Our reality is the sum total of our daily basis. If your life isn’t where you want it to be, the harsh truth is that it’s probably because of one of your habits ... or several of them.
My definition of success is living a life you love so much it feels extraordinary. Living a life you love, that inspires you and motivates you to reach even higher IS extraordinary. Especially with today’s metrics, that is success.
This blog post (and the accompanying video and podcast) comes with a warning. There may be a little bit of loving ass kickery, a sprinkling of cussing, and you may even feel triggered. In fact, I hope you do.
My aim is to get you off the couch and fired up to reach for the extraordinary life you crave. If there are a few tears or you’re a little bit mad at me in the process, I’m one happy coach because I’ve done my job. I’ve shifted you out of your comfort zone.
In my journey as a coach I’ve been fascinated by what separates a successful person from an unsuccessful person. Successful people and unsuccessful people (by my definition, this means people who aren’t satisfied with their lives) have totally different mindsets and habits.
Before we plant the seeds of empowering habits that create incredible reality shifts, we need to “weed out” the beliefs that hold us back, keep us stuck and choke our progress.
In this post, I highlight the habitual mindset patterns of unsuccessful people I see most often. These are the Top 10 habits you must give up if you want to achieve success in any area of your life.
Success is as success does: so if up until now you have felt stuck, take heart! It’s okay. Not so long ago, I was exactly where you are. The past does not equal the future. It is NEVER too late to turn it around.
You become successful the MOMENT you decide to cut off from your past habits and empower yourself to create your own future.
Our reality is the sum total of the habits we’ve practiced in the past
I remember when I was a kid I read a copy of my Dad’s resume and he had a quote printed at the bottom of it which changed my life. It taught me how success works.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Aristotle (credited)
40% of everything we do in any given day is habitual. Our life is an accumulation of the habits and the patterns we engage in. Therefore, it’s important to closely examine the daily habits we already have. I read another great quote that read:
“On your last day on earth, the person you are will meet the person you could have been.” — ANONYMOUS
How many of us plan to be the person we always dreamed of being at some fantasy point in the future when we’re rich, have the career we want, the house we want, the husband we want, the health we want, the body we want? Actually, we’ve got it backwards.
Everything we have is a result of who we’re being – or rather, who we’ve BEEN. Success and being successful is about being the person that you dream of being without waiting for your external circumstances to change.
Success isn’t about becoming somebody else. Success is about being brave enough to be who you are, and focus on what’s important to YOU, ditching societal success metrics. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you’re seeking self growth and self development.
If you seek an empowered mindset and a better self relationship, you’re seeking something that 80% of the population aren’t consciously thinking about. They may fantasize about it but they’re not doing anything to move closer to it.
If you’re reading this, I’m hallucinating that you are exploring the possibility of an extraordinary life. An extraordinary life, by its very definition, comes from doing what the rest of the population is not doing.
This all begins with your habits.
You wouldn’t expect to become a marathon runner just by going for one jog. You wouldn’t expect to become an expert in your industry by reading one page of a textbook.
It’s not about the thing you do once. It’s about what you show up for consistently. It’s about showing up daily for the person that you know you truly are.
I can talk about the success habits in a later training. Truthfully, I think most of us already know what we need to do but there is something holding us back. I want to talk about what’s holding you back so that you can get a different result and embrace a different reality.
Habit to Give up #1: Being focused on the problem
When you are hyper focused on your problem you will literally be unable to see the solution or anything else – even if it’s right in front of you. What you focus on is what you get to the exclusion of everything else.
If you’re focused on the problem, what are you going to get more of? You’re going to get more of the problem! If you’re focused on having lost something, what’s going to happen? You’re not going to see it even if it’s right in front of you.
Do you know somebody who wants to loop endlessly in their problems? Even if you’ve been over it a thousand times, listened to them for hours, and offered suggestions?
It’s almost like they’re in some kind of messed up romance with their problems because they talk about them so much!
(Maybe you even know that somebody ... shall we say ... first hand?)
If you’re focused on all the problems in life, you will always see more of them. You will always manifest more. You will always limit yourself.
I found out an interesting fact from the Kerwin Rae seminar I attended recently.
He said that if you are stressed, the flush of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body will reduce your IQ by 50% within seven minutes. You’re literally cutting off from the intelligence you need to get to the solution by stressing about your problems.
Unsuccessful people are married to their problems. They want to talk about how hard life is and loop a negative pattern of excuses, reasons why not, “can’ts”, “buts” and “becauses”.
What follows is usually an excuse or a story. They’re focused on the ways they can’t instead of focusing on the things that are in their influence.
Successful people are solution focused. Problem focused people say “why does this always happen to me”, and “why can’t I”. They ask a lot of “why questions”.
