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8 Simple Ways We Don’t Realize We’re Holding Ourselves Back From Success

8 Simple Ways We Don’t Realize We’re Holding Ourselves Back From Success

In an increasingly fast-paced world, there’s more pressure than ever to be your most successful self. While many of us think we are doing all we can to get there, there are several things holding us back that are easy to miss. Whether it’s bad habits, flaws in our thinking, or lack of bravery, it’s easy to get comfortable with where you are and forget where you’re trying to go. Whether you’re pursuing new professional heights or a well-rounded, emotional view of success, avoiding these pitfalls can make all the difference in your road to success.

1. Overthinking holds us back.

One of the more common ways to keep yourself from success is by hesitating instead of acting. One fundamental rule of business states that if you have imagined a solution or product, it’s likely that someone, somewhere in the world, is working on the same thing. In order to be truly successful in your line of work, it’s important to jump in as soon as you have a good idea.

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2. Fear is our worst enemy.

Another way we shortchange ourselves out of success is by being afraid to follow our ambitions. Whether coworkers, the task at hand, or personal insecurities are at the heart of our anxieties, it’s important to recognize when you are afraid for no good reason. Fear of the unknown can prevent you from taking the leap of faith you need to catapult yourself to real success.

3. Procrastination is self-sabotage.

Another way we sabotage our own success is by procrastinating the crucial tasks in our lives. Procratination is a bad habit that’s easy to sink into. It’s easy to get carried away with day-to-day errands that take time away from commitments that are more important. Avoid getting caught in a vortex of email, spending too much time cleaning, and being overly social, if you really want to find your road to success.

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4. Those who self-obsess miss out on great oppurtunities.

Just as important as avoiding being overly social, is making sure you are not overly self-obsessed. By not being dedicated to your friends, or being disingenuine with your coworkers, you may lose connections that may have otherwise helped your career. Professional networking is important, but some of our best opportunities sometimes come from our personal social circles. Try and avoid being to self-obsessed, and be genuine with your social circles so they know you will be there for them professionally, as well as personally.

5. Busyness is not the same thing as success.

Another all too common way to take time away from working toward success, is to mistake busywork for important work. Avoid over cluttering your life with errands in order to make time for the unexpected problems and commitments you’ll need to tackle on your way to personal and professional success.

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6. You know what’s best for you.

Another way to cheat yourself out of success is to be overly cautious and avoid going with your gut. Following the rulebook is important in any professional setting, but real rewards await those who are creative and innovative. Following your gut may be scary or unconventional, but ultimately will be the most rewarding path.

7. If we only accept perfection, we can’t appreciate what we already have.

Another simple way that we are unaware of standing in the way of our own success, is by failing to value our accomplishments. Being overly concerned with perfection, or undervaluing the progress we’ve made so far, gives yourself less credit than you deserve. By failing to see what we’ve already done, we may find ourselves with a lower self-esteem, or lower confidence, and may be less willing to go after challenges in the future.

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8. Hesitating is the death of initiative.

Finally one of the most important things to make yourself successful is to take initiative. In a world of ever-increasing connectivity, learning new skills only takes a click of a button. Take initiative to go after the skills you need in order to take the next step in your life. If you jump at the opportunities you have now, you will find that success is soon much closer.

Featured photo credit: hotblack via morguefile.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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