Whew, 2014 went by fast didn't it? But they say time flies when you are having all the fun and making MAJOR moves.
Some of us have chewed up 2014, had great moments and significant achievements (I have seen you). While some, let's say, they are still mulling over the marks they missed this year. Remember, sometimes we lose out on great opportunities because we were not prepared, it wasn't our time or maybe we needed to work harder or do things differently.
This year, I lost out on many excellent opportunities and missed a few targets. But hey, I have to move on and so do you.
Instead of mulling over lost opportunities, I have decided to identify the kinks, work on making it better and come back stronger. Remember, even when you feel like you lost out on opportunities, you win when you learn from your missed marks, mistakes, and failures.
Lessons I Learned in 2014
1. Rejections and disappointments doesn't mean failure: After receiving my fourth rejection letter this year, I was disappointed. I mean, we are humans and after a setback, especially if you had your heart set on a particular goal or placed high value on something, you will feel disappointed. But I have learned with each goal pursued, there will be associated failures, disappointments and setbacks that are apart of life. It's a roadblock that doesn't mean stop. It only gives you the opportunity to prepare that game plan to come back stronger, because maybe you were not doing something right. Maybe you were not ready. Or simple, maybe it just wasn't your time. I knew for sure that I wasn't prepared in some instances. I am saying this to say, with all the setbacks, failures and disappointments you encounter; there are bigger opportunities coming that will take you to the next level. So, a rejection letter doesn't mean you are not good enough, sometimes it only means, investing some more time in building yourself and coming back stronger.
Because everyone is doing it doesn't mean, its for you. We all have our unique story and contribution to make in this world, so ...
2. Choose what you say YES to: This is one of the most important lessons I have learned this year. Often, we commit without assessing if it the worth pursuing or if it aligns with our goals and bigger vision. Turning down an opportunity or refusing certain things shouldn't rest heavily on you if you know you will be unable to commit and give your 100%. Less is more when you know what to accept and when, something I am still learning to do. Small and focused efforts count opposed to saying yes and wanting to do everything at once. Taking on everything at once only leaves room for mediocrity and only sets you up for a being mentally drained and short changing yourself from doing your best. Also, it is important to know when to call it quits instead of always wanting be the 'fix-it' guy. Know your limits and when you cannot realistically take on anything else, because you cannot ...
3. You can't do it alone: All the spectacular things that have happened in my life, was fueled by the support and the help of others. Some of my major goals for 2014 was accomplished through the small and impactful effort of others. The thought of wanting it all and getting it done on your own might excite you at first. But the reality is, no matter how experienced, knowledgeable or great you think you are, you will need someone on your side, a cheerleader, someone who is going to help you reach that goal. Remember, no one made it 100% on their own.
As Steve Harvey shared in one of my favourite episodes on Oprah's Lifeclass, "If you can do all your dreams on your own, you are doing NOTHING!"
The fact that you can't do it all on your own means, you will need to ...
4. Ask for Help: One of the things I feared most as a child, was people thinking I am dumb, or I don't know this or that. Over time, I have accepted that I won't know everything and neither will you. Can you imagine, scampering to know everything and getting things done on your own. You would be drained. So, when things hit the rock bottom many times throughout the year, I knew I just had to go for it and ask. As my mom would say, "Put on the mask and ask." You'll either get a yes or no, but it never hurts to reach out for help. You will be surprised how many genuine people are out there waiting to help you grow. So where can you look?
5. Don't underestimate the power of contacts: I have often heard that you have go out and network, network, network, which is one of my goals for the new year. But it is also necessary to know that after networking, you must cultivate meaningful and sustainable relationships. Note that it is not a one-way street and so, in establishing relationships, you must identify what you can bring to the table and not only what's at the table for you. No one likes an opportunist. Some of us have some influencers in our circle, reach out to them. I have learned a creative way to networking, ask persons in your circle to connect you with other powerful and like-minded people who they know - it takes the pressure off networking.
What's the purpose of connecting with hundreds of people at events and via social media channels if you are not thinking long-term about how you can work together? I am sure that when you sent out your friend requests this year, you were not only doing it because you thought the persons were doing exemplary work in their field. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you knew that the person could help you accomplish something. And that you could bring something to their table too.
Some of us have had significant achievements, thanks to cultivated relationships. Check your circle and identify those who can help you to make it happen and reach out to them.
See LinkedIn, use it.
6. Social Media Can Take You Places: Social media is one of the tools have I used the most this year. With LinkedIn and Twitter, I have established connections with influencers to make things happen. With social media, everything is at your fingertips. It is where things happen, from useful resources, powerful contacts, game changers to information you can access to identify some of the most topical issues. For me, spending countless amount of hours online and living in a digital world means harnessing the power of the social media tools and technology, something I have dedicated myself to doing.
No matter who you are, what you do or what you are trying to accomplish, with the utilisation of social media, you can make major hits once you know how to harness the tool to its full potential. One of the things that worked for me is, knowing which social media channel works for me and how I can use it to help me accomplish my goals. Spend time to research what social media tools exist and how it can help you to achieve your personal and professional goals.
Can you relate to any of these lessons I learned this year? Also, what important lessons did you learn this year that has challenged you to be the best version of yourself?
Originally published on LinkedIn