7 Things That Sabotage Your Success

Despite our best efforts to achieve success, we find ourselves knocked off course time and time again. It’s discouraging, draining, and thoughts of giving up are common. I have certainly felt this at each turning point in my evolution.  However, you may be guilty of self-sabotage and not even know it. Read how the 7 Things That Sabotage Your Success could be affecting your life:

1. Self-limiting Beliefs

Nothing zaps your confidence like self-limiting beliefs (aka excuses). If you’ve ever thought:

  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not sure I can be a success
  • It’s too difficult for me

These kinds of thoughts put the brakes on your path to success. Our subconscious thoughts manifest into a self-fulfilling prophecy and you will end up getting in your own way. When these thoughts creep into your consciousness, ask yourself: “What am I getting from thinking these thoughts?” For example, if I think “I’m not smart enough,” it takes the pressure off of me to ever learn more and gain the necessary knowledge to get to my goal. I gain permission to NOT go after my dreams because I have an “out” and won’t have to change my negative pattern of behavior. Be aware of when doubt creeps in, and address why you’re having these thoughts.

2. Friends & Family

This might be surprising, but even people closest to you could unintentionally (or intentionally) sabotage your success. Well-meaning parents or friends will give you advice based on their own experience, limits, filter, and measure of success. Sometimes they react to your success with jealousy, confusion or fear and they may subconsciously work to derail your progress. Of course, it’s completely ok to ask friends and family for advice, but remember that only you know what is aligned with your own version of success. Even if you love and value their opinions, try not to let your friends and family lead you too far astray from your own course. What was successful for them may not necessarily be right for you. Listen to your own inner voice.

Read Also: How to Define Your Version of Success

3. Procrastination

Our time on this earth is finite. Most people delay going after their dreams because they think “I’ll have more time to do it later.” But later may never come, and if you’re not pushing towards success, nobody else will do it for you. Stop sitting on the sidelines talking about everything you’re going to do, and go out and do them now!

4. Not Wanting to Put in the Work

Success doesn’t come easy, so why do we think we’ll just wake up one morning and have it all without putting in the work? Most of the behind-the-scenes of your hard work towards achieving success won’t be glamorous or necessarily “fun”. Showing up day in and day out with intention and purpose will move the needle towards success.

5. Lack of Patience

In today’s world of instant gratification, it’s no wonder that we expect success to come overnight. However, what you may not realize from these “overnight successes” is that it took 10+ years of patience and hard work for people to start paying attention. It took consistency over a long period of time to get them to where they are now. The road to success may not always be a straight shot, sometimes you have to take a few different paths, but the consistency at which you move towards your overall goal is what will make all the difference.

Read Also: Future-Proof With Micro-Careers

6. Distractions

It’s so easy to get distracted – by life, by others, by your own thoughts. Maintaining focus on your goal is an important aspect of achieving your version of success. I know it’s tempting to delay success or get sidetracked because something else shiny and fun comes along, but holding on to your inner purpose and goal will help keep you on track. If you find yourself continually choosing your distractions over your goals, you should reevaluate how much you really want to achieve success.

7. Negative Attitudes/Blaming

The #1 thing that can sabotage your success is a negative attitude. Some people focus all their energy on what isn’t working and put a negative spin on pretty much anything happening in their lives. Your energy goes where you focus, and if you focus on negativity and blaming, that’s all you’ll get in return. Instead, harness challenges that come to you by flipping the script and ask:

  • What can I learn from this experience?
  • How will this current challenge protect me against future issues?
  • What am I winning at right now?

Each new challenge presents an opportunity to learn and grow, ultimately helping you achieve what you want. Conditioning yourself against negative thought/blame is one the best things you could do to create space for success.

What has been the biggest challenge for you on your path to success? Tell me below!

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Wishing you all the success in life,

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How to Define Your Version of Success

How we define success can either positively or negatively impact our happiness, depending on the source of influence. So often in life, we get distracted by other people’s/society’s version of success. Feelings of inadequacy and failure are common when success is influenced by subconscious programming from external sources. These subconscious ideas of success from media, our friends or our own family are seeded so deep we swear it was our own idea. If you’ve ever felt a small level of growing dissatisfaction in your life, consider this:

The success you’re chasing might not actually be your own.

