Being inspired can lead you to do amazing things. Inspiration can blow the spark of an idea into a raging fire of success. It can be the kickstart that you need to head in the right direction. But inspiration can also become your enemy if you’re not careful.
You Start Out Lost in Your Daydreams
Daydreams are the beginning. They’re the jumping off point where everyone begins. And it doesn’t matter what it is that you’re doing or want to do. It could be that you’re looking to go on a weight loss journey.
You daydream about the size that you want to be and how it’s going to change your life. Or maybe you daydream about changing careers so you see yourself working at your new job and you envision the happiness that you’re going to feel.
Whatever it is that you want, from the tangible to the intangible, it all begins with a daydream. There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming. Having that creative mindset can often help people to imagine solutions, to imagine a life plan and to find success.
When you think about success and you daydream about what it’s going to be like, you can feel an anticipation, an emotional high at the thought of reaching your goals. While there’s nothing wrong with daydreaming and it can actually work in your favor, there is something that can happen that can make daydreaming impede your potential success and happiness.
When people daydream, they tend to see that the success that they’re after is going to happen – that it’s a done deal, that they’ve accomplished everything they wanted. The problem is that the downside to daydreaming is that it can be the enemy of success.
When you daydream about it, you see success in all its perfection. You see it as having arrived. You see a perfect vision of what will be and life doesn’t unfold like a daydream. What you don’t see is the reality.
Your daydreams focus on best case scenarios and never include the down moments and the ugly or the frustrating, sometimes painful path to success. Your daydreams show the complete picture.
So when you look at someone who has already accomplished what you want to do, they fit the image of your daydream. Then you expect to have that completed image yourself – but that person didn’t get where they are overnight.
They had to work and learn and they had to struggle. You will, too – but your daydream won’t show you that. Your daydream will teach you to expect overnight success or to master or complete a task or learn something faster than is realistic in reality.
In a daydream, you compare yourself to someone who’s already a success. But in reality, you’re starting from the bottom. In a daydream, you don’t give yourself room to experience mistakes, setbacks or to overcome obstacles – but those are part of the success process.
From Zero to 60 Right Out of the Gate
Beginnings are always ripe with promise. It’s the road not taken, the anticipation, and the excitement of what will be that burns in your veins. You just know that the start of your journey is going to be a smooth race all the way to the finish line.
You wake up every morning pumped full of energy. You can’t wait to leap out of bed and get back to working on your success. Because you know the urge you have right now is all you’re going to need.
The momentum that you feel, the one that allows you to feel the excitement and take off running toward action steps, is important. You would feel fired up about whatever it is that you want out of life and you embrace that feeling, thinking it’s going to last you all the way to the end.
But the way that you feel right out of the gate, all that energy buzzing through you, is a false high. It’s normal to be that excited. It’s normal to look forward to taking off and just getting started with whatever it is that you’re after.
You have a mental image of that end result in your mind’s eye and you know you’re going to run that race with everything you have in you. When you cross the finish line that you can imagine, it’s going to be with a great sense of accomplishment.
While it’s great to feel that kind of inspiration, it can quickly become your enemy. Because that hyped up feeling keeps you from imagining what’s going to happen along the way.
The reason that you feel like you do right now is because you’re in the honeymoon stage of getting started. Everything is wonderful. All the steps that you know you’re going to have to take sound great.
They’re all lined up in place. You’ve pictured it in your mind and there’s absolutely nothing standing in your way. It’s going to be smooth sailing from here to when you arrive because you just know with all your heart that your momentum is enough.
Nothing and no one can derail your determination. But what you don’t realize when you’re first starting your journey is that beginnings are easy. Everything is shiny and brand new and ripe with promise.
But then comes the actual work – the steps that you have to take to get to that finish line. As you move down the road to success, you’re going to encounter obstacles. These are never singular issues that crop up.
They’re always plural. They will stump you. They will slow you down. They will make you stop moving forward. It happens on every single success journey because you can’t plan for the unpredictable.
That’s why they’re unpredictable. They crop up out of the blue with no warning. So while you can enjoy the beginning of a success journey, just realize that you’re going to have trouble ahead.
That way, when it hits, you can put the discouragement where it belongs as a temporary thing and you can keep on moving ahead.
You Out Yourself as a Bona Fide Imposter
Every person who has ever thought of success does so looking through the lens of achievement. They can. They will. Piece of cake. You think about what you want and you just know that you’re the man or woman who can get it done – even if it’s hard.
Even if it’s going to take time. Even if you’re going to have to learn new skills. Your ideas and your hard work will make your success a reality. You’re counting on your sheer will and your willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve all the goals you set for yourself.
You’re filled with self-confidence and you’re not afraid to share your ideas. You’re not afraid to tell everyone about your brilliant idea or plans and how it’s going to change your life for the better.
Then out of the blue, a thought pops into your head. Just who do you think you’re fooling? What in the world made you think that you could achieve a success of this magnitude? You’re dreaming way too big. That’s what you’ll think.
Those thoughts will sneak in. They’ll blindside you and leave you reeling. All the self-confidence that you once had has wilted like an flower left without water for too long.
