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1. Your limit may change every semester
I know. Everyone says your limit will change, but it’s normally implied that your limit will stabilize and that it will expand. When your limit changes the next semester, that doesn’t mean it got better. The type of activities we’re juggling throughout the semester is an important factor that no one talks about. Let’s say you handled a part-time job, 5 course-load, and was heavily involved in two clubs. Then, you had trouble handling all your responsibilities the next semester, despite taking a lighter course-load.
How to fix it?
I would start by listing everything you’ll be dealing with. For example, I would write down my classes, clubs, part-time job, relaxing time, and hanging out with family and friends. Then, think about how much time each one will take. I prefer thinking about how all of those activities will affect my daily life. After, you will have a clear idea of how busy you’ll be that semester.
Please note that the strategy above only works if you’re completely honest with yourself and have some past history to go on. Also, trial and error is a great method when you’re not sure about each activity. Just make a relatively sound estimate, and correct yourself as the semester unfolds.
2. You might face the same roadblocks again and again
So, you decided to let go of your fears and test your limits. One of the mental blocks holding you back may have been fear of others giving their feedback on your work or not being able to handle the workload at a new job. Let’s say you gain the confidence to show others your work and handle the workload.
Your problems are over, right? It depends. Sometimes, the mental block holding you back is gone. You faced it and won. Other times, those same thoughts of doubts resurface again and again.
How fix it?
First, discover your mental scripts. By becoming aware of your mental scripts, you can identify the negative thoughts you say to yourself. These thoughts had a part in creating this mental block, so by changing what you tell yourself, you are giving that mental roadblock less power. For instance, someone who’s afraid of showing others their work will constantly put down their own work subconsciously. If they find their mental scripts then they can change it to something positive, and they will be proud of their writing.
Of course, changing your thought process isn’t magical. You still might have that mental block that keeps coming up time and time again. So, another option is to build more confidence in that area by creating a positive feedback loop. Let’s use the showing your work to friends scenario. By constantly showing your friends your work and improving your writing because of it, you will get more comfortable with showing your work to friends.
3. Your timeline is unrealistic
I love estimating when I will finish something. My estimates are almost always off. I have a lot of faith in my abilities, so I think I can finish something quickly, and then I get frustrated when it doesn’t go my way. It’s so important to think about how much time and energy it will take you to make changes in your life. Even when you are on schedule, you might still have to wait on other people to move along.If you are on schedule, there is still a huge chance getting burnt out because of all the stress you have put on yourself.
How to fix it?
Comparisons can be great because you can get insight on how you can improve, but it’s important to not let it blind you. You can create a timeline, but take some time to review it every week. If the schedule becomes overbearing, lessen the workload for a while. Most tasks can wait, and your mental health has to be a main priority.
4. Your progress will be uneven
Most people know that the journey to testing your limits won’t be filled with rainbows and gumdrops. And yet, you can’t help but be disappointed when you start to plateau, especially in the beginning. At first, you make a ton of progress because doing anything versus doing nothing before makes a huge impact. Worse so is when it seems you’re going backwards even though you’re still doing everything right.
How to fix it?
Taking a minute to see how far you’ve come since you first started will help you. Next, look for reasons why you’re stuck or plateauing. It could mean that you have to try a different method, you’re not doing enough of what is working, or you’re focused on doing too many things. Either way, you can change your actions and set yourself for success.
5. You chose the wrong goals and/or actions, so you’re not getting the results you want
Going in, we think we know what we want to achieve. Then, the work it takes to get to the next point rears it heads. Maybe you find yourself getting through the work, but the end result isn’t what you planned. It could mean that you didn’t focus on the right actions or the goals you set weren’t what you really wanted.
How to fix it?
I have shiny object syndrome. I see a new topic like learning book binding and then I want to try it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it means that I’m constantly trading depth for breadth, so I never master a topic. Often, we spend too much time looking at other people’s goals and adopting it as our own.The reason this happens is I’m not committed to mastering what I’m already learning. Take some time to look over what you want to achieve.
Lastly, ask yourself if your actions will lead to your desired results. I wanted to get more sleep because I only got a few hours a night and that made it hard to function during the day. At first, I would set a reminder to myself to go to bed. The goal was good, but my action was not effective. Now, I remind myself and list out everything I want to accomplish before bed. I’m going to bed earlier now because I go after I finish my last task.