Don’t Let Those Closest to You Degrade Your Potential

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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Whether you believe in those sayings or not, an absolute truth that entrepreneurs and business owners can never lose sight of is that it really does matter who we spend our time and engage in conversation with.

I believe in those two sayings, and here’s why: I have lived it. I especially believe in the latter one, because when I was a complete mess and living in a dark, depraved world of drugs and low achievers when I was 16, that’s exactly who my friends were. Then, when I was fortunately able to get myself out and hang around those who wanted to achieve greatness and not mediocrity, my life was never the same.

I now make it a point to hang around those who are more successful than me, doing bigger things than me and have just as big of a vision as I do. This simple shift in how I approach friendship and who I choose to spend my precious time with has been extremely beneficial to the growth and success of my business.

According to research by Harvard University social psychologist Dr. David McCleland, the people that we speak with every day and hang out with on a continual basis determine as much as 95 percent of our success or lack of it. Think about that for a second — 95 percent!

Whether you are wondering if the percentage in that study is correct or not, that’s not the point. The point is who we chose to spend our time with. One of the first things I say to people when they come to me expressing how disappointed they are in life or how big of a rut they are in is to check their inner circles. This certainly isn’t the case all of the time, but more often than not, it’s a leak within an inner circle that has been sabotaging success and the opportunity to get to that next level of achievement.

The sad thing about all of this is that some of the most negative and energy-draining people in our inner circles are family or close friends. I have a very close friend who is on the brink of major breakthroughs in his professional life but hasn’t been able to get over some hurdles that have been limiting his potential. He has come to the realization that this barrier has been his mother and father.

I’m not telling you to immediately get rid of your close friends or cut off ties with beloved family members. However, I am hoping that you start to take a really long look and analyze the members of your inner circle. Are they helping you become the best version of yourself, build your dream life and allow you to live in a positive and healthy way? If the answer is no to any of those key questions, I strongly encourage you to start looking to make some changes.

Your life is too precious to leave any bit of your talent and ability unused due to any negative people in your life.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Simple Ways to Feel Happy

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Let’s face it, we all have those days when we don’t feel happy. Sure, circumstances and certain events in your life can change emotions for the worse in an instant, but the outcome of whether you are miserable or happy all comes down to you.

The power of choice is one of the most extraordinary things that human beings have. We have the choice whether to be happy or sad, and that choice is in front of us to make every single minute of every day.

I learned the power of choice when I was recently walking in downtown Chicago. As I came around a corner, I saw a homeless man lying on the side of the street with a huge smile on his face. What was different about this man is that he wasn’t asking for money or even food. He was just smiling.

As I began talking to him, he said that people think he is crazy, not because he is homeless and has no shoes on his feet, but because he always has a huge smile on his face. He then went on to explain that he has a choice to either be happy or miserable, and he promised himself that he will always choose to smile and be happy no matter how tough his life may be.

This short story leads me to three ways to instantly increase your happiness levels:

1. Choose to be happy.

It sounds so easy and cliché, but as I stated before, the power of choice is extraordinary. A lot of us take it for granted. I wanted to share the above story to give you a clear example of a man who has nothing but still chooses to be happy.

I have seen hundreds of examples of men and women who don’t have as much success, materialistic possessions or status as others but still manage to be incredibly happy. How is this so? The power of choice. They choose to be happy and not let their circumstances or another person dictate whether they are going to be happy or not.

First, you must choose to be happy before you can ever be happy. It’s not an event or level of achievement that brings real and lasting happiness — it’s a choice that does.

2. Live in a constant state of gratitude.

One of the most efficient and easiest ways to increase your happiness levels is to constantly think, express and write down all that you are grateful for. I know your next statement may be, “I don’t have much to be grateful for in my life right now.” I beg to differ.

Every single one of us that is alive and breathing right now has a whole lot to be thankful for. It can be some of the most simplest things that you take for granted every single day, like having the chance to take your child to school, the beauty of mother nature or to just be alive and experience life.

It’s impossible to be stressed, miserable and unhappy when you are constantly paying attention to all that you are grateful for, and nothing is ever too small to be grateful for.

