Psychological Barriers to Success

Ryuzaki

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Upon entry into the world of business, one is often surprised that the majority of success-related books have less to do with how to operate a business and more with how to operate your own mind. While we are steadily concerned about the competition, those at the top of the mountain continually attempt to tell us that the battle is to be fought against ourselves.

After 15 years of entrepreneurship, reflecting upon the causes and consequences of the ups-and-downs, my daily activities, and my current situation, the truth of this statement has only become increasingly obvious. Having networked with people from the top of the industry down to the very bottom, all the while observing their behaviors and my own, I believe that the psychological barriers to success can be categorized neatly.

However, being aware of them is far easier than conquering them. But to defeat your enemy, you must know your enemy intimately.

How well do you know your own mind?
As you read along, at some point, giant red flags are going to pop up inside you. Maybe you'll:
  • find yourself skimming a certain section
  • outright deny the reality of a specific barrier
  • feel an increase in a positive or negative emotion surrounding it
  • start considering your own friends and colleagues who suffer from that barrier
  • etc.
Any strong mental movement you experience is a sign post showing you one of the places you might be stuck. Pay close attention to your own reaction as you read along! In no particular order...




One of the main areas that businessmen and women become stuck in is that of Transference. Transference can take on many shapes and forms that block the individual from experiencing the reality of a business situation as it is.

One of the main culprits is Projection. Newbies tend to cast their own conceptual expectation over their undertakings. "If you build it, they will come." "Content is king." Those are a couple of traps that still ensnare even the experienced. Other's become deluded by the flat out lies of other wannabe's and guru's, with the expectation that they can build a mound of garbage instead of contributing to society and become wealthy with minimal effort. By copying the thoughts and behaviors of others, they've fallen into the Introjection trap, in which they turn around and project someone else's beliefs as their own. This is the self-reinforcing black hole that followers get sucked into from which they'll never escape. Introjection will often lead to Sublimation, the general "fake it till you make it" attitude that the rest of us recognize as "If you can't do, you teach" cop out. Pretty much any business guru is doing just this very thing and always ends up getting caught.

When you fall into group-think like this, your vision of reality becomes distorted by a veil of Idealization. You become assimilated by a false guru, by a web-ring of blogs, by forums, all regurgitating nonsense that appeals to your emotionality instead of the base reality of business. You become "incepted," having ideas that aren't your own implanted into your operating system, and you run those programs instead of ones you've developed for your own unique situation.

How to Approach Transference:
Many will tell you to "pour out your cup" because it's full of nonsense and can't accept the truth until it's empty. I'm telling you to pour it out and shatter it. Then get ready to cast and fire your own new ceramic psychological framework, customized completely to position you for success based on you, not anyone else. Start completely over and formulate based on experience and not "advice."



To find success in business, you have to have the right motivations which cause you to act upon the right means at the right level of action. The only reason motivations will fire you up and push you through long hours of trudgery is because you feel them with your entire being.

Many of us have the right reasons, but the massive action doesn't pour out of us. That's often because of Cerebration, where instead of experiencing the energy pulse through us to the point where we realize it's our duty to succeed, we don't feel any energy at all. We intellectualize a virtual version of this feeling and emotion. Instead of becoming excited, we think the feeling of becoming excited.

It's as if there's a firewall that converts bodily impulses into data-packets our mind's can deal with instead of our spirits. It drops off the surge of energy which might actually make you do something and delivers you the smallest, safest version without telling you that this is what it is doing. It's exactly like living in the Matrix. It's a virtual experience of a concrete reality.

Dealing with Cerebration:
Practice meta-thinking and self-observation. Think about how you think. Watch how you think. Watch your body's reactions to your thoughts and see if they are appropriate (or lacking). You very well may be desensitized and can't muster excitement. If the idea of your wildest dreams come true only brings apathy instead of a rush of dopamine and serotonin, then you aren't feeling your wildest dream. You're intellectualizing it and safe-guarding yourself from taking the level of action required of you to achieve it. Don't think. Feel.



This is the entrepreneur's Achille's Heel. The Kill-Switch. The Woman in the Red Dress. Reaction Formation. This will literally stop you before you even start. It also has many faces, and when you recognize one, it will put on a different mask.

What happens with Reaction Formation is that you peer into the future at your end-goal and realize all of the trauma, energy, and time it will take, and so you not only do the exact opposite, but you do it in such a fierce way that it ensures you'll never have to confront the efforts to reach the goal ever.

