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3 Major Factors in the Success or Failure of Reaching Your Goals
3 MAJOR FACTORS determine whether or not you'll be successful in achieving your goals - your neurology, psychology & biology.
What do you believe is holding you back from achieving your goal?
- How many times have I set a goal to achieve ONE RESULT that would change my life?
- How many times have I tried the same strategy without success?
- How am I feeling about myself right now?
Here’s what I want you to know. You shouldn’t feel bad for trying everything you have in the past. No doubt you consciously wanted to be successful in your attempts. But, consciously wanting something doesn’t necessarily make it happen. Here's why...
NEUROLOGY – Your Mind
If you’ve been unsuccessful, attempt after attempt, at achieving your ONE RESULT, it’s possible your brain may be what’s holding you back. Your way of thinking - the neural pathways you've established – defines your patterns of behavior and your chances of success. You may be stuck in a myriad of habits and beliefs that are working against you, and you don't even know it.
Our brain has a CONSCIOUS and a SUBCONSCIOUS mind. The conscious mind is where our aspirations are - "I want to lose weight" or “I want to run a marathon." What most people don't know is that it’s our subconscious mind that TAKES ACTION on what we want. And, here's another critical fact. Our subconscious mind contains what we truly think & feel about ourselves – whether we believe we’re worthy enough or have what it takes to achieve our goal.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I'm afraid I'll fail again.” Or, “I don’t have the time.” Or, “It's too hard for me.” Each statement goes to a core belief your subconscious mind believes about your fears, self-worth, and expectations. And since it’s the arbiter on whether or not you actually have what it takes to achieve your ONE RESULT, and it believes what you tell it, it's understandable that your subconscious mind may sabotage your efforts or simply choose not to take action.
One of the most important aspects of achieving your ONE RESULT is aligning what you want (CONSCIOUS mind) with what you think and feel about yourself (SUBCONSCIOUS mind). Until you reprogram how you see yourself - how your brain sees you - your level of confidence will most likely not be what your conscious mind needs it to be.
BOTTOM LINE: Regardless of your past failures and your current challenges, you can reprogram your brain to create new beliefs, habits and expectations. Once you do, you will be the person who is confident, who takes action, and who follows through until your ONE RESULT is a reality.
PSYCHOLOGY – Your Emotions
Life is full of people, circumstances and events that can trigger an emotional response within us. Our reaction to these emotional triggers (ETs) seems automatic; as if we have no control over how we respond. The truth is that we do have a choice in how you respond to ETs. Positive or negative, our emotions give us feedback into what’s happening in our mind and body.
Most ETs can make us feel as though a very important need is not being met. Three common needs are love, comfort and acceptance. When we perceive that someone or something is threatening an important need, an intense emotion is triggered like frustration, anger, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, or defensiveness.
Over the course of time, ETs may teach us that in order to fulfill our needs, we must stay in control, maintain a safe environment and have people around who appreciate us. However, if we become overly attached to these coping strategies, our brain will vigilantly be on the lookout for people, stressors, and events that threaten our ability to get these needs met - an unsupportive partner, a demanding job, or personal misfortune.
We can experience chronic stress, depression and relational conflict when we feel like we’re not in control of our ETs, As a result, we may develop unhealthy coping habits and behave in ways that are not in our best interest and take us away from our goal. Over time, these self-defeating habits become patterns that prevent us from success and living a healthy and vibrant life.
BOTTOM LINE: ETs can be insightful opportunities to explore certain aspects of ourselves. We can learn to recognize how ETs cause us to make poor choices, sabotage our efforts, and hold us back from successfully achieving our ONE RESULT. By moving toward pleasant emotions and releasing the unpleasant ones, we become in control of our actions and behaviors instead of letting them control us. You may ask yourself, “How am I using my emotional triggers to meet my needs?”
BIOLOGY – Your Body
Physiology is complex. For example, if releasing weight is your goal, it’s possible to be on a diet or exercise program and not achieve your ONE RESULT. Extreme programs that proffer a ‘quick fix’ aren’t sustainable, for sure. But, many people mistakenly believe that it’s as simple as eating less and exercising more.
Our body has an incredible system with dozens of hormones that regulates our metabolic rate, appetite, and energy levels. This system, along with our unique circadian rhythm (“body clock”), plays a huge part in our level of health and fitness and can affect our efforts at achieving our ONE RESULT.
For example, when we use extreme calorie restriction as a method to lose weight, it can cause a metabolic slow-down. Since we are products of evolution, we are wired to fight against periods of food shortage. When we forcibly restrict calories or excessively work out, we’re in essence mimicking a famine. Our hormonal mechanisms are actually designed to work against our weight loss efforts during a forced caloric deficit.
Here's what happens. The brain responds to what it perceives as a threat to our survival and goes into a calorie-conservation mode to preserve our life. This stress response produces a hormone called cortisol that, if chronically excreted in excess, can signal the body to store weight and fat. In essence, the process changes our body chemistry and slows down the digestive system in order for us to survive the threat.
Despite all our efforts at caloric restriction and exercise, when we’re in an energy-conservation mode, we can gain weight or have difficulty losing it. We may also experience fatigue, hunger pangs, lack of motivation, and feelings of distress. Under these conditions, it's understandable why it’s difficult to achieve our ONE RESULT.
BOTTOM LINE: Learn to work with your biology. Properly managing stress and getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep is critical in the quest to be well. When you feel less stressed and more in control of your behaviors, you may find it easier to stick to healthy, long-lasting habits and behaviors that give you more energy and the ability to focus on achieving your goals.
All three factors – neurology, psychology & biology - are interconnecting and continually interrelating without our awareness.
When the mind is controlling our beliefs and behaviors, it can take us in unwanted directions. It's important to recognize how our mind works in terms of our self-image, fears and expectations.
By understanding our mind, our emotional tendencies and our body's biological processes, we can take hold of our health and well-being. We can learn to be in control of our emotions, increase our self-esteem, and master our habits & decisions. Then, it's a matter of focusing and persisting until you've achieved your ONE RESULT.
BOTTOM LINE: Make a commitment to long-lasting, healthy behavior changes. Learn to cultivate positive thoughts and beliefs about yourself and your ability. Once you do, you’ll choose the strategy that works for you, and you’ll have the emotional fuel necessary to do whatever it takes to achieve your ONE RESULT. You deserve it!