Obstacles Stunting your Success.
As we approach the beginning of another year, most of us ponder what we can do to improve our performance. Many create a rather daunting list of resolutions and end up accomplishing one or none of them. So, what does it take to really Stop Holding Back from our own improvement and success?
All of us have the ability to achieve our goals if we only work on some of disabling traits that cause us to get stuck failing to achieve desired results.
Taking responsibility improves your performance.
- Subject: Not taking responsibility
Successful people take responsibility for their decisions and actions. They don’t cast blame on others. Refusing to take responsibility is corrosive and can damage relationships. Making excuses or trying to shift blame makes you look weak and untrustworthy.
People are more likely to trust you if you own up to making mistakes, they will respect your honesty and work with you to move forward.
Taking responsibility can feel uncomfortable at first and can make you feel like a failure. But remember that everyone makes mistakes, everyone has setbacks. It’s how you learn! But if you take responsibility and if you admit your mistakes, you can assess what went wrong, and you put your energy into finding a solution. So, as an example, next time you are late for an appointment, just say you are sorry for being late without any other explanation. Chances are, without being able to offer the typical excuses for tardiness, you won’t find yourself being late again.
Impatience is a fast path to sloppiness.
- Subject: Impatience
Successful people know that you rarely get instant results. Success requires persistence, consistency, follow up and being realistic about what you can expect to achieve. When you’re building up a business, it is essential to set some realistic milestones about what outcomes you can expect and by when. There will be slow times and busy times, and you should always allow realistic timelines between setting something in motion and being able to see results.
If you’re too impatient, you’re more likely to give up too early or continually starting and stopping with no accomplishment at anything. You’re also likely to miss opportunities to adjust what you are doing to actually reach a successful outcome.
Being persistent with a plan and adjusting as needed works every time! Like the hare and the tortoise story, sticking to your goals and working to see it through will always get you more success.
Procrastination elimination must be mastered.
- Subject: Procrastination
No one is exempt from tasks they have to do and don’t enjoy. Paperwork, responding to emails, making a difficult phone call or having an awkward conversation. But you know in your heart that putting off an unwelcome task does not make it easier. It just gets harder!
The real key to procrastination is focus. We all try to do too much by over scheduling ourselves. Scheduling less is ultimately more. Do the minimum and do the one thing you absolutely don’t want to do first. Then, reward yourself with something you enjoy that is readily available like a special coffee, tea and cookies, or whatever gives you that euphoric feeling. By doing this, hard tasks will become easier to accomplish and train you to see tasks differently.
Don’t let procrastination rob you of opportunity. Just do it!
- Subject: Looking for external approval
Waiting for others’ approval or permission is not aiding in your self-esteem or growing into a secure adult. When you crave external approval, you are giving away your power as well as showcasing a lack of confidence. Leaders take responsibility for their decisions and actions. They listen to others but are not dependent on external approval or permission.
If you are preoccupied with what other people think, you are not going to develop confidence in your own opinions or instincts. Developing self-trust is vital if you’re going to be successful, whether you’re a business owner, an entrepreneur or an employee. Self-knowledge breeds self-trust which breeds confidence and ultimately success. If you have confidence in your judgment, others will trust you too.
Learn to listen to others, but reach your conclusions by yourself.
- Subject: Comparing yourself with others
It’s hard not to compare your success with other people. You look around on social media and networking sites, and all you see are people making more money, being promoted, running their own business and all looking more successful than you.
There are two things wrong with this. First, people always present their best selves. They don’t post about the struggle, the setbacks, the bad decisions, or the failures. They certainly don’t post about being fired or going bankrupt. So, what you see especially online is a mirage of success. It’s not the whole story.
Secondly and more importantly, success is such an individual thing the only comparison you should be making is with yourself. Only you know how far you’ve come; how hard you’ve worked and what you have achieved. Look back to see what your own definition of success is and live up to that standard.
Your strengths & weaknesses.
- Subject: Not acknowledging your weaknesses.
It is foolish to pretend that you don’t have weaknesses, everyone does – and the smart people know their weaknesses and work to improve or delegate them. Weaknesses are the counterbalance to your strengths, but that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade them at least a little. If you don’t have a head for numbers or marketing or project management, you should at least learn enough to exercise oversight if you delegate this task. I wasn’t particularly great with technology, but decided to improve and have now built two WordPress sites. It’s amazing what we can actually do if we get the right mindset.
No one would say you need to be perfect at everything, but you do need to have a balanced skill-set. Depending on the industry, you should have a grasp of the important aspects of your sector. Some skills are transferable across industries and so are well worth spending time and effort in perfecting.
- Subject: Being crushed by failure
Failure feels terrible. You feel like a loser and want to crawl away where no one can see you and lick your wounds. Don’t stay there! Failure happens to us all. It’s the only way to learn, to improve and to do better. Failure shows you took a chance, you gave it your best shot, and you tried.
The way to turn failure into success is to get up again, take a good look at what went wrong, assess what you can learn from the experience and take it forward. Edison famously learned how not to make a working light bulb more than a thousand times before he got it right and made one that worked. The key to overcoming failure is to see it as a stepping stone to success. You won’t make the same mistakes again.
- Subject: Not asking questions
Successful people are curious. They want to know how the world works and why, what happens if they do this or that, and they take risks and seize opportunities. Learning to ask questions can be vital to achieving success in whatever field you work.
Ask people why they’re doing what they do. Why are they doing it that way? Listen hard to what others have to say and keep an open mind. They will be flattered by your interest, and you’re likely to get some good advice and feedback on your ideas. Learning to ask the right questions and being a great listener can be the most valuable tool you have. You’ll make better connections with people, learn more than you thought possible and end up making better decisions.
The Perfectionism Dilemma
- Subject: Perfectionism
Now you might think that perfectionism is a virtue. Taking pride in your work and wanting to get it right is a good thing, but striving for perfection is a mistake. Being a perfectionist will be damaging to you and the people around you. It will make you inflexible, short-tempered and judgmental. You also will find that you will never be happy with your achievements and other people will never be good enough.
Life will be easier, happier and more successful if you learn to be at peace with your weaknesses. Successful people are honest about their strengths and weaknesses and look to improve themselves or to balance the skill sets across the business. No one can be good at everything. A good leader knows where they need help, and ask for it.
About the Author
Cindy Bishop was born and raised in Northern Virginia. She was a real estate agent before transitioning to coaching in her expertise areas of real estate business performance and accountability. She lives in Fredericksburg, VA, has been married for 35 years, and is an animal lover through and through. Books to her credit are on topics in Communication skills, Topics to assist agents with client enrichment, Habits, and other soft skill development skills. You can find her books here.