Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
Your own worst enemy? Obstacles. Hurdles. Barriers. Roadblocks. These are all
common sights along the road to achievement.
If you have ever worked towards a goal that most people
would label as “unrealistic”, then you have undoubtedly faced one challenge
after another. In fact, when you reach the point where you feel like giving up,
that is usually when things get even tougher.
Believe it or not, these external obstacles are actually the
easy part. They are obvious. We can examine them and devise a plan to work
through them or around them. For example, if you want to start a business but
lack the funding, there are a variety of tangible action steps you can take to
resolve your funding issues.
The real barriers to success are the internal roadblocks.
This is where it gets difficult. This is where you battle your own self doubts,
worries and feelings of unworthiness.
You may have the best work ethic in the world. You may have
the strictest discipline and self control. But if your mind is listing all of
the reasons why you shouldn’t have what you truly want, you are fighting a
For many of us, these negative tapes have been playing the
same dis-empowering messages in our minds for years.
In my business, I hire a lot of writers for various projects.
Some of these people have incredible talent. They can weave words together and
communicate a powerful message with ease and grace. But, they spend all of their
time ghost writing or freelancing for other people. Many have never published
their own book.
Why? For one reason or another they don’t believe in
themselves. They don’t think they are ready. They choose to sit on the
sidelines watching other people publish successful work while they maintain the
They are waiting for some defining moment to give themselves
permission to finally publish their own work. The problem is, this moment will
never come as long as they remain blind to their capabilities.
The only way to cross the invisible line from feeling unworthy
to feeling powerful and capable is to change the internal dialog. Instead of
repeating patterns of thought telling you why you can’t do something, you flip
the switch. You spend time every day reprogramming those internal tapes. When
an old dis-empowering message begins to play, you train yourself to switch it to
Slowly but surely you forge
a new path. A new way of thinking. A new internal dialog. Instead of being your
own worst enemy, you become your own cheerleader. It is in that moment that
everything in your life changes.
Your Own Worst Enemy?:
1. Being Realistic May Actually Be Holding You Back
If you want to be certain that you will never face a
challenge or find yourself in a difficult bind, then it is very important to
have tame and realistic goals.
Goals that you know you can achieve with minimal
effort and hardship.
However, if you want to have any degree of excitement and
experience real growth in your life, then you’re going to have to make plans
and set goals that other people will very likely label as unrealistic.
These kind of goals often come with a high degree of risk.
You rarely know how you are going to achieve them until you get started. More often than not, the result you achieve will not be exactly what you set
out to do in the first place.
Many of the famous entertainers, doctors and scientists that
we admire in our society today became well known because they achieved
unrealistic goals. They had the courage to set the goals and the perseverance
to bring them into reality.
Unrealistic goal setters tend to be happier, more positive
people. They have high levels of energy because they thrive on challenge and
love the thrill of achievement.
Setting and pursuing unrealistic goals is not always a walk
in the park. You are going to face resistance.
Many people abandon some of their biggest goals and dreams
after well meaning friends and family talk them out of it. There is a very good
chance that the same thing will happen to you once you start changing your life
and setting big, unrealistic goals. When this happens, it is very important to
look at the source of advice.
If you are being talked out of an exciting idea by someone
who lives a boring, risk-free life, realize that if you choose to accept their
advice and abandon your dream, you are also very likely going to create a
boring risk-free life.
If you want to keep your biggest goals and dreams alive and
build momentum to start putting them into action, seek advice from other
like-minded goal setters and get feedback that encourages you to go for it.
Spend more time hanging around people who are less concerned with risk and
failure and are more interested in living an exciting life.
Once you become an unrealistic goal setter, you will never
Your Own Worst Enemy?:
2. Ride the Momentum Wave
When I think back to my high school days, one of my best
memories is the time I spent in the gym playing basketball. By no means was I
star (actually, I sucked at it!) but I just loved the game and thrived on the competition.
One of the intramural games we used to play involved taking
free throws and seeing how many you could make in a row without missing. It was
the most addicting game ever. I would go home and practice and even fall asleep
thinking about shooting free throws. I wanted to beat my record each time out.
The thrill, excitement and pressure of being on a streak is
powerful. You want to see how far you can go but you also know it can end at
This concept can play a huge role in our lives if we apply
it at new levels. The good news is that in most cases, there is more room for
error than shooting free throws.
If there is an area of your life where you are currently
unhappy with your results, you can use this momentum principle to shift your
Earlier this year I realized that running my business was
becoming so demanding that I was spending all of my time on daily demands and
investing almost no time into my own personal development. I knew this was
hurting me because I thrive on feeding my mind with inspirational and business
I decided to start a new routine of waking up at 6am to get
some quality study time in. This was way outside of my comfort zone. I felt
tired for the first few days and questioned if this was really a good idea. But, I tried it for a few days. A few days turned into a week. After that, I was
feeling great and I wanted to keep the streak going.
