When it comes to the level of success we want, what we do or don’t do, is our responsibility.
If we’re pursuing significant success, it is almost certain we will face challenges that can either motivate us to move forward, or slow us down or even stop us from making progress.
Almost always, the things preventing or blocking our success are internal fears, beliefs or assumptions. Unless we’re able to identify and remove these internal blocks, they will be operating in the background and influence how we think, the emotions we generate and the actions we are willing to take.
Prior to having a speaking and training career, I had to overcome many internal blocks which were holding me back from getting out and speaking. Some of the thoughts or beliefs I had to overcome were, Who would want to listen to me anyway? and Do I have anything important or valuable to share?
I used to get very uncomfortable speaking in front of any sized audiences so I initially enrolled in a Toastmaster’s course in order to learn some basic presentation skills and also gain some confidence. My corporate role at that time required me to give presentations to employees periodically so that gave me some valuable practice.
I also spoke at a number of Rotary clubs which also helped build my confidence. It took me a few years before I felt comfortable standing in front of audiences because I had to work through the internal blocks I had. If I hadn’t been willing to face those blocks, it is highly unlikely I would have a speaking and training career now.
Here are five things to be aware of that may be preventing more success for us and what we can do to address them. The quicker we can overcome them, the better our chances of creating the level of success we want.
- What are your habitual thought patterns? When you are presented with a new idea or opportunity, do you first consider how it can benefit you or do you consider what’s difficult or not right about it? The old saying, “We become what we think about” is still true today. Our habitual way of thinking are giving us the results we are getting in life. If we don’t like our results, then we must change how and what we are thinking about.
One way to improve our thinking is to constantly ask ourselves, “What is my true intention?” or “What is the outcome I am seeking?” The more clarity we have, the easier it will be to move forward towards what we want.
- What are you consistently giving focus to? Do you consistently focus on results or do you focus on reasons? Are your dreams pulling your forward or are they generating excuses as to why you can’t achieve them? Whatever we focus on expands so if we constantly focus on reasons as to why we can’t do something, we will continue to find more reasons to support our way of thinking.
One technique to focus on what we want is to first have a mental picture of the outcome we want then create a visual representation of that outcome. This is why visualisation is such a powerful technique for achieving results.
- What is your level of discipline? Do you have the rituals and habits that will lead to success or are you consistently allowing yourself to get distracted by unimportant things? Success will require a certain level of discipline which is about following through on your intentions. Today, a major part of being disciplined is knowing how to remove distractions.
One question to ask is, “Who do I need to become in order to achieve the goal I am pursuing?” As the saying goes, “Success is a journey, not a destination” therefore, we have to develop more of ourselves in order to achieve the success we want.
- How much commitment are you showing? When you start something, how committed are you to getting it done or seeing it all the way through? Our commitment will be tested when things don’t go as planned, which will almost always happen when we’re pursuing big goals. If we are truly committed, we will find a way to get through it. If we are not truly committed, then we will look for reasons why we aren’t achieving what we want.
A powerful way to have a much greater level of commitment is to enrol someone who can hold us accountable. It can be a trusted advisor, a mentor or a coach, or anyone who will not buy into our excuses and challenge us to keep going for what we want.
- How congruent are you right now? Do you follow through with what you say you will do? Do others have a high level of trust in you? Do you trust yourself to do what you say you will do? Our congruency demonstrates the consistency with which we take action towards what we want. A high level of congruency means we are taking consistent action.
Just as trust with others is developed over time, one way to develop more congruency is to form the habit of taking daily action towards what we want. Instead of trying to do many things at once, it is more valuable to focus on one thing at a time and do that thing as best as we can. Then we can move to the next thing. Small, consistent actions will create momentum and that starts with being congruent with who we can truly be.
The internal blocks we have play out every day in all our interactions and most times, we are not conscious of them. This is why it is extremely important that we face these blocks so that we can apply strategies to overcome them and move towards what we want a lot faster and with less effort.
Question: What is something else we can do to identify and remove blocks to our success?
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