Why is it that we allow external factors to determine our actions? Is it because we were programmed early on to have set beliefs about success and how to achieve it? Is it because we believe in other people more than we believe in ourselves?
Once you allow external factors to influence your actions or decisions, you lose. When you allow outside circumstances to dictate your way of thinking, you give away your power.
Below are three of the most common external factors—ones that have affected my life and maybe yours, too. It’s time to take a hard look at your life and work to eliminate the things holding you back.
1. Bad Habits
Bad habits can halt forward momentum. Becoming aware of your bad habits and replacing them with good ones is vital to achievement. I started by writing down my bad habits: Do I watch too much TV or play too many video games? Does this keep from getting my to-do list done? By writing them out, I became aware of how much time these things sucked from my day and detracted from more productive activities. Getting closer to achieving your dreams starts with awareness and knowing you could be doing something else, something better with your time.
Limiting beliefs can be caused from outside influences that affect your thoughts and actions. Growing up we were told by parents and teachers what we should do and how to do it. They told us what was wrong and what was right. This has been programmed into our belief system, and our adult brains default back when we’re faced with a scary and unknown situation. I used to have many limiting beliefs. I wasn’t sure how things would end up, and I would question what I was doing and why I was doing it. I would ask myself, Who am I to think I can do this? But eventually I had to become aware of my self-limiting beliefs and decide which thoughts were realistic and which ones were created by fear. You create your own thoughts and beliefs.
Associating with a negative person or putting yourself in a negative environment can be the biggest (bad) influencer in your life. No matter how positive you are, a negative person or environment can rub off on you until your mind unintentionally resorts to negative thoughts before positive ones. For the longest time, I thought this wasn’t true. I thought being mentally strong would help me to not be affected by this. But I caught myself complaining, gossiping and seeing the negative first. So I made a conscious effort to lead with positivity. I felt better, not just emotionally, but physically, too. Take notice of your daily conversations. Are you involved or associating with complainers? If you constantly feel rundown and stuck in a rut, it’s time to re-evaluate your environment and see how you can change it for the better.
External factors need to be left outside of your mind. Today create awareness around what external factors are affecting you the most and make a plan to remove them for good!