The first mask is that of the Fear of Loss. This type of scarcity-based thinking is rooted in the inability to emotionally navigate the troughs of life. Instead of performing a rational analysis on risk and mitigating it to ensure success, a man will simply not take risk at all. His fear of sliding into another trough in the rollercoaster of business has doomed him to always remaining in the trough by not leveraging his current assets to build more.

The next two masks that are similar, the first of which is the Fear of Gain. The Fear of Gain is rooted in a disbelief in abundance and a self-concept based on an external locus of control, such as luck, fate, destiny, a god, the illuminati, etc. "People are positioned to be powerful. Us regular folk don't have class-mobility. Thing'll never change for me." Sadly, every time opportunity comes knocking, a person with these thoughts will tend to commit Self-Sabotage. You know just about every lottery winner is broke by the next year? Guess which type of people buy lottery tickets as a pressure-release valve and consequentially end up winning?

The previous mask looks a lot like the Fear of Responsibility too. It can lead a person to commit self-sabotage as well, but less deliberately. A businessman dealing with this mask is at least in the game, but may not move forward ever. We've all seen this type of entrepreneur (myself included as related to the next major barrier), who should have already been successful several times over. As related to the Fear of Responsibility, a person may have a destructive self-image (imposed by oneself) and a negative self-esteem (imposed by early social and familial relations). Not only do they feel Unworthy to receive such blessings, but if it's thrusted upon them, they may feel like an Imposter, as if they are tricking those around them into believing they are a success when the opposite is true. This can lead to a purposeful Undoing that helps them escape the fear (and also the success). This is a Regression backwards on the bridge to success, back to the safe cliffside.

One more way people combat the fear of responsibility is by being "secret entrepreneurs" so they don't have to impress anyone or answer to other people's expectations. The problem here is that this Isolation removes any reward based on social comparison or providing for those you care about. It also causes you to try to become a superman who does it all himself (not a scalable operation). This is a strange kind of engaged Escapism. We can't make it alone.

Confronting Reaction Formation:
Perform exposure therapy upon oneself. Begin by imagining with your full being (not just cerebrally) what it would be like to succeed. Feel the fears and remind yourself that since it's all in your mind, it's completely safe although it feels absolutely real. Keep stretching this comfort zone. By the time you transition to the real world, you'll have disarmed this masked villain. You may have to keep beating him down over the years, but he'll never best you again.



This term Mutually Exclusive Desires refers to having your cake and eating it too. It revolves around having more than one fundamental philosophy fighting for domination within one's being.

A great example is these Silicon Valley companies having "meditation hour" and bringing in Buddhist monks to give lectures on mindfulness. The employees are also going to learn about the causes and solutions of suffering. Now you've got an ambitious entrepreneur who believes his ambition is precisely the cause of his problems.

Take a Buddhist, a Hippy, a Socialist, or a programmed Peasant who thinks there might be more to life and that financial success is the key, and it's like watching a self-emergent A.I. arise within a computer running the "Culture 2.0" operating system.

The key symptoms of a sufferer of this barrier is the classic: Coulda Shoulda Woulda

Another interesting "firewall" our mind's can install is that of Conversion. This is when an intrapsychic conflict such as { I want money | money is the root of all evil } results in a psychosomatic manifestation. How many people do you know always end up becoming sick right when opportunity knocks (and they aren't faking it)? Some people are constantly falling ill all year round with no medical explanation. Conversion temporarily removes this conflict by transmuting it into something more powerful that demands immediate attention, thus delaying choice making and action.

Conquering Your Mutually Exclusive Ideas:
Recognize the difference between your own thoughts and those imposed upon you by culture. Be willing to compartmentalize the You-you and the Them-you. Consider the difference betweens wants & needs, and how they both arise, and why someone might tell you one is different than the other (because they suffer from one of these psychological barriers). Your maturation will occur when you can take what you like and discard the rest from these two philosophies of yours and form your own guiding platform customized directly for yourself by yourself.



We all generally fall near one of the poles of this continuum, but those at the near extremes suffer from this psychological barrier to success. Temporal Orientation refers to a general focus on either the past or the future. It's a lot like introversion and extraversion.

Those who orient themselves in the direction of the past tend to deal with depression, regret, reminiscence, recurrent dreams, and make a lot of excuses based on experience. To the individual, the past represents the entirety of life and existence, so it's natural to attempt to form order out of that chaos and pick out patterns. It's also natural to focus on the times we were let down, failed, hurt, etc. Past-Orientation sets up an expectancy of pain and suffering, leading to a loss of meaning and therefore action.