3. Get in tune with your long-range goals and vision.

This is very important because most people’s unhappiness comes from short-term disappointments. This is why creating a grand vision for your life and having not only short-term goals but long-range and lifetime goals is vitally important.

When I experience short-term disappointments, I don’t let them bother me as much because I quickly get in tune with my long-range vision. That excites me and helps me to realize that, hey, this outcome that has me down right now won’t last. I have something way bigger in store for me in the future.

The next time that you are feeling down, get in tune with your long-range goals and vision. If that doesn’t change your state in an instant, they’re not big enough.

Every single one of us wants to be happy. I hope these three easy-to-implement steps can help increase your happiness levels the next time you are feeling down.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

3 Guidelines for Creating a Support Group That Will Push You to the Next Level

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A mastermind group with the right people can do incredible things for your personal and professional lives.

You can have a mastermind for every area of your life. There are masterminds where business owners and CEOs get together quarterly or yearly to discuss their current challenges and ways they can enhance their companies’ growth. Then you have personal masterminds, where people get together to help them become better in their marriages and with their families or help each other achieve personal goals and be a voice of support.

I have a mastermind of five close friends who are all doing exceptional things and looking to get to the next level. We reflect with one another, laugh together and support each other. The type of impact this mastermind has had on my life is something that is very hard to put into words.

There have been several times where something didn’t go as planned or failure unexpectedly came knocking on the door and the collective input and support I received from those in the mastermind led me to see things in a different light. That’s what masterminds are for — not only to talk about your goals and find ways to become more successful, but to reflect and be honest about what is going on in your life so the group can come together to create solutions.

I strongly encourage you to gather four to six people that you trust and share your drive to be great. Here are three guidelines to think about when you are in the process of creating your own mastermind group.

1. Find out what the overall objective is.

This is important especially in the beginning stages of creating a mastermind. For example, is your group going to be focused on the personal or professional side of things? Is there a specific theme for the mastermind?

 

These are just a few questions to help get the ball rolling for you, but finding out the overall objective is a mandatory process to get things moving in the right direction.

2. Choose carefully.

Be extra picky with the potential candidates for your mastermind. You want the other people in your group to be positive, motivated and hard-working individuals who really do want to take their lives to the next level.

Imagine getting your mastermind set up, and when you come together you have someone who is constantly being a Debbie downer about everything. Even worse is someone who tries to belittle a goal or dream of yours that you share with the group.

3. Meet regularly.

It’s one thing to create a mastermind, but it’s a whole other thing to actually meet on a regular basis. It does you no good to meet every other year or hardly ever talk to one another. Whether you meet quarterly, monthly or have weekly conference sessions, just make sure to meet regularly.

My mastermind consists of people who don’t live in the same city as me, but we don’t let that stop us from meeting regularly. If you have to, conference calls as a group can work as well. The bottom line is to make sure you and everyone involved in the group does whatever it takes to meet on a regular basis, even if that means going virtual every now and then.

These are just three ways to help you get started when you are pondering where to start getting your mastermind up and running. Creating a mastermind can do exceptional things for your life. It can provide new perspectives. Don’t wait any longer to discover the phenomenal benefits of having a group of your own.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Forget the Importance of Living in the Now

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Have you ever got so excited about what’s to come in the future that you completely forgot to live in the present?

I certainly have, and I know many others that deal with the same problem. It’s easy to forget about living in the present and direct our focus and energy towards the future, or even worse, the past.

Just last week I had the opportunity to speak to a large group of high school students. I always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with the younger generation and share with them not only the tools that will help them become successful, but some of the things I most regret when I was their age.

One of the main things I decided to focus on with them was the importance of living in the now. When I was their age, all I could think about was going to college, and in turn neglected my final days as a high school student. Those are days I’ll never get back. Once I got to college, the same pattern developed. I couldn’t wait to leave Indiana University and start my NFL career.

This was a huge mistake on my part. Sure, it may have worked to my advantage to an extent because I always had a vision of what I wanted in my life, but I didn’t take the time to fully enjoy where I currently was or savor the moment.

Yes, we must have a vision for where we want to go and take ownership of where we currently are, but something that we can’t let happen is to neglect the present. The present is here to help develop and mold us into the individuals we need to become.

