Feeling down about your forward progress lately? Do you feel like you’re running in place? Need some motivation and tough love to help you reinvigorate your success rate? Well, here you go – seven reasons you’re not the great success story you could be:
1. You do a lot of thinking without acting.
Too often we think without acting. We do nothing with our ideas. Everyone who has ever taken a long, hot shower has had many great ideas. I’m sure you can relate. But you will only make a difference in this world if you get out of the shower, dry off and do something with them.
The only way to conquer your dreams and doubts is with action. Wondering about them will not get anything done. Avoiding challenges will only make them grow bigger. If you wait until all conditions are perfect, you will spend the rest of your life waiting.
Great achievements are made by starting from exactly where you are right now with exactly what you have right now. Stop wondering and start doing. Once you’ve made a little progress you’ll always know, without a doubt, that you can make even more progress if you try.
2. Your creative mind is completely unfocused.
Constraints nurture productive side of the creative mind. At first it might seem as though complete freedom makes all creative ventures more attainable, but this isn’t the truth. Complete freedom makes the possibilities endless, but keeps your efforts scattered and unfocused.
Often, self-imposed constraints, or boundaries, force you to think differently about challenges, leading to more practical ideas and innovations. Instead of thinking ‘outside the box’ and looking in every possible direction, get inside onebox – a specific problem that needs a resolution, a smaller space where big changes can be made, etc. – and focus your creative attention on making a difference.
These boundaries create the foundation from which to launch a productive, creative effort. It’s like pushing off from the ground when riding a skateboard, or from the wall of the pool when you’re swimming laps – having something solid to push against allows you to move forward with greater ease and more power. And over time, as you test these boundaries by pushing against them, you figure out which ones can be broken and expanded, and which ones need to remain fixed in place.
3. You are focusing too much on fears and defeats.
Your problems are really your blessings if you use them to grow stronger. Never quit just because you feel temporarily defeated. You have not been beaten – this is not a competition. Keep working to be the best you can be. It doesn’t matter how slow you go so long as you don’t give up on yourself.
In the long run, it usually isn’t what you have or where you are or what you’ve been through that makes or breaks you; it’s how you think about it all and what you do next. Focus your conscious mind on things you desire, not your fears and defeats. Doing so brings dreams to life.
4. Your expectations are crushing you.
Drop the needless expectations. Appreciate what is. It doesn’t matter if your glass is half empty or half full. Just be thankful that you have a glass and that there’s something in it. Choosing to be positive and having an appreciative attitude influences everything you do. The magnitude of your happiness and success will be directly proportional to the magnitude of your thoughts and how you choose to think about things.
Nothing ever works out exactly the way you want it to. Hope for the best, but expect less. Appreciate reality, don’t fight it. Don’t let what you expected to happen blind you from the goodness happening all around. Even if it doesn’t work out at all, it’s still worth it if it made you feel something new, and if it taught you something new.
5. You have become distracted from your core goals.
People might tell you it’s impossible, but it’s not. Though the challenges may be great, you can make things happen. The odds may not seem to be in your favor right now, but you can change the odds. When something difficult you want to achieve connects deeply with your purpose, it becomes possible. When you are driven and committed and persistent, you will get yourself there step by step.
So look within yourself and unearth the values and goals that you most earnestly feel a deep connection with. In the end, it’s the things that are genuinely important to you that will power your greatest achievements.
6. You are playing it too safe.
Pain is a pesky part of being human but it’s vitally important. It strengthens the mind, heart and body. You can’t grow strong, brave, or successful in this world if you’ve only had good things happen to you within the safe boundaries of your own little comfort bubble. You need real life experiences, and nothing ever becomes real until you experience it firsthand.
No matter how long you train yourself to be strong, brave, or proficient at something, you never know if you are or not until something real happens to you. So get real, experience life and let it teach you what you need to know to conquer your wildest dreams.
7. You have been resisting forgiveness.
Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. Your willingness to forgive yourself and others is the greatest sign of your emotional and spiritual maturity. It’s a process of acceptance and understanding that allows you to let go of a situation that’s over so you can move on with your life.
The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.”
Take a moment and imagine if every person (including yourself) who owed you an apology apologized today, and imagine if you accepted these apologies. What a weight lifted. Now imagine if everyone, everywhere did this. How many problems in the world would evaporate?
photo: Hartwig HKD