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Success Advice

The Uncomfortable Truth Of What Is Keeping You From Success

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Do you really want to know what is keeping your from success?

Really, really?

Because it’s not a lack of productivity apps or time management skills…

It’s not even those customers that aren’t calling you back, those friends who are not supportive or those colleagues that never seem to listen to you…

I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.

But it’s you!

Here’s why:

 

1. You’re Not Clear On What Success Really Is

I’ve been interviewed for a popular magazine in the Netherlands when I was a student and it was all about what we wanted out of life after our studies. I’m caught on print that all I wanted was to have an amazing, well-paid job, a big house and a car to go with it. 6 Years later I find myself in a big fancy office filled with highly achieving consultants where I drove to in my big fancy car from my big fancy house being incredibly jealous of the guy who waters the plants because he’s obviously a lot more HAPPY with his life and work than I am.

Having a clear vision on what success is to you is a basic necessity; how else are you going to know that you’re heading in the right direction and if you indeed ARE successful?

But make sure your vision grows and evolves along with you in life.

 

2. You’re Not Listening To Your Gut

Us human beings are a fascinating bunch; instinctively we almost always know what’s right or wrong for us but we hardly ever listen to those instincts and do the wrong things anyway. The reasons for this could fill an entire library but the effect of it is that we waste our time and energy on things that are not in line with our core vision and are therefore keeping us from success.

Listening to your gut and acting on it demands you to be very brave. It means that you’ll have to say no to opportunities and people even when that puts you at risk of being unpopular or even not profitable in the short-term. But it’s authentic, and in the end, that’s the only way to success.

And not listening…that will keep you nice and safe in your comfort zone. You know, the place where you’ll very likely NOT achieve the things you want to.

 

3. Your Ambition Is In The Way

Who is your big hero, entrepreneurial or otherwise? Do you just look up to them and learn from them or do you want to be exactly like them?

There’s a big difference! It’s great to have people to look up to and learn from, especially in this day and age where so many inspirational stories are shared. We learn that we’re not alone in our struggles on the path to success and we learn how to recognize and not fall in to the pitfalls these people have.

But what if you want to be exactly like them? What if you’re not happy until you’ve achieved the same as they have?

Personally, I can’t seem to shake the ambition of being a combination of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Angelina Jolie and am not happy until I get the same recognition they get…

Yeah, that’s never gonna happen!

Not because I don’t deserve that recognition or am anything less than they are but simply because I’M NOT THEM.

But it does limit my behavior and level of courage at times…

We all have our own lives, paths and characters and can be extremely successful in our own rights, but we’re keeping ourselves small if we keep comparing ourselves to others.

 

4. You Can’t See What You’ve Already Achieved

At what point will you be able to look at yourself and your business and be happy with what you’ve achieved?

Most of us can’t. Most of us have this continuously lingering thought in the back of our heads that tells us that it (and we) are still ‘not good enough’…

It’s both the comparison of ourselves to others and an ancient imprint in our brain that compels us to always be something bigger and better than we are. It’s evolution and simply in our DNA.

But it’s not really useful is it? What’s the point of working this hard and actually achieving all this success but not enjoying it for what it is?

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz wrote this beautiful post about his depression. He says that he feels guilty for the mistakes he’s made and that he has put his company at risk. But facts are that they’ve never been at any real risk, at least not more than any other business. Another fact is that pretty much everyone responding in the comments, including his colleagues, disagrees with him and tells him there’s no guilt necessary.

I think Rand is a superhero for sharing his story but it goes to show how deep these self-deprecating thoughts go even when someone clearly IS successful.

Sometimes…there’s nothing keeping us from success. Sometimes, we’re already there but just not able to see it.

 

Not sure if you’re holding yourself back in any way? Answer these questions:

–       Do you really know what success looks like for YOU?

–       Do you always listen to – and act on – your instincts?

–       Does the awesomeness of [insert name] keep you from even trying?

–       Could it be that you’re already there? Hint: listen to the people close to you!

 

Dreaming big, having huge ambitions and always aiming for growth and improvement are all essential for success and great characteristics for anyone that thinks of themselves as a personal leader.

But don’t let them become their own pitfalls.

 

Believe in yourself and be happy quote

Linda Coussement is a life coach, writer and documentary maker. She’s slowly travelling the world asking all sorts of people: “How is it to be you?” Get her 10-page workbook on how to turn your dreams into practical reality right here and/or connect with her on Facebook.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. J williams

    Oct 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Why is it that I do my best to reach the top of the mountain, yet keep slipping down. If I was not meant to reach it in my life, why is it I think big thoughts I expect the best in everything. I do the best I give the best and I go the extra mile, rising at 5am each morning and pushing my boundaries to the limits.

