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10 Lies We Have Told Ourselves that Held Us Back From Success

10 Lies We Have Told Ourselves that Held Us Back From Success

Are you holding yourself back from success? Many people struggle to reach their full potential because they are scared of failing. People often tell little lies to themselves, but these lies could be destructively affecting your life. It is important to get rid of negative thoughts so you can reach your full potential.

Here are 10 common lies we tell ourselves which hold us back from success.

1. “This has been a really hard day. Why am I even doing this?”

Successful people always remember to look at the bigger picture. Knowing you are working towards something great gives you emotional strength, and will also encourage you to work harder. Instead of worrying about how hard your day has been, write down one thing you have done recently that has moved you a step closer to your dreams. The road to achieving your goals is filled with highs and lows, and if your goals require hard work, it probably means you will feel even better when you have achieved them.

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2. “I’ve done everything I can.”

If you believe there is the possibility you could have done a little more work for amazing results, then push yourself to do that work. You may have done the task, but make your work memorable by making it excellent. Go back to the work and consider what tweaks you could make so that your work is phenomenal. It’s better to work harder for a while than to regret that you haven’t given it everything you have in the first place.

3. “This situation makes me feel miserable, but I don’t have a say in the matter.”

Whether the situation is a relationship or a job, there is a reason it is making you feel miserable. While it can be difficult to push forward and move on, remember that you won’t get different results and achieve success without making a change. Find out if there is something you can do to improve your situation but also realize that sometimes it’s time to make a change. So instead of clinging to what makes you miserable, keep your eyes open for a change that will actually bring you the success you hoped for.

4. “I don’t know how to start.”

If someone extremely successful didn’t know how to start, they would attempt to teach themselves. Try not to let a lack of self-confidence stop you from achieving your goals. Instead of declaring that you don’t know, think of ways you could find out. It is likely you could ask someone, or use the internet to find out. Take a deep breath and try your best.

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5. “I don’t have any money.”

If you have money in your bank account, you do have money – you just may not be investing it wisely. Your money is only your responsibility, so before you buy something, try asking yourself this; “Will I regret spending this money in this way in a year?” Always make sure that you use your resources to push yourself forward and not to drag you back.

6. “I’ve been offered a great opportunity, but I would have to put in too much effort.”

If you wish to achieve success in both your personal and professional life, never choose short-term comfort over a long-term reward. If you wish to be successful, it is important to be willing to work hard, so you can reap the rewards. Seize any great opportunities that pass you by, and put in the work. Push yourself forward by knowing that once the hard work is over, you will feel extremely accomplished.

7. “I’m too tired right now.”

Try not to give yourself excuses when it comes to anything important. If you are physically too tired to do a task, you can do it when you wake up. There isn’t anything wrong with putting in a few extra hours of work – in the long run, it will probably benefit you more than your boss. If you are regularly too tired, adjust your sleeping pattern, so you can get the maximum amount of productivity out of your day.

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8. “I seriously doubt I can do this on my own.”

For most great achievements, someone had to do it by themselves first. Give yourself the chance to fail – or be extremely successful. Try not to worry and throw yourself into the task; you could impress yourself. After all, you are the only person you can really count on. Don’t let yourself down!

9. “Trying to make sure everyone is happy with me is very important.”

Many people naturally try to please everyone, but it can be time-consuming and stressful. To achieve success it is important to work hard, but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. Instead live your life trying to please the right people, rather than all of the people.

10. “I’m good, but there are others who are better.”

Thinking this is self-sabotage, and it will hold you back from success. This thought shows a lack of confidence and doesn’t focus on what matters; it isn’t about being as good as others, it is about achieving your personal best. Instead of idolizing others, work on making yourself amazing instead.

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Do you know any other thoughts that could hold you back from success? Comment below and let us know!

Featured photo credit: Lonely man in a forest via shutterstock.com

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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