Future-Orientation, on the other hand, is nervousness due to always anticipating what the future may bring. Hopefulness can still survive in this orientation, but a fear of the unknown leaves the door open for negatives to oppress the mind. This thought-style leads to anxiety, panic attacks, over-thinking, obsessiveness, and crippling phobias. It also causes a de-emphasis on positively confirmational experiences from the past that would quell the anxiety if only the person could turn around for a moment.

Where We Want to Be Oriented:
The Now. Life is based on probabilities that you can influence only through taking action and exerting your magical influence upon the universe. To do this effectively, your mind needs to be rooted in the present with full awareness. If you struggle here, realize that the past and the future are literally imaginary. You only have access to right now and right here. Get into it fully, be the author, and play the role you want for yourself. Calmness is your goal, a calming of the surface of the emotional ocean inside you. Then it can reflect the true version of the present.



This is a tricky one because clearly, as we've been discussing, our thoughts create our reality. And the fact that anything exists at all is pretty magical, and quantum physics, and spiritual powers, and aliens!

See how quickly Magical Thinking can devolve into distraction and offer short-cuts that don't seem to exist? Wouldn't we all love a shortcut? This is why this one is so tricky, because the further down the rabbit-hole you go, the more sensible it seems (except from the outside, where you look like a complete nut).

Let's not deal with the classical version of magical thinking too much, other than to point out Wishful Thinking, which is essentially the desire for us to all receive without giving. Any type of thinking that tells you that you can get without earning is bologna. The Law of Attraction, Tapping for Success, Witchcraft Spells, Bitcoin Mining (j/k), Blackhat Spam... don't get trapped by anything that tells you effort is not a requirement.

The form of magical thinking most of us deal with is that of Fantasizing. It doesn't seem harmful, but what happens is you release all of the energy stored for action by faking out your mind that you've achieved the result already. Imagine you want to punch someone in the face, so you start screaming and cussing at them, and then you feel better and no longer need to punch them. It's just like that, but now you don't need to work, because you've just created a substitute action that provided a similar emotional result. Your mind doesn't know the difference between you driving a Lamborghini around versus you pretending to do it.

The Solution to Magical Thinking:
Don't. Don't release the pressure you're building up. You want it to explode. You want to snap. Quit trying to have what you haven't earned. Don't waste your internal resources. These maladaptive daydreams aren't motivating you or taking you closer to the goal. They are helping you stay right where you're at.



I was tempted to call these Intimidating Milestones, because that's what they are in the physical realm of business. Their psychological correlate are Mental Gateways. These barriers are exactly that, they are barricades, blockades, hurdles, insurmountable mountains standing right in your path. @Tavin mentions this phenomenon, where something seems downright impossible until you achieve it. Then suddenly you're achieving all of the time with much less effort and concern for the difficulty.

The reason is, is because from your distance on the path, you see the fierce, menacing Guardians at the Threshold. They demand your energy, time, effort, blood, tears, and possibly even your success. So you keep your distance. But finally you go for it. You hike up your skirt and start marching along determined. And when you get to that scary gate...

There was no gate. There were no guardians. It was all an illusion. This is the Gateless Gate. It wasn't ahead of you, but was always all around you. You'll never pass through it, because you've always been on the otherside while standing right in the midst of the gate posts.

How to Pass Through the Gate:
What gate? Quit psyching yourself out and get to work!



And finally, the barrier that gets us all from time to time. You may have developed yourself to the point where you've torn the veil and see the reality of the business landscape clearly. But working hard, smart, and long hours still requires a colossal will-power, and will-power is not an infinite source. It is renewable though, so the trick is managing the expenditure.

There are lots of ways we are Counter-Productive to our goals. @CCarter constantly exposes people's own counter-productivity to themselves any time he catches them bitching. It's tricky because a lot of times we aren't self-aware of our various methods of procrastination.

Procrastination in itself is a form of passive-aggressive resistance to the concept of work. It generally arises in one of three ways:
  1. Not doing what you should
  2. Doing what you shouldn't
  3. Doing the right things in the wrong order
Another way we are counter-productive is through substituting orbiting activities that seem like work. We all know the guys who do nothing but press refresh on forums, comment on all of the new industry blog posts, and are always on the social networks talking about doing instead of doing. This is called Displacement. Don't pretend to be busy to avoid being busy.

One of the most frequently observed methods of being counter-productive we see on online forums is that of Withdrawal. It's similar to Isolation and the Fear of Responsibility. "Wait a second. If I'm constantly posting about what I'm doing, I can be held accountable..." This is why case studies are abandoned, why members suddenly disappear from the community, and why people lurk instead of engage.

