Uplifting

5 Obstacles to Avoid for an Inspired Life

From the minute we gain self-awareness and consciousness on this earth, we start looking for the purpose of our existence. We search for our passions, for love, and for things that move us into creating the life and the world of our dreams. But in order to find this passion, this purpose, we need to first find the inspiration, the spark to light the fire. Below are a few key things that we must control in order to protect our ability to be inspired—our ability to dream and strive towards our goals.

Impatience

When you’re doing everything you can to achieve a certain goal, you want to see results. You want to see them NOW. But if after a few weeks, a few months, maybe even years pass, and nothing really tangible happens, you’d start asking yourself “What’s the point?”. Some loss of motivation is normal at this point, but if you let your decisions hinge on the end results rather than providing real quality and value to your audience, you will eventually lose sight of why you started in the first place.

Every day, I have to remind myself to be patient and that as long as I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing, the results will come. It’s hard to wait when you’ve been working tirelessly for so long, but there is something to be said for the turtle in that race.

What to do?

Don’t let impatience get the best of you. It’s tough when you don’t see clear results of your labor. One thing that’s helped me is setting small goals that lead up to the big end goal so you can reward yourself one small step at a time. In a corporate career, you feel successful and rewarded every time you receive recognition from your superiors or when you get a raise. But if you’re self-employed, you don’t have any of that. So try setting up a similar reward system to keep yourself moving forward. Just remember: One small step at a time. You deserve to celebrate every new achievement, no matter how small it may seem!

Ingratitude

Gratitude is the most valuable attitude we can have when navigating through life’s obstacles. Gratitude keeps us going no matter how little we have compared to others. A lack of gratitude, on the other hand, will keep you stuck in the past, mulling over all the things that you should have gotten and pulling your focus away from all the things you could get if you just keep moving forward. With an ungrateful attitude, work will become a chore that you do grudgingly, wondering why you’re not getting your dues.

I get it, sometimes it’s hard to feel grateful for what you already have—we’ve all become so accustomed our situation in life. That’s why buying something new only makes you happy for a very brief instant—up until the shine starts to wear off. But I’ve found it very helpful to take a step back and take a good look at everything I already have. Take the opportunity to see your life in a new light and realize, “Hey, it’s not all bad. We actually have it pretty good!”

What to do?

Learn to feel grateful more often to keep you facing forward, moving forward. At the end of each day, remind yourself of all the things that you have to be grateful for and don’t linger on the things you don’t have. Practice gratitude by writing down all the things you’re grateful for, focusing on the present, and ask yourself how you would feel if you were to lose something important to you. With these simple steps, you’ll find that you value the people and the things in your life a lot more than before.

Envy

Feelings of envy are similar to ingratitude because envy will also pull your focus away from what you have and make you want something you don’t have. Not only that, envy will make you perceive everything you have as worth less (or completely worthless) compared to what others have. You want to be them; you want to have what they have. The danger of envy is that it will make you so focused on what others are doing (and what they’re getting) that you will forget to see the progress you’re making with your life. Envy will focus your energy into being the “victim” of not having.

With the use of social media as widespread as it is, we all live in a culture of “comparison” which has allowed us to compare each other’s lives for fun. Needless to say, envy has been a familiar friend for many years until I learned that being envious was sapping my energy and holding back my development in all aspects of my life.

What to do?

There’s no point in denying it. Accept the fact that you will never be like any of the people you compare yourself to, no matter how hard you try. In fact, you shouldn’t even try in the first place! Take note of the progress you’re making in your life. Sure, it may look like nothing compared to the massive successes of some people but, at some point, they too had to start from where you are now. As long as you’re making progress compared to a few months ago (even compared to a few days ago) give yourself a pat on the back. Be grateful for moving forward and acknowledge your progress.

Fear

You have a dream, it’s your perfect career, your perfect life. But it seems so far out of your grasp, so big and insurmountable that you don’t know how or even where to start. The minute you let these fears get the better of you, you’ll never start—the most important first step towards achieving your goals in life is to take that first step. You’ve probably heard this a million times already, and probably asking why I’m repeating it again, but I’m here to help you push that idea into action. I know taking your first step is easier said than done. It may change your current way of life completely, and it may require some important sacrifices. But if you let fear prevent you from taking action, your dreams will wither before you know it. You may even forget how to dream because you’ve given up before you even started.

What to do?

If you want to achieve anything worth achieving, it can’t be done overnight. So if your dream seems so far away, and the effort required seems so impossible, don’t think about that. The most important thing is taking the first step. Want to create your perfect website or mobile app but don’t know the first thing about coding? Take an intro coding course. Have a dream business idea? Talk to someone about it; do some research. Like a cross-country hike, focus on the piece of road immediately before you and just put one foot in front of the other. Before you know it, you’re well on your way!

Too Little Time

It’s not just a matter of being too busy. Having a full schedule means having a full mind too, and when you’re spending all your time thinking of the next thing you have to get done, you won’t have time to work on, or even think about anything else. Whether it be the pet project that will help achieve your life dream, or whether it be just something else that will help you relax and de-stress from your hectic life, having the time to dream, to stop and wonder, is incredibly important to spark inspiration. So if you find that, at the end of each day, you’re miserable, stressed, and haven’t stopped once to think about anything else but your crazy schedule, then perhaps you need to start freeing up your days a little.

When I was working 45-50 hours 6 days a week, I realized that I had completely lost the ability to have thoughts that were not related to my work. It was a struggle to even find time to do my laundry, how could I have time to dream? I couldn’t write, my opinions about the world around me dried up, all because I just didn’t have time to think!

What to do?

Learn to compartmentalize and prioritize as much as your job allows. When you leave the office, really disengage. Don’t check your e-mails, silent your phone and stop obsessing over all the things that could be going wrong without you there. There are certain jobs that require you to be on call and alert outside of office hours, but whenever you can, unplug! If something can wait until the next morning, let it wait until you get into the office the next day. Spare some time before bed every night to do a little self-reflection and let your thoughts wander. Having a clear mind outside of work will allow for space and time for you to cultivate your dreams and allow inspiration to grow.

As long as we continue to stay aware of our feelings and our attitudes, I believe we can achieve anything we set out to achieve. Stay alert, learn to recognize your obstacles and just keep moving forward.

Kaitlyn L.

Kaitlyn L.

Kaitlyn is a blogger and professional writer. While specializing in health and relationship topics, she also writes articles on a variety of topics, including culture, food, technology, and politics. Her written work can be found on pilcrowmagazine.com and newbiechef.wordpress.com. Follow her FB page to be the first to read her latest posts: https://www.facebook.com/WriterKVLO/