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‘OVERNIGHT SUCCESS’ AND OTHER MYTHS

Social media and the illusions of success it creates on other people’s profile pages has a lot to answer for.   It concocts and spreads myths of dreams’ suddenly coming true for lifestyle leaders and entrepreneurs elsewhere – a glossy mirage of ‘overnight success’.

In reality, ‘overnight success’ takes longer than you think.  Some would say that it doesn’t exist at all.  Most big name, ‘overnight successes’ travelled for a long time on a path that led to their better fortunes.  Jeff Bazos of Amazon was perfectly serious when he said, “All overnight success takes about ten years.”

DISAPPOINTING DREAMS

It’s important to dream.  Visualising a goal is your first step to your realising it, after all.  It’s crucial, though, to ignore the illusion of ‘overnight success’.

The disappointment that comes when it doesn’t materialise is one thing.   The sense of self-worthlessness, hopelessness and fear that can result from that can be downright dangerous.

Depending on how much you invest in your dream, these feelings of disappointment can be deep enough to lead to depression – the biggest killer of men under the age of fifty.

THIS ISN’T ‘FAILURE’:  IT’S TEMPORARY ‘FRAILURE’

It’s impossible for you to be a ‘failure’.  You are breathing, moving and constantly changing.  What you were thinking five minutes ago is not what you’re thinking right now.

You can experience ‘frailure’, though:  disappointment, self-disgust, resentment and anger.

Self-pity, in other words.

GRATITUDE GROUNDWORK

To stop feeling sorry for yourself in order to start thinking more clearly, you need to change what you’re thinking about.  The quickest way to do that is to get grateful.  What is in your life that is good?  What would it be like if it weren’t there?

It’s impossible to feel two opposing emotions at the same time.  Change your thoughts to feel something different to your temporary ‘frailure’.

A SIMPLER SOLUTION

Mapping out a plan made up of consecutive, short term goals is always a good idea – whether you’re chasing a career or lifestyle dream.  These days, the two are often very similar.

Develop regular habits and a routine that you can stick to that work together to progress you on your journey.  Jeff Bazos went on to say that it’s far more helpful to focus on two to three ideas that will likely take ten years to work out rather than one short term, flash-in-the-pan one.

SELF-TALK

Promise yourself to be more patient from now on.  Once you accept that there’s no such thing as ‘overnight success’, you can redefine what success means to you and set more realistic goals.

What you tell yourself matters:  choose your words wisely and treat yourself with gentle respect for much better results.

TALK WITH OTHERS

Remember, you always have an option.  Talk to somebody you trust – especially if you’re experiencing ‘frailure’ feelings.  We men don’t talk about the way we feel nearly as much as we should.

You’re not helpless by any means.  Forget the illusion of ‘overnight success’:  empower yourself with a new, longer term vision for yourself and conversation with someone who’s keen to see you take the next step.

 

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