    My husband tells me I should get a “real job” and stop dreaming, and live in the real World!! REALLY!! I’ve had the so called real jobs after job and job and moresome, yet I know “this real job thing is not meant for me.

    Growing my self employed business from 0-987 clients within 18 months, yet still an empty space, that is yearning to get to the top of the mountain that I so deserve, why do I think I deserve it? I read books that tell me it is my blue print ? is it, I read more books its because its the way that I think! is it. I only know my heart aches to reach the summit and breath this air as others do. I am a positive upbeat, determined lady, that knows I was born to have the best or I would have a so called “real job” “That’s my thinking”

    Inventing a product from the air and onto the market even pitching to 5 dragons and many sales in the UK I thought I was nearer my summit, yet The avalanche that hit me, took me back to the bottom again.

    Dusting myself down and telling myself again and moresome “If I was meant to settle for just being comfortable why oh why do I have big rich thoughts?? I ask God what is my purpose, why do I think different?

    • Emily Filloramo

      Jan 5, 2015 at 12:04 am

      J,
      For the most part, the reason why people go to the peak and then plummet down again is because they have parts of them that are stuck in the past (the “wounded” child) that does not believe they deserve to have the money and success. These limiting beliefs were acquired at the time of significant negative emotional experiences. (This could be as simple as being bullied at school.)

      These parts are the blind spots that are in all of us that hold us back from getting and KEEPING health, wealth, awesome relationships and/or happiness.

      I wrote an article for this blog on “8 Reasons Why Nothing Seems to Make You Happy” https://addicted2success.com/life/8-reasons-why-nothing-ever-seems-to-make-you-happy/ that explains some of these concepts. Hope this helps in understanding what could be keeping you stuck from sustaining wealth.

      I also have a book coming out this April that explains more of this in-depth. (“How to Permanently Erase Negative Self-Talk So You Can Soar.”)

  2. ian

    Oct 2, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I just want to add I read theses articles when life is not going well for me so I can get motivated again. I have no job at the moment.I have signed up on two courses to better myself also I,am back working out in the gym.A big one for me is in one of joels articles was why are you not reaching your potential are you out drinking partying every weekend that was me,I have stopped going out drinking and I have put that money away for courses to better myself bought myself clothes,Its A start for me this Is just the beginning believe me.

    • Linda Coussement (@lindacoussement)

      Oct 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you for sharing Ian! Great to read that you are taking the steps towards your own vision and the potential you carry in yourself. It’s really hard! It’s easy to get lost in all the things that make us forget that we’re not in a good place (for me it’s chocolate and binge watching tv shows 🙂 ) but you’re right, it starts with believing in yourself first and taking all the little babysteps you need to get there.

      Things I can recommend: coursera.com for free university courses and google for Udemy coupons to also find free and often really good and practical courses. Another blog you might like is jamesaltucher.com. He talks openly about all the setbacks he has had and caused himself; it’s really inspiring!

      Great job so far and all the best with moving forward!

  3. Rob

    Sep 29, 2014 at 8:37 am

    “Your ambition is in the way” I honestly never thought that this might be holding us back….Very cool article!

  4. Rahul Patil

    Sep 27, 2014 at 8:43 am

    its Hard-Hitting article..wakeup call for me !
    Thank u..Linda

  5. C&P

    Sep 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Don’t apologize for telling people the truth. They will thank you for it one day

    • Linda Coussement (@lindacoussement)

      Sep 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

      I like that! Some people will not get it – not ever I’m afraid – but it’s not about those people. It’s about the ones who can see your truth and, perhaps even more important, that we can see it ourselves!

  6. Granville Louw

    Sep 26, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Great Article Linda.

    Valuable points you mentioning.

    I also agree with you, We do sometimes keeps ourselves from becoming successful. I think people DO know what success is, or at least have an idea, but what keeps them from reaching their goals and dreams is their beliefs, fear, laziness and procrastination.

    .

    • Linda Coussement (@lindacoussement)

      Sep 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Hey Granville, thanks for the compliment! Laziness and procrastination often come from those same beliefs and fears; fear of failure and all the potential consequences that stem from that can suck the energy right out of you. I often find it hard to see it as such when I’m in my lazy days/weeks but I’ve learned that that time is usually just necessary to get me over that scary hurdle. At least it is for me 🙂

  7. Adrian

    Sep 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    You only have to belive you can do it. Nothing is stronger that strong mind and hard work. !!!

  8. Mike Sutton (@BeBuildHave)

    Sep 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I love this article. Thanks so much for sharing, Linda!

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