How many times have you kicked yourself for not achieving your full potential?
I’ve spent the past 25 years studying human potential and the challenges people experience everyday to better understand why some people produce such great success in their lives, and why some don’t.
My inquiry began many years back when I watched the lifestyle patterns of a very successful businessman who frequented a restaurant where I worked. Though I worked 50+ hours a week, I noted hard work alone was not the only necessary variable to achieving success. I learned that hard work matters, but I also learned that there are other important variables that contribute to achieving success, or not.
As I expanded my personal inquiry to gain a broader understanding of human potential and all that is possible, I identified five ways that will ensure you limit your success in life, that will ensure you stop reaching, growing and expanding if you don’t develop them.
Don’t eat healthy. Why bother? Food has nothing to do with chronic disease or how you feel, right? People who experience chronic disease are born genetically predisposed to particular conditions, right?
In spite of these very common beliefs, 1 out of every 2 Americans suffers with a chronic disease. Two out of every 4 Americans suffers with two or more chronic diseases, and 7 out of 10 Americans will die from heart disease or cancer, regardless that many leading health experts say chronic disease can be avoided with ‘proper’ nutrition.
Doctors Caldwell Esselstyn, Joel Furhman and Neal Barnard, to name a few, believe that the four leading chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity) can be avoided with proper nutrition.
They agree that the foods we eat either support our immune system or degrade it — the foods we eat can help protect our body from the common cold to the more acute and prevalent chronic conditions experienced by so many.
There is also a growing field of research called epigenetics that focuses on genetics and predisposition to certain conditions. They have found that although we may be born genetically predisposed, we can turn the gene on or off through the food we eat.
In my personal experience, I was able to alter the whole course of my life with healthy foods. Rather than spending every moment of my days overwhelmed by ‘sick-care,’ my symptoms cleared up and a whole new world of possibilities opened up that didn’t ever exist on my horizon when I was sick. My ability to focus, my ability to concentrate, my energy levels and my ability to produce results with a competitive edge skyrocketed, so I began to reach for new experiences that I did not even see, that were not on my radar when I was sick. Chronic disease and all the symptoms that go with them have a funny way of limiting what we are capable of achieving and what we think is possible.
All of these leading health experts agree that your food choices impact your well being, and inevitably your quality of life. So definitely don’t eat healthy if you want to hold back, or if you want to limit your success.
Blame others for your challenges and circumstances. If you want to limit your ability to reach your highest potential and maximum success, absolutely blame others for your challenges, your circumstances and any adversity you ever experienced. Blame your mother. Blame your father. Blame your upbringing, your friends, your neighborhood, and your schools. Whatever you like, it doesn’t matter.
If you believe that you are a victim of your circumstances, that you have no say in the matter of what happens to you, you will never be able to step fully into your personal power and leadership. As long as you hold yourself in victim-mode, you will never be able to fully own your power.
You can’t be a victim and empowered at the same time. No can do.
Blaming others exists side by side with choosing to take 100 percent responsibility for your life, or not.
Let me describe what I mean with a question: How responsible do you feel you are for your relationship with your significant other?
If you say I am committed 50-50, what happens when the going gets tough? What happens when you feel confronted? You’ve left a gaping 50 percent wide open to blame the other for the breakdown in your relationship, rather than looking for the ways you could be at fault.
You may have lived your whole life saying, “But I was so young when this happened, when that happened; how could I be responsible? I was an innocent victim.”
I do not propose you accept responsibility for something that you had no control over. I do propose, however, that you accept responsibility for your response to what happened, which is what you do hold control over. If you accept 100 percent responsibility for every detail of your life, you accept the enormity of power you possess to shift your whole perception of you yourself and your life.
But be forewarned, if you stop blaming others, if you accept 100 percent responsibility for your life, you could totally up level your ability to maximize your success. Freedom from blaming has a very liberating effect.
Hang out with negative people. By all means, hang out with negative, toxic people to seal-the-deal to limiting your success in life.
Remember when you were young and your parents didn’t want you to hang out with ‘that kid?’ There is a reason why.
Who you spend time with shapes how you think, what you do, where you go and what you think is possible.
Jim Rohn, one of the fathers of the personal development world said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Want to limit your opportunities to achieving maximum success, hang out with negative, toxic people. They’d be more than obliged to hold you back — albeit unwittingly. They just want things to be ‘the same,’ they just want you to remain ‘the same,’ which could mean the death of new possibilities for you because you want to keep them happy, right?
Who you spend time with influences how you react to the challenges that rise when you dive into new learning and new growth opportunities. When the going gets rough in life and in business, the 5 people you spend the most time with will impact your responses to your experiences.
Do you know the story about crabs in a bucket? If you put one crab in an uncovered bucket it will climb out. But if you put several crabs in an uncovered bucket you never have to worry about them climbing away, because the other crabs will pull them back down.
