Early on in my career, I had a roadmap of where I was going. It was actually pretty ambitious. However, things didn’t go the way I planned. Now, I consider that this situation was for the best. But, there were moments when I wondered why I wasn’t as successful as I had expected to be. After some self-reflection, I determined that I was not as successful as I wanted to be for about eight reasons.
Once I identified the “why,” I was able to find the “how-to” to get myself back-on-track. Are these the reasons you are not as successful as you should be?
You’re paralyzed by fear.
What exactly are you afraid of? Well, you may be fearful of pretty much everything.
You’re afraid of starting. You’re afraid of trying. And, most importantly, you’re afraid of failing. After all, no one wants to be that person who started a business and had to shut it down before they even hit 30.
The thing is, everyone has failed at some point. Maybe it was a minor setback? Other times it can be a massive failure that resulted in the closure of a business. Instead of letting that fear paralyze you, embrace it. By grasping ahold, you can learn from what went wrong so that you won’t repeat the same mistakes over and over.
You spend more time thinking instead of acting.
For years I’ve had a close friend who has talked about starting her own business. Has she done it yet? Not even close. She has the most incredible, fantastic ideas and talks a big game, but she just hasn’t taken any action yet.
At the same time, I get that not everyone can leave their current position or start their own business tomorrow. They may first have to get their finances in order, for instance. However, the difference between those who are successful and those who are not successful can be as simple as who finally takes the initiative.
Let’s say that you want to start your own business, but can’t leave your current job because you have student loans or a family to take care of. Ask yourself, “how can I start? What steps will put these wheels in motion?”
Get or build a simple website and start blogging. Do your market research. Create a business plan. Tinker with your invention when you’re not working. In other words, work on your business on the side until it’s ready to be a full-time gig.
Remember, you can’t achieve your dreams if you don’t take action.
You don’t have a positive mindset.
Are you the type of person who doesn’t know they’re drowning in negativity? Are you the person who won’t seek career advancements because they believe that they don’t have the knowledge, experience, skills, or personality to properly do the job. If that’s you, then it’s almost impossible for you to spot, let alone seize, the opportunities that are already coming your way. Instead, develop a positive mindset.
As James Clear explains, that “positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.”
Research shows that positive thinking impacts “your work, your health, and your life. When you have a positive mindset, you open yourself up to more possibilities, as well build valuable skills, such as communication skills.
You give up too easily.
You had a crappy day. So what. We all have those days. Does that mean that you’re going to take your ball and go home? Successful people don’t give up that easily. They grind it out and persevere — even when it seems that the whole world it against them.
As Julie Andrews, a.k.a. the original Mary Poppins once said, “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”
You get easily distracted.
Do you feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day? If so, it’s probably because you’re not properly managing your time. One of the culprits of this is getting easily distracted. This fantom can take the form of checking your phone every time you receive a notification, going down the rabbit hole of YouTube, or blowing-off your afternoon obligations to have lunch with a friend. Getting frequently distracted is sometimes you, sabotaging yourself to prevent yourself from working on your priorities.
There are many ways to begin to correct this. Start by planning out your workday and blocking out specific times to focus on your priorities. During these blocks, make sure that you do things like turn-off your smartphone notifications and work in a quiet area so that you won’t get interrupted. You can then reward yourself after completing these initial goals, by taking a break or going out and playing.
You’re hanging out with the wrong crowd.
There’s a saying from motivational speaker Jim Rohn that you may have heard before, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
While Rohn doesn’t literally mean the main five people you hang out with, his point was that if you surround yourself with the wrong individuals, then you’re putting your future at stake. If you spend your time with a bunch of unambitious slackers, or people who put you down constantly, then what’s going to motivate you to go above and beyond?
Start spending your time with people who are ambitious, positive, supportive, and successful. You’ll eventually notice that you’ll start absorbing these traits. As a bonus, these types of people can share advice with you and connect you to people who can advance your career.
You’re not putting in the hard work.
Sometimes it seems that most successful people experience success overnight. I can tell you that’s not the norm. Successful people have worked their backsides off for many years and put in the hard work to get where they’re at today. While this may sound harsh, if you aren’t willing to put in that effort, then you don’t deserve to be as successful as they “appear” to be.
Stop looking for shortcuts and quick fixes. Instead, roll up your sleeves and get to work.
You just don’t know what success looks like.
This is actually quite common. Sometimes we get so consumed in other people’s definition of success that we don’t know what success means to us. Some people define success as having a juicy back account. Others believe being successful is by their job title or running their own business.
There are some who have given-up the fat salary because they wanted to travel or start a family. None of these are wrong as long as you’re happy and fulfilled. With that in mind, stop letting others define success for you or and stop chasing other’s visions. Determine what success means to you and make it happen!
What does success look like to you and what’s holding you back from achieving it?