The saddest barrier to see is Rationalization. It's often the most-capable entrepreneurs that will justify why they either shouldn't bother or won't ever make it. They perform Social Comparisons of themselves against people in completely different lifestyles and career paths and use that as an excuse to be a forlorn little bitch. Remember, entrepreneurs cram a 40 year long career into 5 or 10, mostly with delayed gratification. Of course you aren't earning the same amount as the guy collecting weekly paychecks. He also can only go to the potty when his master says so.

Conquering Counter-Productivity:
Tomes have been written about this, and it all boils down to this. Have a clearly defined goal in achievable steps, do the most important thing first, block out distractions, and surround yourself with like-minded people with skill sets who can help you and hold you accountable.


There are undoubtedly more psychological barriers to success that haven't popped out at me. They say that anything negative you notice is your own Shadow, your own red flags and blockages. If you deal with anything that I didn't list, please share it with us. And definitely offer any insight you can concerning the barriers above so we can all benefit and grow from it. Let's get this money.
 
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First of all, excellent share. This is something I (read: we) could read 100x and keep learning more about myself.

I've been listening to some of the "guru" types lately, like Tony Robbins, and many of them brief one or more of these topics, but rarely go super in depth. They give examples, do their typical analogous stories, and attempt at getting you to understand your own faults through what seem like menial exercises.

However, they all have on thing in common:

The 'solution' is always, in some way, a daily ritual, journal, exercise or activity which involves 1.) thinking, 2.) reflecting, 3.) writing and 4.) doing. Some of them recommend doing these things more than once.

I think it most closely relates to your Cerebration because you truly have to get yourself to take consistent action, day after day, until it becomes not only a habit, but you feel like something is missing from your day if you don't make some positive step. These daily rituals or patterns or "Power Hours" or whatever you want to call them force your hand, consciously and subconsciously.

Like Tony Robbin's style of immersion training, you have to take extreme measures to not only take the first step, but take extraordinary action right away so you experience immediate results of some kind.

What are your thoughts, @Ryuzaki ? What have you done to train your brain to form your mind for personal excellence?
 
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emp

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@Ryuzaki

I seriously don't know how to respond to this,

One one hand, this is a great writeup, and points that are needed for a lot of people.

On the other hand, I am a psychologist (The science type, not the therapist type) so... a lot of things here are just mislabeled / misrepresented and thrown into some kind of half-psychology half-esoteric limbo that irks me to no end.
(Not unlike the feeling when your mom calls the mouse that clicky thingy and insists on double-clicking links)

So....take that like..but argh... :evil:

::emp::
 

Ryuzaki

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What are your thoughts, @Ryuzaki ? What have you done to train your brain to form your mind for personal excellence?
I've engaged in a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy on myself, along with Shamatha and Vipasana meditation. A portion of my free time involves the study of psychology, philosophy, spirituality, and mythology. Essentially anything that helps me investigate how and why we think the ways we do. In regards to the C.B.T., it's all about meta-cognition and establishing yourself as the observer of your mind. It can be a bit dissociating and make you feel disengaged and less authentic at times, but once you re-train your mind, you can abandon that. It's the Ten Ox-Herding analogy. You go to the mountains and then you come back to the village.

@Ryuzaki
I seriously don't know how to respond to this...

I am a psychologist (The science type, not the therapist type) so... a lot of things here are just mislabeled / misrepresented and thrown into some kind of half-psychology half-esoteric limbo that irks me to no end.
That's interesting because i'm actually a psychologist too (the degree'd type, not the arm-chair type). The kind that has successfully practiced in the field and has had clients and been involved in research.

As I stated in the original post:
"Your maturation will occur when you can take what you like and discard the rest"
Until you're thinking for yourself, you're trapped in social comparisons and concerns for absolute rights and absolute wrongs as labeled by some authority, when life is actually a continuum of grey area. Personal growth demands that you shed the coil binding you to someone's else's idea of how you should grow.

If you don't have a personal mythology, you don't have a genuine path in life. You have a cookie cutter outline designed to trap you within someone else's system.

Your concern with labels is a "Cerebration" problem, as discussed in the O.P. It causes you to intellectualize concepts and emotions instead of actually experiencing them as they are. It even drags you as far as to become concerned with consensual connotations and definitions, a.k.a. running someone else's operating system instead of your own. Worrying about communicating "properly" will mitigate the ability to communicate "effectively (and succesfully)."
 

emp

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@Ryuzaki
Didn't know you studied this as well.
Hi there, fellow Psycho.
Where did you study?

