Buffett once said "the difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say 'no' to almost everything."
Think about it. What do you say "no" to? As I reflect on what my own "nos" should be, it dawns on me that putting limits on unwanted habits can take me further. Much further.
For most of us, the frantic pace of life and work get in the way of examining what may be holding us back. Here's a hint: Think about all your obligations, distractions, mental blocks, and other things that you allow to control your life.
Now, what should you say "no" to? Here's what I would recommend.
Say "no" to too many goals and priorities.
Buffett the life coach once walked his personal pilot through a life-changing three-step process in goal-setting to hone in on success. Here's how you can apply it:
- Write down a list of your top 25 career goals.
- Circle the five most important and urgent goals that speak to you.
- Cross off the list the other 20 goals you listed, despite any importance they carry.
Buffett says those 20 goals are lower and not urgent priorities, therefore, any effort invested in them steals away dedicated focus and energy from your five highest-priority goals.
Say "no" your perfectionism.
Perfectionism is the type of approach that will silently poison a team. Along with its partner in crime, denial, perfectionism shows up in self-defeating thought patterns and unhealthy actions that can wreak all kinds of damage.
Say "no" to procrastinating.
Interesting enough, procrastinating is also tied to perfectionism. When people worry incessantly about doing something perfectly, they freeze up, get "analysis paralysis," and fail to do anything at all. It gets worse if the procrastination is approved by family and friends.
Say "no" to fear of failure.
Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Look at mistakes as a part of life that can provide awesome learning experiences. But first, you have to have the courage to examine them. Learn from each mistake you make. You'll grow as a result.
Say "no" to negative thinking.
Psychologist Carol Dweck has asserted through decades of research that our mindset--how we see ourselves--has a significant influence on how we perform. Whatever goals you aspire to achieve, whatever obstacles are in your path to success, know that the hardest battles to be fought take place between the ears. And it's in the mind where the pathway to success or failure is created. As the saying goes, "When you rule your mind, you rule your world. When you choose your thoughts, you choose results."