Why You May Be Your Own Worst Enemy When It Comes to Success

by Susie J. Briscoe

Have you ever considered that you may be sabotaging your own success? Whether it’s making a success of your own business, losing weight, or getting a college degree, you may be blind to the fact that you’re your own worst enemy.

There are many ways we sabotage personal progress. For example, if we need or want to lose weight, and load up the refrigerator with junk food like ice cream and pizza, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

One way you may be sabotaging your business success is procrastination. Putting things off until the last minute can cause you to do the job in a shabby way so that it’s not as good as you could have made it had you put more time into it.

Saying yes too much or allowing interruptions when you should be working can also sabotage your success. In business, you have to develop boundaries that make it more possible for you to do your job and gain ultimate success.

Making decisions without the proper amount of research and thought can also cause failure. Learning how to make effective decisions involves evaluating your options and correctly assessing how you’re going to benefit or take a risk with each endeavor.

Are you a good communicator? Communicating with others effectively and respectfully can help to build solid business relationships which can help you go far. You may want to ask someone close to you about the effectiveness of your communication style and change things as needed.

You need others to help you succeed. No man is an island, and if you think that just because you’re on the Internet you’re going to succeed without others, think again. Affiliates, followers on your list, and others will help you with your quest to success. Community is a crucial part of success.

Take time for yourself. If you’re going to be the boss, you should keep yourself in good health by taking time to exercise, eat the proper diet, and get the mental clarity you need to make decisions for your business that are going to last a lifetime.

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How We Limit Ourselves: Are You afraid of Charging What You’re Worth?

How childhood experiences can still linger long into adulthood, and catch us unawares… see if you relate to this and discover how you can change.

For years I felt awkward about charging clients for the help I was giving. For me, coaching is something I’ve done seemingly all my adult life without even realising that I was, in fact, coaching. It was a happy accident that I became aware that this was actually a profession and that I could make a good living by doing what I love.

There was, however, still a nagging fear that I was enjoying myself too much and that it wasn’t really like work – and I was reminded of an incident from childhood which was still impacting on me even as late as my 50’s.

I was on a training call with Linda, my wonderful US ezine mentor, and, as a result of one of our calls, I offer following:

Linda shared, with straightforward honesty, about her son going off to academy and the feelings this brought up for her. I related to this very easily, as well as to the list of fears that swirled around the fear this had provoked within her.

A couple of the fears stood out more for me:

  • that what I say has no value for others
  • that I may appear boastful and thinking I know it all

and, the big one for me…

  • charging for what I do!

I realised some years ago that this stems from a childhood incident…

I would have been about 4-years old and living next door to a bombed site in dreary and grey 1951 London (after the war everything was drab – I simply cannot remember colour at this time at all). My parents had a shop and an elderly lady used to come in regularly.

Her name was Daisy and she always had her black mongrel with her on a lead. This particular time she was shopping and as the evening was already enjoying the gloaming light of autumn, I helped her, merrily chatting as we made our way across the bomb-site to get to her mews house, carrying her shopping for her.

She gave me a shiny sixpence and I was thrilled to bits and happily came home to show my parents, only to be given an absolute roasting for accepting money.

The message? I should always help people freely and never think of being paid for what I do; and, to make matters worse for a shy child, I had to go back across the bomb site and return the sixpence to her… feeling very embarrassed and crushed.

It was an absolute eye-opener for me to recognise where this fear of charging stemmed from, but such a release to identify it.

I hope this will stimulate your own thinking… is this ringing any bells for you? How are you limiting yourself?

Let me know how this triggered memories for you and what you are now able to do with them as a result of identifying where the original fear came from.

And, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to explore this issue further.

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How to Motivate Yourself Forever

Just as willpower is an essential factor in achieving success, at some point in time, discouragement and lack of motivation may hinder you from reaching your objective. And it is up to you – and you alone – to devise techniques that will help you keep that drive within afire.

It is helpful to have visual goals. Whatsoever it is you are working towards, make it visual. It may be something material like a car, or a vacation you have been looking forward to for the longest time.

Take or cut out a picture of it and post it in a conspicuous place at work or at home where you can see it often. So that when you feel discouraged, this will remind you of your goal and will help you keep your spotlight.

Make a contract with yourself. According to motivational research, people who write down to-do-lists are far more triumphant in achieving their intended goals than those people who just keep mental lists instead.

Putting something in writing somehow makes it more powerful, psychologically speaking. This may also be the basis why most cultures have such a high regard in honoring contracts.

In the contract, you may also include a certain reward that you will give yourself once you have accomplished the task. After all, everyone likes to be rewarded for completing a good job. Even a simple pat on the back, “good job”, or “thank you” may do the trick to give the person the additional push to carry on, but unfortunately, these may not always be readily available. Considering that these are also essential in keeping yourself motivated, you must learn to find a way to get that encouragement on your own through pleasing yourself.