Day by day, life is fleeing from us. It’s not just youth that needs to be reminded of this. We as entrepreneurs and business owners need the same reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the process of building a business that you completely forget to live fully in the now.

Twenty years from now, once you are where you want to be, you will be looking back thinking what a mistake it was to not be as present as you could have been.

We decide not to give our all at work until a problem arises. We wait to tell those we love most how much they really mean to us until we come face to face with death. We forget about our most important values and priorities all to make a living or get an extra bonus.

Regardless of our stations in life, we can absolutely benefit from learning how to live in the now and be as present as possible while still having those long-term visions and plans. One of the major causes of unhappiness is to not appreciate what we already have and focus all of our energy and effort toward what we don’t have.

The older we get, some of our most precious assets will be the memories that we have created throughout the course of our lives. Don’t forget to make a life while you are busy making a living and building a business. There is no better time to start living life to the fullest than right this moment.

After all, not being present and choosing to not live life to the fullest now just might be one of your biggest regrets while on your death bed.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

20 Quotes to Help Motivate You to Hustle Like Never Before

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Building great businesses, achieving massive goals and rising to the top of your profession doesn’t just happen by accident. It happens through a ridiculous work ethic and consistently showing up every single day.

Here are 20 quotes to help motivate you to hustle like never before:

1. “You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.” — Stephen C. Hogan

2. “When I was young, I observed that nine out of 10 things I did were failures. So I did 10 times more work.” — George Bernard Shaw

3. “If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet or just a basic degree. You have to go at it single-mindedly and let nothing get in your way.” — Henry Rollins

4. “Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.” — William James

5. “Many people think they want things, but they don’t really have the strength, the discipline. They are weak. I believe that you get what you want if you want it badly enough.” — Sophia Loren

6. “Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” — Swami Sivananda

7. “If a man is called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

8. “All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” — Pope Paul VI

9. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King

10. “God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.” — J.G. Holland

11. “Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more.” — Edward H. Harriman

12. “The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.” — Marvin Phillips (or an unknown author)

13. “The person who is waiting for something to turn up might start with their shirt sleeves.” — Garth Henrichs

14. “Those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” — Marcus Washling

15. “If you feel you are down on your luck, check the level of your effort.” — Robert Brault

16. “You’re either changing your life or you’re not. No waiting for this or that or better weather or other hurdles. Hurdles are the change.” — Terri Guillemets

17. “Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” — Chinese proverb

18. “He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.” — Dutch proverb

19. “I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.” — Margaret Thatcher

20. “The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” — George Bernard Shaw

Read these quotes. Analyze these quotes. Most important, adopt these quotes into your everyday life.

Something that has worked wonders for me over the years is to write at least one really moving quote on a note card and carry it around with me everywhere I go. Whenever I am feeling unmotivated or in a slump, I take a glance at this card and instantly get right back on track again.

Make it your personal business to never let anyone outwork you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

What Truly Matters Most in Life and in the Game of Business

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Building great, sustainable and meaningful relationships is arguably one of the most important things we can do during our time here on Earth.

All too often, we see men and women who think it’s perfectly fine to neglect their relationships just to move up the corporate ladder or increase their net worth.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You absolutely should strive to get better and advance from where you are to somewhere higher up within a company. And who doesn’t like to make more money and see their net worth increase every year? However, this should not be done at the expense of neglecting what’s most important: relationships.

What a lot of people don’t understand is that creating and nurturing exceptional relationships will actually help advance your career and increase your personal net worth. Relationships and people aren’t just important when referring to living a healthy and happy life, they are also the foundation of creating exceptional businesses.

It utterly amazes me when I see someone neglect a relationship for the sake of closing a deal. It may give you short-term satisfaction and build your ego, but as time goes on, it will do more harm than good.

The companies and organizations that dominate their competition and market completely understand the extreme importance of creating a memorable and unbelievable experience for their customers. They understand that people matter. They understand that every single relationship and interaction matters.

A piece of advice that changed the direction of how I operate and look at business is as follows: “If you want to make a million dollars, serve a million people.” Regardless of what business you are running or what field you are in, when you aim to serve people, build meaningful relationships and adopt the “people matter” mentality, you will eventually win in the game of business.

