Give young people meaningful roles

By Azugbene Solomon

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“Having a voice” means more than making a sound when you sing or shout. The ways people express ideas, energy, and insights make each person unique. Helping young people find their voices is one of the best ways to help them be a positive force in their families, schools, clubs, teams, or neighborhoods. This is good for them—and for your community. Young people have a lot more to contribute when their opinions are respected and their talents are tapped. Listen closely to the opinions of young people around you, and you’ll all benefit.

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Research shows when young people have useful roles in their community they feel good about themselves and their future, do better in school, and get into less trouble. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and appreciated. Only 26 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they’ve been given useful roles in their community, according to Search Institute surveys. Allow all young people to have a voice in issues and decisions at home, school, and in the community.

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Building this asset means valuing young people’s talents, skills, interests, and opinions. It means setting aside the belief that adults know more than the younger generation. When you see children and youth as valuable resources, they feel more empowered to contribute to the community, and at school, and home in meaningful, thoughtful ways.

This post originally appeared on Youtherie

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How to Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement

By Maria Jensen

Today, most people like the idea about self-improvement. It’s trendy.

But before you can improve yourself, you have to get to know who you are, what you want, and why it’s so crucial to know the answers to those questions.

Once you know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want, then you can go on to work on self-improvement.

This article will take you through the main reasons why you should take the time to get to know yourself, how to get to know yourself, and then finally how to seek self-improvement.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Why You Should Get to Know Yourself
  2. How to Get to Know Yourself
  3. How to Seek Self-Improvement
  4. Final Thoughts

Why You Should Get to Know Yourself
Many people go through life without getting a clear understanding of themselves. There’s a difference between wanting to be someone and then the actions that creates a person. It’s easy to tell people who you are, but can you actually walk the talk?

We have a tendency to brush away our shortcomings and play a certain role that we’ve intentionally or unintentionally created for ourselves. It may work for a while, but it won’t help you achieve anything in the long run.

Yes, you can say you’re a good spouse. People will believe you when they see the picture-perfect image on your office, but if you go home to a different story, it doesn’t really matter.

In the end, the opinion that matters the most are the one we hold about ourselves. A lie will drain you, overwhelm you, and unresolved emotions will resurface.

Maybe you choose a certain path many years ago and now you feel stuck. You look in the mirror and you don’t recognize yourself. The week seems endless and it’s only 7am on a Monday morning.

These are just examples. It doesn’t mean that only unhappy people need to get know themselves and seek self-improvement. Even if your life is truly as great as it looks like, it’s always worth checking in with yourself.

It’s natural to change throughout life, but too many people are afraid of reacting to this change or realize that the path they once choose may not be right anymore.

Change is scary, but it’s even more scary to ignore your emotions and not react to them. For better or worse – change is the only constant. If you get to know yourself now, then you’ll be able to handle change better. Obviously, you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

There’s no time limit for getting to know yourself or window of opportunity. Remember that:

“Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing.”

You can be at the top of your game to the outside world, but still feel the need to get to know yourself and seek self-improvement.

It’s never too late to get to know yourself, because once you do, then you’ll be ready for whatever comes next. When you know yourself, a new road won’t seem scary because you already know whether you’re planning on turning left or right.

How to Get to Know Yourself
So, it’s settled. It’s a good idea to know this person that you wake up to every morning and look at while brushing your teeth. The person in the mirror that kind of looks the same, but yet somehow seems different over time. Here comes the million dollar question: where do you start?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick answer (or solution) to this. It isn’t math. There’s no right or wrong. You can’t find a page with all the secret answers and ace the test.

Most people will get a better feeling of who they are over time by simply looking back at their previous actions, reactions and decisions. But you can also choose to take an active part of the progress right now.

Here are some active actions you can take to get to know yourself:

1. Increase Your Self-Awareness
It’s all about you now. Let the outside world exist on its own. It’s not about your neighbour or the guy from high school that posted yet another sunny picture from Dubai. It’s not about them.

Take some time to look at yourself. What have you been doing? How do you react to certain situations? What makes you smile?

And if you keep going back to comparing yourself to a specific person, then ask yourself why you’re so fixated on them. Figure yourself out. You’re worth knowing.

