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5 Things That Hold You Back In Life And How To Get Rid Of Them

5 Things That Hold You Back In Life And How To Get Rid Of Them

Habits: they are the things that we are used to doing on a daily or a weekly basis — or, basically, whenever there is an action that repeats itself in regular intervals.

After living a quarter of your life or so, you may think that what you’ve developed in your childhood is what will define you for the rest of your life. Even if some of the habits and personal traits that we’ve developed are holding us back, our mind often chooses to ignore the damages and to resist any kind of change that might usurp the status quo.

“There was plenty of time for that, now I have to live with the cards that I’ve been dealt.” After all, the fast-paced life, having (or not having) children, and a regular job can have you wanting for a routine that will define you and help you cope with everything. However, if the routine is damaging to your mental health and your self-improvement, maybe it’s time for a change.

The routines that we develop and our immediate surroundings (people we see every day or on a regular basis) can sometimes even hold us back and prevent us from fulfilling our life goals. It’s imperative to recognize these poor influences and elevate yourself above them, and the first step towards it is to realize that you are stagnating. There are some definitive signs of stagnation and here I will try to present them to you and (hopefully) show you how to tackle them.

Negativity

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    Have you ever started planning something that is supposed to change your life/make you rich/perfect your skills, only to have the mental piece of paper with the plan crumpled and thrown to the back of your mind because “it would never work”? This happens a lot to people. The current global situation (which, actually, has never been better), your material situation, or a lack of will can all keep you pinned in place. Like the link above says, it seems that it’s never been a better time to be a pessimist.

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      News flash: it’s been worse every step of the way in human history. Black people in the US were segregated until 1964, yet that has not prevented the likes of Ray Charles, John H. Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos in succeeding in their respective lives, just to name a few.

      Today, people have more freedom than they ever had. There is no reason to think that something will fail because “it would never work.” You cannot know until you’ve given it a well-planned try.

      However, negative thinking is not entirely your fault. It can also come through…

      Negative Environment

      This starts with your friends and family, but is not limited to them. Oftentimes, it will be your friends who will poke holes in your plans because they want to try and keep you in the status quo. They will not do this because they have ill intentions, instead, they will see it as doing you a favor and being honest with you. People like the status quo and do not like to see it changed. It will threaten their comfort zone (more on that later) and put them in situations they have not prepared for. Of course, none of this is on the forefront of their logic and most of the time they are not even aware of this fact.

      While this is no reason to abandon your friends completely and sever all ties to them, sometimes a change of environment can do a lot of good. Have a new hobby? Start hanging out with people who have the same one. Or, sit at a bar or café alone and try to find someone interesting to talk to. Talking to new people brings new perspectives on life. Sometimes, that is all you need to push ahead.

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      Inability to Make a Plan and Stick to It

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        When you do finally make a plan, the hardest part is actually sticking to it. For example, you want to improve your physical wellbeing by going to the gym. You’ve found a program that will get you fit and help you improve your conditioning. The plan involves daily exercises.

        You may do it for three or four days and then skip one — because, hey, you deserve a break. Or you just start procrastinating from day one, thinking how you’ll work twice as hard tomorrow, or something like that.

        This will effectively prevent you from making a change. The most important part of every plan is sticking to it. This may take a lot of willpower, but the change will be worth the mental effort. You can do it and you can do it today. Not twice as much tomorrow, not in a couple of days, but today, as it is the only day when you can fulfill what you planned, and it’s all up to you.

        This part may also include doing away with some things, like…

        Your Comfort Zone

        It is a popular saying nowadays that “you can’t make a joke in 2016 without offending anyone.” Everyone has their “safe space,” which works like a bubble of your beliefs and habits which comfort you, telling you that things are alright and nothing needs to change. Stepping out of it, sometimes even for a moment, brings about anxiety, panic attacks, or just a flat-out denial that there is anything good on the outside.

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        If you wish to change, there will be a lot of things that will lie outside this bubble. It will involve doing things that you have never done before or even heard of. And it’s always easier to default back to the comfort zone and feel content with what you have than to step outside of it and feel outright lost. But it has to be done. It is the only way to achieve personal progress.

        No one is good at everything at the first try. The whole history of mankind is a trial-and-error process and, without it, we would never get to where we are today. It’s not about “I can’t do this,” but about “I’ve failed now, but I know what not to do next time.”

        Also, living in your comfort zone almost always leads you to feeling like you know it all, and to…

        Not Identifying Your Weaknesses

        Habits and routines developed during childhood and teenage years slowly take over your life. We are all looking for stability. Once you are buried in your routines, you will not see that some of them are, actually, your weaknesses.

        Have you, perhaps, developed a habit that is hurting your health (mental or physical)? Do you have work to do, but you’ve decided to play videogames instead? You’d think that these habits simply help you to relax, take your mind off things, or just help you get the job done, but they will also prevent you from seeing how they are hurting you.

        Realizing that you have a weakness is the first step towards improving in that field. Smoking marijuana, for example, may relax you, but it will also keep you lazy and can even leave you unmotivated to do anything.

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        Alcohol may be good as a social lubricant (by far the best description of it that I’ve seen in my life), but drinking every day (even regular binge drinking) can create a habit. You think that everything is normal, but it actually heavily influences your decision-making and, in the end, can ruin your life. It is essential to see things for what they are, not only for the good that they bring you.

        Once you’ve realized that you have a weakness, you can choose to rectify it yourself, but this is not always possible. Some habits grip us hard and they (or we) do not wish to let go. That’s when it’s the time to talk to a professional and get some advice.

        Basically, habits can hold us back. The world is in constant change and we must change, too, in order to stay on top. There is no recipe for a perfect life, as much as you think you’ve found it. Challenge yourself at every step and step out of that comfort zone. After a while, you’ll feel that it was all worth it and that life has meaning again.

        Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/jill111-334088/ via pixabay.com

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Published on October 8, 2019

        How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

        How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

        The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

        The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

        By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

        1. Define What Success Is for You

        There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

        Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

        2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

        Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

        Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

        3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

        It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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        By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

        4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

        A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

        One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

        5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

        You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

        Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

        6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

        If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

        Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

        7. Pick Up Some New Skills

        Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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        By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

        8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

        Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

        If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

        9. Make Yourself Indispensable

        Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

        It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

        10. Get Off the Fence

        People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

        If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

        11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

        If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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        Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

        12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

        If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

        Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

        13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

        Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

        Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

        14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

        Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

        A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

        15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

        The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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        Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

        16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

        Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

        Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

        17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

        It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

        Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

        18. Join a Professional Organization

        The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

        Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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        Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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