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5 Ways to Overcome Success Barriers

5 Ways to Overcome Success Barriers

Success would be something easy to achieve, if it weren’t for success barriers. You see something, you go for it, and you get it.

The trouble is that, in reality, there are habitually walls in front of you that prevent you from reaching what you want. And in order to reach it, you need to find a way to go over, around, under, or through these walls.

Fortunately, most of these walls can be surmounted. It’s not always easy, but it’s almost always possible. I’d like to show the 5 most important strategies I know, drawing from my experience as a coach, to overcome success barriers.

1. Decide What Success Means For You

Everybody wants success. But success means different things for different people. For some, success means making a lot of money, for others it means having great relationships with great people, and for others it means enjoying a life of freedom.

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If you’re not clear on what success means for you, you’re going to chase a vague, undefined version of success, which constitutes a major barrier in achieving it. It’s like chasing a ghost. You’re never going to catch it.

This is why, first and foremost, you want to seriously think what success signifies for you. Decide what your personal definition of success is. Only once you’ve decided this can you start seeking your version of success.

2. Detach Emotionally

When something prevents us from getting what we want, we typically become frustrated, fearful, or sad. And under the veil of these strong negative emotions, we try to decide how to overcome the obstacles in front of us.

The problem is that almost without exception, these negative emotions will prevent us from assessing the situation rationally, seeing the best solutions, and making wise decisions. So we are unlikely to surpass the obstacles.

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For this reason, it’s critical to try and detach emotionally before trying to find a solution to your problem. Sometimes this can be as easy as taking a few deep breaths, other times it may require a little time out to let those negative emotions subside, and other times it may involve soothing yourself with positive self-talk. Options are always there.

3. Look at the Barrier as an Outsider

This is a great way to see your problem in a fresh way and find good solutions for solving it. Imagine that the goal you want to reach is not yours — it’s someone else’s. And the obstacle that prevents reaching it is theirs as well.

You’re just an outsider looking at another person’s issue. And as an outsider, you have a penchant for problem solving, so you analyze this person’s issue and try to see what would be, from your perspective, some good solutions for it.

Give this strategy a try in dealing with obstacles you face. It’s like seeing your situation with new eyes, and often you’ll be amazed at the resolutions you’ll see with these new eyes.

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4. Inform Yourself

The people who are best at overcoming success obstacles are very well informed. They have a good comprehension of the situation and the obstacle, so it’s easy for them to see appropriate ways to surpass it.

For example, if a marketer runs into problems in promoting a product, provided that he has a lot of practical marketing knowledge, he’ll quickly realize why the product promotion is not going well and what he can do to fix this.

A marketer with little knowledge in this area, on the other hand, will have no clue why things don’t go the way he wants them to go or what to do about it.

Don’t be this second person. Be the first one. How? By constantly learning, especially in the areas where you want to achieve performance, and keeping yourself very well informed. Knowledge truly is power, as long as it’s practical knowledge.

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5. Keep Trying

Persistence is not flashy or glamorous, but it’s an extremely valuable attitude. I find that many people don’t overcome obstacles because they only try one or two ways to overcome it, and if these don’t work, they give up.

Unfortunately, especially when dealing with new problems, it’s quite possible that the first solution you’ll try will not work very well. In order to overcome the obstacle, you’ll need to try several solutions, and move from one to another based on the results you get.

You’ll eventually find the optimal solution and you’ll also have learned a lot from the labor of getting to it. But you have to be persistent. You have to keep trying instead of giving up.

If a solution doesn’t solve your problem, look at the problem again, try to understand why that solution did not work, and find another one. Persistence is key to success.

It’s worth saying again that whatever barriers stand in front of you achieving success, it’s almost certain that you can overcome them. The trick is to apply a few smart and effective strategies. With clarity, detachment, learning, and persistence, you can go a very long way in a very short time.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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