The single obstacle standing between you and your goals (or success, as you define it), is staring back at you in the mirror every morning. Unless and until you do something about that single obstacle, what you want will evade your grasp.
There is a tendency to look at things that are external, the things beyond your control, as the reason you struggle to reach your goal or produce some results you believe you want. The things that are external have little to no impact on your results, being mostly your mind’s desire to protect your ego; you can’t be to blame, that would mean you are responsible for the failure, and you would somehow be something less than you want to believe you are.
The things outside of your control are excuses, not reasons. The reason you didn’t reach your goal is different than your excuse. Maybe you didn’t reach your sales goal because your irrational competitors cheated and won on price. Or maybe you didn’t differentiate yourself and your offering or failed to justify the delta in some meaningful way. Maybe your relationships don’t work out the way you want them to, despite your trying repeatedly without success. The examples here are limitless, but if you are introspective and honest enough to face the truth, the one thing all your challenges and obstacles and unachieved goals have in common is you—as is true for everyone.
Recently, a person in a workshop challenged me on the statement that “everything is your fault.” He suggested that this was a bridge too far, and surely, I didn’t mean “everything.” In his view, some failures had to be caused by something or someone else. He was looking for external forces for which to blame a failure to achieve a goal or an outcome. Were his belief true, it still wouldn’t serve you to hold that belief. It is disempowering in that it allows you to believe and behave as if there is nothing you can do, no difference you can make.
When you hold this belief as true, it can creep into every area of your life, providing a defense for your ego, and allowing you to slip into the comfort of knowing you are not to blame for your results—that external forces dominate. Fortunately, this is not true. The results that you produce in your life are wholly within your control, and external events have little to do with you achieving what you want to achieve.
Adopting the belief where you control the results you produce, and you are responsible for reaching your goals is empowering. It puts control in your hands, where it belongs. If you want to reach your goals and achieve your vision of success, you must do something about the one obstacle standing in your way.
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