Your Potential: Are You Guilty of Self-Sabotage?
What’s holding you back from reaching your full potential in business? Although many people point to other people’s expectations, economic woes, etc., the reality is often much simpler. Would you believe that you can be the biggest roadblock to your own success?
Now, you may be furiously shaking your head and saying, “Nope, not me. I would NEVER hold myself back.” The thing is, you may not even realize you’re doing it. Most of us don’t.
What’s your potential?
Many network marketers limit themselves when they’re setting goals. This process seems simple enough – you set a goal you want to reach and then make a plan to achieve it. However, how do you decide on the goal you want to reach? If you’re like most people, you may review your past performance or think about what you could achieve or look to others on your team who you feel you’re on par with and base your goals on theirs. Here comes the tricky (and by “tricky” I mean “self-limiting”) part: how often in this process do you say, “that goal is too much; I can’t reach that” or “I’m not ready to reach numbers that high; let me adjust it to make it more reasonable.” You’re getting in the way of achieving your true potential.
Make no mistake, you should set goals that are realistic for where you are now, but you should never, ever set limits. Unfortunately, those limits tend to carry over from year to year and they chip away at your confidence at the same time. If you want to reach your full potential, it’s vital to go beyond what you think is possible.
Are you afraid to dream big?
Many network marketers aren’t confident enough in their abilities, knowledge or business to strive beyond what their practical mind feels they can accomplish. The practical mind is like the parent that doesn’t want to see their child hurt so they temper their child’s ambition with “reality.” (Usually, they end these statements with, “I just don’t want to see you hurt or disappointed, honey.”) Your practical mind does the same thing. Sure, you may want to be the top seller in your area, but your practical mind says, “Is that a good idea? This is only your first year in network marketing. Maybe you should lower your expectations and then maybe in a couple of years, you can reach the top sales level.”
Although we’re just trying to protect ourselves from getting hurt or disappointed, we prevent ourselves from growing and achieving our potential. The reality is, we’re afraid. Of what, you ask?
Success/Failure: two sides of the same coin
Often, people limit themselves because they’re afraid to fail. Although failing may have negative consequences, the act itself is simply a learning experience. However, along with failure comes the fear of embarrassment, shame, and financial ruin. We don’t want to let down the people we love and we certainly don’t want people saying, “I told you so” (even if it’s just that annoying voice in our heads). Instead of chalking failure up to a learning experience, we dwell on it and become angry and frustrated. In fact, the only thing many learn from the experiences is to not aim so high again.
On the flip side, we also fear success. You may be thinking, “That’s silly. Who’s afraid of success?” It’s not the success itself we fear but our reaction to it. We’re afraid we’ll change or that hangers-on will come out of the woodwork and attach themselves to us. We’re afraid that if we reach the heights of success that the fall will be so much harder. Once we begin to think these things, we begin to justify those thoughts, repeating stories of people who have changed or experienced calamity after achieving success. In reality, you’ll be the same person, with money or without. And, there’s not a guarantee that the pendulum will swing hard in the other direction once you’ve achieved success.
Both of these fears stem from the same source and a fixation on what could be instead of what actually is. We talk ourselves out of trying before we can experience failure or success either way. We limit ourselves in an effort to avoid pain and suffering, but also avoid happiness and achieving our true potential.
3 reasons to dream big (that help you achieve your true potential)
1. Reach beyond the comfort zone.
If you want to grow your business, it’s essential to get beyond your comfort zone. The comfort zone is where you’re used to working now – you have a process, everything is good, and you’re just humming along. And that’s fine if you never want to reach beyond that level. However, if you want to help more people, make more sales, and more money, you have to summon your courage and get uncomfortable.
2. Fuel the drive for success.
Ambitious goals are the fuel you need to drive your business forward. By all means, have realistic goals to keep you progressing throughout the year. However, dreaming big gives you something to aim for – something you’re excited to achieve, that gets you going. It keeps you on track, especially on the days when you’re too tired, frustrated, bored, etc. to work on your business.
3. Create a better life.
We all dream of a better life. Even if we’re happy with how life has been so far, we daydream of how it could be better – a bigger house, a fun family vacation that’s paid for before the trip begins, a new car, a vacation home, a boat, or even starting a business. (Also, you may dream of the ability to give back BIG.) Why not make it a goal to reach? Resist the urge to listen to that tiny voice that says, “No, no, no. That’s not a good goal to have.” Simply set it and figure out how you can make it a reality over the long term.
How to dream big
Ready to establish a big goal? Get ready to realize your true potential.
You know the drill by now. Find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Clear your mind of all worries and stray thoughts. Then, begin to imagine your perfect life. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel? Are you in a bigger house? A house by the beach? In an exotic locale with your nearest and dearest? Are you wearing clothing from a favorite designer? Do you have a sense of peace and calm from having money in the bank after paying your monthly bills? Write down all that you see.
Set a goal
Review what you saw. Which aspect seems like a priority? Use it to create a goal. For example, if you want to take a dream vacation, write it down. If you want to upsize your home or build your savings account, craft a goal around it.
Just as with any goal, you’ll want to be specific. This is where you may have to do some research. If your goal involves a trip, go online or call a travel agent to see how much your dream trip would cost. Or, if your goal is a bigger home or a vacation home, look online to price a home that fits your criteria. This will give you a target to aim for. Keep in mind that this financial information may change depending on how long you plan to save for. However, having a figure will give you a general idea.
Make a plan
Once you’ve set the goal, make a plan to achieve it. Things to consider:
- What is your timeframe for achieving the goal? Bigger goals need more time to achieve so plan on a few years or longer.
- What steps do you have to take? It’ll take a series of steps to achieve the goal. It helps to work backward and plan as if you’ve already succeeded in achieving the goal. What will you have to do to make it happen?
- Set shorter goals and milestones to reach along the way. Think of these as checkpoints to reach that will keep you on track and thinking about your overall goal.
You have your goal and a plan to reach it; now is the time to start. Don’t get caught in the trap of putting it off until the timing seems better. The best time to begin working toward your dreams is now!
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