Success through Courage: Test Limits, Break Barriers

December 02, 2013

When I envision success, I view it from a perspective of what overall true success really is.  I am not going to advocate having more, wanting more, or a feeling that “I am only happy if I have more.”  That is not the kind of success I am talking about here.  I encourage having goals, direction, and desires for yourself.  However, you must balance your desire for things with acceptance and appreciation for what you have now.  To help you achieve that, there is an interesting mental skill you can gain—a balance between aspiring, having goals, and seeing the direction you want to take, and living in the present.  This balance is crucial in order to be successful, no matter what you are striving to achieve.  Over the many years of practice in my area of expertise, I have seen literally thousands of clients.  Because of that, I am fortunate enough to have my own ongoing study in human nature and behavior.  I have witnessed people learn so much in their process of evolving and transforming on their pathway toward greater success and happiness, and I would like to share my observations with you.

As I reflect on all of my clients and years of experience, I would define success as “peaking your performance” in life.  You can be successful in many different areas of your life.  You can say you have a failed marriage or a successful marriage.  You can say you have failed at many job projects or you have been successful at many job projects.  You can be successful as a parent, at work, as a spouse, in whatever hobby or sport you choose to participate in, or not.  So success is truly “peaking your performance” in whatever areas of life are important to you.  Maybe you don’t realize how important they are and it is time to peak your performance in areas you haven’t spent much time on.  Put another way, success is truly a level of performing in the areas of your life that you consider to be important, or of significant preference to you.

So what is important to you?  To help you identify those areas, I have broken down success into three hot topics.  I would say that success is acquired and maintained with clarity, balance and energy.  You must understand yourself, what your preferences are, and where you want to put your energy (clarity).  You need balance in order to look forward, yet remain in the present.  Balance all the different segments of your life so you are not tipping the scales and only devoting time to your work success at the expense of your family, for example.  Balance means looking at all the aspects of who you are as a human being and “peaking your performance” in each of those.  It is possible to be successful at work at the same time you succeed as a parent, spouse, personal health and well-being, and so on.  You do not have to sacrifice in any one of these areas to have success in another.

For some people, they devote all their time into making more money or achieving certain goals at work, at the sacrifice of their family and possibly at the sacrifice of their own health.  They will say things to me like, “I don’t have enough time to exercise or eat well,” “I wish I spent more time with my kids when they were growing up,” or “I wish I went to more baseball games.”  I hear this all the time, so what I am looking to do here is to help you acquire and maintain success through clarity, balance, and energy.

You cannot be successful sitting on the couch.  You definitely have to put energy into these different areas of your life and experience what it feels like to exert energy.  However, there is another form of energy which comes from inspiration: the feeling of waking up inspired and motivated, having energy flowing through your body because you truly are in balance.  Your mood is great because you are not feeling subconsciously like you are a cruddy parent who has put too much time in at work.  A certain “energy” exists when you are in balance and when you have clarity because you are working on the things that you love.  When you have decided what your preferences are and you focus your efforts on them, it naturally and automatically shifts your energy into being excited to do the things you are doing.  It goes back to loving to do the things you love.

I would love to help you on your journey to peaking life performance with clarity, balance, and energy.  To help us understand what I am talking about, let’s look at the following quote:  “It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers.”  Courage is interesting and comes from a deeper place within you.  It is not on the surface.  Think about that for a moment.  Think about times when you have felt courage.  It is not superficial or on the surface or a feeling that comes and goes.  Courage comes from a level of strong confidence and knowing in yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to, a feeling like, “I can do this, I can persevere and keep moving forward even at times when it seems like what I’m doing isn’t working.”  It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before.

How does one become courageous?  Well, it doesn’t come from just reading this article.  It’s going to take time to acquire courage, and it’s a matter of you focusing and being diligent about reinforcing the mindset of confidence and an “I can do this” attitude.  That does not happen overnight because you have stories in your mind from previous experiences that hinder you.  Everyone has a different level of courage and confidence, depending on their upbringing, personality and experiences.  Do you tend to see your successes along the way, or do you tend to dwell on your failures?  Do you tend to think of yourself like you can do whatever you set your mind to, or do you say that any time you try to do something, it doesn’t work out the way you would like?

If you have the more negative stories and mindsets going on, it will take time to break free from those. You must start with an awareness that your negative thoughts are even occurring, and then weed them out.  Actually visualize your thoughts and mindsets as being like a garden in your mind, and weed them out.  Pull the “weeds” out, get rid of them, stop watering or fertilizing them, starve them out.  Weed out the negative ways of viewing yourself, and weed out the ways you think are encouraging a lack of confidence.  Plant in the kind of attitudes, mindsets, and thought patterns that will encourage confidence and courage, like “I can do this,” “when I put my mind to something, I see it through and whatever happens, it helps me learn along the way.”  It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before, and test your limits.

Limits are different for each of us.  At what point do you want to give up on a project?  How many no’s does it take for you?  How many rejections or attempts where you don’t succeed does it take?  That’s your limit.  You have different ones depending on your experiences.  Let’s say you have a lot of experience playing guitar in front of people on a stage. Your courage in that area will be stronger than an area where you have very little experience or where you attempted to do something, but felt like you failed because you were not able to follow through in the way you thought you would.

I encourage you to look at your so-called “failures” and see what you have learned from them.  You know that inventing a light bulb did not happen in a day.  It took a lot of trials and errors.  Those were not failures.  Where were the limits there?  It took courage to keep trying over and over, but it eventually led to success:  the invention of the light bulb.

It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before, to test your limits, and break through your barriers.  Barriers come from your previous “programming,” thoughts that you have, your belief systems that you created or allowed in, or maybe things you heard from others or told yourself.  They are like speed bumps on your journey.  So the first step is having an awareness that it is even happening.  Next is to weed out the negative thought patterns that are barriers or limitations and that keep you from having courage or lacking confidence.  You want to replace those and fertilize and water them in, or repeat conversations in your head that will encourage your confidence and therefore build up your courage.  That will help you move beyond any perceived limits and overcome the barriers that may have been holding you back from achieving true success.

I truly wish you well and hope this helps you on your journey to greater success.  Start by recognizing that you already have some great success, through the tools of clarity, balance, and energy.  Please contact me for more information or help, and get started on what I gave you in this article today. Through courage, testing your limits and breaking through barriers, you will achieve great success.  Thanks for reading, and have an amazing day!

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