Confidence from the past and optimism for the future – the 2 keys to fulfilling your dreams

Today we will peek into the future with the help of a crystal ball… But we won’t ignore the past either. Do we have any regrets for missed opportunities but also great satisfaction of the road traveled so far? Are we going to be scared of or excited about what lies ahead of us? It all depends.

Two points of view

The opposite attitudes in play here are:

  • You may be disappointed about what you did (or more often – what you didn’t). And then you would worry about what is to come;
  • Or you can feel good about yourself when remembering past achievements and thus look forward with enthusiasm to what’s next for you.

In fact, Viktor Frankl said it best in his book “Man’s search for meaning”:

Of the pessimist and optimist

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back.”[1]

Does it ring a bell? How about the 90-day goals of our system?

Today we will show you how we can become proud of ourselves by reviewing the notes on every single page of our calendar.

Confidence

This state of mind is the most basic preconditions for our boldest objectives.

It’s very simple.

When we know for sure something is a bad idea we don’t give it a try. Uncertainty and hesitation too can stop us from taking action.

That is why it is important to believe in our abilities and potential. However, it doesn’t happen all by itself.

The cumulative effect

The only reliable base for our focus and resolve is the real achievements. But these have to be pursued and realized regularly – a day in, day out.

Our system ensures you do that through the process of regular re-assessment of your actions.

The review of the 90-day Goals

Every quarter we look at the period in the context of what took place. The idea is to list all of our victories – every single one, no matter how small, must be recognized. We simply write them down without any concern if they were exactly what we were aiming at in the first place.

And guess what! It’s almost always surprising for us to find out how much we have accomplished. Over time, the list grows, and with it our sense of optimism as well! It is the motivational force that takes us closer to our dreams.

Then why is it that almost nobody does that?

The problem is that the achievements are not always so obvious

Of course, they wouldn’t be if not put down “black on white”.

We’ve seen this time and again around us – be that at work or in people’s personal life. If you don’t make a record of your wins you won’t be able to name more than a couple when in fact they might be a dozen.

If we are too preoccupied with the next thing on our to-do list we often fail to just take a moment to appreciate what we have already overcome.

The good news is that we can teach our brain the trick.

Positive Focus

Ivan has long relied on it to improve on the corporate culture of Aula.bg and therefore he continues to benefit from its constructive effects.

Once a week, all his employees list all the good things from the last few days. Those who are accustomed to focusing on the positive can easily see almost anything as such. For example, a brand new course, the nice and thoughtful gift from a satisfied customer, a Facebook post that resonated widely, etc.

This can make all the difference between an attitude of “same ol’, same ol’” and “great week”.

The key is to write it down

You can build the habit only by making the effort to reflect on your past. This exercise disciplines your brain to be actively seeking out those previous victories that are crucial for your positive attitude.

You will be greatly surprised and pleasantly so when you go over the list of your achievements and find out how much you have done in fact.

The lessons to be learned

In order to boost our confidence, we must also add what we can learn along the way.

As we examine our results we get a better understanding of how and why it all happened. We refine and improve our behavior while going through this process. It will provide peace of mind that we can do better next time.

Learning our lesson allows us to take control and reduce the role of chance.

What about the future?

Let’s take a scale from 1 to 10.

At 1, our attitude towards the future is based entirely on the worry of what to expect from it. The important word here is “to wait” and suggests a passive attitude. It brings up the emotion of helplessness in the face of an impending crisis, i.e. “it will get a lot worse before it gets better”.

And the other end of the spectrum, (10), we look forward with optimism and eagerly jump into action.

We all can find ourselves in different situations somewhere between these two states. Where would you say you are most of the time?

Anxiety vs excitement

The resolution of this is determined by how much we actually believe in ourselves. If we skip on our confidence exercise we might feel insecure and become highly constrained. That’s exactly what can make anything look scary to us.

And when we are fully aware of what we are capable of then we become proactive and determined to succeed. This is the source of our inspiration – we come up with different solutions to a problem and we are eager to start implementing them. We don’t treat challenges as insurmountable but instead, we tackle them with the clear understanding it is an indispensable part of the journey.

At this moment we get the type of energy that kicks us out of bed in the morning thinking “Today will be a great day to get things done!”

Vision and control

Vision is the long-term perspective that gives direction, and the expectation that no matter what we can do almost anything. It provides the meaning to our daily efforts and a good answer to the ‘why’ question.

When working within this frame we retain control and because of it, we feel sure that we are moving in the right direction at a steady pace. That is how we reaffirm faith in ourselves – we know we are playing the long game.

Short-term thinking would make anyone anxious

It’s like investing.

It’s no different than day-traders who non-stop monitor indexes and quotes. They react to every change in the market which inevitably leads to a sense of insecurity.

While those who invest in the long term clearly understand that market moves up and down is a normal thing and simply don’t overreact. They follow developments looking at global trends and potential new developments. The right perspective is to know that even though things might seem not to be going well at the moment, the general direction is perfectly okay in the long run.

Time is on your side

Our previous experience has power which once harnessed can push us forward and into new endeavors. You have to learn all the lessons of your mistakes as well as keep alive the memory of all you have overcome so far.

Or to put it differently, you have all the time. Our system fully takes advantage of that fact:

  • The vision – imagining what lies ahead of us including the most daring dreams will inspire you;
  • The 90-Day Goals and their Weekly Steps – take a good and accurate measure of them so that you strengthen the belief in yourself.

And let’s not forget the fourth pillar of our system.

The Goal Buddy

This person will make you realize how far you have come and will help you out of the toughest situations, reminding you that everything is in your hands. With such a “friend indeed”, you will be able to reach the mountain top. And you will be able to do it over and over again.

 

[1] “Man’s search for meaning”, Viktor Frankl

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