2. Face Your Fears
It might seem obvious, but for some reason you keep avoiding that one thing.

A lot of people let fear stand in their way even though they know deep down they have the ability to face it. It’s easy to say of course, but if you manage to overcome your weakness, it will change you for the better. You will learn from it, and you’ll know a whole lot more about your character.

Not sure how to conquer your fears? This guide can help you:

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

3. Focus on Your Strengths
It’s always a good idea to focus on what you thrive at and nurture it. It will help you become more successful, but you’ll also get a better understanding of yourself as our strengths are a big part of who we are.

Even if you’ve been running towards the wall for a while and your head is really starting to hurt – you’ll always have some strengths in you that you can return to. Go back and focus on them and see where they’ll lead you. Maybe a talent will turn into a career. Maybe a character trait will turn into a new path or relationship.

Now, let’s move on to how to go further and seek self-improvement.

Ryan Holiday said:

”You can’t learn if you think you already know. You will not find the answers if you’re too conceited and self-assured to ask the questions. You cannot get better if you’re convinced you are the best.”

How to Seek Self-Improvement
It’s important to leave ego behind and realize that you’ll never move forward, if you don’t accept that you’re not the best. You can always become better. Maybe you’re currently the best at your job, but you should never stop competing against yourself. It’s not about putting endless pressure on yourself. It’s about keeping yourself in movement.

Maybe you did some soul-searching and you realized that you did choose the right path. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve yourself. Or maybe you just realized that you want a completely different life. You quit your job, bought a dog and moved to a new city. Great, but you’re not done yet.

Once you tell yourself you have done what you set out to do, then you’ll run into the same wall that knocked you out in the first place.

Self-improvement is not about putting yourself down. Self-improvement is about lifting yourself up higher. The only way to do that is by accepting that you’re not the best. You can always become better. Even (or maybe especially) if you’re only competing against yourself.

Final Thoughts
Self-improvement can be applied to anything from learning a new skill, learning to deal with your anger, or putting yourself in a new situation that scares you. Some people need to change their scenery completely. Some people just need to attend a meeting every Thursday. Others may need to take up a self-defence class to feel in control again.

Sometimes life is not about gaining or achieving. Sometimes life is simply about losing and letting go.

People are capable of doing (almost) everything that the people they admire are doing. You can’t limit yourself by saying you can’t do a specific thing, because you’re you. It all comes down to mind-set and commitment. Get to know yourself and then set out clear goals.

Aristotle once said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Reference
[1] ^ Mark Manson, The subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, page 3
[2] ^ Ryan Holiday: Ego is the enemy, page 41

This article was first published at Lifehack

2 Ideas That Could Immediately Improve Your Life

By Azugbene Solomon

Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof Brand and New York Times bestselling author of multiple books, recently released his newest book, Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks Do to Win at Life.

It includes a lot of fascinating and useful ideas.

In this post, I’m going to highlight two you can immediately use.

1. Update your environment to change your personal evolution.
Asprey is known for being one of the world’s top biohackers. In the book, he provides the definition:

“That exactly meets the definition of biohacking: changing the environment around you so you have full control of your own biology.”

This quote reminded me of Marshall Goldsmith, who said:

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.”

Put simply, human beings are the product of their environment. Some environments are domesticated whereas others are more “natural.” Every environment has different rules and different possibilities for growth and development.

The environment you select determines to a great extent what you evolve into. That, actually, was the concept of Willpower Doesn’t Work, the book I published in 2018.

Here are some of Asprey’s specific recommendations:

  • Get some indoor plants. (Be sure to get organic plants without pesticide on them and control for mold growth in the soil. I use Homebiotic spray, which contains natural soil bacteria that combat indoor fungus.)
  • Go for a hike in nature every time you travel.
  • Let your kids play in the dirt. Better yet, join them.
  • Take a walk in nature once a week. Increase your return by adding community (bring friends!).
  • Eliminate antibacterial cleansers and bleach.
  • Bring potted plants (including dirt!) into your home to benefit from soil bacteria.