We live in a technology-driven society, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s unreal the amazing things that technology can do for us these days, but we are at the point where human interaction and relationships with actual people are being pushed to the side by a large portion of entrepreneurs, organizations and companies.

Besides creating a world-class product or having an exceptional service to offer, the quickest way to grow your business and build a loyal and growing fan base is through care. Care for every relationship, interaction, tweet, email and phone call that you come across. Go out of your way to make people feel special. People matter.

These wonderful words from Max Lucado sum it up perfectly:

“When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?”

Relationships matter most. People matter most — in life, and in the game of business.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Want a Better Life? Ask Better Questions.

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The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. — Dr. John Demartini

Questions have the ability to completely change your life. Questions have the ability to save failing marriages and relationships. Questions have the ability to help you take your life to the next level and build stronger finances for your family. Questions have the ability to turn massive failures into extraordinary gifts.

When adversity knocks and failure arises, the quality of our questions matters even more. Naturally, we are going to start using questions that diminish our self-worth or ability to actually get the job done.

Think of the last time you were unhappy about a certain event that didn’t go how you wanted or you felt like a complete failure. I’m sure the first set of questions that you started to think about was, “Do I even have the ability to do this?” “What did I get myself into?” “Why did I even try in the first place when I knew this was going to happen?”

These types of questions are the self-diminishing ones that will forever leave you trapped in the crowded space of mediocrity. The types of questions we ask when failure presents itself determines the final outcome. Failure is not a final event, but for most people it actually becomes final because of the lack of quality in their questions to themselves.

Just like anything in life, once we get in a specific pattern of doing something, it becomes natural for us to do over and over. If you get lazy and form the habit of asking yourself lousy questions, you will continue to get lousy results. There is no way around it.

One of the best ways I have found to put an end towards the negative and self-diminishing questions is to start being very intentional about it. The next time failure presents itself, force yourself to ask questions that will empower you and actually help you find solutions to what it is you are going through.

When I went undrafted in the NFL in 2010, I felt like the biggest failure. Everyone was counting on me, and for so many years I worked so hard for this very moment. I was almost in denial.

At first, I started asking myself, “Am I even good enough to play in the NFL?” That right there is a prime example of the type of negative questions we become so accustomed to asking ourselves when we fail. It wasn’t until I was able to tune everything out, take full advantage of the classroom of silence, and start asking myself different questions, that my perspective changed.

I started asking, “Is this the end of the world?” I thought long and hard about that. Of course not. Hey, I didn’t get drafted, but it happens. It’s a business. That didn’t make me feel any better, but it did provide me with a much needed fresh perspective. This new perspective became fuel to my fire and actually provided me with a burning desire to prove my worth to every team, general manager and owner who passed on me in the draft. This all changed because of the questions I started to ask myself.

I have personally seen struggling businesses, marriages, friendships, athletic teams and individuals all make a massive turnaround because of the increased quality of their questions. The importance of questions is extraordinary.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Incredible Power of Believing in Yourself

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To live a life of high achievement, you must fully believe in yourself and your ability.

Find me an extremely successful person who doesn’t greatly believe in themselves. It’s not going to happen. Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jordan, Elon Musk and Mark Cuban are just a few highly successful individuals who benefited greatly from this confidence. However, it’s not their levels of success that I want to talk about. It’s their willingness to get up again and again when they failed or experienced a setback while in pursuit of creating the life of their dreams.

They were only able to keep going and achieve success because of the level of belief in themselves despite the enormous amount of failures they had experienced for years leading up to their big breakthroughs. Their belief is what created a vision so big that they didn’t care how many times they failed at something. They were eventually going to get to where they wanted to go.

Especially as a business owner and entrepreneur, you are most definitely going to fail and experience a loss or setback at some point. If it hasn’t happened already, it eventually will. That’s not to be negative or discourage you, that’s just life. But when it does happen, and when your belief is strong, no failure or setback will have the power to completely wipe you out. Belief in yourself is the name of the game.

Here are two of my daily habits that have consistently helped me increase my belief in myself and shatter all self-imposed limitations.

