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4 Mistakes People Easily Make That Stop Them From Achieving Big Goals

4 Mistakes People Easily Make That Stop Them From Achieving Big Goals

Most people have big dreams. But are they just dreams or real goals? What stops them from truly committing and achieving big goals?

If you’ve seen people talk about big goals and never really accomplishing them, it’s quite a common occurrence. The reality is that there are a lot of factors that stop people from achieving big goals. It all has to do with having the wrong mindset. The wrong mindset is often the result of committing four mistakes that easily cause achieving big goals to become an unaccomplished feat. In order to increase your chances in being successful with your goals, let’s dive into the four mistakes you should avoid:

1. Competing with those at the same level as us

It is human nature to do what’s easy! If you’re a golfer, you’ll compete with those at the same level as you. If you’re a small business, you’ll compete with other small businesses in the same industry as you. The results, therefore, are sub-optimal as you’ll only make incremental improvements to your overall performance.

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Therefore the cure is to compete with those who are a lot better than you are. Challenging yourself is the only way to accelerate your learning. So if you’re an amateur golfer, play with professional golfers, and you’ll start to notice the difference in your game over time. Never stagnate, always make an attempt to consciously be around those who are better than you to make yourself uncomfortable in a congenial setting and you’ll be on your way to fast development and progress.

So make a list of people who you aspire to be like. Email them, reach out to them on Twitter, and set up coffee meetings with them. Find opportunities to be around them and invite them to social events. You can’t go wrong!

2. Only relying on our own ability to make progress towards our goals

This is the behavior we default to as we think we can do it alone. The reality is that no matter how tough and capable you think you are, you can never achieve your goals without a little help. So never hesitate to ask for help when it’s needed.

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If you’re trying to build a business, for instance, could you leverage the knowledge and experience of mentors who have “been there and done that”? This could help save heaps of precious time that we would spend making mistakes by relying on our own abilities. It’s of course important not to underestimate your own uniqueness and abilities, to always have a questioning mind and not just blindly follow those who are better. But, it’s also important to take their inputs because without them, you will only delay your own progress.

Make it a point to understand that you don’t know everything. For every problem you have, think about who else out there could have been in the same situation as you and how they overcame it? Reach out to them and seek their help this very moment! Take action.

3. Hiding what we know from others

Think about it, when you have knowledge that could potentially be beneficial, you end up keeping it to yourself, internalizing it, and as a result, nothing ever gets done. You also, over time, will forget what you learn and the knowledge just becomes something you “know” and do nothing about.

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If you truly want to learn, you need to tell people what you know. It’s scientifically proven that teaching people solidifies the knowledge in your brain and helps you retain the knowledge. By sharing your goals with others, you also attract more support from your colleagues, friends, and family, and you clearly get to know who your supporters are! This can be a great way of creating alliances with people who are aligned with your vision and your goals and learn from each other, building meaningful relationships that go a long way in achieving big goals!

Don’t be scared of sharing your goals and knowledge!

4. Setting really long time frames for making changes

Most people think life is just way too long and end up setting lazy targets. We are told “success takes time” and words like “just have a lot of patience,” and then we rely on fate and time by thinking it will all work out. It’s certainly important to have faith, but, you shouldn’t rely on it!

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Make sure you have a big goal, and then set small, more achievable milestones towards the big goal that are time bound. Doing this ensures you’re on track and helps you evaluate your progress by having metrics and timelines to measure yourself against. You can’t take forever to achieve your goals, and you have to be aggressively patient, not just patient.

While most mistakes people make are mindset-related, you can correct them by being around people who are where you want to be in life. By being intentional about who you choose to associate with, depending on your longer term goals, you will be on the path to actually making your dreams and your goals a reality.

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Akshay Sachdeva

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

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Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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