Successful people will ask “how can I”, “how can we fix this”, “how can we work around this”?
I’m reading a phenomenal book by Marie Forleo called Everything Is Figureoutable. The idea is that if you hold the core belief that everything is figureoutable, it opens up limitless possibilities.
If you hold the belief that EVERYTHING is figureoutable, you will be constantly solution focused and that is what successful people do. They are focused on HOW they can, rather than WHY they can’t.
Habit To Give Up #2: “Scraping By” Mentality
Do any of these responses to “What’s been happening” sound familiar?
“Same old, same old.”
“Another day, another dollar, less the tax.”
“Workin’ and payin’.”
Unsuccessful people just go through the motions and do enough to get by. They have a mentality that life is struggle.
Successful people look ahead. They’re not aiming for the same thing they did yesterday. They’re not aiming to do the bare minimum.
Successful people are focused on goals, growth, gratitude, and happiness. They are aiming higher than just getting by. In fact, their mentality is all about thriving and growing, not just surviving.
Pay attention to how you language your life. Now, a caveat here. If life genuinely feels like a struggle for you, it may be time to seek help through a mental health advocate, a counselor, your local medical officer, or even a good friend.
However, if everything is okay but you believe that you’re just working to pay your bills and go through the daily motions, and you want to achieve greater success, this mindset won’t get you there.
Habit To Give Up #3: Blaming Everybody Else
This point, too, comes with a caveat. Sometimes terrible things happen that are outside our control. We may be born into disadvantaged circumstances.
We may suffer from disabilities, or chronic and/or mental illness. We may experience abuse and/or real trauma.
This point is not at all intended to minimize the emotional impact of those circumstances.
And just as poignantly, none of these things are your fault. Anyone who tells you that they are is basically a butt hole.
But there’s a difference between that and taking responsibility for how you respond and move forward.
There’s a difference between acknowledging a painful past and blaming everybody else for exactly where you are in life. If you want to blame other people for everything, you’re giving your power away.
You dis-empower yourself when you give others complete control, ownership and power over your life, your potential and your possibilities. I’m guessing that that is NOT what you want.
If you want a successful life, even though unfortunately you cannot change the past, even though some of us face incredible adversity, and even though the past can be painful, you absolutely CAN and MUST take complete responsibility for how you’re going to let that define you (if at all).
You must take complete ownership of your life from this point forward, take your power back and make what happened in the past mean something empowering and use that to go out and create the life you want to create.
How satisfying is life going to be if you blame everybody else? If we come back to the concept that on your last day on earth the person you are will meet the person that you could have been, how satisfying is it going to be if you’re not where you wanted to be, and all you have are stories blaming everybody else?
“I could have done this, but I don’t have the time for that while I’m raising my kids.”
“I could have had this, but my parents wouldn’t ...”
“I could have been this, but I didn’t get the grades...”
“I could do this, but my spouse ...”
“I wanted to be an author, but my book got rejected ...”
They’re excuses! They’re not real. You’ve chosen to give up your power completely.
One only needs to read the stories of Joy Mangano, Lisa Nichol, Oprah Winfrey, Louise Hay, Albert Einstein, Jim Carrey, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Viola Davis, Franklin Roosevelt, Lady Gaga and Charlize Theron to know the tremendous power of a committed human spirit to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, empower oneself, and achieve greatness.
These people had difficult pasts, and could have been forgiven for shrinking in the face of their adversities. But instead, they chose to take back their power and move forward.
Tony Robbins says that if you’re going to blame somebody for all the bad in your life, you have to give them credit for all the good as well. Which side of the fence would you rather live on?
Would you rather be at the cause of everything in life (either what happens to you or what you make it mean), or would you rather be a feather in the wind, getting whatever results that you’re getting?
Which reality do you think is going to be more empowering? Which reality do you think is going to create the future you want?
Habit To Give Up #4: Being uncommitted
What I mean by not committing is twofold. Number one is that as soon as the rubber hits the road and life gets hard, if you’re not committed you will abandon it and give up. You will put it in the too hard basket and abandon it.
If you’re committed and have NO other choice, if you cut off from all other possibilities other than your commitment, you WILL achieve it. It might not be on the first attempt, the second, or the third, but you’re COMMITTED to the outcome, therefore you will do what it takes.
There is a difference between being committed and being interested. If you’re interested, you’ll read a lot of books, go to a lot of seminars, and listen to a lot of podcasts but you won’t implement.
You learn without implementation. You are a wealth of knowledge but starved for results. You’re a library with a locked door.
But if you’re committed to something, as soon as you learn a new strategy or way forward, you don’t just know about it intellectually, you apply it. If you’re committed, you’re doing the do. You’re not talking about it or bitching about how busy you are, you’re executing.