Before I knew it I had literally forged a new identity. I
was now the girl who gets up at 6am to get a head start on the rest of the
world. I felt proud of myself. And more importantly, the extra hours I was
investing into training my mind and motivating myself were paying off. My mood
was better, my business was thriving and new ideas were flooding into my mind
all of the time.
The momentum has continued and it is still my routine to
this day. Realize that you are one decision away from starting your own streak.
Make today the day you get started, and tap into the power of momentum.
Your Own Worst Enemy?:
3. A Love/Hate Relationship With Work
Back in my corporate days, I worked for a huge company where
it was easy to become just another face in the crowd. It was your typical
corporate setting where you would find many people who truly hated being there.
There was one lady in particular who’s cubicle I would pass
on a daily basis. Practically every time I walked by, she would be on a social
networking or celebrity gossip website. If managers were in the area, she would
quickly perk up and look busy. When the coast was clear, back she would go to
the time wasting.
I also remember her being negative and miserable a lot of
the time. I actually felt really bad for her.
As someone who dropped out of the corporate life to pursue
something with more meaning for me, I can see with hindsight exactly what was
going on. She hated her position and did not want to be there. But another part
of her believed that she must keep this job because there was no other option.
Thinking back, I’m sure she wasn’t a lazy person by nature
and I bet she had hobbies or other interests outside of work that made her feel
alive and positive. She could immerse herself in these activities for hours and
feel like no time had passed at all.
This is the kind of engaged, focused activity that makes
people feel genuinely happy. For me, I know I always feel my best when I have
put my heart and soul into a project that has meaning for me and that I am
passionate about. Its even more powerful if you can get paid for it!
The challenge then becomes, how do you align your entire
life so that you spend the majority of time engaged in the kind of work that
makes you come alive? How do you find something that you are already good at,
already enjoy, and want to become the best at?
All it takes is the willingness to try something new. If you
are in a job you hate and have passion for something totally different, you
don’t have to quit your job and risk the farm.
You can take on a small
passion project that you devote your weekends to.
Sometimes, all you have to do is start and you will create
the momentum you need to remap the entire direction of your life in a new, more
Here’s where a little flexibility is going to go a long way. Start examining the alternatives. Be as creative as possible and don’t discount anything offhand for being too silly. Sometimes it’s those silly ideas that are going to get you thinking along a different path entirely. Sure, it’s normal to feel some disappointment at this point. Chances are you had your path all planned out. But when you consider all the new possibilities, it’s easy to get excited about trying something new. Use this energy to fuel you toward the next step.
Your Own Worst Enemy?:
...and another thing...Success Takes Longer Than You Think!!!
for your life.
success you want to obtain…
going to take a lot longer than you anticipate when you start the journey.
We get a
good idea about something we want to be, do, have and the idea captures our
minds and emotions. The honeymoon phase is awesome. Daydreaming and
brainstorming of your exciting new idea and the world of possibility that will
open up once you reach this new goal.
energized and ready to take on the world.
If you are
new to this game, I’m sorry to tell you but you have a mountain ahead of you.
And no one has ever successfully scaled a mountain quickly and easily.
a distance, the mountain may not look that big. It looks like fairly smooth
terrain and a manageable grade when you stare at the mountain from a few miles
away. You excitedly sprint to your starting point.
the work begins and within a very short period of time, reality starts to sink
in at the difficulty and struggle that awaits you.
don’t make it far enough up the mountain to be invested in the journey. They quit
early enough that the pain of investment isn’t harsh enough. The sting of
quitting isn’t harsh enough.
the goal at the summit of your mountain is something that you REALLY want… and
you have enough reasons to get there (and enough reasons not to quit), then
your first mission becomes the “investment phase”.
You have to
put in enough blood, sweat and tears to reach a point where turning around and
quitting would be more painful that continuing.
reach this point, you gain a whole new perspective on life. The struggle
doesn’t go away, but it takes on a new form. You find a sort of peace and
“sense of knowing” during your struggle. You know you will make it to your
goal… you just don’t know how long it will take. But it almost doesn’t matter
because you no longer count the cost. You are focused purely on the journey.
This is an
easy metaphor to understand but it applies to anything in life.
point to first be the kind of person who dreams, has big visions and gives
yourself the permission to set major goals.
CERTAIN you stay with it long enough that turning around is no longer an
it will likely take far longer than you think to reach your peak.
In the end, when you're embracing obstacles you
meet in trying to attain your goals, you’re likewise embracing a new way of
thinking. You’re adjusting your mindset to one of success instead of failure.
You’re accepting there are different ways to do things, and that the things
standing in your way are more often new opportunities than a true stopping
point. You’re looking at life in a way which allows you to go places you never
thought possible before.
The key here is in control. Your emotions
shouldn’t be what’s holding your back. Of course, it’s okay to feel what you do
when you meet with an obstacle. The key is in not staying there when it’s time
to move forward again because you will move forward again if you keep trying.
Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy and More Brain Hacks