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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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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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