The key to reprogramming your definition of success is to shift the source of influence from external to internal. There are two steps to define your OWN version of success that will lead to more fulfillment in your life. Ask yourself the questions below:

Removing what is not your version of success

1. What is motivating me to reach success currently? – Take a hard look at what is driving you. Is it influenced by external pressures to keep up with the Joneses, or seeking approval from family/friends? Is it ego? Is it money?
2. Is my current definition of success the same as people around me? – Success is a very personal goal, and if it’s pretty much the same as those around you, perhaps you’re getting swept up in their version of success and not yours.
3. If nobody was watching/validating my success, would I still be doing what I’m doing now? – A lot of what we do is a direct reaction to how we want others to perceive us. Do you strive for success for yourself or to gain recognition/money/power? If the answer to this question is “no, I would not still be doing what I’m doing now”, go back to question #1 above.

By becoming more aware of external influences that shape your current success trajectory, you can start to remove those that don’t serve your life goals. Shed the noise that’s distracting you from achieving your success.

Identify what success actually means to you

1. Who do I aspire to be like? – Think about the people you admire, what qualities do they have? Are people you aspire to be like successful in particular ways that may not necessarily match with what you see in the media as “successful”?
2. What values and principles matter to me? – Is it quality time with family? Finding a work/life balance? Working in an authentic way that brings you joy? Making an impact on society?
3. If you could start over, what does true happiness look like in your life?  – After clearing what isn’t your version of success, visualize what happiness looks and feels like to you. How do you feel when you think about achieving happiness? What are the things you’re doing? Who is in your life? How are you impacting others? Find the link between your passions, your core values, and how you impact the people you care about in your life = success.

Defining your own version of success gives you a new north star to guide you on your path. You’re no longer distracted or caught up by what other people are doing. Success is not a comparison game, and it’s something that is achieved internally.

If you spend your whole life trying to chase other people’s version of success, you’ll only end up dissatisfied or inadequate.I’ve felt this exact way,after all the promotions, the money, the title, and everything on paper…it was a lonely and hollow “success”. I hope that by sharing the lessons I’ve learned about chasing external versions of success will help you to redefine your own version to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Sending love and light,
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The Words We Don’t Speak

When it comes to voicing our love and appreciation for the people in our lives, how much goes unsaid?  Why is it that we go years without telling people how we genuinely feel about them and how much light they bring to our lives? I’ve experienced some heartbreaking losses in my relatively short time on earth….an uncle to stomach cancer, a good friend to suicide, a grandfather to a stroke, and the list goes on. But the one regret I had across all of them, was that I didn’t get to tell them just how much they genuinely gave me strength, support, and love in my life.

Why do we wait until it’s too late before we give voice to the love stirring in our hearts? Is it laziness? Do we just assume they already know? Do we think it’s not worth our breath?  I suppose it’s human nature to always think “there will be a next time”….until there isn’t. The philosopher Seneca said,

“You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”

We are not immortal, and there’s no guarantee you nor your loved ones will be around to hear the words “YOU ARE LOVED.”

I intimately know how short and unpredictable life can be, and probably a big reason I live the way I do. However, there is one practice I’ve started to integrate into my life that has changed how I connect with people – friends and strangers alike – and that’s to always take a moment to directly tell them how much I appreciate them. It takes such little effort on our part but could mean so much to the other person. Speaking your truth and spreading love directly into the hearts of the people we care about has an immediate and lasting effect.

Here’s an easy way you can integrate this practice in your life: When something triggers a thought about a loved one (no matter how random), call/text them to say that you’re thinking of them and share specifically why you appreciate the friendship/relationship. I believe these random thoughts are not random at all, but the universe or our subconscious nudging us to connect. Everyone is living their own struggle, and your words could be the light that gives them strength in a moment of need.

Your words are powerful, use it to cultivate love and connection to those around you.

3 Steps to Find Your Passions

Let’s talk about how to find more passion in your life. After asking a few friends about their passions, many seemed to struggle with an answer. They shrugged it off with “I don’t have any passions” or “I haven’t found mine yet”. This was simply not true, as I knew for a fact they had many passions including surfing, design, travel, and music. So why did they think they lacked passion in their lives?

