January 19, 2017 by Jeff Lowen
Have you ever thought your lack of success was due to external circumstances or just bad luck? You seem to be working all the time, staying busy and for some reason, it’s just not happening for you. Is there something about the market or your office or the people that you work with that’s contributing to your challenges? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 999,999 times out of a million, it has nothing to do with anything other than that person you look at each morning when you look in the mirror. Whether it is too little knowledge or skill, not practicing your craft or poor decisions about managing our time and money; when it comes to the roadblocks to our own success, we are usually our own worst enemy. Yes, sort of cliche, but nothing resonates with more accuracy than that!
Here are three behaviors that may be holding you back from being as successful as you can and will be… And what to do about them.:
1. There is something you just can’t let go of.
Whether it is a sketchy business idea, a new marketing plan that’s not going well, an old job you are still mourning or perhaps your business has hit the skids, you cannot make something work that just isn’t working. The idea that, if you keep at something long enough, it will eventually work out is a false premise. There are times you just have to let it go, pivot, learn from the failure and try again at something else. No one wants to admit defeat, but if you don’t look things square in the face you may end up in a deeper hole, like debt, family or personal issues and eventually bankruptcy. Ouch.
Don’t let your ego or stubborn nature get in your way. I, myself have in the past and it cost me dearly. Listen to what your heart or your gut is telling you, y’know, that ol’ intuition… It will not steer you wrong. There is writing on the wall, road signs and sometimes big billboards telling you that it’s time. When you listen to yourself and pivot, you may find that you actually achieve success much more quickly based on what you learned from previous experiences.
If you’re having a hard time understanding what it all means, then it may be time to sit quietly with pad and pen and write, purge, get all those thoughts out, and then keep writing. Ask deep, hard questions of yourself. Some like to meditate and the quiet time to yourself usually yields answers.
2. You doubt your own abilities.
I’ve met a lot of agents, brokers, business owners and entrepreneurs with inflated egos. That comes with the territory, but what really perplexes me is when I meet someone who really has what it takes to be a great success, yet doesn’t think much of themselves enough to make it. They usually are the ones with the best ideas or incredibly diverse talents, but they just can’t see it. Even when everyone else can. “You have so much potential…” Don’t you get tired of hearing that?
Lack of confidence can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that becomes your demise. Worse yet, this gets masked by ego and comes out in putting others or your circumstances down, blaming others, angry behavior, and difficult personalities. If you’re one of these people, it’s time to invest in a coach or mentor to guide you and instill that confidence. A good coach or mentor will shadow you through various changes and strategies that focus on what you can and cannot accomplish. Will help you understand your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. It’s important to have this partnership when you doubt your abilities. Your mentor can build you up and point you in the right direction. Had I not had others push me, I would have never started my payments company.
It’s important to have this partnership when you doubt your abilities. Your coach or mentor can build you up and point you in the right direction. Had I not had others push me, I would have never started my consulting practice and met the dozens of agents, entrepreneurs, and others I’ve had the privilege to know and helped along the way.
Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
3. You don’t know how to say “no.”
This is a big one. It’s great that you want to help everyone, but realize that you are hurting yourself. Those that say “yes” when they really should say “no” are taking valuable time and money away from their quest to be successful. In the field of real estate, for example, agents fall into the trap of wanting to be a people pleaser. They want to do it all (ego) and saying “no” subconsciously connects them to not doing their job. When it is the exact opposite that’s true.
I see this in many industries and outside of the workplace, too. Like parenting. Parents want to do right by their children and telling them no is often difficult because they believe making their children happy is their responsibility. Parents who take this approach often find out later that their children don’t respect them.
If you are firm and decline to help when you know you need that time to take care of your own business, don’t feel guilty. Know that you are focused on your task and by you accomplishing it, everyone will benefit. You can still assist others when the occasion arises that you are available, but you need to focus on what you want in order to achieve that success. Remember, you teach others how to treat you. So if someone asks for help and at the drop of the hat you respond, you’re teaching them that your time is worthless. And, how can you expect others to respect you when you don’t even respect yourself?When you get where you need to be — success-wise — you can help many others in a much better and more sustainable way. And, if the other people were just using you in the first place for their own success, you will be able to see this scenario more clearly for what it is from a place of power, rather than from a place of weakness.
When you get where you need to be, whatever success means to you; you can help many others in a much better and more sustainable way. And, if other people were just using you in the first place for their own success, you will be able to see this scenario more clearly for what it is from a place of power, rather than from a place of weakness. We all have friends and associates that only reach out because they need something, right? Yet, let’s keep our focus on our own universe.
The moral of the story…
In each of these three situations, there are mental barriers you are erecting that you can tear down when you realize that you are the roadblock. It can be difficult to see that you are creating, or allowing others to create the beliefs that are hindering your success.
That’s why it is important to read and listen to what others have to say and then reflect on your own behavior with self-awareness. A coach or mentor can help you with this.
Take time to fully consider and see if these are the reasons you haven’t been as successful as you have wanted. You can get rid of these negative and self-limiting beliefs by making the decision to take conscious control of your actions, and through positive affirming to yourself that you deserve success and you are fully capable of achieving your goals… however wild and audacious they may be.