Abusive people lower your self-esteem and bring you down. Get these negative people out of your life. Surround yourself with positive people. Imitate their example. Smile amply and think happy thoughts.

These will give you a brighter outlook and let you see a clearer picture of what you really want, as well as a fresh mind to know what steps to take to get there.

Rather than wait for things to happen, try to be proactive and make things happen. Inactivity idles the brain and stagnates your potential to reach your goals.

Read inspirational books and literature. These will help you improve your attitude and heal your mind. A book of success stories also proves to be encouraging. You will not only learn from the experiences of others and derive confidence boosting insights from them, but the story will be instrumental in motivating you to go for your goal and move ahead with your plans. If this still seems to falter, get training or education.

Oftentimes, not knowing how or where to start is frustrating. Knowledge is power. Having a clear understanding of how and where to start is empowering and it will provide the extra drive needed to hit the mark you are aiming at and follow it through.

Have you implemented all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel you are lacking that much needed drive? There is one last thing that you must try.

Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal.

Divide and conquer is the key. Break down the apparently unattainable activity to small, doable steps. Not only does it become less overwhelming, but seeing the “in the meantime” results will further your confidence that it can, indeed, be done.

Lack of motivation happens to us all, but if you do not encourage yourself to accept opportunities and be challenged, no one else will. It is most important to keep your eye on the goal and find ways to keep going… and in no time, you shall reap its benefits.

And, if at the beginning, you were just doing it for the material reward, you will also learn to realize the fulfillment!

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Your Most Important Goal

Do you know what the most important kind of goal is for your life?

We all have goals that we set and we know the importance of goal setting. And it’s one of those topics that gets beaten to death and a lot of us don’t want to hear about goal setting anymore.

We’re sick and tired of goal setting. But we know they’re necessary as well, and that’s why we always come back to them.

You do. I do. We all do goal setting at one level or another. Maybe you just do it mentally and you think about them from time to time. Other people are like me; I’m very, very strict about my goals.  I’m always writing them down and refining them.

But there are different kinds, and this is a most critical aspect. 

There is a type of goal where you define what you want to do; there is a type of goal where you define what you want to have; and there’s also a kind of goal where you define who you want to be – the kind of person you want to be.

It’s the third one – the goals you set on the type of person you want to be – that are the most pivotal, most important, and most influential in your life.

Your material wants (or even bigger wants than that), the things you would like to acquire, the things you would like to eventually achieve in your life?  Some you’ll hit and some you won’t. Some will take longer than planned. Some you may get in less time than you planned. They’re going to be all over the map.

As an example, you may be at a certain financial position right now. Let’s say you’re earning $50,000 a year and you want to take that to $100,000. There are a number of different ways you could do that. You could set a goal to do that within the next year, the next six months, or the next three years, and you go after it. You may or may not hit the goal, and you may or may not try as hard as you can – although the whole point of goal setting is you do try and you go for it.

But this is a measurable, specific thing that you’re shooting for and you may or may not get there.

There are all kinds of circumstances and things that could come up that could prevent it from happening.

But think about the type of goal where you decide who you want to be, and the exercise of writing down your goals on a daily basis and reviewing them. Sure, you can have a plan that says I want to get from 50k to 100k and I’m going to do this, this, this, and this over the next X number of months or years and you do those things and that plan may or may not work.

But what if you started asking yourself or writing a goal down to say, “Here’s who I want to be.”

I want to be a positive and uplifting person. I want to be loving towards my family. Every time I see my family, I want them to feel excited in my presence. I want them to feel uplifted. I want them to feel inspired. When I meet new people I want them to feel like they just met somebody really interesting, and they want to get to know me at a deeper level. I want to set a goal to be the kind of person that follows through on every commitment I make to myself.

The goal of I’m going to achieve XYZ by a certain date (such as I’m going to lose 20 pounds by March 30th) is very results driven. It’s very achievement driven, and the timeline for that may change. You don’t know how quickly you can lose that weight and you want to be able to do it in a healthy way, so you may have to adjust that plan.

But who do you have to be to reach that weight?

You have to be the kind of person who commits to their goals, who does whatever it takes, who when they say they’re going to do something they do it and follow through and hold themselves accountable.

So here’s my challenge to you – or even call it a suggestion or tip…

Begin journaling on a daily basis, writing down where you currently are and, more importantly, where you want to go – goals. It’s very fun to set goals like the type of income you want to earn, the type of business you want to run, the trips you want to take, the material possessions you want to own. All those things are cool.