You’ll look around inside your head, inside your emotions in an attempt to find that first excitement, that can-do attitude that you started with and it won’t be anywhere.
It’ll be like it never existed at all. The success journey that you couldn’t wait to get started on now looks like it’s filled with deep canyons – like there are steep drop offs all around you and if you make one wrong move, you’ll surely drop to your failure.
You’d never considered that failure could be part of the journey and now here it is right in front of you just taunting you to move ahead. It dares you to even think about it – much less take any action steps.
All that inspiration you had is now your enemy because you thought you could achieve success, but now that seems like it’s meant for someone else, not you. The confidence that once made you feel that success was waiting with your name on it has begun to evaporate.
Questions crowd your mind and they peck away at your confidence, at your ideas, at your enthusiasm. Now you’re filled with self-doubt and you wonder about every decision you made about this journey.
Could it really be for you? What if you fail? You’re not qualified. Aren’t you too old? Don’t you have too much to learn? Those are just some of the self-doubt questions that will start to hammer at you. You realize that you can’t do this. You can’t be a success. You’re an imposter.
Suddenly, You’re Your Own Worst Enemy
Your mind is a powerful tool. It can take you far on the road to success. What you think can help you to find ways around obstacles. You can figure out critical crossroads as you’re on your journey.
For the most part, what you think as you’re working to achieve success works in your favor. You think about the good and all that you’ve accomplished and are going to accomplish.
These positive thoughts that let you paint yourself in the best light can help to give you motivation and keeps your self-confidence high. But everyone has a critical voice. Sometimes the critical voice can be a quiet nag or cause a tsunami of doubt inside your mind.
It might cause you a momentary hesitation – such as when that critical voice says, “Are you sure this is the right step?” That can cause you to pause, think things over, double check things and then get back to work.
When a critical voice is used as warning to help you, that’s a good thing. But unfortunately, most people don’t let their critical voice say something and then silence it.
They allow that critical inner monologue to go on and on – questioning, doubting, until it tears you down to the point that you start to doubt your ability to do anything at all much less be a success.
Your inner critical voice never has anything good to say about what you’re doing. All it points out are the bad things – the problems. It points out the what-ifs and builds them up into huge, fearsome problems in your mind.
You have a choice that successful people have when dealing with this critical voice. You can ignore it. It might not go away at first – especially if it’s used to having the spotlight.
But if you keep on tuning it out, eventually, without an audience, it will give up the stage and be quiet.
If you cave in to the voice and you let it have the freedom to say whatever it wants, it could stall or end your journey toward success. You can recognize when your inner voice is being critical because it doesn’t encourage you, never cheers you on.
When you have a decision to make and you’ve made it, the critical voice will begin to tell you all the reasons why that decision was the wrong one and why it won’t work. A critical voice that’s not restrained can cause your journey to success to take longer than it should because you’ll constantly second guess yourself.
Don’t allow your inner voice to become a weapon that can cause you to quit what it is that you desire to accomplish.
Fight Back with Formidable Plans – It’s You Against You
Successful people struggled with setbacks to get where they are today. They had to work hard to overcome problems that cropped up and had to deal with things that they didn’t plan on dealing with.
One thing these successful people also struggled with was self-doubt. When you look at people who’ve reached success, it can be easy to think that they breezed right from the beginning to achievement.
But that’s just the outside and you don’t know what went on behind the scenes. You don’t know the battle that went on behind the point where they are right now. If you could pull back the curtain and see their journey, then you’d know that they share the same burdens that you’ve had or will have on your way.
You must learn how to recognize when you are your own worst enemy. You have to understand that self-doubt is an enemy mindset and it’s out to sell what you have accomplished and will accomplish shortly.
It wants to label you as an underachiever, as a quitter, and self-doubt will plague you until you give in if you allow it. You have to make a choice. Decide that you’re going to label doubt for what it is – a false narrative, spinning stories that aren’t true.
You must decide that you’re going to fight back just as you would if an intruder were holding you as a hostage – because that’s exactly what doubt does to you. It holds you hostage.
It holds your dreams, your abilities and talents and your future success hostage. You must have a strategy ready so that when self-doubt does show up, you’re ready to immediately fight back with some action steps.
By being ready to fight back, you can overcome self-doubt and prevent it from taking root. You need to recognize that you’re not the only one. Others have battled doubt and still gone on to find success.
It’s simply something that can happen to anyone but it’s only something that will stick around if you let it. When self-doubt hits, you’ll be able to point to the person who’s successful and say that they made it and you will, too.
Don’t worry about your future success. A lot of self-doubt can be found in projecting your thoughts ahead of yourself. All you need to focus on is the step that you have to take in the immediate moment.
Have a positivity circle. This is a group of friends or mentors that you can have in your life that you can look to when doubts strike. Optimistic people who have overcome their own doubts and found success can help you to feel empowered.
Be ready to answer self-doubt when it questions you. When it starts doubting your ability by asking what if questions, answer with, “So what if it does happen that way?” Face the doubt head on, defeat it and then keep right on going.