When you are looking at your looking at your task list and all the things on your plate it’s easy to start thinking that there is no way that you will get it all done. On top of everything else you have dreams and goals that are important to you. What you believe is possible will determine what you accomplish.
If you are confident in your abilities you are more likely to get more things done. That confidence leads you be more positive about the impact you can have in you work. When you know what you are capable of doing, it becomes easier to believe you can stretch to do a little more. This makes the idea that you can get it all done seem possible. If you have reached goals, prevailed in difficult situations in the past you have confidence in your ability to do it again. Past behavior can be a good predictor of future performance. Knowing what you have done before helps you believe in what you can do now and in the future.
So what to do if you are struggling to believe you can get where you want to go?
- Recognize success. Stop and take inventory of the things you have accomplished. What goals have you reached, when have you met seemingly impossible deadlines, or how did you exceed expectations.
- Get real. Make sure that your goals are set up for success. They have to be realistic and achievable. You probably won’t solve world hunger; however you can make a difference in your local community.
- Create milestones. As you look at what you want to accomplish, set milestones so that you can check your progress along the way. These will give you points to re-evaluate your goals and timeline if things are not working well or they will give you an opportunity to celebrate success.
- Take action. Even when the list is overwhelming, it won’t get smaller unless you act on it. Pick a starting point and dig in. Once you get going, the momentum will carry you further than you thought possible.
- Be adaptable. As you get working you may find that one of your goals really isn’t what you want, or that something will take longer than you thought. Give yourself permission to change your goal, move a date (if within your control) or otherwise change what you are doing. Good plans allow for course correction as new information becomes available. Adjust to what you learn as you move forward.
Focus on what is going well, what successes you have had in the past and celebrate milestones. These will give you a boost towards reaching your goals. When you focus on the positive you will see more good around you. This allows you to be more confident in what you can do and increases your confidence in your abilities.
If you focus on what is going wrong, all that still needs to be done, and how hard it all is to do then those are the things you will see in your world. Difficulties show up everywhere when you are focused on the negative aspects of your world. This shapes your thoughts and it becomes what you experience.
The things you think about, focus on and believe are the things that will hold your attention. Your thoughts shape your emotions which in turn guides your actions. So if you believe you can get things done, you will get it done. If you believe it’s too hard or impossible, then you will fall short of what you want to do.
As my son’s middle school principle would say “Have a great day, or not; the choice is yours.” Believe in yourself and the rest will follow. As Henry Ford said “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”