Success is a journey not a destination. When we think of success, we have to think that it’s a long-term process that will help us reach the places we want to go. What does success look like to you? Have you thought about it? Journaled about it? If you haven’t, take out a piece of paper right now and write about it.
Answer the following questions: what does success look like to me? When would I like to achieve it? What am I trying to achieve? What would success mean to my future?
Once you break through and create a sense of success and purpose, the following limiting beliefs will be huge barriers to your success. Take the time to think about where these limiting beliefs exist in your life and how you can remove them. You’ll thank me later.
1. The thing I want to do has to be “perfect”
News flash: nothing is perfect. No person, project, place, or object is perfect. Perfectionism is a mentality that is designed to help you create high quality work but it can hold you back if you believe your project or purpose isn’t perfect yet. Perfectionism is linked with procrastination. If you do not feel your project or dream is perfect, it is easy to delay creating or maintaining it. This is a trap and limiting belief. It bears repeating: nothing is perfect. So why wait? If you have a project or purpose that you have been meaning to execute, work on it to the best of your ability and release it. Yes, even if it has some kinks or problems. Most of the issues with your project or purpose will work themselves out but if you wait forever, it will never get done. Rewire your mind to believe that there’s no better time than now to release something you have always to wanted to do. The thing standing between you and your success is your mentality.
2. What If I Fail
Contrary to popular belief, failure is a blessing in disguise. Failure allows you to see what went wrong and how to readjust to make your next move. If success is the flame, failure is the fuel. We must fail in order to test our commitment to success. People who are truly successful experience failure and instead of giving up, they find another way to reach success. With that logic, I am giving you 100% permission to fail. Fail, fail and fail some more. This is your test. How bad do you want success? How important is this project or business to you? Failure is a necessary step to achieving your dreams and we must face it in order to grow.
When I fail, I always take a few days to recoup. I may have an emotional release like tears, anger or sadness. I might do retail therapy and buy something nice for myself to sooth my spirit. Or I may call someone that cares about me and ask them for advice or consolation. It’s okay to be in your feels when you fail. Allow the emotions to come to you. The key is to not let those emotions stop you from trying again. Experience sadness, anger and disappointment but don’t live in those places. Use them as fuel to get back up, readjust and make your next move.
3. I don’t have time
No, you don’t. Everyone has the exact same amount of time in the day: 24 hours. You don’t have time… to waste on things that don’t help you achieve your goals. If you feel like your time is limited and you cannot find more than an hour a day to work on your dream, then you should reevaluate how you spend your time. Are you in a soul-sucking job that takes 1/3 of your day but 80% of your energy? Are you in an unfulfilling relationship that takes time away from your dreams? Are you responsible for someone who requires a lot of your time and energy to support? You must reevaluate how you spend your time. A schedule is key.
If you do not have a schedule where you can parse out how much time you are spending on what activities, you need to create one. This is professional skills 101. All successful people have a schedule. They use this tool not to limit their time or over-plan, rather to fit in everything they want to accomplish. Successful people build a schedule that allows them to engage with the people and things they love as well as handle the business that will help them reach success.
My schedule looks a lot like this:
I have time to sleep 8 hours every night, enjoy a book, do yoga, eat three delicious meals, work, and play. You can do it too.
4. I’m not good enough
Repeat after me: I am good enough. I am lovable enough. I am powerful enough. I can achieve my dreams. Repeat this three times every morning in the mirror. Smile at yourself. Compliment your appearance. Think of something you love about yourself. Focus on the qualities of yourself that you are most proud of. Do this practice every morning for 5 minutes. You will soon realize that you are good enough. That you have always been good enough despite the words and actions of others. You are not defined by what other people think of you. It does not matter what your background is, where you come from or where you’ve been. You have always and will always be good enough.
This belief is preventing you from achieving success. A lack of self-confidence is a major killer for most projects and businesses. It’s not uncommon to believe that you are not worthy of success. Most people in the world have felt this way at some point in their lives. In order to achieve success, you must believe in yourself and your dream. Believe me, people will only root for you as much as you root for yourself. People who believe they are good enough understand that it is a daily practice and meditation. Self-confidence is a journey, not a destination. Repeat the mantra I shared above and believe that you, your project and your future are enough.
5. I need approval to accomplish my dreams
Simply put: no you don’t. Resistance is normal when you are pursuing your dreams and ambitions. When you are doing something great, there may be people who do not approve. It could be for their own reasons or for their concerns for you. Sometimes their disapproval is rooted in their own inadequacies and sometimes they have very real concerns about your safety and future. If you are passionate about achieving success, you must defy the odds and head first towards your dreams. With or without approval.
The truth is, the only approval you need is from yourself. Yes, I know there are logistical issues that may actually require approval from others but those can be easily maneuvered if the dream is bright enough. By that I mean, where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are millions of people who have survived unbelievable obstacles in their lives. They may have lost a loved one, their leg or their hope. However, they continued to find ways to achieve their goals despite the odds. This is the mentality you must adopt if you wish to be successful in your project or passion.
