Even though everyone may have a different definition of success, the reality is that innately we all want to be more, have more and do more with our lives. Success can be big or small and humble or grand. Regardless, all success starts with setting an objective and ends with achieving that objective.
Whilst there are many personal development gurus and self-help experts who will tell you about setting goals, persistence and determination, studies show that less than 10 percent of people actually achieve their life goals.
It's not that people fail because they are not aware of what they should do. People fail because of two reasons:
1. People know the 'what', but not the 'how'.
2. People don't do what they should 'do' with what they 'know'.
Our brains are naturally wired for success and our cognitive functions give us the ability to set goals, plan strategies, assess risks and envision outcomes. However if we do not use our cognitive functions efficiently, our odds of success drop dramatically.
Long term procrastination and fear are essentially glitches because they are they are the enemy of action required to achieve successful objectives. Procrastination and fear turn motivation to inertia, productivity to despondency and slowly have the potential to kill our dreams.
This is why I am not a big fan of motivational speakers. They may motivate you for 2-3 days, but they do not cause the permanent transformation required for sustained success.
Through repetitive emotional engagement, fear and procrastination can become habits forming neural pathways in our brain, which keep producing habitual thoughts and feelings leading to the same results (inactions).
Whilst your neural pathways can be changed and new habits can be formed, this typically requires ongoing training, coaching and monitoring (accountability from a third party). This is probably the reason why coaching is growing rapidly as a profession (when done correctly) because most of us are not equipped to deal with our own blind spots. Hence the saying- "you cannot see the picture when you are in the frame".
Whilst there are many strategies for long term psychological transformation, here are some quick tips to help you reduce fear and procrastination:
1. Set goals that truly inspire you. This way your desire to achieve may be greater than your fear of failure.
2. Make an extensive list of all the benefits you will enjoy as a result of achieving your goals. This will give you added momentum to start pursuing your desires.
3. Visualize your goals as already achieved. Part of your mind cannot tell the difference between real and imagined events and this is an effective strategy to reprogram your neural pathways.
4. Observe other people who are achieving and ask them to mentor you (only if they are able to articulate the steps and the process they followed to get to where they are).
Think Big. Live Bigger!
- Ron Malhotra