If you want to go to a conference next year to learn something new, write that down. That’s a great goal to have. You need to know how much money it’s going to take you to get there and all that.

But I also want you to start thinking about 2, 3, or even 4 “Who do I want to be?” type of goals.

What I found is when I started doing this, I started writing things down like:

  • I want to be an inspiring person to be around for my family.
  • I want my family to feel loved and excited when I’m around.
  • I want my family to run and give me a huge hug when I walk in the door after being gone for a long time.
  • That’s the kind of person I want to be.

When I write that down and remind myself this is who I want to be, I find that all those other goals come to me a bit more naturally.  They come to me more easily. It’s because I’m acting and behaving in a way that’s congruent with those goals.

If I say I want to be a committed, dedicated person who follows through on her commitments and then I set a really, really aggressive goal like doubling my income in what some may deem an unrealistic period of time, I’m way more likely to hit that goal if I’m the kind of person who sticks to her commitments and then goes above and beyond the call of duty and does whatever it takes in any situation to create whatever I envision.

So that’s the difference. That’s the key. You may not have done this before. I know it was a relatively new concept for me. I was always writing down my material wants. I was always writing down the achievement-based goals and not the who do I want to be? kind of goals.

When I started doing that, it had such a deep impact on a daily basis. 

In those moments of weakness where I wanted to break a commitment and go back into an old habit that would have prevented those cool goals from coming into my life, these being goals would remind me of the kind of person I need to be and I want to be and intend to be.

I want to live this way every single day, and so I write those goals down on a daily basis and it keeps me in check. It keeps me on track for where I want to go.

So do this. Have some fun with it. Think about the kind of person you want to be, write it down, explain it in as much detail and then do it daily and repeat it to yourself and start living this way.

All those material goals and wants are going to come to you and remember to include the intangible goals too!

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Mid-Year Life Audit and Assessment

 


A mid-year life  assessment is a deeply important process because it’s so easy to slip into busyness that leads you away from where you want to be by year end.

In this blog, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite journaling questions, garnered from several of my mentors, and including some of my own, and share how I use them.

First, I take out a pretty journal like the one pictured above.

Then, I sit quietly and set my intention to listen to my inner self — my Wise Self or Rishi — trusting that she knows what the perfect choices are for me to make.

Next, I begin free-writing to these questions:

  • What is working? And what makes it work?
  • How is it working?
  • Is it making a positive impact?
  • Can I replicate this?
  • Where am I being powerful (in my life and in my business)?
  • What makes me most proud at this moment?

This helps me to remember the ‘why’ that makes my business more than just a business; how it keeps me inspired to continue the work that I do, with gratitude that I have found my life purpose at a deep soul level.


Next, I switch my focus to the coming months and journal the answers to these questions in my beautiful journal specially chosen for this purpose each year:

  • What is my vision for the end of the year? (When you do this, take the time to write out exactly what and how you want to create in both your business and your life, so remember to be clear and specific!)
  • What else do I want to manifest in my life? (Be very precise, and use tangible results that you have experienced before to answer this question.)
  • What am I committed to? (Commitment is the bridge between intention and action, and is a powerful way to create what you want!)
  • What information do I need? What do I need to know? (Answering this will direct where you need to put my time and energy.)
  • What daily action would I take if I were persistently doing what I need to do?

You can deepen the process and get even more clarity by asking “What else?” to each question, until finally you run out of steam and there is nothing more to add.

Journaling like this is a powerful catalyst for growing your business and is made all the more authoritative by not judging what comes up.

I repeat:  no judgement – just let your answers flow through you via the pen onto the page.

I promise at the end of this process you will have a much clearer understanding of what you need to do to stay on course for the final 5 – 6 months of this wonderful year!

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How to Get Better at Visualization

One key component of imagination is visualization. This is the ability to picture something in our mind and to actually see what it looks like.

While you can certainly be creative without having great visualization skills, they also undoubtedly help when it comes to picturing people and places that don’t exist. If you’re writing a story, or if you’re just thinking about things you’d like to do and accomplish, then visualization is a tool that will serve you very well.

But what if you’re the sort of person who can’t easily picture things in their mind’s eye? The answer is simple: you train it.

How to Train Your Mind’s Eye

The trick with training for visualization is to start with something simple. An easy way to do this is to look at an object on your desk in front of you or at the table. Now, while keeping your eyes open, imagine it rising up slowly and then turning around. As this happens, make sure to really concentrate on the details of the object, the way the light falls on it, what it looks like on the back, how it casts shadows on the desk.

Practice this and use it regularly, and that way, you will find that you slowly enforce the parts of your brain that you use for these kinds of tasks. Once you’ve done this, you can start to imagine things you can’t see: maybe an orange or a banana. The great thing about now creating objects from scratch is that you have to invent all of the smaller details from the spots on the banana to the color to the length.

