Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Which Habits Are Keeping You From Reaching Your Goals?

What's Holding You Back?
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to read quite an interesting post with which I identified myself a lot. The author was talking about "The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success" and, although I didn’t see myself pictured in all of them (thanks God), I did realize there are some things I do (or have done in the past) which are keeping me from achieving my goals or did prevent me from doing so in the past.

In fact, the phrase I liked the most in the whole article was the following:

"You can have many good habits, but the bad habits will always make you take two steps back for every little step forward." 

And it’s absolutely right: Without one even realizing it, these habits become a very heavy burden that keeps us standing there, frozen, stuck, slowly walking without ever reaching our maximum speed, our best performance, our complete happiness.

Since those are also things that could be happening to you as well, and like me, you haven’t noticed them yet, I wanted to share the post with you. You will find the link to the post I’m referring to and the end of my article, so that you can enjoy both posts fully.

Waiting for the "right time". 

I’m a person who likes to plan things ahead. Anyone who knows me, would tell you that. I think it’s something I have learnt from my own experience and since I have people who depend on me, I'm not the kind of guy who’s going to jump wildly into things without thinking about it, at least just a little.

That’s certainly not me. However, I’ve always understood that "there will never be a perfect time" for anything I want to do. When my actual wife and I decided to get married, over twenty years ago, I’m positive it wasn’t the right time at all, but still we decided to go for it and now you can see how well it came out: After all the years gone by since we embarked on this journey, we are still together, thank God.

Always plan as deep as you can and when your heart tells you "it seems to be the perfect time”, just take a deep dive into the water." 

It also applies to our personal and professional projects, and even the decisions we make in our business: There will never be such thing as the perfect moment. There will only be times in which everything appears to indicate that it’s the perfect time, or the right one. But you’ll never get to find the perfect moment.

The never-ending search for perfection.

And along with "waiting for the right moment", you’ve got this one. I remember from one of the days when my dad was sick in bed, he asked me to give him a shave. Deeply touched by the situation and the moment it was, I took the shaving cream, carefully applied on my dad's chin and then, very slowly, I began to shave him.

I passed the razor and then used my hand to confirm I hadn’t left any little hair behind. If I saw something out of place, I did pass the razor again and then back with my hand to confirm. And while I was doing this shave-and-confirm process with every inch of my dad’s beard, he suddenly told me: "Joel, this is not a work of art. It's just a shave, and nothing more."

How many times in your life have you found yourself in the same situation, spending endless hours on a project in pursuit of perfection? 

And to continue with the opening myself to you kind of thing, I’ve to recognize I’ve been there myself several times. Always remember that all things can be improved, you can always make it better. If this searching for perfection thing is making your projects be awfully delayed, as it has happened to me more than once, then you’ve simply become a victim of this horrendous habit which disguises itself as a lovely sheep when it’s actually a very frightening and ferocious wolf.

Keep in mind that in many cases, "it’s simply a shave and not a work of art." 

Being too stubborn to move on to the next page and let things go. 

Did you know that I crazily felt in love with a woman when I was 18? And even though she was almost 10 years older than me and everything clearly indicated that our relationship was doomed to fail sooner or later, I was too stubborn to accept it.

And even after we broke up, I foolishly waited for that "precious time when we were going to be back together" without realizing that, in doing so, I was denying myself the opportunity to meet another person with whom I could have a normal  relationship.

Just by letting not-working things go and move on, you free your hands to hold on to new things.

Only when I decided to put aside my "hardheadedness", flip over the page and take a few steps forward, my life started again and finally, after a couple of years, I met a wonderful person who continues to be my partner today, thank God.

And so it is with many things, both in our personal and professional lives: How many people do you know who should have quit their jobs  long ago, and yet they are still there, fighting a fight that is already lost? How many businesses have you seen fail simply because their owners did not want to change their course when it was time?

I'm very happy because out of the 10 habits mentioned in the post I’m talking about, I only identified myself with three of them. Maybe in your case, it’s different: it may be more, may be less. Who knows?

Here you have the link for a post I definitely recommend you to read so that you can make your own, personal assessment:

The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success 

Photo Credits: flynt / 123RF Stock Photo 

Related articles in this blog:
The Hardest Business You Will Ever Make: When Making A Stop And Changing Directions.

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