The person most likely holding you back from success is you.
How? Self-deception. Lying to yourself is the simplest way to ignore the challenges and situations that push you to achieve more.
Today, I’m going to talk to you about how to get out of denial and come to terms with the things that are holding you back from success.
Face What Is Not Working in Your Life
If you are going to be successful, you have to get out of denial and face what isn’t working in your life.
Do you make excuses for the lack of results in your business or your career? Do you defend or ignore how toxic your work environment is?
Maybe you make excuses for a bad marriage? Are you in denial about your lack of energy, your excess weight, your ill health, or your level of physical fitness?
Successful people face these circumstances head on. They heed the warning signs and take appropriate action, no matter how uncomfortable or challenging it might be.
How to Recognize Denial
What does denial look like?
Though some situations in our lives can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and painful, we often live with them. Worse, we hide them behind myths, accepted views, and platitudes.
We don’t even realize we are in denial.
We use phrases such as, “It’s just what guys do.” “You can’t control teenagers these days.” “He’s just venting his frustrations.” “It’s got nothing to do with me.” “It’s none of my business.” “It’s not my place to say.” or “I don’t want to rock the boat.”
Lying to Yourself is NOT the Easy Route
Occasionally, we’ll even pretend a situation is working when it isn’t. We don’t realize that if we acknowledge the bad situation sooner, it is often less painful to resolve.
Acknowledging the situation is cheaper, and the circumstances might be more beneficial. Likewise, the problems would be easier to solve and we could be more honest with everyone concerned. In turn, we would feel better about ourselves, and we would certainly have more integrity.
But in order to accomplish this, we have to get past our denial.
Acknowledge the Bad Situation
Successful people are more committed to finding out why things are going wrong and fixing them. They do not defend their own position or maintain their ignorance.
A big part of not lying to yourself is recognizing bad situations and then doing something about them.
Often denial is the notion that something even worse will happen if you stop lying to yourself and take corrective action.
In other words… We’re afraid to face the truth.
Solutions Do Not Always Require Drastic Change
Therapists can tell you that in spite of overwhelming clues that their spouse is having an affair, many patients will not confront their cheating partner.
They simply don’t want to face the fact that the marriage might be over.
It could be they don’t want to deal with the emotional stress and the physical inconvenience of a divorce. Or they don’t want to deal with the financial upheaval or the possibility that they might have to move or get a job.
Many of the situations I described may require drastic changes in how you live, work, and relate to others. Remember that the solution to your problems isn’t always to quit your job, get a divorce, fire the employee, or ground your teenager.
It may be more productive to choose less extreme alternatives.
These alternatives can be a discussion with your boss, marriage counseling, setting boundaries with your teenager, coworkers, friends and family, scaling back your expenditures, or seeking competent professional help.
Face Your Fears and Take Action
Of course, these less drastic solutions still require you to face your fears and take action.
But you have to face what isn’t working first.
The good news is that the more you face uncomfortable situations, the better you get at it. When you face one thing that isn’t working, the next time you face a challenge, you are more likely to take immediate action.
Choose an Area of Your Life to Improve
As usual, I want to leave you with a bit of homework to complete. Take the time right now to make a list of what isn’t working in your life.
Start with the seven major areas where you would normally set goals:
- Career or Business
- Free Time or Family Time
- Health and Fitness
- Personal Growth
- Contribution or Making a Difference
Make a Plan
“What’s not working? How can I improve it? What requests can I make? What action steps can I take to get each of these situations to work out the way I would like them to?”
Do you need to talk to someone? Call a repair person? Ask someone for help? Learn a new skill? Find a new resource? Read a book? Call an expert?
Just choose one and make a plan to fix it. Hold yourself accountable, and leave a comment below of at least one thing you’re going to fix right now.
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of riciardus.