“Remember: we all get what we tolerate. So stop tolerating excuses within yourself, limiting beliefs of the past, half-assed, or fearful states.” -Tony Robbins
There are certain things that will always slow you down and prevent you from making fast progress.
Most people tolerate a certain level of mediocrity in their lives — negative-minded friends, excessive social media, unable to be productive without caffeine (have definitely been there!).
But here are the 5 things you must cut out of your life that are preventing you from making fast progress towards your goals:
1. Your Negative Friends
“You can’t hang around negative people and expect a positive result.” -Darren Hardy
I’ve had to make some hard choices about my friendships to get where I am today.
For instance: I decided to stop hanging out with my best friend from my office job because he was so negative. All he’d want to do was go out to lunch, have a few beers, and criticize our boss, company, and coworkers.
For a while, I just played along. But I realized how empty and cold and sad I felt all the time. My coworkers or boss didn’t really like him because of his attitude, and I made the hard choice: stop hanging out with him as much.
After that, my work life got a lot better. I made friends with other coworkers (and realized they were actually pretty great!). My productivity and energy improved (wasn’t drinking as much over lunch on a Tuesday). My positivity soared.
Negative friends will keep you from leveling-up. It’s a hard choice, but one many people have had to make.
Ask yourself: what’s more important, the approval of a negative person, or a chance at real success and happiness?
2. The Wrong Money
It was the early 1970’s. Arnold Schwarzenegger was living in Los Angeles. He had dominated the bodybuilding world, but he had a new focus: acting.
Becoming an actor was tough — no one wanted to hire a guy with his accent. The wrong money kept knocking on his door. In his autobiography, he wrote:
“I received an offer in the early 1970’s to manage a leading gymnasium chain for $200,000 dollars/year. It was a lot of money, but I turned it down because it would not take me where I wanted to go.”
Golden handcuffs are still handcuffs.
Being successful means saying no to the wrong money. The wrong money will trap you, hold you down, and keep you from greatness. You need to cut it out (and keep it out) if you want to make fast progress.
When I was living in South Korea, I had one focus: become a writer. That was the only goal.
I had a ton of high-paying, interesting opportunities offered to me: a church musician, a career coach, a private tutor, a remote data entry job.
I said no to all of them, because they couldn’t take me where I needed to go.
After a year of saying no to the wrong money, I had built a full-time writing business from nothing. I came back to America as my own boss, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve since written a book, enrolled hundreds of students in my online courses, and have coached dozens of clients.
Say no to the wrong money. It’ll slow you down and keep you away from where you really need to be.
3. Your Old, Outdated Personal Beliefs
“Most people, if they really look at how they’re living their life today, it’s based on a set of standards that they made choices about 10, 20, or 30 years ago.” -Tony Robbins
I’ve been going to therapy, counseling, and even a 12-step addiction program for the past 7 years.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is this:
Things don’t change; you change.
Right now, you probably have a lot of old, outdated beliefs that are holding you back.
Maybe you think you’re just not good enough to sit at the table.
Maybe you’re terrified of failure and that people will laugh at you.
Maybe you just don’t believe someone like you could ever succeed.
We all have this emotional crap. Most people carry it around with them for years and years; extraordinary people cut it out and replace their old beliefs with new ones.
I used to think I wasn’t a good writer. That I’d never be anything more than a dinky little blogger who wrote listicles about career and success or whatever.
So that’s who I was, for 4.5 years.
Finally, I was so sick and tired of the constant failure, I decided to change my beliefs. I began to believe I was one of the best writers on the Internet.
And guess what? I began treating myself like a professional, and I got huge results. A million people have read something by me in the past 6 months or so. I get emails every week from readers telling me how much my writing has helped them.
Reminds me of an old joke:
A guy goes to the doctor. “Doctor, it always hurts when I do this!” the guy complains, raising his arm at an awkward angle.
“Hm,” the doctor says. “OK. Here’s what you gotta do: stop doing that.”
If your old behaviors and beliefs are hurting you, then stop it. Change and do something better.
“Every day, check these 4 boxes: Have I improved 1% on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health?” -James Altucher
I’ve been reading a lot of autobiographies of some of the world’s most successful people.
They all had to learn a variety of new skills to become successful.
A Super Bowl-winning quarterback needs to know how to do more than simply throw a ball. They need to master:
- Contract negotiations,
- Nutrition and diet
- Public speaking
- Strengths conditioning
…and a ton of other non-football-related things.
You don’t learn all these skills if you keep watching TV instead of learning, creating, experimenting, and growing.
Look, TV isn’t bad. I watch is pretty frequently.
But during the seasons of my life where I needed to grow — building my writing business, learning how to manage tools like webinars, email software, coaching funnels, payment gateways, lead pages, etc. — I wasn’t watching TV.
I spending all my time learning.
That’s how you experience hyper-fast progress.
The majority of people waste immense amounts of energy trying to do everything at once.
Countless studies have proven multitasking doesn’t work. Attention drag — energy that is wasted between constant shifts of focus — adds up and drains your focus. Most people try to get it all done at once but only end up burning out.
Worse still, most people don’t know how to properly rest well, either. Studies show most people sabotage their rest throughout their day with excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, and foods, substances that severely disrupt their sleeping.
Even during down time, people don’t know how to reenergize effectively.Instead of true rest — detaching from technology, exercising, reading, or just turning your mind off — most people dive deeper into technology and distractions that only serve to drain more energy.
The world’s most successful and effective people operate with a very different set of rules for getting rest than 99% of other people. These individuals have specific behaviors that prevent energy waste and enable massive energy production.
World-class performers make rest a priority. They’re really good at it. They have strict guidelines and boundaries they follow to ensure they operate with the maximum energy, as long as possible.
“All around you is an environment that is trying to pull you down to 2nd Class Street.” -Dr. David Schwartz
The reason most people won’t escape mediocrity isn’t because they’re not talented or smart enough.
No, the reason why most people will stay stuck where they are is because they haven’t cut the weight that’s holding them back.
The good news is, anyone can cut this negative weight. When you commit to avoiding negative people, saying no to the wrong money, getting new beliefs about yourself, watching less TV, and focusing on one thing at a time…
You can achieve extraordinary results.
“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao
Ready to Level-Up?
If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.
This article originally appeared on Medium.