Our brain has something called a negativity bias, meaning it tends to hold onto negative
information or consider future negative possibilities in order to protect us. This has been a survival mechanism for us throughout history, but in modern day it can often end up limiting us.
This means that we have to consciously work at seeing the positive or looking for ways
something will work out for us in the future. Often times we find ourselves creating a goal or thinking about something we’d like to do only to second guess ourselves or start to get anxiety about how we could fail.
First of all – this is normal. But daring in your life requires pushing away from what is normal and moving toward the extraordinary. If you really want to achieve your dreams you need to start taking control of your life today.
So how can you go about doing this? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Get clear on where it is you want to go.
If you have no idea where you are going you are just treading water. Even if you start swimming you will wear out because you don’t have a clear direction or destination. Take time to get crystal clear on where you want to be.
2. Rewrite the story.
The stories we tell ourselves are extremely powerful but are only just that – a story. If you find yourself creating a story with a negative outcome, try writing out at least five
other ways that the story could end.
3. Make it happen.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is failing to schedule what is truly important to them. If it’s important to us we can find a way to make it work. There will be countless barriers and things that throw us off course. When this happens the challenge is to get creative, reconnect to why it is valuable, and to ask for help if we need it. Progress doesn’t happen in a straight line so don’t give up when it gets hard.
4. Remember that even if we don’t have control we always have influence. What I mean by this is that despite what life throws at us we can chose how we want to respond. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl speaks to this through his personal account of surviving the Holocaust. Despite the egregious conditions and constant fear of death, he was able to choose his response and beliefs. I don’t want to make you feel bad by bringing up this example but I want you to keep some perspective here. My recommendation to help with this is to write down three words that define how you’d like to show up and remind yourself of them each day. It’s a great way to start your day and will change how you respond when things get tough.