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4 Thoughts You Have that May Be Holding You Back

4 Thoughts You Have that May Be Holding You Back

Why are most of us struggling to obtain success? You likely experience a pattern of thoughts that hold you back so you can create the success you need. From thinking your lack of success is the fault of others to negative past experiences, you may be holding yourself back. Here are a few main ways you are holding yourself back:

Blaming Others

This is a very common thought process that results in many people not taking action on their goals. They get held back in the thought that it’s the fault of their parents, teachers, government or somebody else. But when we get adulthood we struggle to switch from being reliant on others to get by, to being responsible for ourselves.

So, we blame others for not handing us success. We say things like “How dare the government cut my benefits, how am I supposed to live?” or “I would have decent education if I just had a good teacher at school”.

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What we should be doing is looking at ourselves and wondering why we aren’t getting the pay rise or promotion or getting that job in the first place. We must put in the work to reap the rewards and not blame others for our own misfortune. Nobody is going to give you more than you are worth and just hand you success on the plate because you think that is what you are due. We need to take responsibility for our own lives and create our own success.

A Lack Of Resources

“I can’t start on online business, I just don’t have to time, money or skills to do it.” “I can’t go to the gym because it is just too far away and too expensive.” “I can’t find my perfect partner because I just don’t have the time to go out and meet people.” Sound familiar?

We commonly use these excuses to get out of working hard on even the things that we want to do and makes us happy. We spend hours a day in front of the television and then say we don’t have time to go to the gym or take a class. We waste our money on things we don’t need, then say we don’t have the money to start a business. We need to turn this on the head and instead of making excuses, we need to get up out of our comfort zone and do the things we have to do to create the success and happiness we deserve and want.

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Fear Of Failure

A lot of people don’t aim for that high because they automatically think they will fail and be a laughingstock of their friends, family and colleagues. When what they should be thinking is that failure is part of learning and creating success. It is legend that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before inventing the light bulb.

And he invented other things along the way. How many times did you mumble your words when you learnt to speak, how many times did you fall of your bike when you learnt to ride it, how many times to did you fall ever when you learnt to walk? Failure is a prerequisite to success, embrace it.

A Negative Past

A common struggle with people and their thoughts is maybe there was a past struggle or affliction that can hold us back. Growing up with illness and at a result we struggle with school and learning. Maybe not having the support structure that is seen as the norm can hold us back.

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This is understandable to a certain extent, but how many times have we heard stories of people, like rapper 50 Cent, who lived a life of crime and even nearly died after being shot, then went on to being a successful musician.

And there are many others who are brought up in broken homes with very little and can’t see a way out. You just got to find the right key to the right door. And that key is hard work on the right things and the door is your dream lifestyle. Take action now, become an inspiration.

We all have negative thoughts, it is how we use them that either holds us back or creates the success we crave.

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How do you handle you negative thoughts?  Do they hold you back?

Featured photo credit: Clement/Luigi Morante via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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