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The 5 Things That Are Holding You Back From Achieving Success

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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Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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