When you’ve been in the business and life mastery game for as long as I have, you start to see patterns. Some patterns are helpful for reaching your dreams. But there are also patterns that reveal common causes of failure, and while these can be awful to observe, they’re just as important to remember. I call these patterns road blocks, because like a literal road block they are conquerable. When you understand how they appear, you can go over them or around them and make progress.
These Road Blocks Will Keep You From Reaching Your Dreams
#1 Unrealistic Expectations
Sometimes we simply expect things to be easier than they are. We underestimate the pain involved in a project or objective, and when we learn the truth it can be crushing. Maybe we thought we’d find our dream partner without having to date half a dozen folks who aren’t a good fit. Perhaps we thought our startup would only take three months to break even instead of a year. Regardless, unrealistic expectations can end up being very painful. In fact, they can so much so that they can actually take you out.
Having expectations is basically unavoidable. The biggest problem that arises with expectations is that they are not flexible. The stricter and firmer you are with your expectation, the more potential it has to frustrate you. When you get frustrated, you’re more likely to fall into bad habits and negative thought patterns. Reaching your dreams is impossible when you are stuck in a cycle of negativity.
Another big issue with expectations is when people are trying to live someone else’s life. Sometimes the very people who love us most are the same ones who give us unrealistic expectations for our own lives. Our parents, for instance, can put a massive burden on our shoulders to live up to whatever their idea of success is. Often they will expect us to walk in their shoes or achieve something they always wanted but never could get. The question you need to answer is this: do your passions, values, gifts, and talents also align with these expectations? If the answer is no, you may be following someone else’s plan for your life.
#2 Negative Thought Patterns
No action ever takes place where a thought didn’t exist first. Every thought breeds a new action. Zig Ziegler calls negative thought patterns “stinking thinking”. For instance, if you generally believe that you can’t succeed, you won’t take actions that will lead to success. Instead, you will likely stay paralyzed and refuse to take actions that might move you forward.
One thing I will add here is that you must avoid negative self-talk. Negative self-talk can keep you from reaching your dreams all by itself. Your mind will define whether you remain stuck or become unstoppable. If you let your mind tell you how much you suck, you will stay stuck. Those lies will become behaviors, and those behaviors will reap negative results. If you want to change your results, make sure you are talking to yourself in the proper way.
#3 Bad Attitudes
Attitudes decide the intensity with which every action is taken. Are you sad, depressed or angry? If you make a bad decision while you’re in one of these attitudes, the decision will be that much worse. I’ll be honest, I still have to check myself for. Bad attitudes sometimes. When I have them, I need to step back and get to a more positive place before I start taking action.
One common bad attitude I see is “knowing it all”. People who are know-it-alls have low self-esteem that makes them seek validation from others by being right. It is sign of insecurity. If you find yourself unwilling to be wrong, you are probably driving people away. Driving people away will keep you from reaching your dreams, because no one wants to be around someone who needs to be right all the time.
#4 Low Work Ethic
So many people want a lot of things but aren’t wiling to work for those things. I don’t care if it’s a financial goal, a bunch of weight you want to lose, or a state of mind you want to walk in. If your work ethic is low, your results will be too. Almost everything in life takes dedication and diligence. If your life doesn’t look like you want it to, you may need to be honest with yourself about how committed you are to making a change. How many hours are you willing to give to a goal every week? Are you willing to go until you see results, no matter how long it takes?
#5 Unhelpful Relationships
I was held back for so many years because I was around the wrong people. When I was a kid, I almost joined a gang because I thought I could find affirmation there. Thankfully, I never went through with it. If I had, I doubt I’d be here today talking to you. Relationships are so critical to the state of your life. They can be the difference between success and failure. Good relationships can strengthen you mind, body, and soul – or all of the above. Bad relationships can cripple you in all the same areas.
If you listen to people who are in a poverty mindset, you will be dragged down to their level. For instance, you may make decisions with my finances based on their ideas about finances. In contrast, if you listen to a mentor or coach who has made a lot more money than you, then you set yourself up to follow in their footsteps.
Reach Your Dreams with The Journey Principles
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