It’s not the wrong time.
It’s not the lack of money.
It’s not even the Universe plotting against you.
No, the reason why your dreams aren’t coming true is in your mind. You believe something that is stopping you from even giving them a go.
I know because I’ve been there. I used every excuse in the book to postpone moving to London and building a career writing. Now that I’ve done it, I can see these excuses for what they are: tricks that your Inner Mean Girl plays on you to keep you safe.
It doesn’t matter if you want to become a famous singer, start your own business or get a promotion, the key to making your dreams come true is identifying the mindset traps that are keeping you stuck so you can avoid falling into them again. Here are the 10 most common mindset traps to be aware of:
1. The Be Reasonable Trap
This is usually the first thing you hear when you tell someone your dream. “Want to become a writer? Be reasonable. You’ll never write a best-seller. If you really want to write, become a journalist.” Or, “you want to start your own business? Don’t you know almost everyone fails miserably within the first 3 years? Suck it up and go work for the man. If you really like something, do it as a hobby. The “Be Reasonable” trap tricks us into setting only those small goals we think we can achieve instead than dreaming big and going for what we really want. That reasonable goal may very well be your first step on the road to success but don’t stop there. You’re capable of so much more!
2. The “I Wish…” Trap
Yes, winning the lottery would make starting your business a lot easier. Being friends with influencers would make getting those followers a lot faster. Living in the big city would make networking less expensive. But what are the chances of that happening? Forget the law of attraction. If something happened just because you wished it, you’d be stinking rich, look like a supermodel, wear only D&G and have your successful business empire, too. If you want something, you need to go for it and make it happen. Stop wishing and start doing.
3. The I Can Do It Alone Trap
I’ll tell you a secret: the self-made man (or woman) is a myth. No one does it alone. You can write the best book in the world but without the help of influencers who spread the word for you, you won’t sell many copies. You can be an amazing marketer but without the guidance of mentors and bosses, chances are you won’t climb that corporate ladder that fast. You can be a successful freelance web designer but you won’t be able to scale your business if you don’t hire at least a virtual assistant. Stop trying to do it all alone and get help.
4. The I Don’t Have What It Takes Trap
Whatever you believe comes true. If you don’t believe you’re the type of person who can write a best-selling book or get a promotion, you won’t even try. I almost didn’t start my first blog because I thought I was the kind of person who gives up at the first hurdle. That had been true for many things in my life – things I DIDN’T care about much. Turns out, when it comes to something I DO care about, I can finish it. That blog is 9 years old and still going strong. Don’t believe in your limits – test them. You’ll be surprised by what you can achieve.
5. The Time Isn’t Right Trap
Here’s another secret: the timing is never right. If you wait for that perfect time when all the stars align, you have nothing else on your plate and no problems whatever, you’ll be waiting all your life. If anything, the opposite is true. The longer you wait, the more responsibilities you will have. Mortage. Marriage. Kids. There will always be a reason to postpone. If you really want something, do it. It’s now or never.
6. The Try Harder Trap
If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. There’s a lot of wisdom in that advice. What no one tells you is that when you’re ready to try again, you have to do something different. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, doing the same thing over and over again will lead to the same result: a big fat failure. Use that failure as feedback to tweak your approach. It may take you a few tries but eventually, you’ll figure out the right way to do it.
7. The Playing It Safe Trap
Have you ever seen anyone achieve their dreams without risking failure, ridicule and criticism? No? That’s because it can’t be done. If you try something new, you’ll fail. People will criticise you and make fun of you. You either get comfortable with this or keep playing it safe and achieving nothing. Your choice.
8. The Means Over Ends Trap
Sometimes, you’re so focused on the means, you lose track of the ends. I think that’s particularly true for bloggers. We’re all so focused on growing our social media channels, even to the point of buying followers or engaging in follow 4 follow practices, that we forget the only point of having a platform is to inspire and help people. Reaching 100k followers on IG may make you some quick money but what’s the point if it doesn’t fulfill you? Focus on the end goals, The means are supposed to get you there, not take them over.
9. The No Failures Allowed Trap
I lost count of how many things I didn’t even start because I was afraid of failure. But you know what? Failure is inevitable. Remember when you were a baby just learning how to walk? How many times did you fall down? Probably a thousand. But you always got back up and tried again and now you can walk… and run, too. Children don’t care if they’re gonna fail. If they want something, they just try, try and try again. Me thinks it’s time to go back to that attitude. You’ll get through that bucket list much faster. (Just don’t forget to try differently!).
10. The Means Over Ends Trap
I really struggle with this. I love doing my research. Before I start a new project, I like to read several books on the subject, study what other people in the same space are doing and talk to those who have been there and done it. This is all important stuff I encourage you to do. The problem is when that’s all you’re doing. Sometime you can get so bogged down in research, thinking you only need to find out one more fact or talk to one more person to find the missing piece, that you forget to get started. Give yourself some limits. For example, you will only read 5 books or talk to 5 people. After that, ready or not, get started!Ready or not, start taking action in the direction of your dreams. Now.Click To Tweet
Over to you, now. Which of these mindset traps do you fall into more often? Share your experience in the comments below.