You’ve got to want it for yourself!
Advice! Isn’t that a loaded word!
Something we may dispense quite freely, but how do we feel about receiving it!
Other people may ‘know what’s best’ for us, have ‘been there’ & want to share their horror stories to help us avoid repeating their mistakes, but I’m guessing that whilst you may well appreciate the comfort and support, you ultimately want to be left alone to make your own decisions in your own time. Not be coerced, nagged or brow-beaten!
No matter how serious or life-changing a decision may be, whether it’s about our health, career development, relationship status, we’ve got to want those changes for ourselves.
Doing what other people advise is often secondary to working out our best outcome and resolving the issues in hand, unless those people are our partners or dependants, like children, or are crucial to our financial security, like an employer.
There’s also the question that whilst others may enthusiastically promote a certain course of action, would they really want it for themselves and follow their own advice if they were in our shoes!
Motivation and maintaining a positive focus doesn’t come from having someone else on ‘our case’, pecking our ears, checking in on us every five minutes or monitoring our behaviour. And for some people being encouraged can even feel like a challenge, something to rebel against, reminiscent of being a child and pushing back against a severe parent or teacher. ‘Why should I, do they think they know what’s best for me?’ may be the simmering response in those scenarios.
Seeing the bigger picture for ourselves is what inspires us on the dull, dark days, on those days when we’d rather stay in bed than get up and go for a run, or would prefer to have a duvet day, watch TV and eat chocolate than return to our online studies or go to a network meeting.
The days when effort seems pointless and futile are when we have to dig deep and find our inner motivation and enthusiasm. It’s in wanting it for ourselves that gets us up and out of bed, pursuing our dreams, staying on track, focussing on the endgame.
That’s why you’ve got to want it for yourself!
It’s important to identify what really inspires you to such an extent that you’d do it for free if you could. Remember the phrase, ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’. Doing what you love enables you to see beyond hurdles and setbacks, aware only of the task in hand and where your ultimate goal lies.
Clear the clutter and get rid of potential distractions before you start. Once you’ve dealt with any backlog or outstanding matters you can enjoy a clearer focus, able to commit to your important goals and dedicate your attention to what really matters to you.
Introducing stepping-stones helps us get started and organise big tasks into manageable, bite-sized chunks. It can be overwhelming to face a massive goal or task, but breaking it down into individual tasks means that it doesn’t completely take over our life. We can still do other things or stop to take a break whenever we need to.
Good routines are important. Being clear, disciplined and committed to regular daily tasks enables them to be done on auto-pilot, without having to intensely concentrate all the time. It’s tiring when tasks require a great deal of planning, foresight and ongoing focus. We’re more likely to continue with plans that are easy to follow, that have become an established part of our regular lives.
Beware of negative self-talk. Telling yourself that you’re wasting your time, that it won’t work out, or that others won’t approve can hi-jack your best efforts on the days when you’re already feeling a little shaky or insecure.
Having someone to check in with can be a help, preferably someone neutral like a coach, mentor or professional group, where good, honest feedback keeps you accountable for your progress and offers opportunities to share experiences and discuss problems or areas of concern.
And, yes, be gracious yet cautious about advice coming from people in your inner circle, even when you’re assured that they care and only want what’s best for you. It’s important to say your ‘thank you’s, but then walk away & ‘think about it’. Remember, others don’t have to live with the consequences of your decisions. They’re your responsibility.
Make time to enjoy mini-rewards, like time away, an afternoon spa treatment, a round of golf or a visit to the beach to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. This means that you invest in the other relationships and areas of your life that are important to you too.
Accept that not every day needs to be a roaring success. Some days may be uneventful, even boring, whilst other days may feel like a failure, especially when things haven’t gone to plan or worked out as you hoped or expected. Change your perspective on those days and treat them as opportunities to take time for yourself, to improve your skills or maybe to network and meet new contacts. Then dust yourself off, refocus and start again, still wanting it for yourself!
Susan Leigh, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net