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26 Simple Things You Have To Stop Doing To Move Closer To Success

26 Simple Things You Have To Stop Doing To Move Closer To Success

Are you looking for success? Many people want a successful life but they believe they don’t have what it takes. Everyone has the ability to be extremely successful – check out 27 simple things that might be holding you back.

1. Making Empty Promises

Only say things you know are true, and people will trust and respect you. A big part of success is being honest and reliable.

2. Blaming Others

Your life is in your hands – accept responsibility  for your mistakes, and you will be forced to work on improving them.

3. Looking for Others’ Approval

Unless you work for them, you don’t need their approval. Do what makes you happy and don’t worry too much about other opinions.

4. Aiming Small

You have one life – aim bigger! If you try to achieve more, it is very likely you will succeed and have a successful life.

5. Living in The Past

As the saying goes: “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

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Take advantage of the present, and make your time count.

6. Trying to Be Perfect

No one is perfect. Trying to be is a waste of time. Instead, learn to love your flaws and focus on overall self-improvement.

7. Trying to Do Everything Alone

For some tasks in life, you need more than one person. Don’t sell yourself short by refusing to accept help from others.

8. Waiting for Luck

Don’t wait for luck to come around – it may never arrive. Start making your own luck today.

9. Waiting in General

Try not to rely on other people or life when it comes to your own success. Take matters into your own hands whenever necessary.

10. Forgetting About Small Achievements

Small goals are important too – pat yourself on the back every time you do something you’re proud of.

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11. Being Scared of Making Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, including you. Acceptance of that fact, and forgiving yourself, are vital pieces to achieving success.

But make sure you learn from your mistakes.

12. Being Scared of Change

Don’t fear the unknown – you can’t improve without change.

13. Not Realizing Your Potential

You are smart and motivated – embrace these traits and see what you can achieve.

14. Giving Up

Life will have ups and downs – don’t let the bad parts stop you working towards the good parts.

15. Holding Onto Grudges

If someone hurt you in the past, they can no longer change that. Let your anger go – it’s not helping anyone, including yourself.

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16. Not Having a Positive Attitude

With a negative attitude, you will see the worst parts of the world. Keep a positive attitude, and you will see all of the opportunities the world has to offer.

17. Trash Talking

If you don’t like someone, don’t talk about them and avoid associating with them. Gossiping about others is more likely to reflect badly on you than them.

18. Not Focusing on Being Happy

Happiness doesn’t just happen; it takes work, so try to do at least one thing every day that puts a smile on your face.

19. Not Having a Career Plan

Your work takes up 40 hours (or more) of your week. Make sure you find something you enjoy and feel proud of.

20. Not Having a Life Plan

Fail to plan and life will pass you by. So, make sure you think of the future as well as enjoying the present.

21. Missing Out on Opportunities to Learn

Education doesn’t finish with school – the whole world is full of life lessons that will help you to gain success and happiness.

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22. Spending Time with Negative People

Your friends should lift you up and motivate you to achieve more – if they don’t, you don’t need them in your life.

23. Not Being Happy for Others

If someone else gains success, they don’t take your success away. Remember this and be happy for anyone you know who is enjoying a successful life.

24. Not Listening

If you only talk and don’t listen, you can miss many great opportunities for success. Don’t let this happen to you – keep your ears open!

25. Not Allowing Yourself to Relax

The most successful people make sure they take breaks to relax and unwind. Without a chance to relax, you will struggle to work effectively. So, remember to put your feet up when you can.

26. Settling

You can always achieve more and gain greater success – don’t settle if you’re not 100% happy with your lot.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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