Advertising
Advertising

4 Ways That You’ll Ensure Failure

4 Ways That You’ll Ensure Failure

Are you sometimes left feeling completely lost as to why your life isn’t the way you always envisioned it to be? We all feel this way from time to time. Many people really want a better life, but they just don’t know how to achieve it, and we all want to be successful in life, whatever success means to each person.  Unfortunately, only a few people actually change their dreams into their reality. What stops you from achieving all that you desire? What separates those successful individuals from those who could have been successful?

For many people, success is the elusive goal. 80% of the reason why you may not be achieving your goals is most likely due to internal factors; you’re blind to these barriers, and they may be holding you back from obtaining what you want. There are many habits for success which you can develop, and there are many reasons why you might not be achieving success as well. Below are 4 common ways that you might be sabotaging your success without even knowing it.

1. “I’ll get back to that later.”

How many of your daily actions are proactive and reactive? When you hear about the successes of others, you normally don’t read about everything that happened before that moment. If you do, however, you will find that 99% of those individuals took aggressive action each day to close the gap between where they were and where they wanted to be.You must stay focused and direct all of your efforts and actions towards your ideal outcome.  Doing something halfheartedly will bring you half the results.

Advertising

It is common to want to give in to activities that give you momentary gratification, but don’t be ignorant to the fact that they are distracting you from your focused objective. If you want to be successful, you must put results before comfort, and prepare to go that extra mile and make more effort. If you have a goal, take action every day to get you closer to achieving them. Did you know that one of the main reasons individuals don’t obtain what they want is because they get distracted and don’t stay focused? It is your choice whether you want to be committed and focused on achieving your goals or not—it’s that simple.

“You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.” — Tom Kite.

2. “I’m too scared I will…”

If you don’t take risks in life, you will never achieve all you can. You might avoid certain situations, or perhaps you procrastinate with certain tasks or back away from opportunities without even realizing it. You can achieve what you desire in life, and the only limits you have are the ones that you set for yourself. Everyone is scared, but the difference is whether you allow fear to stop you from living your dreams.

Advertising

You must get out of your comfort zone and do different things if you want different results, so start to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.  Fear is natural; being ambitious is not about being fearless—we will always have fears at different stages—but rather simply learn how to get over your fears. Did you know that resisting fear actually strengthens it?

“Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

3. “I quit”

Similar to not moving forward because of fear is giving up because of obstacles and hurdles. At every stage of your personal and working life, you will face different challenges; the key is to not give up, but instead look for another route if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted. Do you really think that you can achieve all you want effortlessly and easily? You will have to overcome challenges along the way, deal with difficulties, and if you can get through that, success will be yours.

Advertising

Do you find yourself saying something along the lines of “I tried to but I couldn’t  or “I couldn’t because he/she…” and “What is the point? It will never work out”?  If you give up every time you face an obstacle, you will never achieve greatness.  Did you know that there are countless cases of individuals who gave up just before achieving success? Perseverance is a key characteristic in all successful individuals.

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.” – Unknown

4. “I want it now!”

It is hard not to get impatient when you feel like you are trying and trying but not seeing results, but being patient is an essential principle for success. Take one step at a time, but take consistent steps and over time you are sure to reach your goals. Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight; you must be firmly committed to achieving what you desire. If you tend to give up easily, it will be a challenge for you to succeed, but it is important to give yourself time, granted you are taking the right action!

Advertising

When you plant a seed, you don’t constantly dig it up to check that it is growing; you trust that a stem will soon appear. Your attitude towards results should be similar—keep going and always remind yourself of the end goal, the purpose for your actions. Did you know that patience is the difference between success or failure?

“Patience is a necessary ingredient of success” – Benjamin Disraeli

Remember to stay focused, be courageous, patient and don’t give up—success will be yours!

What are your obstacles to success? Do you know what you do that holds you back from success?  

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks That Will 10x Your Productivity The First Thing All Amazing Startups Work on for a Refreshing Beginning 5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

Trending in Communication

1 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 2 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 3 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 4 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need 5 What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

Advertising

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Advertising

1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

Advertising

5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

Advertising

If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next