Who or what is standing in the way of your success or your dreams? Is it circumstances? People? The state of the world? Upbringing? Money — or lack of money?
Or do the voices in your head scream loudly that you aren’t good enough or you don’t measure up, or you aren’t worthy?
Unfortunately, all too often, external events or circumstances aren’t responsible for holding us back. No, when it comes down to it, our worst enemy lies between our own two ears. In other words, we are our own worst enemy.
It’s an easy way out to look outward to blame something or someone else. We’ve all done it at one time or another, and it’s often the knee-jerk reaction when we encounter challenges or issues in life. But it doesn’t get us anywhere but stuck in the same ol’ rut and endless cycle of frustration.
Instead of pointing the finger or grumbling, though, take a minute to focus on the real issue. Here are some reminders to help you get out of your own way.
Set boundaries. Be diligent in establishing them in your professional and personal life. Otherwise, you invite a lack of respect and consideration, and you will always be on the short end of the stick. Boundaries are healthy and normal, so if you’re getting pushback or gripes about a boundary, that’s your confirmation a boundary is necessary. “No” can be a complete sentence.
Self-sabotage. Do your thoughts, behavior, or actions interfere with your goals? Can’t get out of your own head? Or worse still, can’t seem to get out of your own way? This one is worth an entire blog entry because we are — as the old adage says — our own worst enemy. Fear and procrastination are two enemies that will convince you that you aren’t good enough, no one is on your side, and you can’t do it. There are other ways to self-sabotage yourself to be sure, but believing the lies is at the top of the list.
Priorities matter. What are you focusing on? List the top five priorities for the day, take away the bottom three, and you’re set. You aren’t Superman or Wonder Woman, and you can’t possibly complete all the tasks on your to-do list, so figure out what is really important and do that. Don’t tell me you’re too busy; everyone has the same amount of time today. Change your priorities, and you will change your life. “If it’s a priority, you’ll find a way. If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn.
Just do it. Okay, Nike beat me to the punch on this slogan, but it’s true. What’s the one thing you’ve been putting off? You know, that one thing that’s like the clothes in the back of your closet that you’re going to wear (again) one day? What is that for you? What are you waiting for? Someday isn’t coming anytime soon, so tackle this one thing today. Better yet, just do it now.
Control what you can control, and don’t worry about the rest. Most of us spend a lot of time — no, a lot of time — worrying about things out of our realm of influence. It’s the essence of the Serenity Prayer. Write down the things you can control today. Things like attitude, actions, words, beliefs and values. When you focus on those things, life changes considerably.
Face your stuff. Fear of failure or rejection, not being good enough, the pressure of living up to impossible expectations, all the what-ifs and doubts about the future are the things that paralyze and destroy us. Even past relationships and experiences can derail our future. Decide today to go through whatever you’re going through. Everything you want is on the other side of fear!
Remind yourself why. This is important, if not critical. Why do you do what you do? What drives you? I regularly remind people — and myself — why I became a life and financial coach. When the times get tough, or you get discouraged, the why reminds you of your task’s importance. It will carry you through adversity and trials.