3 steps to overcome obstacles to your success

18th September 2019


When it came time for me to start sharing my knowledge and experience with a larger audience, I found myself at a difficult spot - lots of ideas, lots of things I want to share, but not feeling like I have the skills to get my message across in words.

The nagging thought ‘But I’m not a writer’ kept popping into my head.

My brother is a writer.

He’s had a book published called ‘The Rule of Knowledge’ and I highly recommend it.  Which is saying something because I’m his biggest critic!

But he was always a writer.  Even as a little boy he would stay up late with a torch under his blanket in bed writing stories.

I on the other hand, was asleep!  I’ve always loved sleeping :-)

So what to do?

Well, it’s the same thing I do whenever I encounter this type of problem:

1.  Decide if I really want it. 

Sometimes I think I want to do things, or buy things, or try things but really it’s just a whim, or the influence of marketing, or something I feel I’m ‘supposed’ to do.  You have to watch out for these.  We’ve all been programmed by our parents, society, advertising and a range of other influences.  To decide if you really want something sit down an imagine yourself having it.  How do you feel?  Does it light you up with excitement?  Does it make your heart swell?  Now imagine yourself doing the work to get there.  Do you feel a little scared?

Here’s how you know if your 'vision' of the thing you want is what you really want:  It should scare you a little, but excite you a lot.

2.  Examine my beliefs. 

Usually, if I’m having trouble getting started on something I know that I have a belief stored somewhere in my brain that is ‘limiting’ me.  (In this case it’s “I’m not a writer”, which is a miss mash of thoughts and includes ‘I’m not a very good writer’, ‘I don’t really like writing’, ‘other people will think what I write is rubbish’ etc… (thanks Brain!).  Once I can see these beliefs I can start to address them.  I think the easiest way to do this is to give them a name.  I call them Loser Stories.  Yes it’s harsh, but I don’t like the idea of being a loser so it motivates me.  If I catch myself telling myself a ‘loser story’ I say this out loud.  ‘That’s a loser story, I’m a winner’.  You might think it’s hokey, but this is my way of interrupting a negative thought pattern and reframing it.  When you first begin this it feels forced, but after time those negative thoughts start to lose their power and the come less frequently.

3.  Build the habit. 

Here’s where the work beings.  Once you’ve decided that you really want this thing, and identified and started reframing your beliefs, it’s time to start doing the work.   This is the step that most people never do.  These are the people who write their goals and affirmations in pretty lists with colours and drawings, but never actually go to the gym/talk to the guy/write the report etc.  The dreamers.  It’s great to dream, but make dreams a reality you have to do the physical work involved and most of the time that starts with building the habit of working on it.  Now, there are many books on building habits, probably the best I’ve read is James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.  One of the most important things he says in there is:  Start small.  Build the habit of simply starting.  You’re demonstrating to your brain that this is something you want, something you’ll work for and pretty soon your brain gets on board and starts to support you.  (Case in point:  I had the goal to write one paragraph this morning - next thing I knew I’d written a whole blog post)

So that’s it, three steps.

  1. Decide if you really want it - it should scare you a little but excite you a lot.
  2. Reframe your beliefs about it - decide how you’re going to think about yourself or the activity
  3. Build the habit - just start doing the work.

I realise I’m not ‘a writer’ yet.  But I did write this.  And tomorrow I’ll write something else.  

After repeating that about 100 times I may actually convince myself ;-)

Brett Baker :)

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