Have you ever heard someone referred to as “their own worst enemy”? Do you ever wonder why so many smart people seem to interfere with our own success?
Even if their goals are crystal clear: lose 10 pounds, send out a blog post once a week, call a relative etc. – we don’t always follow through.
And in many instances it is not a simple case of procrastination. Rather it is more insidious… it is an often unconscious choice to achieve two opposing goals – ones that essentially make it impossible to accomplish either, because they cancel each other out. I call this conflicting intentions.
Let me explain…
Conflicting are when you have two competing goals that cancel our each other. And during my many years consulting with entrepreneurs, I’ve seen many variations of this pattern. Here are just a few:
• “I want to earn $500,000 a year but have plenty of free time.”
• “I want to get rich even though my gut tells me that’s a selfish goal.”
• “I want to get married but still be free to do anything I want to do”
So what happens? These folks feel trapped and confused. Their dreams seem futile. Their results are second-rate or average at best.
Tips for fixing. First, you must acknowledge the existence of your conflicting intentions, even though they’re usually far more emotional than logical and may be buried deep in your subconscious. The good news is that you do have the power to change them. Try this:
1. Create a goal for yourself and write it down. For example, “I will mail my email subscribers every single week with valuable content to position myself as an expert in my industry”.
2. Underneath your promise, list all of the things that can stand in the way of you keeping your pledge. For example:
• I don’t want them to opt out of my list because I over mail to them
• I don’t think my content is original enough
• I don’t have enough time to do this
• It won’t really earn me money
Numbers 1 and 2 actually represent your conflicting intentions… Number 1 is encouraging you to act differently – to change in a meaningful way. Conversely, the items you listed in number 2 are convincing you that your goal is not worth the price you’ll pay and urging you to let it go.
3. Now, go back to the list you’ve made in number 2 and write down your supporting belief for each one. For example, under “My subscribers will opt out of my list if I mail once a week” you put, “My content is not strong enough.” If you dig even further you might come up with, “I feel to pushy or intrusive when I mail to them.”
Once you’ve identified these, you can begin challenging their veracity and begin to make positive changes. i.e. Is it true that my content is not strong enough? Is it helpful material? What can I do to improve it if necessary? Am I really being intrusive or is that “my issue” from my past? So what if they opt out? — that will leave people who really are interested.
This type of internal assessment will be invaluable as you build and maintain your online business. Begin by defining your own positive intentions – what you want to happen. Then ensure that you are willing to embrace “the journey.” Delve into your own conflicting intentions – face them, challenge them and work hard to gain mastery over them.
by Mitch Meyerson
For nearly 20 years I was a psychotherapist in Chicago and had a successful practice fueled by 3 books on personal growth. In those years I worked with thousands of clients who had goals and dreams that were not realized.[If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please re-tweet or forward