Whether you realize it or not, everything you say or do, begins first with a thought and a frame of mind. During the ebbs and flows that come with life, we are constantly bombarded with things that pull us away from our main goals in life. When we fall victim to these pitfalls, we can either succumb to the temptation to fail, or we can fight for our right to win.
The enemy has become so clever in his attempts to pull us away from greatness, that we may not recognize his subtle temptations that can so quickly clench us into a never ending cycle of underperformed work, unaccomplished goals, and unrealized dreams.
Here are 3 traps and pitfalls to be aware of that if left unchecked, can unleash the power of average in full force against you. When you recognize these things creeping into your mind or behavior, you will know that you need to stop them in their tracks as quickly as possible and get yourself back on the path to greatness.
You Blame Others and Make Excuses
“No one in my family is successful.” “I didn’t hear my alarm.” “It’s not my fault.” “Bob was the one with the terrible idea.”
How many times have we made excuses or placed blame on others, just to deflect from ourselves. It’s so much easier to come up with any number of reasons as to why we are not responsible for this or that in our lives. When you feel like life is a product of what happens to you, rather than what happens BECAUSE of you, then you have stepped into one of the classic traps that will forever hold you back. The blame and excuse game.
This is a vicious cycle because people who are afraid of responsibility often limit things that might have a negative outcome, or make them look bad if it goes all wrong. So they would rather not take a risk then look bad if they take the risk and it doesn’t work out.
Oftentimes, decisions are avoided or left to others so that if things don’t work out, they can say, “It wasn’t my fault” or “It was Karen’s idea.”
Here’s the reality. If you want to blame someone else and make excuses for your lot in life, then you are essentially rejecting your own autonomy and control. But, listen to this. Refusal to accept responsibility also means that you really can’t take credit for anything that goes well either. Let THAT sink in for just a minute.
You can’t blame others for your failures, and then magically take credit for your successes. It doesn’t work that way. You must own every part of the journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. You need to acknowledge the fact that there is a possibility of a less-than-perfect outcome. Accept that there are times when things go wrong, and own up to your part in it. Accept responsibility for where you are, diagnose what needs to change and then make it happen.
You Fear What Others Think
This is something we are all guilty of at one time or another in our lives. We often put way too much weight on other people’s opinions of what we should or shouldn’t do, and if we step outside the norm, then everyone is going to think we are nuts. Well, it’s a darn good thing that Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers and Albert Einstein didn’t listen to the haters, or the world just might be very different than it is today.
If you are always worried about pleasing others, then you will never pursue what you truly desire to do in life.
How many times have you heard about a child who went to a certain college, or took on a certain profession, just to please their parents, even though it wasn’t what they really wanted? It’s a classic movie theme we’ve seen time and time again.
Maybe you’ve heard the old adage, “Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.” You will never be fully happy and fulfilled as long as you are living your life according to someone else’s expectations and desires. You will also be miserable if you are constantly worried about other people’s opinions. Don’t let this happen to you.
Rather than WORRYING what other people think, begin THINKING about what can DO for other people. Take the focus off yourself, and put your energy toward helping others. Also, set your own standards for your life and stop submitting to the demands and expectations of others. Own your life and don’t let anyone else dictate your thoughts or actions, and set your own terms, expectations and standards and you be your own judge.
You Become Distracted and Lazy
You know this has happened to you. You open up Facebook or Instagram and before you know it an hour or two has gone by and you have been scrolling and wasting precious time that could have been spent doing something productive.
Think of how many times in a day that we are tempted by distraction. We sit on the couch watching Netflix instead of working out. We spend time chit-chatting instead of making the sales calls. We avoid tasks that move the needle in our fitness or business because we’re too lazy.
Think of it this way. If you aren’t moving forward, then you are essentially moving backward. Every day, you are faced with micro decisions that lead you closer to, or further from your major objective in life. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the time you lay back down at night, think of all the little decisions you make that have an effect on the outcome of your day, for good…or for bad. Make sure the little decisions you make lead you closer to, not further from your main goals.
If you begin to recognize these pitfalls in your own life, you can be aware of the consequences of allowing them to take up residence. The next time you find yourself wanting to make excuses, fear people’s opinions or allow yourself to be lazy, take ownership of your own fate and turn things around. If you need help, we got you here in Apex. Reach out anytime.