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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 April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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