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The 5 Things That Are Holding You Back From Achieving Success

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The 5 Things That Are Holding You Back From Achieving Success

Do you ever wonder what drives successful people? Are you a part of the growing congregation of the complacent and seemingly disenfranchised? Does failure seem imminent? Do you allow it to prevent you from ever attempting anything, to begin with? If you find yourself barraged with these types of questions, rest assured that you are not alone.

The matter at hand is not to focus on your own minds – hypothetical pandering to doubt or fear – the matter is success. The first step in achieving or even overachieving is to understand that strict focus on your goal should be maintained. If we readjust our perspective and how we view success – we may very well find that all the pieces to make it happen, have been with us all along.

More often than not, we are the orchestrators of our own obstacles. This isn’t to say that uncontrollable (financial, familial, medical, social, educational, etc ) antagonizing factors don’t exist. Rather the opposite. If we put aside the obvious outliers, most of us can apply the following five ideas to our lives – and be closer to success with each adjustment.

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1. Space

Your surroundings have an enormous effect on physical and mental well-being. Though this may go unnoticed, if you truly ask yourself -“Am I happy in my surroundings? Am I on the path to succeed?” – you’ll find that these questions usually have correlating answers.

By placing ourselves in an enjoyable environment where we can be free, feel loved, and be at ease –  we activate the pleasure center of our brain. Once your brain releases dopamine, (which also stimulates positive emotion) we become chemically more willing and capable of chasing our goals. If you’re unhappy with your living situation, as well as find yourself in a rut – you may benefit from a vacation or a full relocation.

2. People

Similar to the effect that your surroundings have on you, the people that you come into frequent contact with (co-workers, social circles, family.), have an effect on you as well. Even the most strong-willed of us – have felt the perilous emptiness that comes with negativity. It may seem like an old trope, but it is true that we become what we surround ourselves with.

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If you’re consistently around negative, doubtful, or otherwise unhappy people – soon enough you will become them. With that transformation, you’ll begin to absorb their poor habits and failing attitude into your own personality. This isn’t to say that you must cut them off, simply inform them – that if they persist in their ways – that you must cease to be around them. Success is a door that remains closed to disbelievers and their following.

3. Attitude

Your own attitude toward success may be one of the major deciding factors of whether or not you fail. Ironically enough, it is also one of the few things involved that’s completely under your control. Our attitude toward success is vital. If we view it with disdain -for its’ apparent elusiveness- we will never have it.

Just as you must separate yourself from the negative people and places – you must also purge yourself of any negative feelings. This isn’t to imply that you should be delusional. But at the end of each day, you should be excited about the opportunities that may present themselves in the day to come. You should be enthusiastic in every endeavor that brings you one step closer to achievement. Not only will your enthusiasm shine through any negativity, but it will attract like-minded positive people.

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4. Conviction

As with anything worth having in life, the proper mental state, space, and social circles – mean nothing without action. Chasing your goals can be a trite if you allow it to be. However, a sure way to never achieve it- is by ruminating in defeat and failure instead of taking steps to make the most of the situation, and continue forward. Those fleeting moments of helplessness that you feel are no more than barriers that hold you back from taking the action that is required – for the task that you must achieve. The reason that most people fail is because they lack the conviction to see their goals through. Regardless of where this lack of commitment derives from – those in that particular group are doomed to the same fate as all other inactive persons and pessimists.

In Napoleon Hill’s revered book The Law of Success, he wraps this point up thusly so – “As a matter of facts imaginations and purposes cannot yield anything unless action is taken to realize the purpose. Actions prove the practicability of our imaginations.”

5. Fear

Quite possibly the most familiar and common preventer of success. We’ve all struggled with it at one point or another. We fear failure, criticism, judgment, rejection, etc. These are all valid fears, but none of them should stand between you and your goals, and it’s a gamble to attempt to harness them as a way to achieve success. If you’re willing to put in the time and the effort, you’ll find that those irrational fears melt away. The best way to combat fear is by taking action in the face of it. Soon enough you will see how ridiculous that fear was and will be one step closer to what you want.

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The Conclusion:

If we apply these principles to ourselves, our lives, and our surroundings – we will open the door to opportunity, and be will on our way to achieving goals one day at a time. If we don’t slip on the way up the mountain, and we never waiver in our belief – success will become inevitable. If you start now it will happen sooner than if you start tomorrow.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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More by this author

Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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