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These 5 Things Could Be Holding You Back In Life

These 5 Things Could Be Holding You Back In Life

Only 1/3 of Americans are very happy, according to a 2013 study.

When you feel stuck, frustrated, and overall dissatisfied in your life, many things could be the culprit.

Here are 5 common things that could be holding you back in your life, and what to do to get out of your own way on your path to a life you love.

1. Not understanding who you are

Is it possible that you’re not fully satisfied because what you’re doing doesn’t align with your strengths? By strengths, I don’t mean skills; I mean the innate, natural strengths you have. If you’re unsure, check out Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This book will help you understand your strengths.

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Discovering who you are and what your natural talents are is a key step to spending your days doing what you love. When you understand how you function best, you can choose work environments that allow you to maximize your strengths. You can also design your life to give you plenty of opportunities to develop and use those strengths.

2. Your mindset

Millions of people hold themselves back in life due to fear. It’s easy to let fear dictate our decisions. We are afraid of failure. We are afraid of standing out. We are afraid of ‘taking a risk.’ We are afraid of success. We are afraid to choose a path because it might not be the best path. The list goes on and on. Choosing to let fear guide our decisions is a sure way to hold ourselves back in life.

Fear is a big hindrance in our lives, but a fear-based mindset isn’t the only thing that holds us back mentally. When you think about your dreams, have you ever thought that you can’t achieve your goals because you don’t have a wealthy background, you aren’t living in the best location, you are too young or too old, or are not smart enough? When you’re thinking about your big goals, be honest with yourself. Are you telling yourself you can’t do something and giving yourself excuses to not try, in order to avoid having to actually take action?

Your inner game is a huge factor in your external success. Start paying attention to how you talk to yourself. Are you telling yourself negative things, day after day? If you’re struggling with your mindset, read this article. It will teach you small things you can do every day to love yourself. Treating yourself well will make a huge difference in your life. Start treating yourself like a good friend. Encourage yourself. You deserve a life you love.

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3. Having vague ideas of what you want

Saying, “I want a job I love” is something most people would agree that they want. Instead of continuing to have just a vague idea of what you want, you must discover who you are and take specific action to figure out exactly what you like to do.

Ask yourself some questions to help you narrow down what you’re looking for in a career. What are your strengths, and what kinds of jobs are recommended for you based on your personality and your strengths? What type of work schedule do you desire? Would you enjoy working indoors, or do you prefer being outdoors during your work days? Do you envision working in a big company, being part of a small organization, or working alone? Do you want do be an expert of one subject or a ‘jack of all trades’ at work? Who are your ideal coworkers? What are you passionate about? Is your goal to do work that makes you come alive?

To help you discover your passion and find out what completely lights you up, check out this free workbook. Having the desire to find and do work you love is a great thing. When you work on specifically figuring out what you like and what you don’t like, and what it is you’re truly seeking, you can make actual progress toward getting that dream career.

Having vague ideas of what you want will hold you back in other areas of your life too. Have you ever thought, “I’d love to be more healthy?” That’s a great thought, but you need to get specific about what it is you want. “Being healthy” is a vague concept. What does it mean to you to be healthy? Do you want to be well-rested? Are you desiring to lose weight? Do you want to be stronger? Do you want energy to keep up with your kids? Do you want to feel and look your best so you can have confidence in your dating life?

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If you set a vague goal of being healthy, how will you know when you’ve achieved the goal, or what steps to take to get there? Check out this compelling article for a a great example of how to set goals.

4. Not having a system to achieve your goals

Once you’ve decided what you want, how will you achieve it? What specific habits do you need to adopt in order to take steps forward toward your goal every day? How will you make time in your schedule to achieve your goals and make them a priority? This inspiring article can help you find more time in each day.

When you’ve set your big goals, have you broken them down into small goals and figured out exactly what you must do every day to stay on track toward long-term success? Have you thought about potential barriers to achieving your goals, and what you’ll do to get around those roadblocks when they occur? Have you found an accountability partner to keep you on track? What is your plan for handling days when your motivation is lacking? Read this helpful article to learn how to tackle your bad days.

When you’re setting big goals, you’ll need a specific system in place that makes it difficult for you to fail. Difficulties will come up when you start working toward a big goal. They always do. Figuring out in advance how you’ll tackle a certain situations can help set you up for success.

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5. Not surrounding yourself with the right people

Consider who you spend a lot of time with. Are they encouraging and positive? If you don’t have anyone in your life who understands your goals, I’m not suggesting that you ditch your family and friends. What I am advising; however, is that you find like-minded people to connect with. This can fuel your inspiration. Find people who are doing what you hope to do, and connect with them. Building a tribe of amazing people in your life can help you build a life you love.

Conclusion

If you feel stuck, it’s time to start taking action and stop holding yourself back from the life you dream of. Today, choose to set a goal about something you want in your life. Set your goal very specifically, and make an action plan of how you’ll achieve it. Then, email me at [email protected] and tell me about your goal.

I’m on a mission to help people all over the world come alive and spend their time doing what they love, and I love hearing about how you’re improving your lives.

Featured photo credit: Portrait of a young business woman in office/Anton Petukhov via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

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Last Updated on April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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