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These 2 Hidden Habits Will Hinder Your Success!

These 2 Hidden Habits Will Hinder Your Success!

I remember when I first started working for myself and one of the things that I realized very quickly was I had many habits that just weren’t friends of success. When you break away on your own you may realize, your time is now yours and everything you do from here is going be what you get back!

It became very obvious that if I was going to work for myself, I had to change a few things. It’s clear that the extent of success is the ratio of good and bad habits you have in life. It was an easy way to double check if I was headed in the right direction. It sparked a deep desire I had to learn all I could about habits, how to create, break, and change them!

It led me down the world of discovery, how we as humans are made up of so many habits, smaller ones, bigger ones, dangerous, harmless and weird and why we form them.

The truth is that we are constantly looking to create a habit out of anything we do; it is the way our mind is wired.  So we need to be very aware of the habits we decide to take on, because remember that we have so many types, you might not even realize you are harming your results.  We have obvious habits and we also have underlying hidden habits that undermine our success, confidence and happiness every time.

Working with many clients for different challenges there always seems to be one sore point that creates it all: a lack of confidence.  This slowly poisons the mind and your results, and many people can’t understand why they feel so bad about themselves.  Confidence and habits feed off each other.

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Here are the two hidden habits that will hinder your success:

  1. Not following through on your word
  2. Not being congruent with yourself.

What does that even mean?

Not following through on your word:

Think about the last time a friend, family, colleague or loved one let you down, they said they were going to do something and they didn’t.

How do you feel about other people when they don’t follow through on their word? What do you think you are thinking about yourself then?

When you say you are going to do something and then you follow through on your word and you do it – whether it is waking up at 6:00am, picking up that phone or doing that favor for a friend, you build your confidence. You stick to your word; you respect your promises.

Every time you say you are going to do something and you don’t, you lower your confidence, without even realizing!

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Setting goals and not following through or taking action. Promising yourself you will do something and you just don’t.

Ask yourself honestly: How many things to do you say to you yourself that you are going to do and you never take action on? How many times have you set yourself a small goal, but then not risen to the challenge?

Success requires staying true to your word, being authentic. To everybody, but especially yourself!

If you know you are going to find it difficult to follow through on something, adjust the commitment.  Be careful, confidence is a key ingredient to having success in any area of life; so don’t sabotage yourself indirectly with false words and commitments.

Habitually not being congruent with yourself:

Everyone wonders what is the key to achieving goals and what you want in life and it’s almost impossible to reduce it to a set formula, but if we had to, I think it would look something like this:

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Setting the right goals, with the right actions and habits, with the right mindset – consistently.

If any part of this equation is out of alignment, you will find it hard to reach the goal! That is the story for most people. If you have the right goals, and you take the strategic actions to reach it but your mindset is not aligned, guess what, you will find it hard to reach your goal. And vice versa.

What comes up is a lot of incongruences and therefore mixed results. Your habitual way of doing things isn’t working.

Let’s say that you lack confidence in doing something, but you really want to do it because you know it will be good for business. Because you lack confidence in that area, you take actions from a place of being less confident, because that is how you feel, it might even start to become a habit. By being less confident you are being congruent with your limited belief about how you think you are and of course, you are going to feel horrible about yourself.

But it is double-sided, there is also another part of you that knows you can be confident in doing that thing, and so when you find yourself listening to your less confident voice, you feel horrible too because you are not being congruent with the part of you that knows you can be confident.

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So it’s like a vicious circle you don’t even know you are playing in.

What are the most important take aways?

  1. Watch out for actions and mindset beliefs that are incongruent and become habits – it’s an immediate block to results!  If you are not getting the results you want – where are you not being congruent? What part of your goals, habits and your mindset is not aligned?
  1. Don’t make promises and commitments you won’t follow through on – not matter how small they may seem!  And vice versa; if you want to build confidence every day; set yourself an intention and take action on it and you will feel amazing!!

Remember that you might be blind to your biggest areas of growth and harming your results unwillingly.

Change your story around today! Live by your own words and be congruent with who you know you can be!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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