Are You Guilty of Blocking Your Own Success?
It is great to have humility and be self-effacing. But this can easily tip over into a loss of confidence, and all at once you are guilty of potentially blocking your own success. Attaching labels to yourself can be useful in some ways, but when they start to disempower you, this can be a problem.
There are so many talented people, with extraordinary skills, great leadership qualities and excellent potential. But because they have constantly repeated a mantra to themselves that are “no good” at this, “lack skills in that”, or “can’t close sales”, these soon become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Are you a manager or team leader who is afraid of rolling out a new strategy or website because you fear it’s just not good enough? Because with that attitude, it never will be. Nine times out of ten, being a perfectionist turns out to be a cripplingly damaging attitude to carry forward in your job.
Another prime marker that says you are blocking your own success is having the need to please others all the time, especially the boss. You do not want anyone to be cross with you or to speak badly of you. And whilst empathy is a fantastic quality, you may have crossed the line into ‘living for other people’s approval’ territory. And honestly, life is too short to spend your precious time worrying if every aspect of your work is shot through the prism of pleasing every single person in the universe. And all of the pleasing and yes-ing will throw mountain-sized roadblocks into your path to meaningful, on-your-own-terms success.
So How to Turn Things Around?
If you are that sort of person so eager to please, you end up blocking your own success; it could well be down to social conditioning from a young age. For example, we all want to please our parents, but this is only a part of growing up. Growing up is a process of continual development and perception. In this process, we gain life experience and abilities, thus forming our worldview and life values. The atmosphere and environment of our development play a big role in the forging of our individual perceptions. From the moment we leave the comfort of our parents’ home, we begin to interact with the world using our own understanding and conditioning.
When individuals deal with issues, problems can sometimes arise. Some people can be very oversensitive to perceived slights and injustices, some are overly rigid in their thinking and behaviour, some are too suspicious, and some have narrow minds. Some people are inclined to jealousy, burning with envy over the successes of others. Some like to provoke others, talk behind their backs or publicly criticise them. Recognise where you may fall on this spectrum of behaviour and see it for what it is. Are you reacting based on your own preconceived triggers that you repeated over and over since childhood? Try and break that cycle of thought processing. It could be very freeing.
Labels are Very Confining – Ditch Them
Stop labelling yourself. A label can end up being a life sentence, a closed book. Labels drown all chance of hope and of change. If you apply a label to yourself that is negative, there is then no reason to search for a solution, as you found an answer in the label. You make do, and you resolve to recalibrate your life to accommodate the label. That resolution is not very empowering, is it? It is certainly easier to believe in the label rather than look within and outside for the solution, but the label is definitely less hopeful.
If any statement makes you feel bad, stop saying it! If you catch yourself and it is too late, counteract it by saying five positive statements that are proof you were wrong, to contradict the original negative statement, and remove the decision to have the limiting belief with the exercise herein. This may sound like new-age blather, but think about it – you easily conditioned yourself into a negative mindset, you can just as simply reprogram yourself out of it. You just have to have the willpower and belief in yourself to do so.
You could change the basic statement of “I can’t” to its logical opposite. It is certainly harmless enough; in fact, it is vital if you want to be fulfilled – and not just in your job. What is truth anyway? Who’s version of it? It is only a lie if you don’t believe it to be true. The real lie is more likely to be that you “can’t”; you just wrongly believed it to be true in the first place. You have to start somewhere. Do it enough, and it will become your empowering truth. What harm can it do – you may like it.