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5 Mindset Traps That Will Halt Your Motivation

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5 Mindset Traps That Will Halt Your Motivation

Living an amazing and successful life will mean something different for each of us. There is one common theme that many of us would love to have in our life, and it can best be described in one word: Freedom.

We long to live life on our terms and wake up each day doing the things that are important to the kind of life we want to live.

For 12 years, I delivered bread in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was 170 pounds overweight, and our family was $180,000 in debt. I could never dream of a successful life because my self-limiting beliefs convinced me my life would never be more than what it was. I was stuck and woke up every day hating life.

In 2011, everything came crashing down on my head at the same time. At my lowest point, I was crying on the living room floor of a friend’s house. After two days of feeling sorry for myself, I made a decision. I realized that if something was going to change in my life, I had to be the one to change it.

When I made the decision to change, there were five mindset traps that tried to keep me from the life I wanted to live. These traps are common and keep too many dreamers from living a successful life.

Here are the 5 mindset traps that will halt your motivation and success:

 

1. “I’m not strong enough”

You may not be as strong as some other successful person you know, but you don’t have to be. You have the strength inside of you waiting to break free. Strength comes when you clearly identify your “why”—the reason you’re chasing a dream. When you can look past your circumstances and focus on your goal—you become stronger.

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2. “I’ve failed in the past”

If you trace many of the people we consider heroes: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and so on, you’ll see a story of overcoming failure. Everyone experiences failure, but not everyone handles it the same way. Don’t let previous failure keep you from future success. You can and will overcome failure if you choose to.

 

3. “It’s too hard”

It would be easier if life worked out like the movies, but it doesn’t. Life is hard and messy. Circumstances never work out as planned. Making big changes and chasing dreams is hard work. It takes hustle, determination and overcoming self-limiting beliefs. The hard work will help you appreciate the dream once you make it a reality.

 

4. “People won’t understand”

Change is scary. It scares those around you because all of us are afraid to move outside of our comfort zone. We have been conditioned to stay within a certain path for most of our life, so when we deviate, people around us try to convince us to conform. They may mean well, but they don’t have to walk a mile in your shoes. This is your life, and you have to live it for YOU.

 

5. “I have more time”

Life is short. Each of us can look back on a memory that felt like it was just yesterday but was actually years ago. Life can pass us by quickly. Assuming you will have more time is a slippery slope. All we have is today, and we should live each day as if it were the last.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost

It took three years, but I lost the 170 pounds, I quit a job I hated for 12 years, I self-published two books that have sold over 100,000 copies. The book sales allowed us to pay off all of the $180,000 in debt. The cherry on the cake was moving our family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to our dream destination of Maui, Hawaii. We have been here for 15 months now.

I’m not different. I didn’t win the lottery or get any lucky breaks. It took three years of hustle and hard work, but I made my dreams a reality. I was a bread guy from Wisconsin who beat his self-limiting beliefs. You can, too. You can live whatever a successful life means to you if you take action. You will fail, you will want to give up, but if you can rise above what you feel at that moment, you can achieve success.

Have you let any mindset trap keep you from success?

I used to deliver bread for a living, now I write. You can see my words in cool places such as the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Mind Body Green, the Good Men Project, Fox News, and many more. My books have sold over 100,000 copies and my new book, Stop Chasing Influencers, drops later this year. In the last three years, I’ve lost 170 pounds and moved our family to Maui, Hawaii. My goal is to help you create freedom in your work, health, and relationships and live your dream life. Join me at KimanziConstable.com and Kimanzi Constable on Facebook.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Stephen Osoko

    Jan 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Truth! It takes hustle!

  2. denny

    Aug 28, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Thank you for those tips, Kimanzi. I am familiar with your inspiring personal story through Dan Miller at 48days – it’s amazing!

    I struggle to stay motivated. Results of my efforts are slow to appear. I believe the first item on your list above will help me endure. Thank you for the reminder that the key to perseverance is the strength that comes from knowing my ‘why.’

    I’m curious… as you started out on your journey of transformation 4 years ago, how did you make sure your ‘why’ was always front and center?

    I have heard the suggestion to create a ‘why board’ full of images, quotes, and whatever other items remind you of your “why.” Did you use something like that to carry you through the difficult moments?

  3. Kimanzi Constable

    Aug 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you Stefanie 🙂 The best advice I’ve given is on Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-become-a-contributing-writer-on-large-media-sites-kimanzi-constable/

    • Stefanie

      Aug 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Thank you very much! Gonna check this out.

  4. Heather

    Aug 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Kimanzi,
    I love this post. #4 is, I’ve found, probably the most limiting one for me. I’ve totally changed my career and to say some people have been negative, scathing or downright confused, is putting it mildly. Thankfully, there are also people who have been incredibly supportive – but it is hard to make a change in the face of doubters. Especially when they are people whose opinions I’ve trusted in the past.

    Inspirational story – glad I read it today!

  5. Stefanie

    Aug 17, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Thank you for this encouraging article! Especially the last point “I have more time” was inspiring, the message is “do it NOW”. Congrats for turning things around, that must have been an incredible challenge! Are there any strategies you could share concerning self publishing? Maybe in another blog article? I would love that!

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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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