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Human Speed Humps

Human Speed Humps

    The External Saboteur

    Something’s bugging me today. In fact this something has bugged me for a while but the last few weeks it has become increasingly obvious to me that virtually all of us face similar challenges in one area of the creating-our-best-life process; support, encouragement and understanding from others. Or the lack thereof. You’ve heard me speak many times about the internal saboteur and our propensity to get in our own way (we all do that), well today I want to talk about the external saboteur; people who (for a range of reasons) aren’t really happy to see you succeed, achieve your goals, realise your potential or live your dreams. I could spend an hour or two telling you why they do this (jealousy, resentment, immaturity, revenge, insecurity, thoughtlessness, selfishness, stupidity), but I’d like to focus on a solution for you, rather than explore their motives and mindset.

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    How Dare You Succeed

    You and I both know these people. Sometimes we live with these people. Work with these people. Socialize with these people. Care for these people. Even marry these people (shock, horror). Sometimes he/she is the last person anyone would suspect of standing between you and your dreams. Your ambition and drive bothers them because somehow they have created an association (in their mind) between your success and some kind of negative outcome or effect in their world. They say they care about you (and maybe on a level they do) but in truth, your happiness and success come a distant second to their needs and wants.

    Human Speed Humps

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    You might be amazed at the number of people who become quite emotional (bawl their eyes out) when I talk with them simply because I show them more support, encouragement and belief in one hour than their family or close friends (I use that term loosely) have shown them in a lifetime. These external saboteurs are human speed humps determined to slow you down, if not, bring you to a grinding halt. They are not the reason we fail but if we don’t deal with them in a practical, realistic and possibly blunt manner, then we are letting them steer our ship, shape our reality and limit our potential.

    Some thoughts…

      1. Get them out of your life. Obviously this is not always possible, desirable, necessary or practical, however there comes a time, in some situations, with some relationships and some people, where the best option is to remove them from your day to day life. I know you know what I mean by this because we’ve all had that person in our life. I have walked away from several relationships over the years because I believed that’s what would be best for me in the long term. And it was. If people aren’t happy for you to succeed, then they ain’t your friend and you don’t need or want them in your world. If you want to know what (some) people really think, ignore ninety percent of what they say and watch one hundred percent of what they do.

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      2. Spend limited time with them. Obviously there are certain people who will (probably) always be in our life (family for example) but sadly, they are also often the people who potentially stand between where we are now, and where we want to be (if we let them have that power). Some parents (not mine) have never told their children how talented, creative, clever, capable, valued or loved they are. They have never encouraged or supported them because they want to retain power and control in that very lop-sided, unhealthy relationship. I know forty year-olds who are still seeking parental approval and still handing over their power to dear old mum (mom) and dad. Tragic.

      3. Tell them what you feel. Sometimes a simple and honest discussion will change a situation or a relationship almost instantly. Give the person clear, specific, relevant and meaningful feedback. Don’t be vague, general or fluffy. Tell them exactly what you’re feeling and why. A little short-term pain for some long-term gain

        . If you don’t take charge of your life, someone else will.

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        4. Get some balls. Not literally of course. Sometimes we simply need to stand up for ourselves and stop being the victim, the doormat, the scapegoat, the people pleaser and the personal slave. Make some decisions about your personal rules, values and standards and then build your best life around those. Stop compromising and start living.

        5. Be (very) selective about who you share your dreams with. For all of my adult life I have been a highly motivated, driven and ambitious person. By choice. Not particularly gifted but always striving to get the most out of my body, my career, my relationships and my potential; to maximize what I have. Several experiences early on taught me not to be overly enthusiastic about sharing my life goals and dreams with too many people. I learned to be selective and discerning about who I share my dreams with. When I established my first commercial business as a twenty four year-old with zero business experience and minimal skills, I encountered far more resentment, resistance and criticism than I ever did support or encouragement. The people who were genuinely and unconditionally happy for me to succeed were few and far between. By the way, this is not a woe-is-me story, but rather an honest account of my experience and I am not alone with a story like this. I have a few select people in my world, who will encourage and support me when it’s warranted and kick me in the ass when necessary. And I need both. I trust them, appreciate them and value their input in my life.

        So instead of slowing down for the speed humps or going around them today, perhaps it’s time for you to change down a gear, hit the gas and drive straight over them.

        Works for me.

        More by this author

        Craig Harper

        Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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        Published on July 15, 2019

        10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

        10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

        Habits are an important part of the direction you take your life, and — as I’ll share with you shortly — there are certain daily habits you can adopt right away that are guaranteed to improve your life.

        Think back to when you were just six or seven years old…

        At that age you probably didn’t have many habits. But, as the years went by, you picked up more and more good and bad habits.

        You may not have thought about it before, but habit forming never really stops.

        That’s why it’s never too late to change your habits and transform your life.

        So, if you feel burdened by your bad habits, start kicking them into shape by replacing them with these 10 positive, life-changing strategies:

        1. Go to Bed a Little Earlier and Wake up Earlier 

        Starting tonight, get yourself to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. And, then make sure you get up tomorrow morning 30 minutes earlier, too. This small change can have a BIG impact on your day. 

