1. You’re Measuring Your Progress using Your Ego
When you measure your progress using your ego, you’re setting yourself up for failure because you’re going up against a level of quality you’re not capable of producing right out the gate.
Measuring your progress using your ego is essentially measuring yourself against others. You will never be as fast as Usain Bolt. Does this mean you should give up your love of running and abandon your efforts to train as hard as you can?
How to know if your ego is your measuring guide — answer this question. Are you comparing your progress to the equivalent of someone else’s “ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Week” recap?
Behind the scenes of every single successful highlight reel is the blood, sweat and tears equivalent of what it took to create it. Don’t be fooled. Mind your own business and focus on your own efforts. Measure your progress against your own highlight reel no matter how lackluster it may appear to be.
2. You’re Making ‘No’ Mean More Than it Does
Rejection and physical pain activate the same area of the brain. So not only does rejection suck, it causes us to experience pain. Literally.
That being said, ‘no’ is more a statement of perception than it is a statement of fact. A rejection of an idea, opinion or creation. Rarely a rejection of who you are as an individual. Don’t let it mean more than it does. Don’t let it make you doubt your self-worth.
‘No’ is simply the beginning. A necessary step in the pursuit of your success. To allow a ‘no’ to stop your story means that your story was not worth telling. Your story will always be worth telling. You, however, must have the courage to and the capacity to bear all the rejection coming your way to tell it.
3. You’re only Selling Yourself on The Idea of Success and not on The Work Required to Achieve It
Ayodeji Awosika, author of The Destiny Formula, using writers as an example, says. “There are two different types of people when it comes to writing. People who want to write, and people who like the idea of being a writer.”
Those who like the idea of being a writer have been sold only on the idea and those who want to write have been sold on not only the idea but the work. These two types of people exist in every aspect of your life.
If you don’t sell yourself on the amount and quality of work required to do that worthwhile thing you have your eye on, you will never achieve it. There are no shortcuts to success. It’s best to get a full preview in advance.
4. You’re Depending on Your Feelings to Create Action
Once you’ve sold yourself on the amount and quality of work required to do anything worthwhile, you can’t just leave it up to your feelings to drive the required action.
If you listen to how you feel when it comes to what you want, you will never do anything worthwhile because you’re never going to feel like it.
Michael Phelps, during peak training times, swims a minimum of 80,000 meters a week (approx. 50 miles.) He practices twice a day, sometimes more if he’s training at altitude and trains for around five to six hours a day, six days a week. When it comes to his diet, it has been reported that he eats 12,000 calories a day, around 4,000 calories per meal.
Does Phelps stop to check in with his feelings to see whether they feel like working out or consuming that many calories? I think I can trust you to answer that question for yourselves.
5. You’ve Chosen To Live Behind Enemy Lines
If you’re in your head, creating and recycling negative talk, you’re behind enemy lines. What your brain believes, it will work to reinforce. Reinforced negative and unsubstantiated beliefs coupled with time turn into excuses. Excuses create justifications as to why it is okay to be fine with less.
When has the enemy ever done anything in your favor? They are the enemy for a reason. You’re not fine. Saying you are is talking yourself out of doing anything worthwhile and talking yourself into being satisfied with less.
6. You’re Ignoring the Five-Second Rule
Mel Robbins is a best-selling author and motivational powerhouse. She says that anytime you have an idea that seems like a sure thing, you have five seconds in which to turn it into action. Why? Because your brain’s main job is to avoid trouble and risk. In less than five seconds it will persuade you to abandon your idea regardless of how life-altering it may have been.
We all have ideas that could change our lives but you can’t think your way there. You must act. The Five-Second rule is a crucial trick for outsmarting your brain and creating life-changing action.
7. You’re Refusing to Start Until You have an Original Idea
Without Edvard Munch, Henri Toulouse de Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, Henri Rousseau and Georges Braque, the Picasso you and I know today would have been a very different artist. Maybe even an unknown.
Jean-Luc Godard, a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic is noted as having said, “It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.” Nobody is 100% original unless they have lived their entire lives in a chasm devoid of any and all external influence from the moment they were born. This is clearly not possible. Influencers are all around.
Originality is how YOU uniquely put things together. If you commit to the work and are willing to create, experiment and take risks, in time, you too will get confirmation that you’re on your way. Taking names and kicking ass.