2. Gratitude rewires your brain.
According to Asprey, gratitude is stronger than fear. Here’s specifically what he says in Game Changers:

  • Overcoming fear that does not serve you is necessary to access your greatness. Courage works, but it takes a lot of energy to maintain. Save courage for when your life is actually on the line. The rest of the time, use gratitude to turn off fear at the cellular level. Freedom from fear leads to happiness, and happiness is what makes you perform your best at whatever you choose to do.

Throughout the final chapter of the book, Asprey explains with loads of science how gratitude not only rewires your brain but also completely resets your biology. That is biohacking at its finest.

Change your environment to enhance your biology.

Say three things you’re grateful for every night to rewire your brain and reset/upgrade your biology.

This article was first published at Inc

How to Stay Away from Friends Who Are Bad Influences

Featured photo credit: Getty Images

Azugbene Solomon

It can be difficult to stay away from friends who are a bad influence on you. Take time to notice which friends pressure you, are disrespectful, or try to manipulate you. These friends who are a bad influence are likely stressing you out and not treating you like a true friend should. If you can get help from others, set healthy boundaries, and make priorities for good friendships, you’ll be better able to manage or stay away from friends who try to influence you. Just remember your values and needs, and that sometimes bad friendships have to end.

Recognizing Bad Friendships

1 Notice who feels like a bad friend.

Notice who makes you uncomfortable, pressures you to do things you or parents don’t agree with, or teases you when you don’t want to do the things they want to do. These types of friends are bad influences, because they don’t respect your opinions and values. Instead, they try to pressure you and make you feel guilty if you don’t agree with them. Look out for friends who :

  • Boss you around
  • Use drugs
  • Are disrespectful or mean to others
  • Are destructive of property or violent
  • Try to manipulate you
  • Make you feel bad about your eating habits or body
  • Belittle your ideas or opinions

2. Realize the effects this friend has on you.

You’ve probably been noticing for awhile that this friend has a bad influence on you, but maybe you’ve been trying to give them more chances. You probably even defend them to your parents or other friends who object to the way they treat you. Take some time to think about the effect these friends have on you. Ask yourself if you feel:

  • Used
  • Drained
  • Stressed out
  • Unsupported
  • Trapped
  • Guilty for things you’ve done with the friend

3. Ask for help.

If you are having trouble saying “no” to or walking away from a friend who’s a bad influence, ask for help from a more trusted friend, your parents, or the school counselor. These people can help support you and make you feel better for the next time you face that friend. Other people can help give you a more objective opinion about if the friendship is a good one or worth saving.

  • Depending on what your friend has been doing, your parents may want to talk to their parents. They may also want you to spend less time with those friends or spend time with them in safer ways, like at home.

4. Talk to your friend.

Confronting someone who has upset you or is a bad influence can be hard, but you’ll have to take responsibility and try, otherwise they’ll just keep treating you the same way. By talking to them, you’re showing you care about yourself and them. Keep in mind that they may become angry or not understand. Try to focus on your friend’s behavior you disagree with, rather than criticizing them.

  • You can say, “I know you’re a good person and I know you’ve been having a hard time since your parents divorced. But I don’t want to be around your smoking and drinking at school. I feel unsafe when you do that and I’m worried about you.”

5. Set boundaries with your friend.

To protect yourself if you still want to be around the friend, you’ll need to set some boundaries so that they know they can’t treat you that way anymore. You’ll have to be direct and clear about what you need from them and what is not okay with you.

  • Limit the time you spend with that friend
  • Express your feelings and needs honestly
  • Leave situations where your friend offends you or puts you in danger

Don’t force them to change, that’s up to them

6. End the friendship.

If your friend continues to drain you, stress you out, or otherwise remain a bad influence on you, end the relationship. You cannot force them to change, but you also have to respect yourself and listen to your needs. Let your friend know that you’re ending the friendship not because of who they are as a person, but because of their actions and how they’ve made you feel.

  • You can say, “I really care about you, but our friendship isn’t working for me. It doesn’t seem our interests are the same and I don’t feel good about myself in this friendship.”

