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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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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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