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Published on August 17, 2020

How to Push Yourself to the Next Level and Achieve Success

How to Push Yourself to the Next Level and Achieve Success

Limits are stumbling blocks between you and your success. You will face stiff resistance when attempting to break through the limit. Resistance could be self-inflicted fear, doubt, low self-esteem, physical disabilities, and mental block. These elements could package themselves as huge barriers.

Sadly enough, most people find it hard to push themselves beyond these limits. They eventually give up and accept the status quo.

As long as you desire a life of success, you must face your fear and push yourself beyond the limits. Failure to do this will truncate your dream and make your goals unrealizable.

The 3 Phases of Life

There are three phases of life that we all constantly cycle between – the pushing phase, the overdoing phase, and the relaxation phase.

Pushing yourself or taking it slow may depend on which of the phases you find yourself in. Let’s examine the phases in detail.

The Pushing Phase

You feel excited about your life, environment, and things in general. You are stepping out of your comfort zone, which many people find hard to do. And this action is also paying off as you are growing.

In this phase, your momentum is high and you may experience exhaustion after using your energy on tasking activities.

The Overdoing Phase

At this stage, you are taking more tasks than you can handle. You are saying ‘yes’ to every task dole at you. You can’t say ‘no’. You might even be tense because you feel you miss deadlines on the project.

This is the phase that precedes burnout. Life becomes overwhelming, so this stage requires adequate management, which I will share in the next phase.

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The Resting Phase

It’s time to reflect and regain your balance. If you have been overdoing it while pushing yourself, it is time to rest.

Here is when you ask salient questions such as:

  • Am I satisfied with this job?
  • Am I working in line with my core values?
  • Am I happy in my relationship?’

So, what’s the right phase to be in? The truth is there is none.

However, the pushing phase is the ideal place. Life is challenging enough to stay disengaged. It takes pushing yourself to make the best out of the situation you go through in life.

Why Should You Push Yourself?

Knowing all these, you might ask why should you push yourself? Here are 8 reasons to do so.

1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Life is boring in a comfort zone. Some people believe you can succeed better in your comfort zone than exploring new frontiers. While that may be true, yet nothing significant can happen until you dare.

You need to do different things and do things differently. You need to see the world and life from another perspective. You need a different result. You can achieve all these by doing the same thing over and again.

Life only rewards those who dare and not those who wish.

2. Tap Your Inner Strength

If you have never come across a lion in the jungle, you might never get the chance to tap your running potential. Don’t wait until something pushes you; push yourself.

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You have untapped strength to overcome any obstacles than you can ever imagine. Use that strength and refuse to live a life of mediocrity and complacency.

3. Learn New Things

Until you push yourself, you cannot explore. And it takes exploration to learn new things. Start a new business and open yourself to new opportunities. Whatever you do, ensure you are learning, growing, and pushing yourself.

4. Stay in Shape

Pushing yourself also impacts your body. You become fit when you refuse to stay at rest.

For instance, you can use the step instead of the elevator. Get your body in motion and stay fit, especially in this lockdown. Studies have revealed that you burn calories as much as 6 to 15% more when you engage in high-intensity exercises.[1]

5. Achieve More!

Past glories produce future rewards. Push yourself to generate more results than you did yesterday. Find out what you can do more, even if it is only 5 minutes more. Anytime you make extra effort to add value to your life or that of others, you learn and grow beyond your limits and strength.

6. Discover Your Identity

You don’t know your worth and capabilities until you stretch. Listen up! The only competitor you have is YOU! it is while you exert yourself that you get to realize your beliefs, limits, and strengths. Pushing yourself will help you know your true identity.

7. Build Momentum

Death occurs in a state of rest. Would you rather be stagnant water or a flowing river? You need a sustained momentum to achieve your goals in all aspects of your life. You can build momentum by going the extra mile in achieving your goals.

8. Define Your Limits

How do you even know your limits if you don’t push yourself? The next time you push yourself, you will realize you can break through those limits.

How Do You Push Yourself Beyond Limits and Achieve Success?

It is easier to stay in a more comfortable zone than to dare or explore new frontiers. Meanwhile, not pushing yourself will deny you personal growth, professional or business opportunities, as well as life experiences.

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So, here are tips to get you out of your cocoon. Don’t forget to start with the hardest part.

1. Take That First step

What you need to get started is that first step. It may not be easy at first. Nothing comes easy as well. The first day at work is boring, the same as going to the gym. But when you continually build your stamina, your motion will become easier. Take the first step to achieve your dream!

2. Inspire Yourself

Don’t wait for extrinsic motivation to make the first move. Discover your inner motivation! It could be a motivational video, TED Talks, Lifehack articles, riverside, or a walk in the park. Ensure it is something that drives you to take action. Inspiration is a motivational tool to help you push yourself.

3. Create Your Environment

You need the right environment to succeed and make good choices. It is better to read at your desk than to read on your bed. If you want to stay healthier and fit, put healthier foods and water closer to you. Avoid junk and exercise your muscles daily.

Also, avoid toxic relationships. Stay around people who will constantly remind you of your goals and aspirations.

4. Avoid the Safe Choice

You can group your choices into two – the safer ones and the daring ones. Go for the ones that will enable you to dare the impossible and teach your invaluable lessons. You cannot grow by succumbing to safer choices. Get out of your comfort zone and explore new frontiers.

5. Visualize the Next Level

What would it look like to be happily married, successful in your business and career, and touching lives? Visualize those dreams!

Visualization will enable you to focus more on your goals and achieve success. It will help you know where you want to be and what you need to do to get there.

6. Learn From Other Victors

Whatever level of success you want to achieve, someone has had it already. Learn from them and pick cues and lessons on how they overcame the barriers. Read their books, online journals, interviews, and podcasts.

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7. Do What Scares You

Ask yourself when you are taking on new projects: Does this task scares me? If yes, then do it! That’s how you face your fear and win. See every difficult task as a frog, then eat the frog!

8. Work on Your Weaknesses

There are self-imposed limits, and most of them are products of our weaknesses. It could be bad habits, poor self-esteem, or physical limitation. Weaknesses make a big mountain look unsurmountable, and they can limit you in achieving the success you desired. You can turn your weaknesses into strengths.

9. Seek for Help

A little bit of assistance can be so significant in facing resistance. Having someone to support you can counterbalance the impact of any negative thought pattern that may limit you. It could be a life coach, mentor, spouse, friend, parent, or an accountability partner. They can assist you to make the push you need to get out of your comfort zone.

Final Thoughts

You have to push yourself past limits to reach your goals. There is no alternative to greatness than sacrificing your comfort and zone and accomplishing great things.

Life does not reward complacency or mediocrity. But by pushing yourself, you can break through barriers and trek the paths that men have not trodden. And interestingly, once you break through the limits, you will be amazed why you never thought the challenges are surmountable.

Accept your limits so you can grow beyond them!

More Tips on Pushing Yourself to Achieve Success

Featured photo credit: David Izquierdo via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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