leadership incorporated blog

May 17, 2010

Inspired to Succeed: Is this your biggest mistake?

Over the past week, I’ve been hearing lots of talk about how far off success, money, and getting back to normal seem.

I’m talking to people who are standing on the edge of the pool, afraid to jump in because they don’t have a clear view of what their goals are and they fear going in the wrong direction and putting even more distance between them and the success they want and need.

I’m also hearing from those who know what they’re going after but feel like they’ve dived into one of those Endless workout pools — they keep swimming and swimming but the current keeps them from moving — and the struggle is starting to fatigue them.

The single biggest mistake I see almost everyone making now is putting distance between themselves and what they want — seeing themselves as separate from their goals and objectives.

We can learn a tremendous amount from people who are where we want to be. What do they do that’s different than what we are doing?

Here are 4 things that are true in all situations, which you can emulate:

People who are already where you want to be have jumped into the pool. You need to jump in and commit to a direction. Any movement is forward movement. Even if you choose a direction and end up correcting and doing a full 180, you will have learned something and will move more quickly into the right direction than by standing on the edge and waiting for a sign.

People who are already where you want to be are working in the present tense. Years ago, one of my clients was transitioning into consulting work. For months he spoke of consulting in the future tense and no work came. When he started to say “I am a consultant” and started to speak the language of his area of expertise in the present tense, work started to happen almost immediately. This is the Act-as-if Principle. It’s powerful.

People who are already where you want to be focus on the process. When we focus on the goal (and our lack of having it) we can lose our focus on the steps we need to take to reach the goal. What milestones do you need to reach to get where you want to go? Focus on reaching those and the goal takes care of itself.

People who are already where you want to be have daily habits that support their success. You know what works and what doesn’t, but especially in challenging times, we get pushed off our center. We stop trusting what we know, we look for shortcuts that end up being wild goose chases, we believe false promises and urban myths of what we have to do, and we fear putting the effort  toward what we know works…because what will it mean if it doesn’t???

Come back to your center. Develop your own list of Success Habits — and follow them consistently.They probably have something to do with self-care, relationship building and maintenance, follow-through, excellence in work habits, organization and focus.

Let me know how it goes.

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