To many, “passion” is a loaded word…dripping with expectations of pure all-consuming excitement for something that also brings meaning and purpose to their lives. However, this view of “passion” isn’t completely accurate. Somewhere along the way, our society has concluded that passion = purpose. However, these are actually two different things.

Purpose is your reason for being; the thing that gets you up in the morning. It’s the driving force in your life that brings you ultimate fulfillment. Passion feeds into your purpose.

Passions are things or activities that get you excited or light a fire behind your eyes. You can be passionate about a number of things in your life that may not necessarily be your purpose. However, starting with passion will guide you to discover your purpose.

 

Finding passion in your life is very attainable. Perhaps you already have many passions and didn’t even realize it. Here’s an easy way to tell, fill in the blank:

I can do/talk about __________ for hours because I love it!

 

If you feel like you haven’t found what you’re passionate about yet, there is a method you could try to distill your passions from interests:

FINDING PASSION STEP 1: Starting With Interests

Make a list of all the things that you’ve ever been slightly curious about. Start to do some research to find out more and see what actually catches your attention. This stage is about gathering information to determine if there’s anything new you’d like to try or learn.

FINDING PASSION STEP 2: Trying Out Hobbies

From your initial interests, pick a few you’d like to pursue a deeper understanding through action. This stage is about trying out or learning a lot of different things to see what interests bring you enjoyment. You don’t have to be the best at it, but if you find that you want to continue to try/learn, it becomes a hobby.

FINDING PASSION STEP 3: Identify the Source of Excitement

Eventually, you’ll discover that some of your hobbies consume more of your time and excitement. Start to become aware of what conversations make you perk up, what activities leave you energized and excited, and what hobbies allow you to be more present and focused. Identify the source of your excitement, and continue to pursue your passions.

I hope this was helpful in finding more passion in your life! Please let me know below what you’re passionate about, or how you discovered your passions?

3 Best Gifts of Presence (Not Presents)

As families gather and friends reunite this special time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday buzz of gifts, Christmas movie marathons, and enjoying one too many glasses of mulled wine. I’ve been there: I fly home a few days before Christmas, and in a whirl of social catch-ups and a flurry of last-minute shopping and gift wrapping later, I find myself back on the plane with a massive credit card bill, 10 lbs of extra weight from one too many Christmas dinners, and the distinct feeling I didn’t get quite enough quality time with everyone I wanted.

When it comes to holiday gatherings (or any reunions for that matter), are we actually lacking the greatest gift of all – being genuinely and fully present with those we love?

I’m not telling you NOT to give gifts, especially if it’s meaningful and comes from a place of love. I’ve just come to realize how much of our limited time during the holidays is actually spent completely distracted.

Here’s a true story: one year our family went away to Utah for some hiking and skiing – the whole family including cousins, aunts, uncles, and even grandma was there! However, due to demands of my crazy start-up job and my own addiction to my phone, I spent the majority of the time working by myself on my laptop, texting friends, and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. To this day, I regret not being more present in the moment and sharing more amazing memories with my family.

Instead of giving my family my full attention and presence, I’ve squandered a chance to deeply connect.

Here are the 3 simple things to do to stay more present this holiday season:

Presence Tip #1: Put Your Phone Away!

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I know it seems deceptively simple, but when you meet your friends or family for a meal or a catch-up, put your phone on airplane mode. Do not put it on the table, put it away and out of sight (in another room or in your bag). Studies show that even the visual cue of seeing your phone could take your attention away from the present situation. By putting your phone away, you’re honoring your time with the other person and signaling that you value and prioritize the relationship.

Presence Tip #2: Actively Listen

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Part of being present is to fully listen to the other person. This is something I struggle with. When I’m excited, I tend to blurt out everything on my mind, and don’t give pause to really listen to them. I make it a point to ask more questions about them, and try to listen to what they’re saying between the checklist of updates. Are they happy about something? Struggling with something? Where is there an opportunity to connect and be a good friend/daughter/sister?

