It happens without fail: the moment you make up your mind to start moving toward your dreams or goals, you will invariably encounter resistance, setbacks, and failures on your journey.
Now, don’t freak out. These circumstances are all just a part of the process, and they will happen a time or two while you’re on your journey for bigger and better. The key to your success will depend on your ability to stay focused and not get distracted.
Here are 5 distractions to watch out for in 2016.
1. The Distraction of Comparison.
Sizing yourself up to others can bring frustration and disappointment about what you don’t have, and you’ll fail to recognize what you do have. It’s natural for us to look at someone we admire or someone who is already a success at what we want to do and think that they got there without any struggles. In truth, you have no idea what it took for them to get to where they are today. Instead of asking people about their success, ask them for their pre-success story. I’m sure it’s filled with ups and downs as well as minor and major setbacks along the way. We make the biggest mistake when we only compare ourselves with their end results and not their beginnings. This leaves us weary and defeated before we even start the journey.
Don’t waste any more time comparing yourself with another person. You don’t have time to get caught up in that web of distraction.
2. The Distraction of People.
Let’s face it—there are some people who are not called to go where you are going. If they are not going with you, then by all means don’t let them keep you from your destiny. Not everyone you share your dream with will be supportive. In fact, some people will be the voice of negativity and will suck the passion right out of you if you let them. They may tell you things like, “That’s impossible,” or “I tried that and it never worked.” You must understand that their skepticism could very well be a result of their life being stuck in a rut. Regardless of the naysayers, you must keep moving forward.
3. The Distraction of Regret.
The distraction of regret has imprisoned many people along their journey—and it is always a self-imposed sentence. The prison of regret is a place in which the prisoner is his or her own warden. But there’s no reason to stay stuck in yesterday or in what could have been. Just because you miss one opportunity doesn’t mean that another opportunity won’t ever come around. If you focus on yesterday’s loss, you will never see tomorrow’s door of opportunity!
4. The Distraction of Failure.
We are hindered by past disappointments and hurts. The very thought of failing again seems unbearable at times. You might become paralyzed in your progress if you are not completely over a past hurt.
Failure has also developed such a bad stigma. Nobody wants to fail at anything for fear of how they might look to others.
We can get so consumed meditating on our disappointments that we are totally drained of the energy needed to get back up and try again. Fear of ending up in the same boat filled with pain, hurt, and regret is the very thing that keeps you standing on the shore instead of getting back in the water and trying again. News flash: just because you failed at something doesn’t make you a failure.
Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. ~Babe Ruth
5. The Distraction of Perfectionism.
If you’re waiting to be perfect at something before starting, then you will probably never start. Just do it and learn perfection along the way.
When we are overly concerned about not being perfect, we stay in planning mode forever, hesitant to step out and try something new. We buy into the lie that says, “If you can’t do it perfectly, then don’t do it at all.” Don’t be distracted by this frustrating killer of dreams. Here’s a revelation for you: you are not perfect and you never will be perfect—and that’s perfectly okay!—so don’t worry yourself to death by trying to reach an unattainable goal.
I write more about each one of these distractions and a few others in my new book Next.
Photo courtesy of Adrian Gutierrez.