Moving on From Bad Friendships

1 Stay away.

Once you’ve ended the friendship, it may be difficult to completely avoid friends who are a bad influence, particularly if you’re in the same classes, live close to each other, or have mutual friends. It will be awkward for awhile, particularly if there are hurt feelings involved, but it’s important to be firm in your decision in taking time apart. To help you stay away you can:

  • Defriend or unfollow them on social media
  • Avoid talking about them with your mutual friends
  • Avoid answering any texts or phone calls from them
  • Avoid sitting next to them in class or at other events

2. Overcome hurt caused by the bad friendship.

Even if you were ready for the friendship to end, breaking up with a friend can take a toll on you. Take time to move on and overcome the hurt caused by your bad friendship. Allow yourself to process any feelings you have about the friendship ending, either on your own, with a parent or loved one, with a good friend, or with a counselor.

  • Cry and let yourself be sad
  • Write a goodbye letter, but keep it for yourself

3. Determine what you want in a friend.

Ask yourself what qualities most troubled you about the bad friendship, and how you can keep that from happening again. Good friendships are well balanced. Each friend gets their needs met fairly equally, and you’ll feel safe, supported, and appreciated in a good friendship. You’ll want friends who are there for you in good times and in bad. Look for people who :

  • Build you up
  • Genuinely care about how you are
  • Don’t focus only on themselves

4. Try to make new friends.

Once you know the types of people you want to be friends with and the types you’re trying to stay away from, put yourself out there. Look for people who have similar interests as you and ask to spend time with them. You can also try new activities to meet new, different kinds of people.

It might be uncomfortable or scary at first, just like asking someone out on a date. You can say, “Hi, I noticed your t-shirt. Do you like that band, too? I heard they’re coming out with a new album this weekend. Do you want to go check it out at the record store with me sometime?”

5. Spend time with yourself and your family.

If you’re having trouble making new friends, or just aren’t ready, focus on yourself. Make time for yourself by exploring new hobbies, focusing on school, and doing extracurricular activities that you like. Spend time with your family doing things you enjoy. Remember that friends are an important part of life, but they’re not the only part! Take some time away from friends to build back up your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Helping Your Kids with Bad Friendships

1. Take a step back.

Before you’re tempted to talk to your child about their bad influence friend, think about what’s making you react to their friend in that way. You might be putting all the blame on your child’s friend, when in fact there’s something going on with your child that’s pushing them toward that friend. Understand that it’s normal during adolescence for your child to try to fit in and imitate their peers, so it might not be only about peer pressure or negative influence from the friend.

2. Avoid always criticizing.

Even if you don’t like your child’s friends or the way they treat your child, it’s important to avoid only giving negative feedback about their friends. This will only push your child further toward those friends and push them away from you. They’ll get angry and defensive and will be less likely to come to you about that friend in the future.

  • Seek out positives. You can ask, “What do you like about your friend?” or “What do you get from this friendship?”
  • Let them know they have choices. You can say, “You don’t have to spend time with those friends. You don’t have to be treated this way.”

3. Be clear about inappropriate behavior.

When your child’s friend does something you’re not happy about, like talking back to you or stealing something from your home, be clear and direct with your child about the behavior you don’t like. Don’t judge the friend’s personality or character. Be clear about what limits you’ll have for your child and that friend from now on.

  • You can say, “I’m sure your friend is a good person, and I don’t know everything they’re going through, but I don’t like that your friend stole beer from our refrigerator. I don’t want you to think it’s okay to do that, here or at someone else’s home. He isn’t allowed to come back over until he apologizes to me.”

4 Set limits and structure.

Sometimes you won’t be able to keep your child or teen away from friends who are bad influences just by talking to them. Instead, you can keep your child busy with structured activities during the week. Control more of their schedule by setting limits on who they spend time with, when, where, and for how long.

  • If you have a child 12 or under, you can plan visits to relatives, schedule doctors’ appointments, or schedule time with other friends instead of allowing them time with bad influences. When they do spend time with the bad friend, make sure it’s at your house or that you’re nearby and can listen in on interactions.
  • If you have a teenager, you can limit the nights they’re allowed to go out and make sure you know what their plans are when they do go out. Let them know their activities with friends have to be approved by you first, and enforce consequences if you find out they did something other than what they first told you.

5 Be patient.

Friendships come and go during adolescence. Once your kids reach high school, their brains and identities are developing even more. They’ll start to feel more secure in who they are and what they believe, and they won’t be as easily swayed by friends and peer pressure. Be patient with this process and trust that as long as you support their independence while providing them with some structure and limits, they’ll make good choices in friends.