Presence Tip #3: Live as Though Social Media Didn’t Exist

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How many times have you heard this phrase, “picture, or it didn’t happen”? Our need to constantly document everything can be exhausting. How often has the flow of conversation and energy been interrupted because of an awkward photo, a need to craft the perfect caption, or checking our likes? When we’re spending time with our loved ones, let’s try a bold experiment – try NOT documenting! (Gasp!) It seems crazy, but once you remove the pressure of social media documentation, you’ll find yourself settling into a much more authentic and relaxed flow. It’s ok to let go!

 

I hope these mindful tips will help you connect more deeply with those you love this holiday season (and always!). Tell me, have you tried any of the above? Let me know below.

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Sending lots of love and energy, and happy holidays!

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Don’t be Thankful, Do This Instead

Before you think I’ve gone completely insane by asking you not to be thankful (it is Thanksgiving after all), hear me out. It’s so easy to feel thankful when you’re surrounded by friends and family, on holiday, or when all is going great in your life. According to the definition of “thankful”, the word means “pleased and relieved”, which in my interpretation means a word associated with a reactionary feeling. It’s a passive thing to feel “thankful”, and doesn’t demand much effort on your end to feel thankfulness, especially on a day that almost requires you to feel this emotion.

On the flip side, “gratefulness” is defined as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” It’s not just a reaction, but an active response to an act of kindness that requires more than just a knee-jerk reaction of “thankfulness”.

My wish for all you today is to actively carry the act of gratefulness in your heart rather than blindly celebrating “thankfulness”. Be actively grateful for all the kindness you’ve been shown in your life to allow you to live the way you do today. Be actively grateful for the kindness of friends, strangers, and family members who have paved the way for your life. Do not passively show “thankfulness” and merely be “pleased and relieved” for this one wonderous life you’ve been given. Hold gratefulness in your heart today. Hug your family members, tell your friends you love them, and be grateful for each and every amazing soul you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, as they are the ones who shape and influence your life. Today is just one day, but gratefulness can last the other 364 days of the year.

Who or what are you grateful for today?

Be Happier By Letting Go

 

Have you ever noticed how we are all in a perpetual state of chasing? Chasing after the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect apartment. Sometimes the chase is what motivates us, and sometimes the chase is what wears us down. The idea of “having it all” and striving for our definition of a perfect situation is not only unrealistic, it can be quite detrimental to our ultimate pursuit of happiness.

If there are key pillars in any job/situation (Job, relationships, apartment/home, family) there will always be something NOT ideal. You could have your dream job, a fantastic apartment with great friends, but no boyfriend to speak of. Or it’s having that amazing significant other and friends but stuck in a job you hate. When one aspect of your life seems to fall into place, another one seems to slip away. It’s maddening! If you also find yourself frustrated by this, here are some things to keep in mind:

Let Go of Disappointment.

Whenever we want everything in our life to be awesome, we inevitably feel disappointed when one part of our lives isn’t working out. Instead, pick something you CAN let go of. What is the one missing link you’re ok to do without? Or at least, ok with it not being 100% ideal. Accepting this will inevitably lead to a healthier perspective and possibly keep us from chasing our own shadow. Remember that disappointment is a self-inflicted wound.

Let Go of Perfection.

There’s no such thing as the “perfect life”, so we need to let go of this idea. Sure your job may not be saving lives, but does it afford you the opportunity to travel and spend time with friends and family? Perhaps not having a significant other could be frustrating, but at least you have the opportunity to deepen your relationships with your friends and enjoy your freedom. It’s more about focusing on what you do have and accepting that it’s ok not to have everything all at once. Life is a constant ebb and flow, and things will always find a way to balance out.

Let Go of Judgement.

Trying to seem like you “have everything together” isn’t about what you think of yourself. It’s a reaction to how you think others may perceive or judge you. You worry that others will think less of you, that you’re not smart/pretty/successful/rich enough. Here’s the brutal truth, nobody cares. Everyone else is so concerned about their own lives that the people that actually matter to your life WILL NOT JUDGE you. It doesn’t matter to them what car you drive, what your business card says, or what you look like — if you live genuinely and try your best to be a good person to the people around you — they don’t care your life isn’t “perfect”.

 

Next time you find yourself in an endless pursuit of the “perfect” anything, stop and take stock of what you can let go of for the sake of your sanity and happiness. Is this something you also struggle with? Any other perfectionists out there?