We all have music to play, a song to sing, or a play to star in. You want to be remarkable. Maybe you dream of the day you will become a guru or respected authority in your field. Then the doubt strikes. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I reach my aspirations? And the questions pile on thick and fast!
You are not alone. Every day, I struggle with moments of self-doubt. Wondering if my dreams are valid in the first place. And it stems from my past. In ‘You Have Permission To Visualize’, I mentioned that you don’t need permission from anyone to decide what your vision is.
However, that same key can leave you paralyzed. This is because casting your vision carries with it a huge responsibility. It requires you to respond to challenging questions in regard to the planning for and execution of that vision. Hard work looms. And you can beat up yourself because of your doubt, fears and sometimes, overconfidence.
When you begin to visualize your future, you will need to seriously assess the ‘vision vampires’ around and in you. For as sure as the sun rises in the morning, they will conspire to devour your carefully crafted vision.
For years, my greatest vision vampire was fear that bred my Big-5’ vision killers. Every time I wanted to insert the key to open the door to my vision, they struck hard. At other times, I was unsure of where the key exactly goes into. These are the vision killers I had to deal with. You may also find it beneficial to list down what is limiting your vision.
1. Unclear personal goals
I concentrated on activity (busyness) rather that outcomes or results. This was shrouded in jam-packing my day with things to do. It would be hanging out with friends, watching TV and stuff that killed my time. I was unfulfilled and always on the edge.
My view was that written out goals were the purview of businesses and organizations. I thought that as long as I had a general idea of where I wanted to be, that was enough. The irony is that a year would come to an end and I was still in the ‘wishful’ zone. My growth wasn’t what I had anticipated. I was frustrated!
The greatest fault is to be conscious of none.” Thomas Carlyle
2. Limiting habits
One of the biggest habit that was impeding my vision was procrastination. It is as nasty as a wild poisonous bug! Because of my fear of failure, I kept on shifting my vision building. The conditions had to be right, so I thought. In hind-sight, I lost a lot of time and opportunities to grow.
Procrastination not only affected my vision, it limited the quality of relationships I had. My perceived inaction betrayed my vision and couldn’t be 100% reliable. It affected how others laid their trust in me.
Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.” Shawn Achor
3. Just surviving
Fear is a very strong tranquillizer for mobility. It can make you remain rooted in your comfort zone or flee from opportunities that seem daunting. I had subscribed to the school of thought that “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. Just surviving, instead of thriving!
I did not want to rock the boat. It was a comfortable feeling to sit it while in the dock. I didn’t want to deal with the uncertainty of the river downstream. Comfort is the worst enemy of growth. To determine the strength of my will and structure of my boat, I had to cast off into the swift river. It was scary!
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou
4. Lure of perfection
Always waiting for the timing to be right was destroying me. Time was ticking away and I was always over-thinking things, tweaking this and improving that. Everything that I wanted to get done had to go out with bells and whistles.
This left me with little time to get most of my even essential work. It also affected my relationship with other people. Some would move on with life as they were tired of waiting. What I realized is that there is a time for everything. It was okay to stop and venture out into work that matters. Work that grows and evolves as I grow.
Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Steve Jobs to Pepsi executive John Sculley to lure him to Apple.
5. Intimidated by ‘noisemakers’
This is a space where I place external validation above my values. As long as I was getting a pat on the back, I thought that I was doing great. What I realized is that it turned me into a more experienced noisemaker. As I mentioned earlier, we all have been given the opportunity to write our life’s script.
When I am always responding to other people’s agenda, when do I get to live? It was painful, but I had to rid myself of people who were always dragging me down.
The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.” Dan Buettner
It was only when I identified these vision killers that I realized how much damage they had caused. Every time I would think of going back into this comfort zone, I remembered something Andy Dufresne said in my all time favorite movie, Shawshank Redemption; “I guess it comes down to a simple choice really, get busy living or get busy dying.”
Are you living or dying? Click here and share your ‘vision killers’ and how you are engaging with them in the comments below.
photo credit: elycefeliz via photopin cc