Reference
Stay Away From Bad Friends by wikihow.com

The Reasons Why Other People’s Success Should Inspire You


By Azugbene Solomon


I have seen this many times and, honestly, I have been guilty of it myself: Facebook posts about amazing new jobs or acceptances into top schools. Instagrams littered with drunken photos of full moon parties in South East Asia. Her engagement. His new car. Their cute baby. The list goes on.

As you witness your peers start to take these steps, you will begin to reflect on your own life and what you’ve done with it — or rather, what you haven’t done.

You will feel left behind, as if others’ progression is your regression. You will feel envy and resentment of others for their achievements, status and possessions.

There are many reasons, however, why success should be celebrated and not condemned. Below are three all-encompassing examples of why we should meet peoples’ successes with positivity.

LEARN FROM OTHERS

Work to feel admiration and good will. Provide encouragement. Learn from people. If you want to start a business, do it. Propose to your girlfriend, travel in Europe, learn a new skill; chances are, you probably know someone who has already done it, so gain whatever valuable insight you can.

Look to the people who are doing what you want to do and ask them for counsel and advice. Which hostel in France was best? Where did you buy that engagement ring? What platform do you use for your blog?

Can you take a look at my business plan? These, and countless other questions, are things you can run by experienced peers.

Get all of the free advice you can because the people you are asking will likely be more than happy to help. These people understand the value of exchanging ideas, working together and collaborating. Use their wisdom to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes as those who came before you.

ABSORB SUCCESS

Surely, we all wish success could be contagious, like the common cold — make out with a millionaire and wake up an entrepreneur. Sadly, this is not how it works; but, spending time with happy and successful people can inspire you to reach your potential.

Of course, luck and chance do play their roles in our lives, but it is also about seizing opportunity, being resourceful, adapting and making the most of any and all situations in which you may find yourself.

This is the key to success: The right combination of luck and being ready for an opportunity. Take action and experience the results.

You really are the product of those with whom you associate. We may suffer from delusions of grandeur, but really, if your friends are not living up to their potentials and challenging themselves, you likely aren’t either.

By spending time with and learning from driven, ambitious and successful people, you will start to adapt and, in turn, adopt their mentality. Put yourself in situations that hold the promise of adventure and opportunity.

This will allow you, in a sense, to absorb the successful traits of those around you so that you can incorporate them into your lifestyle.

ENVY IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE

Being envious of others will not affect their success but will only deter and prolong your own lack of it. You are wasting time instead of creating and seizing opportunity.

Do not compare your life to anyone else’s because you will never know the whole story. This will only lead you to second-guess every decision you make and further delay your eventual success and growth.

Separate yourself from the negativity because it will do nothing but bring you down. Examine other people’s successes with hope, not jealousy. Allow their successes to ignite your perseverance and determination. When you’re true to yourself, your life will be better.

Things That Will Happen When You Enjoy the Success of Others

While jealously is a normal and common reaction, learning to stifle it can open up more doors than you could ever imagine. Take, for examples, these 10 things that happen when you learn to enjoy other people’s success:

1. You will feel happier

Emotions are contagious and self-replicating. Negativity breeds more negativity and positivity breeds positivity. When you enjoy the success of others, you start a positive feedback loop of positive thinking in your own mind. It works even if you have to fake your enthusiasm at first.

2. You will be liked

When you learn to celebrate other people’s accomplishments in a sincere way, you will stand out from the pack of people who only superficially support them. They will be able to tell when you really mean it and they will feel like you are a real ally. And it never hurts to have successful friends.

3. You will learn new things

When you stop feeling jealous and actually start celebrating other people’s victories, you will start to recognize patterns of behavior that lead to success. By internalizing what different people do to achieve their goals and remembering which strategies work and which don’t, you will gain a better understanding of what is required to move yourself forward.

4. You will be exposed to opportunities

Successful people are smart enough to remember the people who legitimately supported them on their way up. For that reason, when you enjoy the success of others you imbed yourself in the mind of a person who might be able to help you out later on.

