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5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Success (And Don’t Know It)

5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Success (And Don’t Know It)

Success is the end-goal du jour. We’re all striving, climbing, achieving our way to success. We’re working hard to achieve the lives we’ve always dreamed of. But success always seems just out of arm’s reach. No matter how far we climb, we never seem to be able to catch success. It’s always just around the bend or at the next milestone–five more clients, 50,000 more dollars, one big newspaper article. It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. And it’s just plain inefficient.

Success has always been right in front of you, just waiting to be taken. You’ve just been sabotaging yourself to stop you from getting there. Here are five ways that you’re sabotaging your success (and just don’t know it).

1. Always striving for more.

There’s never enough. We always need to fill the bucket higher. We want more money, more fame, more clients, more partnerships–just more of everything. Because we feel like we’ll be successful once we hit a certain metric. And then we hit that metric and still don’t feel successful, so we extend it just a bit further. The truth is that you have to decide when you’ll give yourself permission to be successful and enjoy. There will always be more that you could do. There will always be more success to achieve. But when are you going to let yourself enjoy the success that you have right now?

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2. Trying to be prepared.

We work our butts off to make sure everything is ready before we take a step forward. We edit and re-edit, we hesitate, we doubt our abilities. We stop ourselves from doing anything because we’re afraid that it might not be perfect. We’re a culture of perfectionists. We don’t want anybody to see our vulnerabilities because that will show just how not good enough we are.

But nobody who’s ever changed the world started by feeling ready. They’ve just done it. They’ve gone forward and taken a step and learned along the way.

Self trust is the most important skill you can have to be successful. If you’re waiting until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting a long time to let yourself accomplish your dreams. Nobody is ever ready. It’s about digging deep, trusting yourself, and jumping off the cliff, anyway.

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3. Putting a limit on your worth.

Early on in life, we sized ourselves up and decided just about what we think we’re worth–how much love we should receive, how much money we should make, how much abuse we have to put up with. Any time we start to creep above that line, we shoot ourselves back down. Because we don’t feel like we deserve more than we’re worth.

If you are having issues raising your rates, asking for a raise, or just applying to that dream job, take a look at what you think you’re worth. Why are you afraid to raise that limit? Why don’t you think you deserve more than you’re getting?

It may seem outside of us, but the truth is that we’re the ones who decide our own worth, and then we tell the world what we’re willing to settle for. Don’t settle for anything because you’re worth way more than that.

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4. Misunderstanding failure.

The number one fear holding people back from success is the fear of failure. We’re all terrified that we’re going to fail. But who is the judge of failure? If I trip while I’m walking, did I just fail at walking? If I get fired from my job, did I just fail at business?

We’re the only judge of our failures. We can choose to see them as failures, or we can choose to see them as minor setbacks. We have the ability to keep getting back up when we fall down and learn new ways to do things. Failure is only what you decide it is. And, if you’re not ready to throw in the towel and fail, then you might as well take the lesson and try something new.

5. Waiting until you get “there.”

There is this magical place that we’re all trying to get to. All the time, I hear from clients, “When I get there, I won’t have to work so hard” or “When I get there, I’ll raise my rates.”

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The truth is that there is just an arbitrary milestone. We don’t need anyone’s permission to be as successful as we want to be. All we need is to decide today that we’re going to do what we want. Maybe we want to take off half the day and get a massage. Or maybe we want to raise our rates because we think we’re worth it. Or, better yet, we might just want to take a vacation.

We have the ability to do anything we want with our lives. We don’t need to wait for someone to tell us it’s okay. We don’t need to wait for a certain milestone to give ourselves permission. We can choose to be successful right now.

It has more to do with how much success you can allow into your life and less to do with how much you can achieve. If you want to be successful, commit to doing it right now. Do things before you’re ready, try and fail at everything, know how much you’re worth, and allow yourself to be successful today.

The only person who’s been sabotaging your success is you. And it’s time to change that. Because you deserve it.

Featured photo credit: Carbon NYC via flickr.com

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Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele is an author, wellness coach, and clinical herbalist who specializes in helping people define and create success on their own terms.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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