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The 11 Core Mental Causes of Failure (Find Out So You Can Avoid These NOW!)

20 May 2011 No Comment

african american business failure

Here’s something interesting I learned from Think Right Now Intl.’s founder, Mike Brescia: the 11 ways of thinking that guarantee failure in everything you do. Let’s get straight into it:

1: Having the Self-Image of a Failure

Simply put, “you only get what your self-image says you get,” so someone who believes they’re a failure inherently (as in, defective as a human being and incapable of doing ANYTHING), has no chance when it comes to a starting new goal, ending a bad habit or anything else along those lines.

There are some people who truly believe that failure is what they deserve, because failure is who they are, and in this case, the first thing to do is to help them raise their self-esteem.

2: Mental Pictures of Failure Before it Even Happens

sad african american businessmanOn a lighter note, even those of us who know we’re not A failure can still have an OCD relationship to it. Far too many talented, intelligent, young and otherwise promising individuals are so addicted to imagining failure that they freeze up before they even try.

The habit of visualizing failure is destructive because it creates an emotional loop anytime positive change is even mentioned, so in this case, the best thing to do is realize that failure doesn’t exist (only learning does)

Think about it: “failure” is simply a human construct…it’s just an idea we humans invented. You have to “fail” at everything that requires learning (learning to ride a bike, learning to have a relationship, etc.), so failure doesn’t exist on it’s own, it’s really just a part of a larger process.

3: Blaming Others (Not Taking Responsibility)

…is like chaining yourself to a huge boulder and then complaining that you can’t go anywhere. Simply put, you don’t control anybody but yourself: people are jacked up and society’s jacked up, but YOU STILL HAVE TO GET YOURS, so stop using things outside of you to rationalize your inaction.

I wrote a dope piece solely about this one idea, but I think you get the point – take responsibility.

4: Having Doubts, Lacking Confidence, Believing “I Can’t”

…this is an even lighter form of mental patterns 1 & 2, and even I suffer from this every so often myself.

african american business woman leaving

I have A LOT of doubts and “I can’t”s bubble up when I’m making a video, getting ready for a consultation, conducting a live seminar or whatever, but the only thing that makes me different is that I do it anyway.

Accept that you don’t know what you’e doing, and do it anyway. Don’t let small doubts change your course of action…

5: Positive Emotional Associations to UN-Supportive People, Places & Things

…is a big one, because it covers everything from being around negative people to being addicted to television.

Here’s a dope audio mix I keep playing for people (download it here). The bottom line is that you have to discipline yourself to NOT get the juice (the “crack needle” in the arm) from things that are actually barricades between you and your goals. Listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

6: NEGATIVE Emotional Associations to Supportive People, Places & Things

When I was in grade school, being smart was corny (I used to hide my grades from other students because they were too high), and there’s a similar thing going on in almost all forms of self-development.

It’s not really too fun to eat healthy, to spend your Saturday nights researching or to wake up early everyday to exercise, but once you get into the habit of it, everything changes…

Eventually, I found out being smart was actually cool (and sexy), so you have to do the same thing – gradually create positive, emotional connections to the things that’ll get you somewhere.

Imagine being addicted to making sales calls for a business you’re starting, or smiling as you’re trying out new, healthier foods…visualize THAT and think about what kind of future you see that person (you) headed towards

7: Continual Worry About What May (or Could) Go Wrong

african american woman with headache sad…this is also what they call “looping” (or just plain anxiety). Whereas the fears mentioned before prevent you from even starting, even if you did start, the worry at this level keeps you stressed out and overwhelmed.

In this case, stress and anxiety reduction works well. Anything that keeps you calm and reminds you that anything is going to work out alright is good. I used to suffer from panic and anxiety, and this program saved my life…

8: Expanding the Size of Your Tasks or Decisions

…creates feelings of fear and overwhelm, leading to procrastination. If you remember that classic post I had on the key to eliminating procrastination, I said:

Underlying our physical procrastination is a mistaken, mental connotation between what we do and what our value is as a human being…on a deeper level, we turn tasks into a measurements of who we are – into evidence of whether or not we’re acceptable and into a forecast of who we’ll become in the future.”

…and that’s what I mean. For some odd reason, people tend to think that if they make the wrong choice, their life is over, or that if they fail at some important tasks, it’ll reveal some deep flaw in themselves. Check out that procrastination piece for more.

9: Expanding the Size of Mistakes, Setbacks or Delays

…creates a sort of tragic drama. This applies to those of us who have agonize and over-exaggerate the impact of flaws and problems.

african american male in despair

*ish happens, and when you’re making plans and setting goals, a whole bunch of *ish happens (that’s what makes it so interesting and fun), so stop expecting ANYTHING to go flawless, because it never will.

10: Disaster Thinking (Always Expecting the Worst)

…is, instead of imagining failure, imagining things like death, destroying your family name or otherwise catastrophic (and insane), and

11: Physical Illness from Pressure & Stress

…is an interesting one. It’s also what they call “Psycho-somatic Illness” (somatic is of Greek origin, meaning “of the body”) and it happens when you’re so confused and overwhelmed mentally that it results in actual physical limitations…

The key here is to REFLECT…if you simply take some time out (by yourself) to meditate on what’s wrong and what you need to do, all the answers you need will come to you. (Go do something unique and interesting ALONE…go for a walk, check out a museum, sight-seeing or whatever, and turn off your phone too.)

This is why you’re not supposed to work 7 days a week: if you don’t take any time off from what you’re doing, you’ll lose perspective of things and your body will leverage itself (i.e: stop functioning) as a way to get your attention

Hope this helps. Enjoy all the links, leave me a comment below and check out more from Think Right Now Intl. here now…

think right now international with Mike Brescia


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