First, a caveat: this post contains more quoted material than original content. My sincere thanks to Megan Francis, Emily Bennington, and Shannon Ables for their kind permission to reproduce their words here. Please click the links in the post for more of their inspirational writing …
As previously mentioned, my reading this year has been focused on the self-help/self-development genre. We are now almost one-third of the way through 2014 (sheesh, btw), and I’ve been having a bit of a think about my progress thus far in relation to “happiness”, “contentment”, “focus”, “improvement”, “achievement”, and what have you.
Having been a rudderless boat given to ridiculous amounts of self-analysis and worry to the point of illness for far too long, I was determined to stop, focus, make some decisions, and set some goals.
Which I did. And all of which helped to make me feel better than I have for a very long time, and to fall in love with life again.
One of my goals was to find some part-time administrative work. And I did! I began my new job filled with enthusiasm and a longing to apply my extensive skills and experience and “make a difference” as quickly as possible.
But, I forgot that I left my last professional role after 11 years. I understood the business and the industry. I knew which limits I could push. I owned my role. I do not own my new role. I won’t for a while. I freely admit that this frustrated me for a few weeks. I hated the sense of incompetence and new-girlness. I hated asking idiotic questions about how to use the photocopier and where I could find a rubbish bin for my desk. I hated having absolutely no idea what my boss was asking me to do.
I needed help. And it seems the Universe decided to give me some food for thought. I kept reading about goals and goal-setting, and that perhaps having a rigid set of outcomes to achieve is neither helpful nor even possible, given the ever-changing nature of life and what it requires of us. I was reminded again and again that, Quote I) “You can’t climb a mountain if all you’re looking at is the top.” In Our Kitchen Over Dinner – The Husband
And, of course you can’t. Which is why I am now focusing on what I need to do today. Six months, a year, will pass and I will know more. It will happen. Just not yet. And, guess what? I am enjoying my new role, I am feeling more and more comfortable with what I am expected to do, I am getting to know my new colleagues, I have my own workspace … it’s all good!
Quote II) “I got way ahead of myself. Instead of focusing on the process, I’d tried to skip ahead to the product. And I’d completely overwhelmed myself with options.” – Beyond Baby – Meagan Francis
Quote III) “Sure, it’s an awesome high when you achieve them, but then what happens? The bar moves up a little bit and you simply set more goals. Of course, if you don’t meet your goal, well, then you feel as if you’ve failed. We do this to ourselves again and again, measuring our success by what we did or didn’t get, by what we do and don’t have. This is the wrong focus. The solution? Don’t anchor your happiness around goals, anchor them on virtues instead. These aren’t the things you want to achieve someday, but the qualities you want to embody right now, in this moment and every moment beyond.” Fearlessly Don’t Pursue Your Goals – Emily Bennington
Quote IV) “In the middle of amazing progress we may find ourselves doubting or wondering if indeed our efforts are fruitful and on track, aiding us in achieving the goals we have longed dreamed about. Even the most confident of goal seekers have moments when we lose our footing. Whether prompted by a loose, thoughtless comment from a family member, friend or colleague, an article we happen to read in the newspaper that prompts doubt in our likelihood for success or a temporary setback, such events if timed fortuitously at a weak moment can render us doubtful. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling such pangs of doubt from time to time, and I often find myself in such situations when I’ve been exhausting myself in the pursuit of a desired outcome. It is in those moments that I usually need to reach out to my cheerleaders (my closest confidants) and be refueled and reassured. For if they can see the potential and the possibilities in my effort, then maybe I am missing something. Maybe I am short-changing myself. We all need at least one cheerleader in our lives who is in our corner, who recognizes when we need unbridled optimism and refuses to let us give up. We need these people (and it truly doesn’t have to be more than one or two people) because we are human. As infallible creatures, we, as humans, become exhausted, we make mistakes, we forget how hard we’ve worked and sometimes that we need to trust ourselves more. And so it is our cheerleaders that we need to remind us of our goodness and our potential when we can’t seem to see it for ourselves.” The Simply Luxurious Life, Newsletter #193 – Shannon Ables
Quote V) “When I initially started up the brand, I didn’t put too much pressure on myself. I didn’t go into this to prove to anybody other than myself. I was very focused, I didn’t try to do everything at once. I just wanted to perfect the dress. I didn’t want to run before I could walk.” www.vogue.com.au – Victoria Beckham