What's blocking you from your success? Is it an incompetent boss? Toxic coworkers? Your work environment? Or, surprisingly, could the one thing standing in the way of your dreams really just be...you?

It can be wildly challenging to create your own opportunities and make headway toward your goals if you're facing powerful mental blocks. It doesn't matter how simple or complicated the task is, any serious attempts to accomplish something will be thwarted if something called "defensive failure" happens.

A term created by cognitive psychologist, Dr. Amanda Crowell, defensive failure refers to what happens when we constantly think about achieving something, but end up thinking about it so much that nothing happens.

So how do we combat this special type of failure?

Here, according to Crowell and her research, are three mind tricks you can use to outsmart some of the common most mental blocks we all face:

Mind trick #1

Remember: failure is something we all experience throughout our work, career, and life--it's a natural part of being human. One mental block many people face is thinking they simply cannot do what they want to do. This block becomes strengthened especially if our first attempts at doing something are full of difficulties or are not successful at all. But you must remember that successful journeys don't involve victory at every step. Learn to embrace the failures you face, because each misstep brings you closer to success.

Mind trick #2

Find your role models. It can be so easy to believe that you have to be born with a certain skill set in order to succeed. If you find yourself thinking, "People like me aren't going to be good at this," then you are creating an obstacle for yourself. Instead, study the people who are like you, who are already getting the job done. Reach out to them for advice, and spend time with them, if possible. Doing so will give you the confidence boost you need to continue your journey.

Mind trick #3 

Find your purpose. Do you really want to do something, or do you simply feel as if you should do that thing? Why do you want to accomplish a certain goal? What intrinsic reasons do you have? Be honest with yourself about what you really want to achieve, otherwise you will be hard on yourself for failing at something you never wanted to really do in the first place.

Published on: Jan 15, 2020
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