So what are you fearful about, and for what reason? We all had them at one point or another, some realistic and others aspirational. Don't get too busy finding faults. Even fault finders must find a solution. Yes, extend yourself beyond your comfort zone.
What are your goals?
How do you plan on achieving your goals?
The goals you set for yourself and the reason you pursue them should not be left to chance, hope, fate, or luck. As you set your goals, what are your strategies for achieving them? Are your goals written on a vision board? The use of a vision board is a great way to visualize your goals. It is vital to recognize just having dreams does not mean you will achieve them. You must do the work.
The goal you plan to pursue must be specific. Otherwise, your efforts will lack direction and focus. There is probably nothing more frustrating than not being able to identify progress. Goals can be achieved in successive approximations. Goal achievement requires motivation. Your successive approximations may serve as the catalyst to continue pursuing your dream and help to reinforce you are making progress. Evidence of progress is a healthy boost to your motivation.
Consequently, your vision board can be designed so that you focus on parts of your goal instead of the whole. For example, you are a high school student, suppose your goal is to attend med school. In that case, you research pre-med programs, learn the admissions requirement, and select your top choices, after you chose your preferences, then apply. If you are accepted into more than one program, you choose the one that closely aligns with your goals. Once you begin attending, your vision board will change to reflect your new medical school goals.
Not only should your goal be specific, but it should offer an appropriate level of challenge that is not too difficult. The value of having a reasonable level of difficulty works in your favor as it will take into account your level of development. It is favorable to prioritize progress over perfection. Although it may be obvious to have realistic expectations about your endeavors, you are sometimes fixated on the outcome and not the process.
Therefore, frame your goal based on what you want and not what you want to avoid. So your approach goal is stated as your preferred outcome. I want to attend and complete medical school. On the flip side, your avoidance goal is to prevent setbacks or unpleasant experiences. There is the temptation to avoid mishaps, but these mishaps can serve as an opportunity for learning. This is also an opportunity to realize where you are in the process versus where you should be. Preoccupation with where you should be is counterproductive to motivation.
Embarking on the journey toward your goals is exhilarating. There may be stumbling blocks along the way, but your journey ends if you decide to abandon your dreams. Some days you will have an abundance of energy, so use those days as an example of what you need to replicate on your off days. Take a chance on yourself.
Stay Naturally Curious
Chodron, P. (2000). When things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times. Shambhala, Publications, Inc.
Wade, C. & Tavris, C. (2008). Psychology. (9th ed.). Pearson.