5. You will surround yourself with success

If you choose to attend the party celebrating your co-worker’s new promotion instead of hiding in a dark corner plotting your revenge, you might just find yourself in a perfect networking opportunity. Just like emotions, success itself is contagious. When you immerse yourself in the culture of success, you increase the chance that some of it will rub off on you.

6. You will become a more confident person

When you incorporate positive thinking into your default response to events that happen around you, the world will start to seem like a brighter, more friendly place. You will recognize and remember opportunities and you will begin to internalize that trait that have helped other people achieve success. The upshot is a more confident and self-assured you.

7. You will stop comparing yourself to others

When you start celebrating other people you will take energy away from actively comparing yourself to them. Nothing will make you feel more free than letting go of the feeling that you always have to measure up to those around you. Step into the role of a student and see what knowledge you can gain from the successful people you know.

8. You will be inspired

Following the life stories of people who have accomplished what you are working towards can inspire you. They will show you that success is possible and present you with ways of achieving it you may not have considered. Use that motivation to work towards your own success.

9. You will inspire others

When people see you supporting a coworker in their recent success, they may reconsider their own negative reactions. By setting aside petty jealousy you can set a good example for the people around you and teach them to celebrate the positive things in life, even if they may not directly effect you.

10. You will increase the likelihood of your own success

As we have seen, celebrating the success of other people will help you expand your social network, learn new things, feel better, and identify alternate paths to achieving your own goals. For that reason, when you enjoy the success of others, you increase the likelihood of your own success. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

Reference
1. Elite Daily: 3 Reasons Why Other People’s Success Should Inspire Rather Than Discourage You by NICK HILL

2. Lifehack: 10 Things That Will Happen When You Enjoy the Success of Others by Steve Kux

28 Reasons You Are Not As Successful As You Should Be


By Azugbene Solomon


I’m guessing that you’re holding yourself back because of one of the following reasons.

Everybody wants to be successful in some way, shape, or form.

The trouble is, most people want to be seen or known as successful–more than they want to break the necessary bad habits required to actually be successful.

That’s because the lifestyle and rewards that come with success make everything seem easy.
People think: “Once I’m successful, I’ll have all the time in the world to do whatever I want.”

People think: “Once I’m successful, I’ll never have to work hard again.”

People think: “Once I’m successful, I won’t have to worry about things like money.”

And since those are the rewards they’re after, that’s all they focus on:
If they still don’t have “all the time in the world,” they’re unsuccessful.

If they’re still working, they’re unsuccessful.

If they’re still worrying about money, they’re unsuccessful.

As a result, they stay focused on all the wrong things–and ironically, never truly become successful.
People that fall short in life do so by their own volition. Unfortunately, they never realize it. They move through life chasing all the things they see other people enjoying at the end, without also seeing the habits, behaviors, and decisions those people had to make all along the way.

If you want to know why you’re not as successful as you should be, it’s probably because of one of these reasons:

1. You’re Lazy

This is the first and the most common reason that someone is not successful, according to author Jim Kukral. He adds, “Every single successful person works their butts off to get where they are. It’s ok to be lazy if you want to. Just admit it. But don’t whine about not being rich and successful, okay?”

2. You Keep Asking “Why Not Me?”

Speaking of complaining, stop wasting your time asking why other people are successful and you’re not. In most cases it wasn’t because they have inherited wealth or won the lottery. Every person in this world has either gone through – is going through now – or will get their chance for struggles. Everyone get to take their turn at hardship. Maybe it’s your turn. Instead of complaining, make a positive change that will help you pull out of your slump and find success.

3. You Get Stuck in Your Head

You’ll notice that there’s a common theme with successful people. They act on their dreams. Instead of only dreaming and overanalyzing everything that could go wrong, they start on the dream – they start laying the groundwork. As NHL legend Wayne Gretzky once said,”You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Make your shot.

4. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

Did you know that the average American checks their Facebook, Twitter, or other social accounts a whopping 17 times a day? I know engaging your customers and influencers is important, but you don’t need to spend every free moment on social media. I have found that the best schedule for social is news and articles in the morning and make these quick reads, and make a quick personal and family social connection in the evening when things from the day calm down a little. Determine the amount of time you will spend on each of these times and stick to it.

