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Personal Development

5 Steps To Getting Out Of Your Own Way

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Have you ever felt like you get in your own way? That, when working toward your goals, your path always follows the frustrating sequence of one step forward, two steps back?

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We all get in our own way at times, particularly when it comes to the areas in life that we struggle with the most. Getting in your own way can make it difficult to take the actions that will improve your situation.

For example, if you struggle with your weight, you likely get in your own way by not exercising regularly or eating well. If saving money is the problem, you likely have adopted a mindset that isn’t conducive to creating long term wealth.

Whatever your struggle is, getting in your own way suggests that you may not have a healthy relationship with yourself in that area of your life. As such, taking action toward the goals that you set will feel difficult (at times, impossible), and you’ll often struggle to find the motivation necessary to get things done.

Below you’ll find five suggestions for getting out of your own way. Commit to improving in one of these areas, and you will likely upgrade the others as well. Self-growth is a whole process, greater than the sum of its parts, and improvement in one area will lead to transformation in another.

1. Eliminate negative self-talk.

 You’ve probably heard before that negative self-talk can inhibit your ability to achieve a goal. There are many reasons this is true, but here’s one of the most important.

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All human behaviour is the result of you choosing to either avoid pain or seek out pleasure. Think about any behaviour you engage in regularly, and you likely can deduce which one it is for you.

It’s important you understand, then, that negative self-talk is painful on a level that only we can create for ourselves. When you demand perfection, or when you berate yourself because things didn’t go perfectly or how you imagined they would, your brain associates these negative feelings with your experience.

This could be why you avoid the activity that will help you reach your goals. Show more compassion to yourself and remember that achievement is a journey. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you will experience failure at some point, but failure is necessary for growth and, as such, should be embraced rather than feared.

2. Take a new approach to stop doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

Have you ever found yourself doing the thing you had, just moments ago, said you wouldn’t do? Most of us are all-too familiar with this scenario.

If that’s the case, I encourage you to flip your own script and take control in another manner. Instead of focusing on the things you shouldn’t be doing, focus on the things you should. Begin referring to these things as your “non-negotiables.”

For example, if your goal is to build a business, your non-negotiables each day might be:

  1. Cold call or cold email five prospective clients
  2. Spend one hour developing or growing your business
  3. Write one new blog post for your social media outlets

In this scenario, you take the focus off the minutiae that you sometimes get distracted by or caught up in — checking social media, answering emails, improving your website, etc. — and place it instead on getting your non-negotiables, the things you SHOULD be doing, done first. Whatever happens after that happens. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you moved the needle and advanced yourself on that day.

Apply this to any area of your life and watch how this shift in focus destroys your tendency to do exactly what you think you shouldn’t.

3. Wisely choose the people in your life that you spend time with and take advice from.  

It’s a simple solution, but if you feel like you are getting in your own way, take a look at the people closest to you. If you find that your social circle enables you to make bad choices or live in a manner that is out of alignment with the vision you have for your life, you need to change that. Going out several nights a week or doing things that violate your values or beliefs for the sake of convenience is not doing you any favours.

While I’m not suggesting that you dramatically delete anyone from your phone who isn’t helping you reach your goals, I do recommend you start consciously limiting the time you spend around them. As with suggestion #2, your goal is to achieve peace of mind. What level of exposure to your friends and family will give you peace of mind and keep you effective at the same time?

Like it or not, the people that are closest to us influence our moods, beliefs, and actions. The people around you can help you reach your goals or can be a major reason why you never get there. Only you can decide what is right for you. Just remember, when it doesn’t feel right, it’s time to make a change.

4. Negatively perceiving your past failures.

 A surefire manner of getting in your own way is to believe that the future will be just like the past. When you think about it, it’s kind of a dumb belief. If we were all doomed to repeat our mistakes, why would we ever bother trying to improve ourselves?

Deep down, you know it might be similar. There’s a good chance you’ll struggle with the same one or two things that beat you up last time. But the outcome can always change. Achievers understand that failure is a form of feedback. When you fail, you’ve learned another way that isn’t going to help you reach your goals, and that it’s time to move on and try something else.