6. It costs too much money to achieve my dream
Now this may have some truth to it. But it all depends on your situation. How much money does it cost to achieve your dream? Have you done a cost-breakdown? Created a budget? Made financial goals? If you haven’t, you need to. How can you truly understand the cost of your dreams if you haven’t created a realistic look at how much it costs? Let’s say your dream is to open a boutique and sell goods. How much does it cost to rent a storefront in your area? How much is it to import your goods? How much is it to build the interior of your storefront? How much would you like to get paid for your work? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can ask yourself: how much do I want this dream?
The cost of your dreams isn’t only financial. It’s about dedication. When you use the excuse that something costs too much to achieve, you’re telling yourself that you are incapable of raising the money to achieve your dreams. You are also telling yourself your dreams aren’t worth it. Once your dream becomes real, you will see that everything you have invested will be worth it. If people can own jumbo jets and one million store fronts worldwide, please believe you can create a small boutique in your hometown.
7. I’m just going to wing it
There’s a time and place for winging it. At the beginning of your pursuit, you may wish to wing it so you can test the waters and see how it goes. That’s fine. Experiment and then decide if a certain path or dream is right for you but don’t make it a habit to wing it. Winging it can be unorganized and unpredictable. When you’re building a business or pursing your passions, you want to be intentional and organized about your progress.
If you make winging it a long-term practice, you may find that your success will be limited and short-lived. In order to reach success, you will need a long-term intentional practice which ensures that every time you pursue your passion, it’s done with a plan.
For example, I have a friend whose passion was to become a performing artist. She had plenty of opportunities afforded to her by local performance venues but her mentality was to always “wing” her performances. This means, she would show up late or not at all. The quality of her performances waxed and waned. Ultimately, she wasn’t seen as reliable in the eyes of clients. Her opportunities in the area began to diminish as other businesses heard about her track record.
Winging it is not a long-term solution to success. Focus on making organized and solid commitments each and every time. This consistency will lead to higher quality results and therefore success in your pursuit.
8. I’m not skilled in the thing I want to pursue
Just because you don’t have the skill now doesn’t mean you cannot develop it later. All skilled individuals started from somewhere. No one was born with the amazing skill they have; it all developed through practice and persistence. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Have you spent 10,000 hours building the skills that you dream of? If you haven’t, here’s your chance.
You can build the skills you need to pursue your dreams. For example, if your dream is to own your own business but you are horrible at sales, you can practice selling small inexpensive items or working on your pitch in the mirror. The skill to sell is not easy. Most great salespeople have practiced the art (yes, it is an art not a science) for years before they were able to succeed. Some people are born with the basics of good sales like a convincing personality, passion and the ability to explain how things work. Just because you’re not born with these smaller skills doesn’t mean you can’t develop them.
Challenge yourself. Find opportunities to practice sales and see how it goes. Work in a short-term job so you can build that skill or consult with someone you know who has the skill you want. Do not allow your lack of skill now to effect how you pursue your dreams later.
9. The market is saturated, someone is already doing what I want to do
Yes, but there is no one that does it like you. There are probably thousands of people doing exactly what you want to do and there will be thousands more that continue to do what you want to do. However, each person or company offers a different version of that product or service. Think about your favorite bookstore or movie theater. What makes this place special? Why not choose another bookstore or movie theater? Well, this one offers you something you particularly enjoy or it’s the most convenient to you. Even though they may sell the same books or offer a similar service, they may have a different atmosphere, staff or price.
Everyone has a special twist on a similar product or service even if it seems that the market is saturated. If your dream is to create something that already exists, find a way to put your own personal twist on it. How can you make your passion or dream something special? What is your unique gift that this industry or area hasn’t seen or needs? The market will choose products or services that it wants and if you offer something special, you can put yourself in a great position for success.
10. My dream is so big, it will be hard to accomplish
This is true. Dreams can be big, scary and difficult to accomplish but most good ideas are a bit of each of these things. If the idea doesn’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. If you have a big dream and it seems impossible to accomplish within your lifetime, break it down into smaller pieces. What are small actionable steps you can take to achieve this larger dream? What are low hanging fruit that can help you climb up the tree of success?
My dream is to be an entrepreneur, work for myself and help women of color start a healthy vegan lifestyle. What can I do to accomplish this goal? I can build a website. Great, what’s next? I can offer a service. Okay, and what’s next? I can advertise it. Okay.. and? The list goes on. So ask yourself, what is my dream and what small, but actionable steps can I take to achieve this dream? Small actions lead to big accomplishments.
Your dreams are possible. Success is achievable with the right steps, vision and attitude. The beliefs mentioned above are limiting and it’s in your best interest to get rid of them. They are only there to feed fear and prevent you from achieving success. Once you remove limiting beliefs from your mind, your success can be abundant. The sky is the limit.