Why do we fail? It’s a broad question with a variety of contributing factors. In this article, I’ll be exploring some of the biggest.
As much as we hate to hear, “It’s all in your head”… It’s true that a great deal of our obstacles come from within our own minds.
I’m going to be helping you to understand and conquer common self-imposed obstacles so you can set goals that stick and start your journey to creating your personal definition of success.
Taking responsibility for your own thoughts and actions is an intimidating burden, sure, but it WILL become comforting to know how much control you have.
With time and consistency, that control will simply be habit!
#1: Attaching failure to your identity
You HAVE failed. You are NOT a failure.
One of the most dangerous things you can do to your subconscious is affirm something negative to yourself, starting with “I am”. Those two words are some of the most powerful to exist.
When you say, “I am” with anything, you’re affirming to your subconscious that something is a part of you. This can be used for good, like “I am beautiful”, or “I am confident”. More often than not, however, we use it for bad.
We think very little of it when we punish ourselves with phrases like, “I am a failure” or “I am hopeless”. After all, words are just words, right?
Not at all, I’m afraid!
When you begin something with “I am”, it’s an affirmation – no exceptions. That simple little phrase is what attaches a thought to your very identity, so choose the words that follow it wisely!
What we attach to ourselves will shape our personal reality. We’ll choose to notice more examples to prove it true, for better or worse.
#2: Limiting beliefs
We’re telling ourselves an old story… and sticking to it.
Limiting beliefs are by far one of the biggest reasons that keep people from ever starting a journey of growth in the first place.
Just like the danger of attaching things to your identity with “I am”, there is another hidden danger to the words we say, and it’s what we choose to attach to our reality.
These are the sort of things we’ve been raised to believe. Or, we’ve just chosen to believe it because believing what’s not possible is safer and easier than believing what is.
If you believe in possibilities, then you lose your excuses. That’s a LOT of power, and it’s scary! We protect ourselves from struggle or disappointment by settling for, “It can’t be done.”
Here are 3 simple questions to begin clearing a limiting belief…
- Does this have to be the ultimate, inevitable truth? Why NOT?
- Am I using circumstances and people around me to prove it right? You may not always be able to control these things, but you can control the meaning you give it.
- Am I only clinging to this belief because it’s comfortable?
#3: Fear of success
Fear of failure plagues many people. Just as much, the fear of success does too.
What? You can actually fear success?
Yes, it’s true! You can fear success if you’re giving success the wrong meaning. Ask yourself: What does it mean when you succeed? Are you scared of what comes next?
If you believe that you could succeed, the next step might be hard work of some kind. Or, it’s just entirely unfamiliar territory. Whichever the case, it seems more comfortable to simply accept that you just can’t do it.
Focus on the reasons why success IS what you want and need. Find a CAUSE that’s bigger than your fear of failing at it.
#4: Your habits need a makeover!
Simply put, habits are the building blocks of success. Beneath those habits, you need other habits. Layers and layers of habits!
When you think in terms of building something, there is always a foundation. There are smaller habits that exist to keep your bigger, more difficult habits in check.
For example, being healthy CAN become habit. First, getting a consistent workout needs to be a habit below that. But, before you can make THAT a habit, what smaller habits do you need to have that ensure you have the time to spare?
Write it out! Start a mind-map. Outline all the habits you need to get to your goal, and what little habits you need to be able to make THOSE habits possible.
Get all the way down into the nitty-gritty. When you’re overwhelmed, sometimes even the simplest ones can be hard to remember.
To tie things up, I’ll leave you with a question for reflection… Who do you have to be TODAY to become who you WANT to be tomorrow?
Be 1% more of your best you – starting today.