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These 5 Things Hold You Back From Success

These 5 Things Hold You Back From Success

So you want to let go of some of the stuff that is holding you back from success?

You can and will make the changes you need to make–and it can be easier than you think.

As a life coach, there is one thing I know for sure: success is relative.  Everything is relative.  We all have different rules and meaning for feeling particular ways.  We must know what our definitions of success are, and we must know key behaviors and points of focus to avoid.

Here is what to let go of if you want to feel better, look better and have a more successful life (in all areas).

1.  Let go of the need to be “right” and get perspective.

I see over and over that the need to be right often destroys relationships and happiness.

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Everyone has a perspective.  You will be surprised that a little validation of someone’s feelings and point of view will take you a long way.

You will feel more supported, loved and have an easier flow in your relationships if you simply let go of the need to be right all the time.

2.  Let go of routine and bring in variety.

Believe it or not, one common pattern that holds people back is routine.

Building good habits can be very productive.  But in life, nothing is constant.  Nothing is permanent.  You must be able to move and go with the flow.  Build that muscle.  It will make you stronger.

The more you get used to variety and become more agile in your nature, the more you can move with the challenges of life.  Trust me, they will come.  Let go of the need to do the same routine and change it up.

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3.  Let go of anger and move through it.

We all pretty much know this one.  Anger leads to illness and it destroys lives.  But anger has a million different faces.

Anger creates separation between you and others.  It also creates separation within yourself.

I know how anger feels and it is not easy to switch off.  You can’t fight anger.  You have to dance with it.  You have to face it and work with it.  Anger can be hidden and show up as passive aggressive behavior, and it can also come out as rage.

One simple rule when it comes to letting go of anger:

When you experience anger, face it and, let it show you what the real message is.  There is something there.  You may not want to see it, but it is a process of awareness and when you move through it, the reward is worth it!

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4.  Let go of that heavy baggage and embrace the present moment.

We only really have what is in front of us now.  The funny thing is that we are pretty much always playing this movie in our minds that has nothing to do with the moment we are in.

We are remembering past memories, fears, creating stories that haven’t even happened yet, and we are somewhere else in our minds most of the time.

You can spend your whole life trying to get rid of baggage.

Or, you can simply bring it back to the moment, every moment.  It’s as simple as that.  Focus on what is in front of you–what is really happening and what you really want in this moment.  Right now.

5.  Let go of resistance and focus on what you want.

Actually, the reality is that there is no way to eliminate stress.  Stress will always be here.  Everyone will experience stress.  The whole world is trying to figure out how to eliminate it and it is a part of life!

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What I really am suggesting here is similar to my point above about baggage.  Let go of that need to hold on to all the “stuff.”

I coach my clients who are under major life stress to first accept, then to strategize and then to take action.  The main thing to let go of here is resistance that you are creating against the thing that you don’t want.

When you experience stress—any stress—what that is really telling you is that you want to move against or away from something.

So start to focus on what you do want.  Bring in the details, the feelings and what you would do if you got it.  Change focus.  If you are stressed about a relationship or a deadline at work, ask yourself what you do want and immediately focus on that.

We are all currently in a process.  Embrace it.  It is for your highest good.  Anything you face— the good, the bad and the ugly are teaching you to be a better, more loving and ultimately more accepting person.

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One last point:  There is nothing wrong with you.  Think about all the lessons you have learned in your life.  Some were hard, some came easy and some will take your whole life to learn.  Let go of the judgments you place on other people as they are learning these life lessons—and most importantly the judgment you place on yourself.

I help my coaching clients overcome major life challenges and almost always end up coming back to self-acceptance, self-love and self-connection.  If you are reading this, you are on the right track.  Keep going and let me know how it goes.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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