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Three Ways People Sabotage Their Success

Are you letting FEAR sabotage your dreams?
Are you letting FEAR sabotage your dreams?

A big part of my job as a personal trainer is helping you make connections. For example, that pain in your knee may be caused by a problem that originates in your hip. Your overeating may be linked to your feelings of self-worth. Once I've helped you become aware of how things interact, you can start to make change and meaningful progress.

However, there are a small group of clients that consistently fail at making changes. They have the best of intentions, but they simply cannot seem to move themselves to the next step. After a lot of investigating, and more than a few talks with therapists, I identified three common things those clients were doing to sabotage their plans. Are you making the same mistakes in your life?

Comparing yourself to others. It's become easier than ever to measure your life against that of your friends, colleagues and strangers around the world. On social media there will always be people that are in better shape, earn more money or have more friends than you. But just because somebody has more of something than you, doesn't mean you should consider your life diminished. That feeling of being “less than” someone else contributes to depression and kills motivation.

When studies were carried out to determine just exactly how people were feeling, it always came back they were more unhappy and more troubled than they let anyone online know. When people post things online, they are creating a persona for the world. They are sharing their best, not the side of themselves that has fears and flaws. Quit comparing yourself to someone's online ideal. Quit comparing yourself to other people at all.

Make an honest assessment of your current situation. Write the details down. Then make a plan to address the things you want to improve. Don't use someone else's yardstick to measure your progress. The only comparison you should be making, is against yourself, as you work to be better.

Regretting past mistakes. The choices you made in the past, helped make you the person you are today. There's nothing you can do now to change those things that have already happened. But if you constantly relive those decisions, obsessing about what you should have done, you stop moving forward.

You have to accept that what happened is done. Look on it as a learning experience that made you stronger. Forgive yourself or others for the bad things that happened. If you can't let go, try therapy to help understand why. Then put the past behind you and move on.

Letting fear dominate your decision-making process. Having a little fear is healthy. It helps keep us from doing things that may hurt us. But that healthy inhibition can kill growth, if fear becomes the dominant emotion in your life.

Fear must be confronted, so you can render it powerless. Say you're afraid of asking someone out. Think about what could happen. They might say yes, and it could be the start of a relationship. They might say no, but then at least you'll know the answer and can move onto somebody who might want to date.

For situations where you feel unable to face that fear head-on, try nibbling away at it in little pieces. Make small daily goals that help reinforce your confidence and prove to yourself you can be a success.

When you do fail, embrace it as a chance to learn and grow. Think about one of the most successful inventors of all time, Thomas Edison. After Mr. Edison had worked unsuccessfully for some time on storage batteries, his friend Walter Mallory asked: “Isn't it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven't been able to get any results?” Edison turned to Mallory and said: “Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won't work!”

Quit comparing, stop regretting and fight back against fear.

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