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        Instead of furiously rushing in the morning to get ready for work, the extra time will give you a golden opportunity to start your day off on the right note. You can drink a smoothie while sitting on your porch, spend 10 minutes exercising and stretching, and still have time to read a few pages of an inspiring book.

        2. Be Grateful for the Good Things in Your Life 

        Setbacks and obstacles are inevitable in life. But, with a positive mindset, you’ll be able to overcome most of these. And, when you do, you’ll boost your self-confidence. 

        This is something you can definitely be grateful for. 

        However, if worst-case scenarios are playing out in your life, then sometimes, to stay strong, you’ll need to keep your mind on the good things that are happening to you. For example, your relationship with your partner might be crumbling, but your career is continuously getting stronger. It’d be easy to feel downtrodden and miserable about your relationship problems —  but, it would be much healthier to keep your mind and gratitude on these things that are going well, such as your career.

        3. Drink Water All Day Every Day 

        I’m sure you’ve heard the advice of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but are you following that advice? If not, you’re robbing your body and mind of essential hydration. 

        With the right amount of water intake a day, you’ll be amazed how good you feel — and how good you look!

        4. Take 15 Minutes to Set Goals for the Day, and Then Tackle Them One by One 

        This strategy will put your life into a new stratosphere! And, it’s very simple to do. 

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        Simply spend 15 minutes in the morning (either at home or at work) planning what you need and want to achieve during the rest of the day. Once you’ve listed your tasks, the next step is to put them into order of priority. 

        For instance, you have three things to do: catch up with your emails, write a project update, and prepare a briefing for your CEO. It’s best if you put these in order of importance. In this example, your emails can probably wait until you’ve created your CEO brief and updated your project documentation.

        5. Turn Off Your Cell Phone (or Put it on Airplane Mode) When You’re Focusing 

        A 2012 study found that even looking at a cell phone or feeling it vibrate in your pocket can significantly distract focus and reduce your ability to complete complex tasks.[1]

        It’s no surprise really, as our thoughts are subconsciously drawn towards checking our phones when they’re switched on. It’s a bad habit — but one that most of us have. However, when you need 100% focus (like I do when writing my articles), then switching your phone off, or at least putting it into airplane mode, will free your mind and supercharge your focus. Try it and see!

        6. Walk as Much as You Can 

        Have you noticed that most people’s lives are sedentary? They drive to work, sit in front of a screen all day, then drive home and binge on the latest Netflix series. It’s no wonder there’s a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health issues. 

        Our bodies are made to move — so we should move them! This can be as simple as walking up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator, and going out for a walk around the block at lunchtime. In the evening, instead of arriving home and crashing on the sofa; spend 20 to 30 minutes walking around your block.

        When you make these things a habit, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel. You’ll have less stress — and more energy.

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        7. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

        How often do you stop, think and appreciate the “here and now”? I’m guessing not very often. But, I understand why. Modern life is demanding and fast-paced. There’s precious little time to appreciate the small things. 

        But, if you want to live a healthy and happy life, you must break out of this trap. You can do this by allocating 15 to 30 minutes each day for mindful meditation. This could be in a park, in your garden, or even in your lounge. The trick is to focus 100% on your surroundings. 

        For example, if you’re outside, watch how the leaves on the trees blow around in the wind. By keeping your focus on this movement, you’ll clear your mind from your usual stresses and strains. This will give you brain a much-needed break. And, as well as improving your mental health; you’ll find your creativity gets a boost, too.

        8. Ask for Help When You Need It 

        No one can know or do everything. Which is why you shouldn’t be embarrassed to delegate tasks to others when needed, ask questions when you don’t have the answers, and work with partners and colleagues to clarify intentions. 

        When I first set up Lifehack, I tried to do everything myself: blog writing, website creation, marketing, financial planning, etc. However, I quickly learned that it was much better to hire some help. Not only did this inject some fresh ideas and inspiration into Lifehack — it also made the whole operation way more enjoyable!

        9. Practice Self Care 

        Are you looking after yourself as well as you should? If not, then take steps to improve your diet, exercise more, and to speak to yourself with encouraging words and thoughts. 

        The latter suggestion is often overlooked. But how you speak to yourself determines how you feel, what you believe, and what you achieve.

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        10. Embrace Learning 

        You cannot transform your life without learning something new. That’s because the process of change forces you to adapt. But, many people stop learning as they get older, as they find the learning process boring and bothersome. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It can be fun and rewarding. 

        Whether you decide to learn to play guitar or study the basics of accounting — embrace learning, and begin changing your world for the better.

        I’m sure you’ll agree that these 10 strategies are simple enough for you to start putting them into action in your life. (I suggest you begin today!) 

        Nevertheless, you’ll probably need to use some extra willpower for the first 30 days or so, as this is the typical length of time it takes to create a new habit. After that, these strategies will be part of your day-to-day life, and you won’t need to think about having to do them. In other words, they’ll have become habitual actions.

        If you need any further encouragement to get started with the 10 strategies, then consider this:

        Even just adopting one of the strategies can turn the tide in your favor. But, when you implement all 10, you’ll create an unstoppable trend towards success, health and happiness.

        So start making your life better — today!

        Featured photo credit: Javier Garcia via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Deborah R. Tindell and Robert W. Bohlander, Wilkes University: The Use and Abuse of Cell Phones and Text Messaging in the Classroom: A Survey of College Students

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