Make it a goal to give yourself a clean slate for your new journey every time you start something new. Stop associating past failures with new ventures. If anything, look deeply into what went awry last time and seek solutions that are specific to those problems before you get started again.

5. Getting ‘unstuck’ from the cycle of stress and self-doubt.

This last one is for people who have chronically struggled with something — weight loss, making money, breaking bad habits, improving their personal lives, etc. If it’s been years and you still haven’t gotten results no matter how hard you’ve tried, you might understand what it’s like to feel like you’re in a “cycle” of failure.

  Typically, the cycle goes like this:

  1. Something external motivates you to get started again.
  2. You make a grand plan that you’re sure is going to be the solution to your problems.
  3. Day 1 comes, and you’re confident in your abilities and excited to get moving.
  4. Day 3 hits, and you’re not as confident as you were when it started. Things get hard.
  5. Day 4 comes, you fall off the wagon, slip up, or don’t take any action.
  6. Days 5-7 are typically spent feeling depressed, upset, or stressed. For some, they are also the times when you binge.

 Wash, rinse, repeat. Three to four weeks go by, and you start the cycle all over again.

The solution here is this: Break your pattern by taking bold action toward your outcome. What could you do that would prevent you from turning back? Book a spot at a workshop? Throw out all the junk food in your pantry? If excuses were not allowed, what would that action be? Leverage that understanding and do all that you can do make it happen.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you realize that the old cycle you were stuck in no longer seems as inevitable.

Final Thoughts

While getting out of your own way can’t be solved overnight, it can be eradicated over time if you strive for small advancements in the areas you struggle most. Consider it a win if you catch yourself before falling into old habits even once.

Be objective with your experiences and don’t get upset, even if you’ve never seen anything other than nominal success followed by failure. The truth is, you are entirely more capable at this point than you’ve ever been before because of what you’ve been through. With that in mind, strive for continual 1% improvements each day. You’ll be surprised how quickly the transformation comes.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to have the difficult conversation with yourself that will serve as the catalyst for progress. Don’t be afraid to pull up the hood and look for the problems. For all of us, that’s the start of getting out of our own way.

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Consciousness

How To Stop Self-Sabotage & Get Out Of Your Own Way

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    While we all have our fair share of obstacles to overcome in life, in many cases, we are the biggest obstacles standing in our way. Thankfully, there are things we can all do to cut back on self-sabotaging behaviour.

  • Reflect On:

    How much am I holding myself back from? What, if anything, am I getting from keeping myself in the state I am in?

Whether or not you consider yourself a creative person, we are all creative powerhouses. Proof of this lies within our minds, which are consistently concocting ideas, scenarios, goals and so much more that all play a prominent role in the life that we live.​

While some of us thrive at making the most of the constructive impulses that come our way, the vast majority of us instead seem to excel at running with those that are instead destructive in nature. We may feel as though we live in a world filled with ruthless competition, but in reality our biggest competitor both operates and exists within us.

“Addiction, self-sabotage, procrastination, laziness, rage, chronic fatigue and depression are all ways that we withhold our full participation in the program of life we are offered. When the conscious mind cannot find a reason to say no, the unconscious says no in its own way.” – Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

Here are some of what I’ve found to be the most common ways in which we sabotage ourselves and what we can all do to get out of our own way:

The Problem With Overthinking

One of the most common ways that we sabotage ourselves is by overthinking. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of situations and scenarios in which reflecting on something extensively is not only beneficial, but often the best course of action. However, the number of times where that is the case is far outweighed by the number of times we opt to overthink.

One second we are excited about a new idea, and within hours, or sometimes minutes, we’ve concretely established three worst case scenarios, two of which have a 0.001% likelihood of ever occurring, and we’ve sold ourselves on the conclusion that we shouldn’t even bother. Sound familiar?

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If overthinking is an issue for you, I recommend that you try adding journaling into your daily life. I personally like to follow the protocol outlined in the infamous book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which encourages you to journal first thing in the morning, but taking any time out of your day to allow your mind to metaphorically dump onto the page can be life-changing. Let yourself write literally anything and everything that comes to mind. It may feel counterproductive at first, but you’d be surprised at how often writing things out can make your thoughts feel heard, allowing you to more easily assess the healthy from the unhealthy and move past those that would have previously sabotaged your creativity.

