A reminder for your ambitious heart that what you’re doing is enough.
Every month, I publish 15+ posts on Medium and write about 4 answers a week on Quora.
I also publish daily on LinkedIn, write two weekly newsletters, and do freelance writing work for over 10 hours every week. Oh, and I have a very active YouTube channel where I make 6 videos every month.
Despite all these, there are days when I feel like I’m not getting enough done.
There are days when I remind myself of all the things I have yet to accomplish and blame myself for being a slacker, chiding myself for wasting several hours on ineffective endeavors.
When you’re an ambitious person working on your dreams, it’s all too easy to become caught up in the abyss of self-recrimination. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come and consider yourself a failure for not meeting your unrealistic expectations.
But this perspective is never healthy. Unless you’re proud of who you are, how can you be your biggest cheerleader?
Ambitious people often need reminders that they are doing great. This post is just that — a reminder to all the ambitious souls out there who feel like they’re not doing enough. If you’re here with me, read on, and I can guarantee you that you’re doing five times better than you think you are.
1. Your to-do list is 50% checked on most days
Setting goals, achieving them, and reviewing them at the end of the day is a terrific way to stay on track. However, when you don’t complete every activity on your list, it’s natural to blame yourself for being lazy.
It’s vital to remember that sometimes your ambitions prompt you to underestimate the time and effort required for a certain task.
For example, I have some old to-do lists from 2020, where I aimed to write 3 articles in one day. And when I couldn’t, I felt like a failure, as if I’d wasted my entire day. Looking back, I see how unrealistic it was of me to expect to complete 3 articles in a day.
Did you know that even if you’ve only completed half of the activities on your to-do list, you’re still ahead of the majority of people?
According to Janet Choi and Walter Chen’s book, The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List, 41 percent of to-do list items are never completed. So, remember that an unfinished to-do list is not a reason to chastise yourself.
A survey by Kelton Research states that only around half of the world’s population maintains a to-do list. The fact that you’re aware of the tasks you need to get done and are willing to put it on paper to commit to yourself already puts you ahead of 50% of the population.
You certainly deserve a pat on the back for your dedication to accomplishing your objectives on a day-to-day basis.
2. You’re okay with being misunderstood
You recognize that other people’s opinions are their own, and they have no relevance on how far you’ve come and whether or not you deserve your accolades.
When I decided to quit my job and follow my passion full-time, several colleagues and friends advised me that I was making the wrong decision. Some even stopped speaking to me for a few days because they thought I was making a huge mistake.
But I recognize that everyone has their own past and differing ways of coping with stress. Not everyone will understand where I’m coming from, which is perfectly fine. As I told a buddy a few days ago, everyone has an opinion, and you are free to have yours.
If you don’t mind others misunderstanding you and questioning your goals, then kudos, my friend, you’re doing a fantastic job.
3. You have realistic expectations from yourself and others
You know how to set limits and have reasonable expectations of yourself and others.
You recognize that you’re the only person responsible for your feelings and how you respond to a situation. You don’t expect someone to come and look after your happiness. You know when to create limits, and you’re willing to cut-off people who don’t respect your boundaries.
Sure, it may cost you a few connections in the short term, but you recognize that this will have a significant positive impact on your emotional and mental health in the long run.
In addition, you’re willing to draw a clear line between what’s acceptable and what’s not. And what’s more, you don’t rely on others to come and rescue you.
If you feel this way, you are strong, amazing, and doing a wonderful job. You should feel proud of yourself.
4. You don’t take rejection personally
There used to be a time when I was offended whenever someone rejected me. It made me feel awful, and moving forward felt just too embarrassing.
The hurt feelings made it impossible for me to remain in contact with that person. I burned bridges, never to talk to them again.
Looking back on these childish past impulses, I realize how bad it was to cut off people just because they didn't agree with my perspective. Now I know rejection doesn’t reflect on me, and there’s no reason to be offended or sad.
I also understood that someone’s rejecting me or my proposal has nothing to do with me. It’s not a report card on how well or poorly I performed. The rejection is just a reflection of what they desire or are currently seeking in life.
When making a decision for themselves, people often project their fears and assumptions about the future. If that decision entails rejecting you, it doesn’t imply that you were inadequate in any way.
I’ve already discussed how rejection can serve as a springboard for a creative person. This applies on both a professional and a personal level.
If you realize that rejection is not the end of your path, you’re doing an exceptional job.
If you use each rejection as an opportunity to change your past and focus on a different aspect of your journey, then you deserve to be congratulated. Very few people understand this, and you are one of them. Make it a point to preserve this flame of self-love and self-appreciation burning bright in your heart at all times.
5. You’re willing to forgive past mistakes
This can include past mistakes of yourself, as well as others.
You realize that whatever you did a few years ago was the best thing you could have done in that scenario. Sure, your life could have gone a different path if you hadn’t made that mistake. But you’re happy where you are now and you know you wouldn’t have it any other way.
You understand that your mistakes have shaped you as a person.
As for forgiving others’ faults, you understand that people frequently act on primal instincts to defend themselves, which might include hurting others at times.
Even then, you’re prepared to forgive them since you know where this behavior is coming from.
You also understand that one mistake doesn’t define a person. You’re prepared to give them another chance to look at themselves without the limelight of being incorrect in any way.
If you believe you can forgive people (and yourself) for their mistakes in the past, you’re a powerful person who will create the life you deserve. Kudos on that.
When we’re focused on everything that unfolds in a single day, we often lose sight of all that has previously happened that has led to this day. We forget to honor our growth and congratulate ourselves for learning and evolving so much.
I hope this post served as a reminder of everything beautiful in your life.
I hope it offered you a reason to smile and be proud of yourself for being who you are.
If you can think of any friends or family members who’d relate to this post, please share it with them.
Also, if you have anything to add to this list of reminders that you’re doing better than you think you are, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.