Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five Things People Who Strive for Success Don't Know That Can Hold Them Back

I've been studying the neuroscience related to learning and behavior change for 25 years. Along the way, I've learned some things about success that even the hard chargers don't know about - major realities that can hold them back. Here are the top five...

1. Knowing what to do doesn't mean you can do it. The reason is that most situations don't allow for reflection and conscious decision-making. For example, in the workplace things often happen so fast that your automatic habits kick in. You do what you usually do without thinking about it. The bottom line - if you want to consistently do something different - the excellent behavior you learned about - you have to first ingrain it as a habit.

2. It takes a lot of repetitions of the behavior to establish an ingrained habit. This is because habits are triggered by neural pathways, networks of brain cells related to the behavior, which are stimulated to grow together each time the behavior is repeated. Once all the brain cells are connected, the habit is ingrained. Permanently.

3. This doesn't happen quickly just because you're highly motivated.
It takes time, and it isn't easy to change your way of doing something. Because the new way isn't a habit yet, you'll forget to do it. You'll react with your old habit. Or you will try, and in the early stages your effort will be unpracticed and awkward. This failure may discourage you. The disappointment you feel is what I call "the crunch point." Things have to get worse before they get better, and you may be tempted to give up on the new way and fall back on what's comfortable.

4. It's hard to do this on your own. It makes a big difference to have people who care about your success to give feedback, coaching, encouragement and accountability.

5. Even if you successfully ingrain the new habit, without personal strength and people skills your new behavior pattern may not bring you success. Adversity is a fact of life; and in nearly everything we do, we do it while interacting with people. So you've got to be strong enough to work through the challenges, and you have to be good with people. Otherwise, you won't get far.

So if you really care about getting ahead and achieving your dream, you need to take these realities seriously. Understand what personal growth involves, and follow through. Build a network of people who can help you. And while you're acquiring the knowledge and skills related to your success, don't neglect your core strengths - personal strengths and people skills.

In brief, this is the message of a new 36-page ebook, Launch Your Personal Success, which you can download free online.

I created ProStar Coach to help success-oriented people deal with these challenges. Based on more than 15 years of research and development, it's the world's first learning empowerment system. It's stimulating content and online virtual coaching support to make the hard parts of your personal development journey a lot easier.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .


Steve-Personal Success Factors said...

Denny, this is great information. It was very timely for me to hear that intentions are not enough: we need supportive people and accountability if we want to forge new skills.

devaughnburke said...

Very informative and very logical. the hardest thing in the world is to creat good habits and sticking to them

Jonathan "JDOGG" Lederman said...

I thank you for this insight and for all your guidance and support. I am back speaking again and just did a presentation at Junior Achievement in Coconut Creek. I invite you to visit www.the-masterofceremony.com and to leave comments.

harry @ GoalsOnTrack said...

Great advice. Building great habits to support our goals is a shortcut to reaching them.