It's my strong conviction that there are no
accidental patterns; something inside of you is attracting
certain people and events into your life. For example, let's
say that your friends and co-workers constantly put you
down. This pattern reveals that, at some level, you believe
that you deserve to be treated in this manner.
Of course, patterns can also reflect your positive
thoughts and feelings. If you are receiving promotions at
work and your income is steadily increasing, this reflects your
positive belief system and your productive actions. In this
case, whatever you are thinking and doing, keep thinking and doing
One of the most destructive things you can do is to
deny that you are responsible for originating the patterns in your
own life. If, instead, you blame external factors (such as
the economy or other people) for your problems, you will remain
stuck and frustrated.
Whether or not you notice any patterns, I suggest you call a time
out on a regular basis. What follows are some common
stumbling blocks which prevent us from attaining the success we
desire. When calling a time out, look to see if you are:
Lacking clarity about what you want.
Your mind is a goal-seeking mechanism and responds best to specific
targets and pictures. Vague wishes about having a "more
fulfilling" job or earning "more money" aren't
effective. Decide, precisely, what will fulfill you and
exactly how much money you want to earn.
For those who simply aren't sure about which path to
follow--that's okay, too. Confusion can be good; at least it
shows you are thinking. The worst thing you can do is plod
along unconsciously, sticking with habits and belief systems which
aren't serving you. Eventually, however, confusion itself
can become nothing more than an excuse for not taking
action. That's why, after carefully looking into your
options, you must choose a particular path and get moving!
Trying to achieve too much at once.
Having too many goals is the other extreme. If you try to
tackle five major projects at once, you'll probably fail to
succeed at any of them. Spreading yourself out scatters your
energy and diminishes your power. Concentrate on one major
goal at a time; laser-like focus is a necessary element for
Not taking enough action.
Be honest with yourself. Maybe you're not taking enough
action to reach your objective(s). Most significant
achievements take considerable effort. You can't just sit
back and hope that success comes to you.
Stubbornly sticking with a losing strategy.
Let's assume that you are trying to market your product or service
and you've implemented Plan A. After three months, Plan A is
yielding very disappointing results, with no signs that the
pattern will reverse itself. Examine why Plan A is not
working and develop a new plan. This sounds so
obvious, and yet many people stick with unsuccessful strategies.
Not taking advantage of the knowledge of qualified people.
While "trial and error" sometimes works, you'll waste a
lot of time and resources in the process. Instead, you can
get back on course quickly by seeking help or advice from someone
who has achieved what you want to achieve. The emphasis is
on qualified individuals; don't ask a friend or relative who knows
little or nothing about solving your particular problem.
Rather, find a coach or mentor who can offer suggestions and who
will follow through and hold you accountable for keeping your
commitments. In addition, locate books, courses or cassette
tapes which provide the information you need.
Hampered by limiting beliefs.
If you are dominated by negative thoughts, you can't possible
produce positive results on a consistent basis. Who controls
what you think about? You do. As motivational speaker
Brian Tracy urges, you must develop the mindset that you are unstoppable!
Lacking positive inputs.
To sustain your positive beliefs, you need frequent positive
reinforcement. Read inspiring literature, listen to
motivational cassette tapes and surround yourself with
enthusiastic, upbeat people. That's the environment in which
you will maintain optimism and perform at your best.
Refusing to confront the problem.
You've waited five years and your problem hasn't solved
itself. Will you wait another five years, hoping that things
will turn out differently? Things don't change unless you
change. It may be that you have to confront your
situation head-on, even if this choice will cause some temporary
pain and hardship. Your other option--do absolutely nothing
and continue to live with your problem.
Trying to skip rungs on the ladder.
In our excitement to reach bold objectives, we sometimes delude
ourselves into believing that we won't have to climb the ladder of
success incrementally. Instead, we think we can immediately
soar to new heights. When this doesn't happen, however, we
get discouraged. You need to remember that, as Zig Ziglar
often says, "the elevator to success is out of order.
You have to take the stairs." So, be patient and set
realistic intermediate goals. After all, success is achieved
one step at a time.
Ignoring intuitive feelings.
The "right" decisions in our lives are not dictated by
logic alone. You ignore your intuition at your own
peril. For example, have you ever been tempted to do
business with someone when logically everything seemed
perfect--and yet you had a negative feeling or
"vibration" about this person? Well, if you went
ahead despite your reservations, you probably regret it now.
So, don't push your strong feelings aside--this internal guidance
system is there to help you.
Do not be discouraged if many of these factors apply to you.
I myself have fallen prey to all of these at one time or
another--and I'm still dealing with several of them. Also,
know that this is not an exclusive list. You may have other
issues to address during your "time out."
In any case, don't just bull ahead doing the same
things and expecting your results to change. Live your life consciously.
Examine what is working and what isn't. Then make the
Here's an idea. . . . Why not call time out right
now--then step back onto the court with powerful new
strategies for achieving your goals!
Keller is a motivational speaker and writer who founded
Attitude is Everything, Inc. Visit Jeff's website at http://www.attitudeiseverything.com. He'd love to have you visit!