5. You Never Finish What Your Started

Plenty of wise men have said, “Starting is easy, finishing is hard.” While it is important to know when to throw in the towel, you have to be patient and willing to see a project through. Remember, success never happens overnight, and anything that is really worth doing takes time and effort.

6. You Don’t Think a Business

Whether you’re a freelance writer or owner of an eCommerce site that sells basketball shoes, you’ll never be successful if you believe that you’re not actually a business. If you’re relying on this income, then it’s a real business and you need to start treating it like you would any other 9-to-5 job.

7. You Don’t Believe in Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, then are you willing to make any serious attempts? Even if it’s celebrating a small victory, like getting the contact information of a potential client, you need to find ways that will give your confidence a boost. Don’t run yourself down to others or even to yourself. It usually takes effort and doing the hard work that give actual better self-esteem.

8. You Feel Entitled

You’re not owed anything. If you want something badly, you’re going to have to go out there and earn it. Believing you are entitled slows you down and causes you to be waiting to see if something great will happen for you. Make it happen.

9. You Obsess Over Things That Aren’t Important

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have any other hobbies or interests outside of work, but when you’re more concerned about whether or not Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ will be available to stream on iTunes, as opposed to following up with a lead that has the potential to make some cash, then that’s a problem.

10. You Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is a place where you feel safe and assured. While that comfort zone is needed from time-to-time, staying in your comfort zone ultimately leads to stagnation and sometimes it can lead to fear. You’ll never be able to grow and develop if you stay in one place.

11. You’re Not As Productive As You Could Be

Just because you’re working 8 or more hours a day doesn’t mean that you’re actually productive. Between distractions, breaks, and spending too much time on one task, you may actually only be working a couple hours a day. Invest in time management and time tracking tools to discover how productive your days really are so that you can make the appropriate changes.

12. You Focus Too Much on Money

If you start a business just because you think it will make you a billionaire, then you’re doing wrong. The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners aren’t fixated on money. They are focused on a making a great product first. There is a saying that says if you find what you really love to do, you will never work a day in your life.

13. You’re Not Passionate

If you’re not loving what you do, you’ll put 50% effort when you should be putting 100%. Without passion, you won’t stay inspired and motivated – especially when times get tough.

14. You’re a Negative Thinker

If you’re a negative thinker, or just a pessimist, then you’re going to put-up roadblocks to success – before you even try. In other words, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Work on a becoming a positive thinker by surrounding yourself with positive people and becoming more aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the self-talk conversations you have with yourself. Notice if your main conversations with others are ones where you dump all of your grievances on them. If that is the balance of your conversations – change it.

15. You Haven’t Established Goals

You plan nothing. You believe that someway everything you are hoping that will happen will magically appear in-front of you. It doesn’t work like that. Set goals and go for it. If you are not a big planner and not a big list maker – great. Start with being a small planner and a small list maker. One goal and one thing on the list at a time is fine.

16. You Don’t Know Who You Are

Sun Tzu wrote in ‘The Art of War,’ “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” This means that you need to know what you’re good at, what skills you can bring to the table, you have a set of values, and you establish specific goals in your life. Knowing who you are will guide you to success. What are your likes and dislikes? Start noticing.

17. You Give Up Too Easily

We all have those moments when we can just throw everything out the window. In fact, that feeling may last day or weeks. The thing is, success doesn’t come easy. It’s a part of the journey. Just because things aren’t going your way right now doesn’t mean that you should give-up on your hopes and dreams. Baby steps.

18. You Think You Can Do Everything On Your Own

There’s a myth that successful businesses were built by just one individual. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg all had assistance from Wozniak, Allen, and Saverin. Think of it this way, you could be a talented construction worker, but how far could you get when building your own house? No matter your talent or experience, you’ll still need to bring in others, such as a plumber or electrician, to help you complete construction. Even a friend along the way will help you. Begin setting up a support system for yourself if you don’t have one.

19. You Haven’t Managed Your Money Properly

Not managing money properly is one of the main reasons that a small business fails. Even in your personal life, however, this can be an issue. If you’re spending too much money in contrast to what you’re bringing, then how can you expect to pay your bills and set money aside for emergencies or retirement? Set a budget and stick to it. If need be, get in touch with a financial adviser. Many cities have financial help for free, teaching you how to take care of money. Adult education classes are also held on this subject for a smaller fee. The very first step is to add up exactly what your set bills are and have that figure in your mind all the time. Instead of eating out, go home and have a can of soup once in a while.

