Fit for Business: Seven things that stop people from getting what they want

During my 14 years working as a trainer and coach I’m frequently asked: “What stops you from getting what you want?”

If you can recognise what’s holding you back and reduce or remove its hold, then moving forward is simple and often rapid.

Continuing to focus on finding the accelerator without ever releasing the breaks is a recipe for disappointment.

These are the seven most frequent mistakes.

My mate ‘Moby’: their mobile phone grabs them first thing in the morning, often setting the mood for what the rest of the day will be like. Once work is over, they continue to check their email and other messaging services, leaving them in a constant state of urgency. Attempts to leave it alone create discomfort … until it starts all over again the next day.

Sleepless nights: without the energy obtained from a good night’s sleep, they start the day tired, finding it difficult to get out of bed, and end the day wired, finding it difficult to wind down and get to sleep. This often goes hand in hand with a real energy slump upon arriving home where they REALLY want to have energy for their kids and partner, but they struggle to keep their eyes open.

Failure is not the end: they decide what they want to achieve and then when it, or part of it, doesn’t go smoothly, they decide it’s too difficult and stop, forgetting that failure is part of the process to success. The key is planning: assessing how others, and potential occurrences, will impact it. Invariably, when life happens, the plan doesn’t.

Willpower over skill power: Plans based on a predictable future and unlimited willpower runs into trouble when it meets reality. Instead, base a plan on skill power. Play to your strengths!

Dictate your own diary: don’t say yes before you get the details, don’t give a response unless it’s genuine, and never say “What time works for you?” Sharpen up or soon you’ll be committed to someone else’s agenda. 

Listen to your instincts: it’s funny how 95 percent of our actions come from listening to our bodies, but we haven’t properly learned how to trust our instincts.

Know your values: our brain works so hard to show us as the hero of our story that it is hard to know when we are showing up as ourselves and when we are acting out of alignment with our own best interests. Stick to your values or you’ll end up doing all the things you said you wouldn’t do and end up plagued by guilt and frustration.