In every moment, we’re living two lives. The first consists of the daily events and external events happening around us. The second life is unfolding in the amalgam of our emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Smart and successful people are self-aware. They understand that they can only exercise control over their inner life.
See, we are born in diverse cultures with different values, systems, and beliefs. Our everyday behavior and decision-making are heavily inspired by the societal beliefs with which we were brought up.
You unconsciously start accepting your beliefs as “the truth.” They become deeply rooted in your core personality. If an event shakes up your belief, then you feel strongly. You instinctively try to guard it because your identity is at stake. In order to be successful, you need to have original perspectives. You can only arrive at new extraordinary moments in life when you break the rules.
Here are 5 common psychological barriers that the super successful consciously disobey:
1. Conform: The unwritten social behavioral rules
We’re trained to follow instructions from our childhood, get a college degree, search for a decent-paying 9 to 5 job, strike a balance between your work and personal life, and to cultivate a smart and calculated professional image.
Successful people aren’t shy about bashing conventional wisdom. They study the traditional route and analyze their problems to devise the most efficient solution.
2. Instant gratification: Seeking immediate pleasure
In the on-demand economy, we get food, cabs, and clothes at the push of a button. No wonder our monkey instinctual brain loves the rush of adrenaline. But do you know a simple secret of the successful? They don’t let their hunger mitigate with minor victories along their paths.
They delay their gratification, thus building mental toughness and conserving their energies for the mega events. When your growth plateaus and you feel your internal resistance stepping up is when you need to do it the most.
“Without delayed gratification, there is no power over self.” – Sunday Adelaja
3. Fear of missing out (FOMO)
Want to know a trigger that leads to instant gratification seeking behavior on your Smartphone? The fear that you’ll miss out on an important update if you don’t check your Facebook feed every hour. If your phone serves as an extension of your body, then you might be suffering from FOMO.
Savvy marketers are aware of this fear and they carefully design features in their apps that capitalize on this instinct. But you know what ninja achievers believe in? They consciously choose to live with awareness in the present moment.
If you want to change your future, then it’s essential to commit yourself to the current. This is possible when you keep your phone and other distractions away. Instead of caving into the fear, increase your attention span.
The early man had many fears essential for their survival. Fortunately, as we’ve evolved, most of humanity doesn’t struggle to meet the basic needs. Nonetheless, our defense mechanism still kicks in when we’re thrown into novel situations. We fear the unknown, and we’re prone to wasting time and delay taking action just to come to terms with the uncertainty.
Successful people understand that the modern world evolves rapidly. You’ve to trust your abilities and move forward. A great example is Jeff Bezos. In his recently released letter, he revealed the “disagree and commit” principle that Amazon swears by. In the business world, it’s important to keep pace with competitors.
So instead of waiting to collect 100% data for making accurate judgments, Amazon takes aggressive action when they merely get 70%. Even if they make a wrong decision, Amazon believes that they can change the course and still make it work.
As an individual, you’ve to also get comfortable with not knowing it all. Ultimately, intentional action is the key. Even if you don’t get expected results, you’ll learn, grow and can take corrective action.
“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” – William Congreve
5. Feeling like you’re a fraud: Impostor syndrome
“I am not good enough. My salary doesn’t reflect the value I add to my job. I am probably a cheat. I don’t deserve the life I lead.” Most people arrive at such limiting thought patterns and let these thoughts define their identities. It’s called the impostor syndrome.
High achievers overcome such internal doubts on their creativity, intellect, talent, and skills. They gently smile on that inner impostor voice (when it arises) and confidently get back to work.
While doing this, they still manage to remain humble. They keep a journal of their successes and small wins to remind themselves that it wasn’t luck that steered them all along the way. Our environments shape our beliefs and personalities, but you should carefully scrutinize your behavior and find those hidden trails that are defining your life.
If you find a barrier that isn’t serving you, then you need to let go of it. I get occasional impostor syndrome attacks, and my sheer awareness of it ensures that such feelings don’t stay.
Are any of these barriers limiting your life? Let me know in the comments below!
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