity; then I end up changing horses in the middle of the race. For some reason or another, what seemed like a good ideal at first turns into: “Why am I doing this again?”
TIP: To avoid having this happen to you, try and have a clear cut understanding beforehand, how exactly the project or online activity will benefit you. Write out your plan of action and your objectives and keep them handy. Don’t just document the more obvious things like: “Promote my ebook on Tuesday mornings.” Instead, add specifics.
For instance, in outline form, under Promote my ebook, you may want to get really detailed by including instructions such as: Create a new video book trailer for Youtube. Tweet the title of my ebook on Twitter, or Publish a new book-related Instagram story. Notating the exact details of your plan of action can help prevent you from losing sight of the big picture.
#3 “When it doesn’t go right the first time I say forget it”
The expression: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, couldn’t apply more fittingly than to online article writing, marketing and other types of internet success. While there are countless tales of overnight success online, as a rule, becoming a successful online author, marketer or entrepreneur takes time.
TIP: Since this fact remains true, regardless of what you’re striving to achieve online, stop stressing over how quickly things progress. You don’t have time to obsess over the pace of your online success, PLUS perform internet activities effectively. You can only succeed at one or the other. Decide which you would rather succeed at; obsessing, or performing.
Obviously, it is your actual performance that is going to eventually determine your success or failure. That is one good reason why giving up should not be an option. The more you do online, the better you will get at it. With that being said, if you feel yourself getting discouraged from failing only once or twice, what can I say? “If at first does not succeed…” (You know the rest!)
#4 “If things move too slowly I say forget it”
Just because things don’t go as quickly as you want them to, doesn’t mean you are not making progress.
TIP: Don’t waste time checking and comparing what others are doing. Concentrate on comparing your progress to your own personal best. Take note of both your failures and successes and be determined to do even better. Make good use of your internet time instead of stressing and obsessing. You could be learning to monitor your stats and analyze online activities better. When you do, then you will really be able to see where you are making progress, versus what areas you may need to work on.
A close scrutiny of your regular activities can be an invaluable help to any online worker or entrepreneur. Once you start to accurately monitor your activities AND the results of those activities, then, you will be able to duplicate the ones that appear to be effective. It will also help you to have a little more patience, knowing that while things seem to be moving slowly, you are actually making progress.
#5 “If someone else says something negative, I start to get skeptical”
No matter what you do or where you go, there will always be naysayers; those who never have anything positive to say. If this an existing problem for you, then you may have to cutoff some people from your life.
TIP: Hold on just a moment before you start thinking that I’m telling you to disown your mom, the kids and the dog. In no way am I suggesting that you cut your loved ones and those people who have your back out of your life. I am not even telling you to get rid of those one or two fake friends that may be orbiting in your circle (like it or not, we all have them).
I am however, making a statement of fact that: Even those who “mean well” can have a poisonous affect on your productivity. Only YOU can make the determination who those individuals may be in your life and what you need to do about them. This is an area that requires a lot of thought and soul searching. I know because I’ve experienced it firsthand. I eventually put on my big girl panties and had to give some people the ax (figuratively speaking of course :-)
#6 “I get disappointed when I don’t get the same results as someone else”
Have you tried promoting a popular affiliate marketing product that everyone is having success selling? Maybe you tried a resource website that people swear will put you on the map. From “mind-blowing” automated software to promotional strategies that work magic; at one time or another, we’ve all been guilty of believing the hype. We end up being disappointed because of not getting the results that we were promised or that was advertised.
TIP: For the most part, consumers generally understand that as a rule, advertisers tend to exaggerate, fabricate and outright lie. Bur for some reason, the minute people transact business on the internet, they seem to forget this fact. It won’t take long before you realize that there is no shortage of hype on the internet, no matter what the subject happens to be about. Even when a product or service is actually quite good, the results we expect are tainted, due to all the hype surrounding it.
This means that regardless of what the product, service, or item happens to be, you will rarely get the exact same results as advertised, or as someone else. Before investing time, energy and other resources, ask yourself: “What results can you realistically expect?” That way, when you make a purchase, you won’t feel cheated if things don’t turn out exactly as planned.