Commitment is showing up every day, even when yesterday was so terrible it reduced you to a puddle on the floor. When you’re committed, even if the odds are against you, you will STILL follow through.
If you’re committed, even if you are busy as hell, you will still allocate 15 minutes to doing one needle moving action.
Unsuccessful people don’t commit. They won’t follow through if something seems a little bit risky or inconvenient.
Successful people show up because they’re committed. Commitment is more powerful than willpower or discipline.
When you’re committed, there is no way out but through. That is the difference between being interested and committed.
Habit To Give Up #5: Not dreaming big enough
Unsuccessful people don’t dream big enough. They want “realistic”. They want to set the bar numbingly low because they don’t trust themselves to reach for more.
Quid pro quo, here. There’s NOTHING wrong with an “ordinary” life. There is no universal “barometer” of success. Don’t listen to people who tell you that you have to check off some arbitrary checklist.
I’m not a millionaire, I don’t drive a new car, and I rent my home. I love the hell out of my life!
As long as I’ve got a big goal to work toward, a beach in walking distance, food in my belly, a career I love, coffee and wine in my pantry, healthy food in my fridge, supportive people around me, and my loved ones are all well, I’m living my dream!
Throw in pizza and wine on Friday night and the occasional trip to Disneyland and we’re living in paradise.
My barometer of success is how happy you are and how empowered you feel. Forget vanity metrics, or bank accounts.
If you wake up every day with a smile on your face, you, my friend, are one of the most successful people alive.
THAT’S where you should be aiming – but freaking aim! Having something to work toward gives life purpose and excitement – IF it excites YOU.
Dare to dream your biggest and your most beautiful dream for yourself and your loved ones. Dare to dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed.
Successful problems don’t believe in SMART goals. They have a dream and a vision that gets them out of bed every morning. It lights them up and almost brings joyous tears to their eyes to think about it. It’s so exciting that they must pursue it.
Here’s the thing: it’s not just about having a big dream but about chunking it down into small steps. Successful people dream big, but it’s not pie in the sky. They also have a game plan for how to make it happen.
The action steps are realistic – but the dream is huge. That is the premise of what I teach. In fact, I released a goal setting workbook in January.
It shows you how to dream like a successful person and then chunk it back down so that you take doable action steps without losing sight of that bigger vision.
Habit To Give Up #6: Staying stuck in the past
Unsuccessful people want to stay stuck in the past. They want to talk about “the good old days” and don’t want anything to change. They want to be able to do all the things they did in the past ... yet get a different future. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way!
If all you do is all you’ve done, all you’ll get is all you’ve got. Your past actions got you where you are but they’re not necessarily going to move you forward.
My first job was working at my parents’ video store. They operated a store owned by a large chain. The company’s operations manual, including its marketing strategy, was decades old and dated. The procedures and marketing plan weren’t on par with what competitors offered.
My parents, natural born salespeople, came forward with fresh ideas. However, the area manager resisted at first, saying, “No, this is what we’ve always done. It’s worked for us in the past and this is how we do things”.
In hindsight, it’s moot, because the whole home video industry pretty much collapsed with the rise of Netflix but that story always stuck out to me as emblematic of the home video industry as a whole. They thought they had it cornered. When the home video industry crumbled a few years later, it came as no surprise to me.
“Why change what’s worked in the past?”
Did you know that Netflix pitched their idea to Blockbuster, who laughed them out of the room?
Blockbuster could have bought Netflix. It could still have been alive and well today and imagine how profitable it would have been had it moved into the streaming space.
“Why change what’s worked in the past?”
Where is Blockbuster today?
That is the importance of having a future focused mindset!
Everything you’ve ever done doesn’t have to be the only possible way to do it. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the fastest, most practical, economical, or contextually sensible way to do it.
Unsuccessful people want to live in their past. Successful people want to create a different future. They want to move forward. They want to move closer to the person that they know they truly are.
Unsuccessful people want to keep their past and stay stuck in their past even as they dream of a different future.
So if you find yourself in a place where you feel stuck, ask yourself:
Where am I clinging to the past?
Where am I stuck in the past?
Where am I attaching myself to a way of thinking, being, or doing that may have served me 10 years ago but serves me no longer and is keeping me stuck?
Where you are now is the sum total of your past vibration and what you chose to believe, think, feel and do. If you’re happy with where you are – that’s wonderful! BUT if you want to manifest a different future, your old way of thinking, being and doing is likely not going to cut the mustard.
Habit To Give Up #7: Chasing the “Quick Wins”
Unsuccessful people have a short term mindset. They’re thinking “what’s easiest for me to do in this moment right now?”