Count your wins.

As human beings we naturally have the tendency to get stuck on the negative and think about all of our losses for the day, instead of counting our wins and finding all of the good that took place.

I use my gratitude journal to capture all of my wins at the end of each day. This can be the wins from today, last week, last month or even last year. It doesn’t really matter when, but the key is to just get in the habit of capturing all of your wins. This will bring you a complete sense of joy that will let you know that you have done some incredible things in the past and remind you that even bigger things can happen in the future.

Whether big or small, it doesn’t matter — just count your wins!

Talk to yourself like a champion.

Just as my friend and bestselling author Jon Gordon always says, “Talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself.” Just for one week, try talking to yourself like a champion instead of listening to yourself as a victim. I guarantee that you will be blown away by the results. It may seem weird to talk to yourself, but give it a try and then see if it’s worth the “weirdness.”

Thinking positive and empowering thoughts is one thing, but talking to yourself like a champion reconditions your thought process in an instant. When you form the habit of talking to yourself like a champion you don’t give the negative and discouraging thoughts the time of day.

With power and conviction, repeat phrases such as, “I am the greatest at what I do,” “There is nothing that I can’t do when I fully commit myself,” and “There is nothing ordinary about me. I am a champion.”

If you don’t have a huge amount of belief in yourself, then there is no way you can expect anyone else to believe in you. If you are an employee, you can’t expect your boss to fully believe in you if you don’t even believe in yourself. If you are an entrepreneur, you can’t expect an investor to believe in your ideas if you don’t even believe in yourself.

The men and women that change the world all understand the incredible power of belief.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Why You Should Strive to Be a Lifelong Learner

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Many people wonder what they can do to become well-rounded and competitive while increase their rate of success. An often overlooked yet simple way to improve is to increase your knowledge by being a self-starter.

Traditional, structured education is very important, yet much success is derived from highly motivated individuals that have dedicated their lives to the concept of lifelong learning. These individuals prioritize the creation of time in their busy lives each day to educate themselves on new concepts and ideas. These individuals understand the importance of creating plentiful opportunities in all spheres of life.

Your business is only as strong as the people behind it. There’s a direct correlation between individuals who strive for growth in their personal lives and those who thrive in their professional lives. This can be accomplished by committing to the concept of lifelong learning. In an ever-changing market and world, it’s more important than ever to stay current, competitive and up to date.

Pursuit of knowledge is easier than it has ever been before, as technological advances can relay information instantaneously to our fingertips. It’s a modern day privilege to take this convenience and utilize it in productive ways.

First and foremost, you must be willing to expand your mind. Rid yourself of assumptions and convictions so that you can be open and receptive to new information. This at times may even contradict what you have always believed to be true. You will eventually come across information that challenges your worldview. Rather than remaining static in your comfort zone, use this time to stop, reflect and shed light on these ideas in a way that can develop and expand your vision.

When you come across new information, take the time to think about what you believe and why. Is your outdated mindset preventing you from advancing in a modern world? Be willing to question new information and research it further. Digging deeper will separate you from the crowd and allow you to see the value in developing an independent mind.

Cultivating the mind prior to seeking information is as essential as cultivating a field prior to a harvest. It is a necessity to weed, fertilize and create space where information can blossom and grow. As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge.

After the mind has been prepped, the next step is application. Create a to-learn list just as you would a to-do list. These are ideas and concepts you have great interest in learning more about.

Many people may think with their hectic and already overflowing schedules there is simply no extra time to learn anything more than what is absolutely necessary to get through the mundane tasks of everyday life. To simply develop enough skill to adhere to your job description or be informed just enough to get by is a sure pathway to mediocrity.

This is where the self-starters get ahead. They understand the importance of time management and prioritizing daily growth. They are constantly striving to know, learn and do more. This competitive edge they have created propels them to success in other areas of life.

There are many simple, effective and realistic ways to implement daily learning opportunities that do not have to inconvenience your life. Learning on the go has actually never been easier! For those who are auditory learners, audio books are the perfect way to incorporate knowledge with a simple press of the button. While stuck in traffic on that 30-minute commute to and from work, simply play an audio book that suits your interest. Rather than listening to the same songs in rush hour, listen to a political debate on talk radio. If music is a passion of yours, try listening to music in another language.

