Are you trying to advance in your life? I think most of us are because if we aren’t progressing, we are regressing. Living life like you’re treading water can be nice because it generally is smooth and lacks conflicts, but it also gets boring. As humans we have a natural drive to advance, well most of us anyway. But, what is it like when you work very hard at advancing in your work, your artistic endeavors, learning a language, losing weight or body building and you don’t see any progress? It gets to be extraordinarily frustrating. I can put up with moving at a snail’s pace for a long time, but if I never make progress, I get discouraged and start to lose hope and drive that I will ever advance. I don’t want to lose hope. I’m supposed to be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to, so why, when I’m putting my mind to something, am I finding no success? What can I do to get off this plateau?
Here are a few things to try:
Start by doing less.
Instead of attacking 10 problems at once. Take the highest priority thing to work on and focus on that until you get it right. Don’t neglect the other issues, but put all your mental bandwidth on the one thing. When you do less, you can actually achieve more in the end in a shorter amount of time.
Try a different approach.
If you try to learn a language only by studying the books, may you should start by finding people to speak and practice with. If you keep trying the same thing expecting different results, you must be insane, so think of something new. If you can’t think of anything yourself, ask some friends or teachers for ideas.
Set a more specific goal.
If your goal is just to get better, then you are wandering in the wind. Set a specific goal and work toward that. Have your end goal and use the power of visualization to see your self as if it is fact having achieved your goal.
Face your fears.
No matter what you are working toward, you have some hidden fears around it. Do you think people will laugh at you for making a mistake? Do you think you will isolate yourself through advancing beyond others? Fears can be hard to identify. I know I have problems being honest with myself about my fears. try to face your fears and embrace them so they lose their power over you.
Think of the Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise made slow and steady progress and won the race. Your progress may be so small you can’t notice it right away, but it will add up over time. It may not happen as fast as you like, but stay patient and stick with it. Wake up every day and make a decision to keep at it because you can.