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11 Things You Are Doing That Will Always Make You Fail

11 Things You Are Doing That Will Always Make You Fail

Success. What does that word mean to you? Does it mean a high-powered career, tons of money in your bank account, traveling the world, and a huge home? Unfortunately, that’s how many people in the world measure it. However, I prefer to define success as ‘happiness.’ But in order to be successful (in my case, happy), you need to examine your habits so you can uncover and remove the ones that might be sabotaging your journey toward success. Here are 11 things that will always make you fail:

1. You don’t value yourself.

Many people have a low sense of self-worth. They think they are ‘less than’ other people. Well, that is hogwash! Everyone is valuable and perfect in their own way. We all have unique gifts to offer the world. If you don’t value yourself and your talents, then you won’t be able to offer them to the world. Love yourself. You’re awesome. Don’t ever forget it.

2. You don’t have self-discipline.

Hey, it’s great if you have a dream. Fantastic. Congratulations! But wait. You’re watching reality TV? You’re on social media for most the day? You’re texting and surfing the internet constantly? Well, that won’t make your dream a reality. You need to take consistent action in the same direction in order to achieve your goals. And that requires self-discipline. If human beings want something badly enough, they will find a way. If they don’t, then they will find excuses.

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3. You chase perfection.

There is no such thing as perfection. It’s a myth. It’s subjective. What’s ‘perfect’ to me is not perfect to you. And neither one of us is wrong. We’re both right. So stop chasing this idea of perfection. Instead, start chasing the idea of being happy. If you are chasing something unattainable like perfection, then in your mind, you will never be happy or successful.

4. You have negative self-talk.

This one is probably the worst one of all. Your outer world starts with your inner world. And your inner world is mainly your self-talk. If you hear yourself saying things like: “I can’t do that,” “That could never happen,” “I’ll never make that much money,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m too fat,” “I’m not a lucky person” – and the list goes on – then monitor your self-talk. Change the negative talk into positive talk.

5. You blame other people for your circumstances.

Personal responsibility seems to be a lost art these days. If you are the kind of person who is always blaming other people for your lack of success, then you need to stop doing that. Instead, look in the mirror. That person looking back at you is the only one who can make you succeed or fail. You have the power to change your life – even if it’s just your attitude. Granted, I know many, many people in the world live in dire circumstances. But if you point the finger at other people and blame them for your problems, then you are doing yourself no good. So take personal responsibility. Actually, it’s the only thing you can do. No one can change your life but you.

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6. You need the approval of other people.

Sure, we all want others to like us and approve of what we are doing. But as long as you aren’t killing anyone, committing another major crime, or hurting people, it’s really no one else’s business what you do with your life. Do what feels right to you. Listen to your own inner voice. Don’t let the opinions of other people drown out your intuition. Follow your gut. It’s never wrong.

7. You don’t take risks because you are afraid of making mistakes.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No guts, no glory. I am sure you’ve heard those statements before. But does the thought of taking a risk or making a mistake leave you so paralyzed that you end up doing nothing? Remember, if you haven’t tried, then you have already failed.

8. You stay in relationships that obviously aren’t healthy.

We teach other people how to treat us. And if you value yourself (see point 1), then you won’t tolerate bad behavior from other people. Sometimes people stay in toxic relationships because they are afraid of being alone – or for endless other reasons. But remember, you are who you surround yourself with. Birds of a feather flock together. If you’re not surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy people, then how can you be emotionally healthy yourself?

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9. You spend money foolishly.

One of the problems many people have is impulse buying. Or not saving money. Or not budgeting their money. I could list many, many more. But if you are blowing your money on things you don’t need (remember there is a difference between a need and a want), then you are throwing away your future. You’re burning your nest egg. Or your retirement. Or the money you could use to follow your dreams. Think about that the next time you want to buy something that you know you shouldn’t.

10. You waste time instead of educating yourself.

As I said in point 2 (self-discipline), if you are wasting your time doing things that you might think are fun but really contribute nothing positive to your life or your future, then you are setting yourself up to fail. Instead, read books. Figure out the best way to make a move towards a better future. Without this, you might as well kiss your dreams goodbye.

11. You want to follow your dreams, but you don’t make a plan.

If you want to go to Europe on vacation but you don’t buy an airline ticket or book a hotel, then you’re not going to get very far! Making your dreams come true is no different. That’s great that you have a passion for something, but if you don’t have step-by-step plan for how to get there, then don’t even bother starting. Because if you did start, you would probably just wander aimlessly and never get where you want to go.

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You can’t change what you don’t recognize. But here’s the good news: you can change what you do recognize. Success starts with self-awareness and action. So if you saw yourself in any of these eleven things, then make some changes today.

Cheers! To your success!

Featured photo credit: Pic Jumbo via picjumbo.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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