“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
We all like this word; we all use this word; and it’s pleasant to hear and read.
Did you also know that it’s one of the most googled words?
But what does it mean?
Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, and it can also be considered the attainment of fame or wealth.
We all want to accomplish our goals, we all want to attain wealth and many of us dream of attaining fame. But what keeps us from it? What blocks our path to success? And most importantly, what is the secret key to success?
The Big Mistakes
“I definitely would never go back to my 20s. The best is yet to come.”- Celine Dion
Sometimes it happens that, after months or years of efforts and work, we give up- just because we can’t see results.
We feel discouraged, because we compare our present to our past and we make the common mistake of believing that we cannot achieve the same success that we previously achieved, maybe because then we were younger, smarter, or luckier. Not only is this a common mistake, but also a colossal and naive one.
Now, after years of work and achievements, we have more experience, and as a result, more tools to help us to successfully reach our goals. Because of this, thinking that the best has come already is a limiting belief, something we are convinced of that hampers our ability to seize opportunities to succeed again and again in life.
Another very common mistake is deciding to give up when success is right around the corner, because we are exhausted. In doing so, we lose all we were about to achieve. It’s like digging a hole for hours to find treasure, and giving up just two or three inches before reaching it, because we are impatient and believed we would not find it there.
Remember that real success takes time, and sometimes it includes feelings of failure as well.
This is why I want you to understand that the key to success is tenacity, because you can accomplish whatever you want, if you are committed to your goal.Advertising
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan
If you believe that the best things in your life are in your past, and that happiness and success will never come back, you are sabotaging your present and unavoidably your future.
You have to be careful with this kind of mental behavior because it may prevent you from succeeding in many areas of your life, such as relationships and career- and it may be the cause of low self-esteem and poor life satisfaction.
Never give up just because you don’t see any immediate results; if you make this mistake, you will regret it in the future.
What Can I Do?
Some Practical Tips
To prevent such a mechanism impairing your life, you must convince yourself that the best has yet to come and that you can still accomplish a lot in your life.
In other words, in order to stop these self-sabotaging thought patterns, you have to follow some very simple steps.
First of all, what you need to do is take a piece of paper and divide it into two parts. Second, write down the negative beliefs that you think are obstructing your success in the first section.
Then, in the other section, identify the things that you want and can achieve- the things that would make you the happiest person on earth.
Then, use the power of the dreams that you want to realize, to prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs are affecting your life, and start working hard to reach your goals.
Believe that the best has yet to come, learn to be patient, and succeeding will be easier.
This way you will feel more satisfied, and the most interesting thing is that you will find yourself working even harder for your success.Advertising
“Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.” – Sai Baba
Successful People You Should Emulate
“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur
Did you know that a man called Henry Ford failed five times before founding Ford Motor Company? Yes, you read correctly, he failed five times, but he was determined and believed that he could succeed, so he tried again.
Have you ever heard of an engineer who had an unsuccessful job interview with Toyota, and started his own business? His name was Soichiro Honda, and he was the creator of the billion-dollar business, Honda.
Did you know that before he became famous, Walt Disney was working for a newspaper and lost his job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”?
Also, many years ago, a secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it. The person who was trying to sell this recipe was Colonel Sanders, the creator of KFC.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
What do those people have in common?
Well, the answer is very simple: they didn’t let anything discourage them, and they persisted in what they were doing.
They knew pretty well what the key to success was. They knew that real success needs time, and sacrifice, and it doesn’t come overnight.
Those people kept believing that the best was yet to come.
“I’m excited about what the future will bring and I think the best is yet to come.” – Alonzo Mourning
Image: Anthony QuintanoAdvertising
Featured photo credit: Paul Bica via flickr.com
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)
Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.
However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.
Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.
Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.
Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.
In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.
Table of Contents
What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?
To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior. Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.
Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.
Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.
The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.
A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.
Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.
So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.
Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.
Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.
Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.
Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.
Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.
Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality. A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.
Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit. By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.
Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.
What Can You Do To Change a Habit?
Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.
Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:
1. Identify Your Habits
As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.
2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit
Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?
It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.
3. Apply Logic
You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.
Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.
4. Choose an Alternative
As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.
Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.
5. Remove Triggers
Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.
Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.
6. Visualize Change
Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.
For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.
7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking
Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.
Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.
Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!
Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.
More About Changing Habits
- 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits
- How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop
- How to Find Your Keystone Habits to Change Your Life
Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com