#7 “I get discouraged or suspicious when I find out there’s a cost”
While it may not always be necessarily true that you get what you pay for, the fact of the matter is, sometimes you do have to pay for something good. You do want to be smart and not have to pay for everything that you come across. But don’t automatically view what may be a valuable resource as having a “catch”, just because it has a price tag.
TIP: If something you believe to be a profitable or advantageous venture comes with a price tag, consider #6 above. When you determine what you can realistically expect from the purchase, then you can decide if it is worth the cost. After an evaluation, if you believe it is worth it, go for it!
If you do decide to make a purchase after an honest evaluation, don’t keep complaining about the cost once you have forked over the money. You’ll only make yourself feel bad, and besides, you’ve already determined that it was worth the price, so concentrate on making that determination a reality.
#8 “I get overwhelmed when I find out what all is required”
When you work online, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the activities that are connected to your overall success. There is no getting around the fact that if you really and truly want to be successful with any of your online activities, it is going to take hard work. Period!
TIP: The best thing you can do to prevent feeling overwhelmed is to learn how to take small bites. If you have a big writing, marketing, or other project to complete, don’t get frustrated; break it down to size. When you take things step-by-step, they have a way of not looking so intimidating. It is not necessary to focus on the whole picture all the time.
As the expression goes, “Don’t try to eat the whole elephant at one time”. This seems like it should go without saying, but when you think about it, so do the rest of the tips provided here. Sometimes the problem is not, necessarily, understanding what to do; sometimes it’s just a matter of needing to be reminded of what we already know; even on a daily basis!
#9 “I change my mind about how much effort and time I want to invest”
Similar to #8 above, you must make a decision, not about whether or not there is hard work to do, but about whether or not you are prepared to actually do the hard work. I cannot count the number of times that I backed out of, or discontinued an internet related project. No matter how many “good reasons” (excuses) that I gave myself for doing so, it still amounted to: I didn’t want to invest the necessary time and energy.
TIP: If you want to find out if your online endeavors will truly succeed, you have to hang in there long enough and allow them to work! Here’s the ironic thing: The internet enables us to reach out easier, faster, and further than ever before, right from our own living rooms. But on the other hand, the internet presence you’re establishing, and all those online activities need to marinate, so to speak. And as any good cook knows, marinating takes time.
In the same line of thought, by allowing all the ingredients from your online activities to come together and simmer, when they’re done you’ll have a dish of success. If you give up too soon, any positive results will end up being in vein. You may even miss out on potential business and sales due to quitting too soon.
# “10 I run into technical difficulties and quit”
Sometimes executing even the easiest task can go wrong, especially when you’re dealing with computers. Modem problems, router problems, server problems and more; and these are just a few of the hardware issues. Whatever the technical issue is, if you allow it to, it can cause a chain reaction of negative thinking.
TIP: In the past, I’ve found that when I am having a problem making something work, it’s best to walk away from it for a while. I understand this point with every fiber of my being, yet I still sometimes catch myself laboring too long over a problem. It truly amounts to being “stuck on stupid.” I’ve been guilty of staying up all night trying to resolve the same problem until I can’t even see straight.
It is times like these when you need to make yourself get up and take a break; if necessary, just knock off for the remainder of the day. Many times, when you resume what you were doing, with fresh eyes, you accomplish much more. This is a lot better than forcing yourself to work on something when you feel tired and defeated. Your intentions may be to just finish up, so you can be through with it! Working under these types of circumstances is actually counterproductive to anything that you may be doing.
The above warnings and tips provide the kind of advice that can benefit anyone, no matter what dream or goal you pursue. You should never underestimate the benefit of maintaining a positive outlook about your dreams. As a writer and author, my moods come and go, depending on when and if I’m working on something at the time. I consult the warnings on my list whenever I need reminders about what kind of thoughts to avoid. I also rely on the tips to remind me of the positive things that I need to be concentrating on.
Hopefully, this article has helped you appreciate that you have the power to overcome obstacles to your dreams and goals, no matter what they happen to be. Even when you feel powerless and things don’t seem to go as planned, you can still resist the urge to give up. If you do this on a regular basis, you will enjoy a much happier journey while pursuing your goals and dreams.