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5 Self-Defeating Messages to Immediately Stop Telling Yourself

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5 Self-Defeating Messages to Immediately Stop Telling Yourself

Is it too much to ask for? A comfortable home, freedom to jet away on relaxing vacations, success at pursuing your dream. I wanted it all, too.

After getting two fancy degrees in wildlife biology, I grew tired of field life. I was waking up at 4:00 every morning to haul 60 lbs. of mammal traps into the pine woods of Mississippi. On a good day, I’d collect data on my catch before it hit a hundred degrees outside.

When I found out that people made a living doing work they designed on their own, I was all in. I told myself it would have to be all or nothing, my wildlife job or my dream work. So, I quit my job, bought a url, and opened up shop.

 

No limits
 

I went through my savings in less than a year. I had zero income and felt like all I was doing was chasing my own tail and getting nowhere. The harder I had to work at my dream, the more I told myself that I couldn’t do it. Little did I know that it wasn’t my dream that was getting in my way. It was all the lies I was telling myself about how to actualize it.

Here are 5 dangerous messages that sabotage your success and how you can stop calling yourself a failure:

 

1. My dream won’t succeed until I quit my job

Thinking you have to choose between your job or your dream can lead to rash decisions. You can still enjoy your dream work, build the life you want, and make money on the side, even while you work your day job. Stop telling yourself that you can’t pursue your dream unless you leave your career. Working a job can afford you the time you need to grow your success slowly.

 

2. I’ll never be as good as everyone else

Comparing yourself to others only leads to someone else’s version of success. Only you know the life you want to build. Stop telling yourself that you’ll reach success exactly the way other people did. You are the only one who holds the keys to your own successful path.

“The most difficult times are the ones we give ourselves.” – Pema Chodron

3. I can’t start until I’m an expert

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to success is resistance to getting started. Don’t wait for all the lights to turn green. You know more about your direction than most other people do. Stop telling yourself that you’re not good enough to start. Use what you know and start your path of advancing toward your dream.

 

4. I’m a failure if I don’t succeed within a year

Defining your success by a restricted time line is one of the quickest ways to nose-dive. Whether your success is measured by going full-time with your dream, becoming profitable from what you envision, or pursing work you love, success happens in its own time. Stop telling yourself that you failed if you don’t reach your goals in a certain time period. Invest your time in strategizing what will get you ahead, not dreaming about time lines. Celebrate successful milestones along the way.

 

5. I don’t have the time to chase my dream

Telling yourself you don’t have time only shelves your dream before you even get started. We all have 24 hours in a day. Learn to manage your priorities, not your time. Stop telling yourself you need extra time to fulfill your dream. Take the time you have and do something different with it.

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Burton

Today, I work a job I love and build my dream in a smart, focused way. Struggling on my own taught me to practice my craft, respond to challenges effectively, and target my efforts where they count the most.

Following your dream is hard enough without telling yourself you’ll never make it. Don’t be your own worst spokesperson. Fashion your success according to what works for your own situation. Formulate empowering assumptions about yourself. Success isn’t established by the final outcome.

The only one who can determine your success or failure is you! What self-defeating message are you currently telling yourself and what are you going to do about it? Please leave your answers and comments below!

Anne Bechard's got a secret super power to turn side-hustle bloggers into cash-flow machines. She writes for Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Join her community and pick up your free copy of her Winning Tips That Make You a Profitable Blogger.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. denny

    Oct 9, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Thanks for the advice. I have found it hard to sustain faith during lengthy periods with little sign of progress. Did you have any long periods without any signs of small success to celebrate? If so, how did you carry on?

  2. Anne | Bloggers with Day Jobs

    Sep 28, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    So true, Lawrence! We limit ourselves when we constrict what our success has to look like. There are many ways to reach our potential. Thanks for weighing in and sharing some great insight!

  3. Thedore Nwangene

    Sep 27, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hello Anne,
    This is a very inspirational post indeed. There are always great powers in the words of out mouth and even in the ways we thinks.

    This is the main reason why we need to be always very careful of the things we say to our self and what we thinks about. If you form the habit of always thinking about failure then, you’re doomed to fail, there are no two ways about it.

    That’s why they say that The world is like a mirror which gives back to everyone the true reflection of his thoughts.

    Therefore, we should cultivate the habit of always thinking positive and affirming that we will succeed in everything we’re doing and believe me, it will eventually materialize.

    • Anne | Bloggers with Day Jobs

      Sep 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Great insight, Theodore! What we say to ourselves definitely determines how we attain success. I’ll remember your idea about mirroring our thoughts to others, too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 27, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Sometime we get caught in the trap of thinking that we have to have a career or be an entrepreneur and that we can’t do both. We have to realize that we can do whatever we want to do in this life with enough determination. The true way to financial freedom and the freedom from our jobs that so many people crave is passive income and the belief that we can shape our own lives. The limiting beliefs that you have stated here have killed so many people dreams and I agree with all of the ones you have stated here. You have time to do whatever you make time for. We should learn to stop making excuses.

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Life

How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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