Then start getting larger and more complex. Maybe imagine a computer. Or, perhaps, try imagining yourself inside a completely different environment. You can even try experimenting with an imaginary ‘happy place.’

Visual Memory

While creating objects and manipulating them can be tricky at first, something you may find easier is to visualize things that you remember and to visualize them accurately.

One way to practice this is to think of an environment you used to spend time in or that you have visited lately: perhaps a friend’s bedroom. Now, try and picture as many details of that room as you can. Think about where the door is in relation to the room, where the light comes in, where the CD player is, etc.

Not only does this help you train your visualization skills, it’s also a very interesting exercise that can reveal just how little you pay attention!

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How to Find Inspiration in Nature

Most of us would admit to finding a sunset somewhat moving and possibly inspirational. Few of us can walk past a beautifully red and purple sky without stopping to take a look and probably upload a picture to Instagram. The same can be said of star-filled skies and crashing waves.

But what is it about nature that we find so beautiful and so inspirational? Why are poets, artists, and musicians drawn to these scenes? And how can you use this to encourage more creativity in your own life?

Why We Find Nature Beautiful

It’s a mistake to say that we find nature beautiful in particular. In fact, we can just as easily experience a sense of awe looking at man-made things. Try climbing to the top of a high building and looking out over the skyline of a city, and see how you feel. Likewise, many of us would express a sense of awe looking at the pyramids.

We feel awe, reverence, and wonder when we see things that we find hard to fathom and that we can’t quite take in all at once. Things incredibly intricate, incredibly beautiful, or incredibly vast all create a sense of being small in a universe full of incredible possibilities. Research shows that this is a universal feeling, even shared by some animals, and that it appears to be beneficial for any species as a whole as it encourages altruism and community. Researchers often call these moments ‘peak experiences’.

Where the Inspiration Comes In

So why does this lead to inspiration?

The key thing to recognize is that peak experiences involve novelty and scale. They light up lots of areas of our brain as we struggle to comprehend the entirety of what we’re seeing. This lighting up of the brain results in lots of memories, ideas, and thoughts flowing all at once and this is often said to be the perfect condition for ideas to emerge.

At the same time, beautiful scenes and majestic sights trigger the release of neurotransmitters that make us feel relaxed and exhilarated at the same time. Again, this puts us in a state that is conducive to creative thought and mental experimentation.

How to Harness Peak Experiences

So how do you harness these peak experiences to trigger more innovation and creativity in your life? One way to do this is to subject yourself to more beauty. Go on walks, travel the world, even just spend some time on Google images! Another is to try and appreciate the majesty in even your smallest moments. When you see a flower bloom for the first time, or when you see a swarm of bees, stop to think of all that it represents and of the intricate beauty therein. The greatest poets are those who can see inspiration in all they survey.

Five Effective Ways to Get Inspiration

Lost for inspiration? Here are five techniques you can use to try and coax something new and exciting out of your brain! They won’t always work, but give them a go, and you might just be surprised.

  • Go for a Walk
    Walks are inspiring for a number of reasons. For starters, they allow us to take a break from what we’re doing and to change our environment. In turn, this leads to new input that can help us to gain new perspective on whatever problem or task we’re wrestling with. At the same time, walking is a monotonous task that allows our default mode network to kick in. This, essentially, means that we’re daydreaming, which is often a source of great inspiration.
  • Ask the Right Questions
    Sometimes, inspiration is just about asking the right questions which can help to re-frame the problem you’re facing in order to look at it in a new way. For instance, if you’re wondering how to solve a problem and you can’t come up with an answer, try asking yourself how ‘Johnny’ would approach it. Likewise, instead of thinking about what you want something to be, decide what you don’t want it to be.
  • Take a Break
    Sometimes the best thing you can do to spark some creativity or solve a problem is to take a break. This way, you stop trying to force the idea, which simply creates stress, and instead you simply let it come to you now that you’ve entered all your input. This is why we’re often encouraged to sleep on big decisions.
  • Listen to Music
    Music can be highly inspiring as it alters our mood and energy level and takes us to different places. Often, you’ll find that music can leave you lost in thought, so try listening to some tracks while you mull over a subject and see if that helps.
  • Talk it Over
    There’s a myth that ideas take the form of lightbulbs or lightning strikes and that they come in a flash, fully-formed. Actually, when questioned, most people admit that their best ideas formulated slowly, that they gestated for days, months, or even years before emerging. Often, the best ideas are not formed in isolation either but rather when we discuss them with other people. Even if we’re just thinking aloud, this can help us to see new perspectives and will often result in new breakthroughs.
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