Maybe it’s easier to watch Netflix than work on your business because you’re tired from your 9 to 5 hustle. It’s easier to order Uber Eats than make a nutritious meal.
It’s easier to not ask for a raise than it is to have the balls at your appraisal to show the company how you’ve increased their profit margin and raise your worth.
Unsuccessful people want a quick win. They want a band aid, a lottery win, or a get rich quick scheme because they don’t believe that they have what it takes to persevere, commit and follow through with the daily habits that ultimately lead to long term success.
When I first started my business, my mentality was “I just have to get more followers/views/likes”. It was all about the quick wins. I wanted to build my business overnight.
I stressed, labored and held off posting one post, desperate to get it perfect so that it would be the post that would make me an overnight sensation. I was looking for a quick win.
I learned my lesson quickly. It breaks my heart to see so many other entrepreneurs give up on their journey altogether because they got into business for the quick win. They got into business to get wealthy beyond their wildest dreams overnight.
Here’s the thing. Successful people are here to play the long game. They know that the journey is not built or lost in one moment.
They don’t give a shit if this post tanks, they get a negative comment, or lose money today, because they’re here for the long game. They are playing the long game.
They’re not interested in the short term. They are committed to showing up and doing small things daily to get them there eventually.
Habit To Give Up #8: Playing Small
Unsuccessful people play small and extinguish their own light because they’re worried about what other people think. They are more concerned with everybody liking them than they are about making a real difference to their lives and to the lives of others. They live their lives for everybody else and take none for themselves.
We all have what it takes to be empowered beings and it starts with a decision to take our power back. The moment that you decide to step into your own power you ARE successful.
Extraordinary is as extraordinary does and you simply cannot afford to play small. You simply cannot afford to associate with people who put you down when you up-level, who get upset when you set boundaries, and who don’t want you to shine your brightest. I did a whole blog post on how your tribe affects your vibe recently.
❤ Related Resources: Your Tribe Affects Your Vibe ❤
Habit To Give Up #9: Trying One Or Two Things Then Chalking It Up As a Failure
Unsuccessful people try one or two things and then give up and consider it’s too hard.
80% of success is just showing up. Everything is figureoutable. You literally cannot fuck it up. You can come back from anything and the only point at which you fail is the point at which you make it mean that you failed.
Hey, I’ve never failed at anything. Have I given up on a few things? Sure. Did I fail? No. I see it as a learning experience.
Years ago, I wanted to be an actor and yeah, that career tanked. But not really. I have a YouTube channel and I get to present to an audience. I get to use important skills I learned, natural strengths I have, and natural passions.
I would have never had the courage to do this work had I not had that prior experience. Yeah, I’m not technically an actor. I could look at that career as a failure but I choose not to. Successful people don’t see anything they’ve done as a failure but rather as a stepping stone and as part of the reason they’re so successful.
Habit To Give Up #10: Saying “I’ll try”
You simply MUST remove the word “try” from your vocabulary.
One of my favourite quotes from The Empire Strikes Back is:
Do, or do not. There is no "try".
This comes back to commitment. There IS no try. You are either committed to the outcome or you’re not. You’re just interested.
If you say “I’ll try” you have already pre-empted that you won’t. If you say “I’ll try to do that thing” you’ve already started generating the energy of doubt.
If you are committed to your outcome you may “try”, or better yet, “experiment with” different strategies. But successful people don’t just try one path and go back to their hidey hole if it doesn’t work.
Successful people pivot. They learn fast, they take action fast, and they pivot fast.
If successful people have persisted with an action for a while and it’s not working, they pivot and implement something else.
They don’t “try” to get an outcome. They don’t “try” to achieve something. They don’t “try” to get healthy and fit. They don’t “try” to start a business. They just do.
If you do one thing from this blog post, catch yourself every time you go to say “I’ll try”. Empower yourself to say either ‘I will’ or ‘I won’t’. Remove the word “try” from your language and empower yourself to either do or do not instead. I felt impassioned by today’s topic, as you can possibly tell. To me, success is about empowerment. In fact, manifesting is about empowering yourself to create your reality and decide your story.
I believe that when it comes to manifestation, self empowerment is the most important step. You’re not really manifesting a house, money, a body, or a soul mate, but rather a change in how you feel.
Once you learn how to be empowered and take back control of your mindset, love yourself completely and unconditionally, and show up for the person you know you were born to be, then manifestation is the natural side effect.
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below. Give me one habit from the above list you’re going to cut out right now and the new, more empowering habit you’re going to replace it with. (Don’t forget to grab the FREE downloadable journal prompts to help you do that.)
SHOP THE STORY
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey Everything Is Figureoutable - Marie Forleo Inventing Joy - Joy Mangano The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck - Mark Manson
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