Cut The Comparison

Another common way in which we frequently self sabotage is through comparison, especially in our social media driven world where measuring ourselves against others has never been more prevalent. With a couple of swipes and scrolls we can easily compare ourselves to hundreds of other people, most of which are portraying themselves and their lives inaccurately.

If comparison is your “Achilles heel”, there are two things you can do: 1) cut back on how much time you spend on social media, and 2) actively challenge yourself to celebrate rather than compare yourself to the accomplishments of others.

For example, I could very easily look at the work of someone like Jay Shetty–whose content falls largely under a similar umbrella to mine–and see that it’s being seen by millions of people compared to the thousands that mine is typically consumed by, and allow myself to get down because of that. Or I can alternatively look at his accomplishments, including his recent appearance on The Ellen Show–a longtime goal of mine–and instead be happy for him, seeing his success as living proof that there is an audience for this content.

Sorry, I Was Distracted

A third lesser-known way in which we sabotage ourselves, occasionally even subconsciously, is through distraction. Rather than taking immediate action or even the smallest of steps to further establish the healthy neural pathway that is trying to form, we closet that creativity by opting to distract ourselves from listening to it.

Common ways that we do this include picking up our phones and checking social media, or using our fatigue to justify sitting on the couch and watching some TV, both of which always provide more than enough content for us to engage with in a far less creative manner.

If distraction is your self sabotage speciality, consider setting aside set periods each day where you do not allow yourself to engage with any form of technology. Whether you opt to read a book, meditate or spend some time out in nature, give your mind the daily opportunity to reacclimatize to what that experience feels like, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what it leads to.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

Article originally written for and published by Ideapod.

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In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Consciousness

My 3 Weeks Listening To Only 1 Song & What I Learned About Focus

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Music impacts us in more ways than we likely think. It turns out that purposely listening to a single song or playlist could work wonders when it comes to creativity and focus.

  • Reflect On:

    What music do you regularly listen to, especially as you work? Pay attention to how every song you listen to makes you feel both during and after playing it.

In the name of personal development and health, I’ve always been someone who has enjoyed challenging myself and trying new things. And while you think that I would have logically taken at least a bit of a break after recently going 400+ days without candy (read about that HERE), I opted to instead jump immediately into my next adventure.

This time I challenged myself, an avid lover of music, to only be able to listen to one song of my choosing for what turned out to be three straight weeks.

While the idea behind this may sound crazy to many of you, I’m not the first one to do it. In fact, my inspiration stemmed from the bestselling book Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by infamous life-hacker Tim Ferriss. In one of the many sections that the book is broken into, Tim reveals that a number of prominent individuals have purposely chosen to listen to just one song or soundtrack on repeat while working on a given project.

Free solo climbing phenom Alex Honnold, the lead developer of WordPress Matt Mullenweg, and female obstacle course racer Amelia Boone are just 3 of the many examples that the book outlines.

Currently having a lot on my creative plate, in addition to running my company, I decided to try it out. The song I chose was ‘Time’ by Hans Zimmer, a song most infamously known for its place on the Inception Soundtrack.

Now, I will fully admit that this was not the only song that I heard over the course of these three weeks, since I opted to: A) not shut myself out from the rest of the world to ensure this was possible, and B) not be the person who approached the employees of every public venue I went to requesting that they change their current playlist for a classical song on repeat. But aside from those times, it was all that I heard.

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I listened to it while working, driving, working out, cooking and more. Here are some of my key takeaways:

The Song Never Got Old

The most surprising takeaway for me from this entire experience was that I can honestly say that I never got tired of listening to the song I chose. According to my iTunes, as of the moment I am writing this sentence, the song has been played a whopping 473 times and to be honest I wouldn’t mind hearing it right now.

It Becomes A Form Of Musical Meditation

In my experience, having the same song play on repeat allowed it to become a form of musical meditation. My mind always knew what to expect and it was able to coast on autopilot to that expectation while focusing on whatever primary activity I was engaging in at the time.