It’s the same with people. If you set out to do something different from your family and friends, like get healthy, start training for a marathon, excel in a new area of life, or anything that is different from who they know you to be, they’ll say things like, ‘Who do you think you are’ to pull you back down in the bucket of ‘let’s all just stay the same.’ Don’t upset anyone in your tribe, and you won’t upset anyone. You may not grow, you may not achieve your greatest potential, but you don’t need to fear upsetting anyone.
If you are committed to achieving your best, look squarely at the 5 people you spend your time with — their ideas, behaviors and actions are yours.
Don’t create daily rituals. They’re a waste of time. You’ve got to sleep. You’re too tired. You worked late. You’ve got too many other things to do in the morning. You just don’t have enough time.
Successful people do certain things everyday to set themselves up for success.
Successful people practice a ‘morning ritual.’ They get out of bed even if they feel tired to repeat a familiar and empowering cadence of highly thought out practices to root them down into what matters most to them, with what they want most out of life fueling their efforts. They often include practices like meditation, prayer, affirmations, fitness, success and personal development training with personalized healthy eating and healthy lifestyle habits.
The difference between starting a day with daily rituals and a starting a day without rituals is like playing professional football without any protective gear.
Without daily rituals, you leave your house in the morning without rooting down into what matters most to you. Without being deeply connected to what matters most to you, the mood and whims of others has the potential to trigger you and set you reeling off your track of focus and commitment = low level achievement.
When you practice daily rituals every morning, you say who you want to be in life, how you want to feel, what you are committed to, when and how you will do things, even when the contrary and negative types seem to want to thwart your efforts. Indeed, if you don’t want those naysayers and critics to fall completely off your radar, don’t create a grounding morning ritual. Morning rituals, daily rituals will totally thwart your efforts to limit your success.
Give up on your dreams. When the first rejection comes your way, just let it go. Let ‘them’ define how your life will unfold with their ‘no, you’re not right for this opportunity.’ Let their moods, their judgments, their limited ideas of your greatest dreams stop you. It’s not worth the trouble, right?
Good enough is secure. Good enough is certain. Safe. If you give up on your dreams, especially if ‘it’ doesn’t materialize on your first attempt, success will no doubt elude you. Why rock the boat, though. After all, dreams are just for idealists, right? Passion is so highly overrated anyway, yes?
I know, I know, so many achieved success by staying the course even though they faced repeated rejection. Stephen King faced dozens of rejections before his book Carrie was published. Colonel Harland Sanders, though financially broke in his 60s, endured rejection after rejection 1000x before finding a partner to help him establish his now famous Kentucky Fried Chicken. Oprah Winfrey, though molested by a cousin, uncle and family friend as a young girl defied odds and became one of the most powerful women in history. Anthony Robbins, with no money and no formal academic education, transformed his life from janitor to one of the most powerful voices in the personal development world.
But these folks are exceptions to the rule, right?
And whatever you do, don’t believe that your dreams can come true. Heck, what did Walt Disney know about making dreams come true anyway? If you believe you have what it takes to achieve success, if you believe that you can defy the odds that rise up when you feel confronted, if you believe that you can surmount the obstacles that come your way, if you believe that you have a level of fortitude and resilience, Faith and tenacity that are unmatched and unstoppable, you might actually be able to make your dreams come true, which you don’t want, right?
If reaching for your dreams feels daunting, if playing it safe feels more secure, more ‘certain’ to you, put a lid on your passion, on your resilience, on your tenacity and ability to see things through, or you could cause a level of joy, fulfillment and success you weren’t intending on creating.
But just in case you are curious, do note, the people who are most successful in life, the people who know that “success without fulfillment is failure,” as Tony Robbins says, they know they must honor their body; it’s what drives their whole dream/success machine. They know about the importance of 100% responsibility and personal power in their lives. And gosh, they know they must absolutely safeguard their thoughts, which impact their actions, so they carefully select who they spend time with and who they don’t. And they definitely ‘indulge’ in daily personal power rituals. They know without all of these pieces in place, their dream machine will die a slow, ‘endless-reasons’ death.
Best not to upset your carefully compromised feeling that ‘good enough is awesome’ if you are committed to ensuring limited success in life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carol guides clients to leverage health, vitality and energy as their greatest resource for creating a life they love. With clean eating and mind-shift training programs, clients access a newfound level of personal power to produce results, increase their productivity and higher income levels, and experience success and happiness in all areas of life.
The founder of Carol Hypen Egan Dot Com and the creator of “Your BIGLIFE StarterKit, 6-Weeks to Vibrant Health and Soaring Energy for Unstoppable Success,” she’s been featured as a regular contributor on Huffington Post. Carol believes that everyone deserves to experience that ‘jump-out-of-bed,’ sky-rocketing energy that vibrant health guarantees!