Your dreams are valid even when they are not a reality (yet!)
As we’ve all discovered at one time or another, life doesn’t always roll out the way we want it to. Sometimes it feels like we have no great options to pick from, and it barely feels like a choice at all. We’re left to make the best choice we can with the information available to us. And sometimes that decision involves settling for less than what we know we deserve.
But being in a less than ideal job, relationship or situation is not a reason to lower your expectations or abandon your standards. Your needs, desires and dreams are real and valid even if they are not being met at the moment. It can be hard to remember that. As time goes on, the vision gets blurred by doubt.
If you are REALLY lucky, fate might step in and create a path to a new opportunity, but more likely than not, thought-leader Seth Godin is right when he says, “No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.”
When there is a gap between where you are and where you aspire to be, you are responsible for keeping your eye on the prize. No one can do it for you.
When I experience a gap between where I am and what I know I’m capable of, here are three things that have kept the bridge between here and there structurally sound.
Send yourself frequent reminders of the goal:
There are any number of ways to do this, but something that has been effective for me is writing my yearly and monthly goals on an index card and using it as my bookmark. That way I see it before bed and whenever I sit down to read.
Surround yourself with others who know your worth:
Feeling undervalued or in a rut is discouraging enough without people validating your insecurities. I’m lucky to have a tribe of friends, who believe in me when I’m having a hard time believing in myself. And if I’m having a particularly hard time, I consciously limit my time with people who won’t be supportive. Good vibes only.
Make sure to tell people that might not yet know how awesome you are:
We train people how to treat us, and this is never easier than when you are starting a relationship. When I uprooted my life last October to start fresh somewhere new, I made some compromises and spent time getting established. As I continue to build up my network, I do my best to let new people know how I value myself and what my expectations are, even if they are not immediately achievable.
You deserve to be respected and valued for your contributions, even if they don’t reflect your full potential. As life goes up and down, find a way to keep your standards where they belong. Sky high!