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9 Reasons You Never Get What You Want

9 Reasons You Never Get What You Want

Welcome to the leading edge!

First of all, let me congratulate you. By asking the question, “Why do I never get what I want?” you have already started moving toward everything you want. You are challenging the cultural premise that says, “I don’t deserve it,” or “I should be content with the mediocre life that I have,” or “only smart/rich/genius people deserve that stuff.” You should have everything you want! You should feel good! You do deserve good things! And you have acknowledged that what you’ve been doing so far isn’t working, which means that you are open to suggestions about what will work. This puts you ahead of at least 75% of the human population. Welcome to the leading edge!

Nine Reasons That You Don’t Get What You Want

1. You’re satisfied with mediocrity.

We all receive messages from many sources: parents, friends, churches, movies, TV shows, the news… messages that tell us we should be nice, well-behaved consumers who are satisfied with mediocrity and don’t try to stray too far from it. But this doesn’t mean that YOU have to be satisfied with mediocrity. If you have a few minutes, take the time to watch this video by Randy Gage, in which he points out the

“mind viruses” that are fed to you by movies.

2. You say “I can’t.”

These two words, and their cousins “I have to,” should be eliminated from all languages everywhere. These are loser words. Victim words. As soon as you think or say “I can’t,” before you’ve even gotten to “because,”  you’ve already given all of your power away, and the more words you put after “because,” the faster your power is fleeing from you.

Replace “I can’t” with “I could if I wanted to.” Replace “I have to” with “I am doing this because…”

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If those replacements don’t work for you, there are plenty of other words to choose from. According to the Global Language Monitor, as of January 1, 2014, there were 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. Have fun. But don’t say “I can’t” or “I have to,” ever again. Period.

3. You complain about never getting what you want.

Every time we want something, we are also keenly aware of its absence. As Abraham says in this short video, “Every subject is really two subjects.” There is the problem, which is the lack of what you want. For instance, the lack of money —  and there is the solution, which is what you want — more money.

Instead of joining in your friends’ conversations about being poor, lonely, fat or sick, excuse yourself and go daydream for five minutes. What would it be like to be rich? What kind of car would you drive? What kind of house would you live in? What would it be like to be in a great relationship? What would you do together? What would you talk about? If you had a perfect body, what would you wear? How would other people respond to you? What would your perfect job feel like?

4. You hate rich / skinny / successful / healthy / happy / attractive people.

Jealousy is a colossal waste of time and energy. Worse, it keeps you from getting what you want, because if you get rich, a great-looking body, or a relationship that curls your toes… you’re going to look a whole lot like the very people you hate. And then what are you going to do, hate yourself? That’s pretty messed up!

Instead of hating these people, study them! They’ve figured out how to get what you want! If you can figure out how they got it, and you do the same thing, then you can have it, too. They’re giving you a gift foolish not to accept.

“When the success of another makes your heart sing, your resistance is gone, and your own success soars.”
— Abraham Hicks

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5. You only talk about it / haven’t actually done anything about it / think reading about it is enough.

Don’t get me wrong; dreaming, reading, talking (to the right people) is great! All of these actions make you feel super inspired, and this place of inspiration is the best platform from which to launch inspired, productive action.

If you’ve found a perfect diet, a perfect fitness routine, a perfect person, a perfect job, a perfect business opportunity, act! You may never get this opportunity again! Don’t wait until Sunday because it’s a new week. Throw caution to the winds, and take that first step. If you’re hesitating, what’s holding you back? Is it that…

6. You worry about what others think.

If you decide that you’re going to do whatever it takes to fulfill your dreams, sooner or later you’re going to start looking and acting like those rich, skinny, successful people that people hate. And guess what? This means that some people are going to start hating YOU, and some of these people are going to be friends, family and other people you love and care about. Let’s take a minute to truly look at this one, because I have a feeling that it is behind a lot of hesitation for many people.

Your loved ones probably don’t mean you any harm, but some of them may — consciously or unconsciously — try to sabotage you, to keep you down on their level, to make sure they don’t lose connection with you. They might ridicule your moneymaking ideas or your new boyfriend or girlfriend, or bring you doughnuts while you’re on your new diet, or try to talk you into going to the bar instead of going to the gym.

At some point, if you find their antics too distracting, you may have to make a difficult choice. Do you want to give up your dreams, say “I’m sorry,” and stuff yourself back into your old mediocre box to keep them happy? Or do you want to risk alienating them to fulfill your dreams?

You might be tempted to try to bring them up to your level, to talk them into joining you on your journey toward success. I did this for a long time. But unless they want to join you, your attempts to drag them along are going to fail, and in the process, you’ll end up exhausted.

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The good news is, as you become more successful, you will find out who your real friends are, and you’ll attract new friends who support you. These friends will be ecstatic when you tell them that you’ve made your first million dollars, or that you’ve achieved 10% body fat and look fantastic, or that you are completely healed from your disease and have started running again, or that you have found your soul mate and are blissfully in love. These people are keepers.

7. You’re afraid to suck.

This goes back to being worried about what other people think. Remember, everyone was a beginner: Olympic athletes, top-notch musicians, even you. Remember your first day at work? That deer-in-the-headlights feeling? Remember how many mistakes you made? But you didn’t remain a beginner, did you? You got better at what you were doing.

Babies aren’t born with ripped, perfect bodies, fabulous relationships, or checking accounts full of dollars. Self-made millionaires, entrepreneurs, musicians, bodybuilders, married people — everyone had to start from ground zero. And in the beginning, everyone sucked. They started businesses that folded. They tried diets and training programs that didn’t work. They got involved in horrible relationships. Thomas Edison “failed” 10,000 times before he came up with a light bulb that worked. If you try something and it doesn’t work, try something different. But don’t give up your dream.

“Every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
— Napoleon Hill, Think And Grow Rich.

8. You think getting what you want happens overnight.

Do you know what happens to most people who win the lottery or lose lots of weight in a short period of time? They spend all of the money, they put the weight back on, and they wind up back — or worse off than — where they started. Being an overnight success is like being plunged into the deep end of a pool without learning how to swim first. It’s why people like Susan Boyle and Justin Bieber had such a tough time adjusting to becoming overnight sensations; it was too much, too fast. They didn’t get to be beginners.

In most cases, it takes 1 to 2 years for an average person build a ripped body, unless he or she puts in exceptional effort. It takes from 2-5 years for a new business to start turning a profit; more than that to actually generate enough income to live on. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for our bodies to adjust to a new shape, and it takes time for our minds to adjust to a new way of thinking.

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Once you’ve decided that nothing is more important than your dreams, don’t give up. Stick with it. The payoff will be the manifestation of your dreams, your ability to inspire others to manifest theirs, and, believe it or not, taking the whole human species with you to the next level. You can do it.

9. You decide it’s too hard and quit before you get what you want.

There’s no doubt about it; manifesting your dreams can take a lot of hard work. Whether your dream is starting a business, being in a long-term relationship, having a great-looking, great-feeling body, or changing your outlook on life, sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get there.

When you’re working 60 or more hours a week on your new business and are slowly falling behind on the bills; when you’re exhausted from a late night and the last thing you want to do is get up early and work out; when you and your new partner are fighting again about the same dumb thing you fought about the last time, remember: you aren’t just sacrificing; you’re investing. Just like an investor, you’re setting aside your mental and emotional capital in order to gain wonderful things in the long term. Just hang in there.

Featured photo credit: Freedom/Kathryn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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