20. You’re a Perfectionist

That doesn’t mean that you should slack and deliver sub-par work. It means that no one is perfect and instead of wasting your time trying to perfect, just keep working on getting things done, such as accomplishing your goals. One foot in front of the other, on a daily and consistent basis helps. Timing yourself and doing your best work and then you’re finished works pretty well, too.

21. You Think Too Small

Don’t focus only on your short-term future. Have big enough dreams that will take you years ahead into the future. What have you always wanted to do. If you have always wanted to play the violin and you are 45 years old, you probably better get started.

23. You Aren’t Constantly Learning

Successful individuals are always looking for ways to enhance their lives by learning new information or skills. Whether it’s reading a book or participating in a webinar, don’t pass up any opportunities that can help you grow as a person. One of the best ways I have found to keep learning is to be interested in things that others are doing. Everyone is an expert at something. You can get a great mini-class from that expert. This can build great friendships, too. Sometimes you have to set aside a fear.

24. You Don’t Network

Regardless if it’s at local networking event or interacting with an industry leader on social media, networking is one of the best ways to improve your chances of success. For example, if you just published an article on your blog and an influencer shares that article on Twitter, you just got free publicity that could lead to increasing your brand awareness and landing a new lead. Be a connector and someone who includes everyone no matter who they are. Don’t be someone who excludes a person that is different or unusual. You never know when that person will be the one you need or the one who needs you – and you can do some good for someone. You can also learn new information when you network.

25. You Don’t Know When to Let Go

I mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t give up too early. But, you also need to be aware of when it’s time to let go. As Lolly Daskal says on Inc.com, “Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting; it just means you have learned your lessons here and now, and it’s time to embrace new challenges.”

26. You spend more time thinking about how you could work harder than most people–rather than actually doing the work.

It’s amazing how many people can talk, and talk, and talk about all the things they’re going to do.

But it’s even more amazing how many people claim their ability to work harder than the next person, without ever putting in the work themselves.

It’s a brutal truth that we all like to believe ourselves to be more capable than we actually are. And we also like to think that anyone who has achieved success was just lucky, or “knew someone.”

But the truth is, unsuccessful people say those things so they can avoid acknowledging the real issue: someone else is doing the work, and someone else is reaping the rewards.

27. You spend time instead of investing it.

I believe there are two types of people.

The first is someone who sees time as a token for consumption. They can spend their time consuming movies, TV shows, social media. They can spend their time on vacations and travel and adventures. They can spend their time on friends and outings and concerts and events. Time is theirs to spend, and they’re always looking for new ways to spend it.

The second is someone who sees time as a token for investment–and when invested correctly, can reap the rewards of compounding interest. They invest their time in people and relationships that provide positive value. They invest their time into activities that nurture a desired skill or teach them something new. They invest their time into projects and pursuits that encourage growth in some area of their lives. Time is theirs to invest, and the more they invest in people and things that show compounding interest, the richer they become in knowledge, understanding, and even money.

Unsuccessful people spend time.

Successful people invest time.

28. You don’t understand the concept of opportunity cost.

Every successful person I know lives their life by the rule of opportunity cost.

They understand that for every hour they spend doing X, that’s an hour they cannot invest doing Y. And they are hyper aware of the delta between those two variables–meaning, while they might be making a fair amount of money doing X, they are missing out on the potential long-term gains of forgoing that immediate reward for a future payoff result for doing Y.

Unsuccessful people don’t understand opportunity cost. All they see is what is in front of them–not what they could potentially do now to reap bigger, better rewards later.

The challenge with adhering to the rule of opportunity cost is you have to stay true to the vision you have for yourself that has not yet been manifested. It’s not easy giving up what’s immediate, what’s gratifying now. However, that’s the small price you have to pay in order to invest your time.

There are only so many hours in the day. If you spend them all, there will be none left to invest.

Reference
1. Inc: 3 Reasons You Are Not As Successful As You Should Be by Nicolas Cole

2 Inc: 25 Reasons You Are Not as Successful as You Should Be by John Rampton