Expand your mind
Why You're Wrong About Your Life
I’ve realized throughout my life so far that each of us is probably the worst person to gauge our success and define how we interact with the world. I've spoken a lot about stepping back from your life or your problems and dealing with them, and I think this applies more than anything else here. At several points throughout my life I have taken on a new career path, learned that it wasn’t for me, and then had people tell me, “yea, I knew it wasn’t for you from the beginning.”
This kind of astounded me...how did they know before I did? I thought about it, and I've solved it. The first key to understanding this is perspective.
Throughout our lives we operate from within our own perspective, which is naturally a very focused one. We see things from where we are, from a very zoomed-in point of view. This perspective can be both good and bad. It's good because it allows us to focus on specific things in the present. Without that ability to focus, we would get nothing done. It's bad because we have the tendency to do what I call "hyper focusing," which is when we focus too intensely on something in the present that probably won't persist into the future. If you've ever experienced anxiety or stress because of a client at work, a test in school, or a flat tire on the way home from your job, you've experienced hyper focusing. It's very important to zoom out every so often to avoid hyper focusing. The reason I couldn't see that my skills and career choice were misaligned is because I was hyper focused. The present can be misleading sometimes.
You also need to understand how self confidence plays a part in that perspective to understand why you're wrong about your life.
Self confidence obviously dictates how you see yourself and the worth you prescribe to your talents, skills, and abilities. I have a good example of this from my own personal life. When I first started my business I was blogging every day, sending out daily motivational emails, and marketing my first book. The first lesson in self confidence came when a family member said they were really proud of me for writing and publishing a book, and that most people don't have the patience or motivation to do that. I was amazed. To me it was such a simple step, but I realized that it was a big deal to everyone outside of me. What I saw as a very minor accomplishment, other people were amazed by. The second lesson came in self confidence came when someone contacted me through my blog. I'll never forget what he said: "Daniel, I'm working on building a blog like yours and I really want to grow my following. Are there any things you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?" I actually laughed when I read that. In my mind I WAS just starting out, but again my hyper focusing was deceiving. To me I was just as much of a beginner as anyone else, but to others I was far away from the starting line. To remedy this and to boost your self confidence, you need to reflect on what you've done and where you've been. Stroke your ego every once in a while just to remind yourself how far you've come. This will also help motivate you because at one point you were way back behind that starting line.
Both perspective and self confidence play a major role in how we see ourselves and how we asses our situation and progress. You need to be aware of hyper focusing and ensure that you step back from your situation and the present every so often to make sure you understand what's important in the present and what will persist into the future. Planning for the future is great, but planning from a hyper-focused present can be devastating...trust me, I've done it! Also, take a self assessment every once in a while to make sure you understand what you're worth, and how developed and important your skills, talents, and progress are.
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