When life doesn’t go as planned it is tempting to blame external circumstances and focus on them. While we cannot control everything, circumstances don’t always ‘just happen’. Sometimes we get in our own way.
Our thoughts influence our success much more than we are aware of – they drive our actions and fuel our emotions. Just as easily as we can be our own obstacles, we can clear the roadblocks by focusing on ourselves.
Here are ten tips for getting out of your own way and achieving peak performance.
Allow Yourself to Fail
While failing may sound contrary to success, it plays an important role in reaching our true potential. If everyone waited until perfection was achieved, no work could ever get done. Don’t wait for things to be perfect, or worse, let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of progress. Failure and continuous improvement is a necessary and important part of success.
Think Big & Focus on Your ‘Why’
While we may be checking off all the boxes on our to-do lists and pleasing the people we are accountable to this doesn’t necessarily mean we are on our way to achieving our goals. Don’t allow other people to decide your path for you. Try not to become obsessed with outcomes and remember to connect with your purpose. Ask yourself if your current habits and actions are aligned with your dreams, ambitions and purpose.
Prioritise Personal Development
Be strategic about how you choose to grow and develop yourself and your business. Adopt a growth mindset and challenge yourself to learn new skills, rather than seeing your talents as fixed with no room for improvement. Set aside time for personal development whether it be learning a new skill, receiving career coaching, reading a book or simply taking the time to evaluate your habits, thoughts and actions.
Understand Your Strength and Weaknesses
By understanding what skills, unique talents and experiences are a strength you can leverage them to your full advantage. Conversely, knowing your weaknesses can help you identify areas for self-improvement or where it may be wise to ask for help.
Ask for Help
Unsuccessful entrepreneurs want to do everything themselves. If you never ask for help or feedback you may become overworked, overwhelmed and miss out on valuable perspectives and contributions. Regardless of how highly skilled you may be at a variety of tasks, you will still find yourself limited by time. If you want to grow and become a leader, you’re going to need to learn to trust others and utilise their unique talents.
Become Mindful of Negative Self-Talk
Self-doubt can be much more destructive than doubt from others. Many times, we ask ourselves if we have what it takes to succeed and act as our own worst critics. Women are particularly prone to selling themselves short. Rather than focusing on why you cannot do something, focus on how you can and what actions you need to take in order to succeed.
Acknowledge your achievements and accomplishments, accept yourself and direct your energy towards goal-oriented actions. How we treat ourselves plays a huge role in our self-respect. Talk to yourself as you would a good friend and be mindful of negative self-talk.
An important distinction needs to be made between negativity and criticism. Feedback can be a form of criticism, a highly valuable one that does not always come in a form that is easy to accept. When friends, family or colleagues play devil’s advocate or criticise your actions or plans, try not to instantly reject what they are saying. Instead, aim to objectively evaluate their comments in order to determine what can be learned and treat them as an opportunity for improvement.
Learn From the Past and Let Go
Hindsight is not always 20/20. When we look at the past we tend to do one of two things, over idealise it as being better or blame it for our problems. Regardless of what the past may have been, we have no power to change it – we can only learn from it and move on. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made and use the past as a lesson and a place to draw motivation from.
Beware of Excuses
Do you find yourself constantly thinking of reasons not to move forward? Watch out for thoughts such as ‘The timing isn’t right.’ ‘You are not ready yet.’ ‘The economy isn’t doing well.’ These excuses are often just a product of fear and procrastination. There will always be an excuse not to take the next step, so don’t let these excuses hold you back.
Venture Into the Unknown
Sometimes sticking with what we know or what feels safe and familiar can be self-limiting. Don’t be afraid to try something new or take a risk. Life is about trial and error. If you are not a natural-born risk-taker start small and build up. Don’t be afraid to push your boundaries and get outside of your comfort zone.
In order to attain your highest goals, you must look at your own behaviour and ensure that you are not standing in your own way. By discovering what may be holding you back, you pave the way to success and personal growth.