Learning information you can utilize in your daily life is very important to having a continuous desire to further advance your education. Skill-based learning, for example, is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on auto maintenance isn’t the same as physically changing the oil or tire on your car. Reading about art isn’t the same as picking up a brush. If your knowledge can be directly applied in a functional and fun fashion, put it into practice! Many people learn by being hands-on.

Make time one weekend to seek a mentor or attend a personal enrichment class. Culinary, fitness, dance or art classes are all fabulous ways to attain hands-on learning and experience. Volunteering at a shelter or children’s hospital are great ways to learn and culture yourself or your children and on worldly issues that may have otherwise been nonexistent to you.

Think about all the wasted time you spend sitting in doctors’ offices, waiting to pick the kids up from school or in a long check-out line. You could be reading a few pages of a book of your choosing. A simple 15 minutes a day could have you completing a new book every other week!

It’s estimated that Americans are spending 23 hours every week texting and on social media. Imagine spending that time every week on your craft or your personal enrichment. You could speak five languages and be a walking fountain of knowledge by changing your habits and mindset.

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals and try to always take something valuable away from your daily interactions. Many people are professionals in their field and have valuable information and insight to share. If you have questions, ask them! Never be too prideful, for each question you don’t ask is a missed opportunity!

Go ahead and challenge yourself today. Commit to expanding your mind, continuing your education and becoming a student of life. Utilize the world as your classroom, and no matter how big or small, always come away with a lesson. Remember to cultivate your mind so it is prepared to expand, blossom and grow. And share your fountain of knowledge. My bet is you will slowly begin to notice you are not only achieving everything you are setting out to accomplish, but you have stimulated a perpetual hunger that drives you for more in both your personal and professional lives.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Let Fear Conquer Your Greatness

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For one moment, just imagine what you would be able to accomplish if you knew you couldn’t fail. That anything you put your mind to or wanted to achieve, it would be accomplished.

I’m sure if you thought in terms like that, you would be a high-action-oriented person, hardly ever second guessing anything. Most people don’t realize or even come close to acknowledging the incredible potential that they are capable of. I believe that we all have greatness deep within us from the time we were born. However, somewhere along the way and the older we get, we let fear completely take over and rob us of the realization of just how powerful we really are.

This is extremely important because some of the most talented people in the world never get that idea off the ground, write their first book that they always wanted to write, open up their own business, or do something remarkable with their life, all because of fear.

Can you remember something you once wanted to achieve or a goal that you set for yourself, and the first thought that came to mind was “I can’t really do this” or “How will I ever be able to achieve this goal?”

I know I have had plenty of those moments. I always would set huge goals and then think to myself, “Stop kidding yourself Matt, you can’t do that.” It’s a natural human reaction to have those thoughts occur when you set huge goals for yourself, goals that will make you grow as an individual and stretch your current way of thinking.

Just know that those feelings of fear are completely natural and happen to everyone who has achieved greatness or done something remarkable. However, what must not happen regardless of how uncomfortable it may be at first is to let those same exact feelings prevent you from taking massive action and constantly moving forward. This unfortunately is a category that most people fall into.

There is a huge difference between feeling fear and letting that fear hold you back. If we want to achieve greatness and reach our full potential in life, one thing is for certain: We have to move past the fear and take action anyway! Fear wants you to stall and stay still. Fear and mediocrity go hand in hand. Don’t let them defeat you like they have defeated so many.

That is the whole point and purpose of setting big goals. They help us grow and move out of our comfort zone. If you line up some of the best innovators and highest achievers, I can almost guarantee you that they will tell you they felt tons of fear when they began to take action on their brilliant ideas. What they didn’t do is stop. They didn’t let the fear or thought of failure win the battle of their minds.

I challenge you from here on out to constantly expand your vision as to what’s possible in your life. The more we can see ourselves victorious and not being paralyzed by fear, the more that will prompt us to actually take action and get going.

The next time fear pops up, just go. The more you think about your fears, the more those fears start to define you. You were born to be great, so don’t you dare let fear conquer you!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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