Some days it can feel as though fate is conspiring against you and you’ll never become the successful person you want to be. In your heart you know that’s not true, but when your mind starts acting up, it’s hard to ignore, isn’t it?
That’s the problem, right there.
Your mind is in control of you, not the other way around.
Strangely enough, the three main barriers to your success are also influenced by your mind and until you get it under control, those barriers will trip you up every time.
So, what are some of those barriers and how can you overcome them?
Lack of self-belief
This is a barrier we all trip over at some stage, but successful people keep trying to get over it until one day, they are finally free.
When you don’t believe in yourself, you limit your own potential and that sabotages your future straight away.
Why do we set limits on ourselves without first taking the opportunity to test ourselves out? How will you know what your limits are if you don’t go looking for them?
Successful people don’t think about their limits. They don’t underestimate their potential. Instead, they go out and try things – extend themselves – until they discover where their limits really are. Most people are very surprised to discover they can do more than they thought they could.
Instead of thinking “Ï can’t,” start thinking “I’m going to give it a go.” The very worst that can happen is that you won’t be as good as you’d hoped, but just think what you might learn along the way. Of course, the best that can happen is you’ll discover skills and abilities you didn’t know you had.
Don’t assume you know your limits – go out and discover them. Believe in yourself.
Once again, this is all about limits. In some ways you are protecting yourself because you don’t want to experience failure. Yet what negative thinking does is impose failure upon you. You fail before you begin.
So why do we think pessimistically?
The answer is simple. To avoid the feelings of fear or failure. If we tell ourselves we can’t do it, we won’t feel so bad when we fail. In fact, we’ll feel OK because we were proven right. It’s a sort of roundabout victory.
They key to beating this mindset is learning to be comfortable with the possibility of failure, and all the feelings it brings. Think about it. It won’t kill you and it only stings for a short while. There is no lifelong shame associated with it.
Focus on what you want to achieve rather than worrying about missing the mark. They say you get what you focus on, so practice keeping your mind on the goal rather than the journey.
This is a tough barrier to get over if you’re a born perfectionist. A perfectionist is the kind of person who waits to become perfect at a role before they apply for it or they wait for the timing to be perfect.
Now let me ask you two questions.
When was the last time you became perfect at something? I mean, really perfect. And, how long did it take you to get there?
For most people, perfection is a dream rather than reality. There are too many variables in the world to allow us to achieve true perfection. We can’t control everything and we’d drive ourselves mad trying to do so. The struggle for perfection would also leave us way behind the competition, who will go out and do a really good job despite their ’imperfect’ status.
If you’re a perfectionist, the saying “Near enough is good enough” needs to become your new mantra. In fact, why not make it “Near enough is perfect.”?
Managing your mind
With some continued practice, you CAN make the mind shifts you need to achieve to help you overcome the three barriers we’ve just discussed. You can do it if you pay attention to what your mind is telling you, and assessing its validity. Your brain might be only trying to protect you, but if you leave it in control, you’ll never get anywhere,
Before I go, I want to leave you with this poem. It sums up everything I know and believe about the keys to success.
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost a certain – you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;
For out in this world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can!
Walter D. Wintle