As someone whose musical taste is typically quite eclectic to say the least, having a level playing field was honestly a pleasant experience. Not to mention I didn’t waste any time or lose focus by frequently searching for or skipping songs as I normally would.

Song Choice Is Critical

As much as I love ‘Time’ by Hans Zimmer, no part of me would have listed it as my favorite song of all-time prior to this experience (and for the record it still isn’t). That being said, for these purposes it was exactly what I needed.

I’m not suggesting that we should all listen to the same song that I did, but to instead make our selection based on what we know is most likely to work with us. In my case, I knew that only something in the classical realm with no lyrics stood a chance at being the only song played for more than 24 hours.

Ultimately, if you have something to focus on, I highly suggest trying this out. I personally enjoyed it so much that not only did the initial challenge evolve from what was supposed to be one week into three weeks, but I am also still listening to it whenever I need to focus on a specific task at hand (such as writing my book). I allow myself to listen to the other music I love whenever I find myself doing things that don’t require so much of my attention, but when it comes to locking in, Hans Zimmer’s Time is my anthem!


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

A Simple Trick To Unlock Determination & Focus

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In a world filled with distractions, the ability to lock in and focus has become harder and harder to master. But rather than looking outside of yourself for a solution, the key may just lie within.

  • Reflect On:

    How many notifications do you receive daily? Are there any Apps that rather than always receiving notifications from you could instead just check at certain times?

A recent study revealed that in the United States, the average smartphone user receives 45.9 push notifications per day, and many of us exceed that number. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to WhatsApp to Gmail, everything is constantly vying for our attention.

As a result of this overload, we’re experiencing a collective inability to focus at our highest potential and a reality where the majority of us are consistently fighting off some sort of urge to do something else.

(Fun Fact: Even as I’ve just started to write this article I’ve already seen my phone light up twice with notifications. I’ve now followed my own rules and have turned it over to lock in on the task at hand–more on this later.)

Even if you are part of the dying breed of individuals who have sworn off social media, although you finding and reading this article suggests otherwise, we all seem to be having an incredibly difficult time staying focused.

And with every useless scroll through our Instagram news feed and with every endless YouTube video rabbit hole we fall into, we only further shrink our attention span and strengthen the programming that convinces us that this is normal behaviour.

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Assuming that part of why you clicked on this article is because you do have something that you ideally would like to focus on and ultimately accomplish, I’d like to share with you the best tactic I’ve personally found (and some bonus ones) to “lock in.” Believe it or not, this tactic is not a specific exercise, but is instead designed for you to realize that you still have an incredible ability to focus within you. It hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just been misguided.

In fact, it’s likely getting more use than you could ever imagine.

The best way to explain this further is by using an example. Think of the last time you either: A) lost your phone, or B) forgot to bring a charger and realized that your phone was about to die.

The moment that either of those realities kick in for most of us, we immediately enter a state where nothing else matters. In scenario A, we search everywhere possible, call it from any other device we can get our hands on, and seek out the assistance of everyone available. In scenario B, despite being an introvert on the daily, we suddenly find ourselves engaging in conversation with everyone by asking for a charger, and if one can’t be found we start planning our exit no matter how much fun we’re having pre-low battery.

We’ve all experienced and have seen this before. When assessed like this, it likely sounds like a form of insanity–and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is–but from a completely different perspective, it’s actually fully “locked in” determination.

You see, we all have the capacity to focus on one particular thing and give all of ourselves to it, it’s just that our auto-pilot has become the opposite because of the sheer number of distractions we are exposed to and have become addicted to.

So rather than looking outside of yourself for some practice or technique that’s going to help you focus and finish writing that book, completing the homework, or finally send out those wedding thank you cards, look within and realize that you are still a determination powerhouse just waiting to be re-guided.

Bonus Tips: 1) When working on something important, put your phone on silent and either put it in another room or face down on your desk. 2) Consider turning off notifications and instead just check certain apps at particular points in the day. I’ve personally turned off all notifications from Facebook, Instagram and all audible email pushes.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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