I studied at the University of Hamburg / Germany, so some things might boil down to different views in different parts of the world.

As I said, I found this a good and essential writeup.
As I did not want to nitpick, I actually pointed that out.
Alas, let me try to be of more use..

Two things I noticed.:
The term "Projection" is used here as the projection of an unwanted trait in oneself onto another person. So I might complain about my brother being fat and not doing anything about it, while the buttons on my shirt strain to hold it together as I munge on another piece of cake.

Or, from wikipedia (as it pretty much aligns with what I learned, and I am lazy)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

Whereas you use it as people casting
.. their own conceptual expectation over their undertakings. "If you build it, they will come." "Content is king."
The other one I had more trouble with
Procrastination in itself is a form of passive-aggressive resistance to the concept of work.
As research into this area is inconclusive.
Chronic procrastinators often suffer from other psychological disorders, with procastination only serving as a symptom. Simply putting it as avoiding work is not cutting it.

What noticed with procrastinators (especially in academic / knowledge work) was that a lot of them were actually very driven, academically excellent people.

The problem was often enough not "not wanting to work" but an excessive amount of perfectionism resulting in not doing at all, for fear of the inner critic.
For these people, the forced start is a good technique.
Basically a kick in the butt to "Just do ANYTHING" ... once the start was made, a lot of them were able to complete the assignments.
Uphill battle, though, more often than not.

Another problem (often confounded) was poorly defined goals or problem settings.
Sadly, especially in academia (or entrepreneurship) a nice and tight definition of a task is often impossible.

So far, there has been little therapeutic breakthrough for procrastination. Instead, the ailment is becoming more widespread, with social media adding to it. "Just one more refresh, see if something new is happening..:"

For the procrastinators here:
DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!
You can redo or improve it later!

or... end up like this guy with nothing to show after a whole month:
https://www.buildersociety.com/threads/impossibly-hard-to-decide-on-a-brand-name.947/

::emp::

Oh... and LOL @ your play:

Don't believe any authority! - Because I say so.

::emp::
 

CCarter

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This may have been touched on in several smaller forms but I think it's important to note in itself. The experiences you felt and learned from your parents and surroundings at a very early age are still a major part of who you are. I've found myself doing and wanting things simply because that want was imprinted onto me as a child by my parents. It was really their desire and wants that I started mimicking as I grew older and started exploring the world. When I got to a point in my life where I simply surpassed them and obtained the goal it was essentially a stalemate in my personal and business development.

It takes a great struggle to break an imprint, most of the time you never truly succeed. A direct example was my father wanted to own a Mercedes Benz. Although he went through all the traditional stuff, got two PhDs and went the traditional educational route and obtained his Benz eventually - he did have an entrepreneurial thought pattern - that really never materialized. I did break the mold of going the traditional education route, and went down the entrepreneurial route and found myself in a situation where I was able to get a Benz, and I literally happened to get the same model he did except a newer and 1 upgrade up.

At the time and for a long time I never thought twice about it, but when I was recently reflecting and considering what was imprinted on me it was that desired entrepreneurial spirit that my father had - which I essentially out did him at, then the fact I bothered getting the same car he desired as well. Those are two examples of imprinting on myself from my father that I've obtained. Good or bad - hard to decide. The problem is I'm now left with the abyss staring back at me.

I've always wondered what people meant by 'finding themselves' - but besides the superficial social stigma of that meaning - as if I'm a female just graduating college and now looking blankly into the world and I need to 'find myself' - there is an intellectual side that should be contemplated that roots itself in imprinting.

We are what we are cause of the environment and imprinting done onto us. Most likely you will not be ALOT more successful than your parents were - at least 99% of you will not be. Their imprints are woven into everything you do, how you approach the opposite sex, how you dream, and what you desire. So if you sit around not really doing any work on that one project - look at your parents. Are they relatively successful in their goals. If not - unless you literally take a 180 degree flip and hate them (or just throw everything they taught you out), you will not get a lot further than they did.

Think about the rich snob kid who's father had to work hard for a living and gain that wealth - he does one of two things, squanders his wealth - 180 degree flip on the father or inherits the wealth creating spirit and continues a family tradition. There really is only 2 options for him - that's not a mistake.

Think about the single mother who raises a daughter to hate and mis-trust all men. When her time comes to be a mother the imprinting on her is so strong that she "somehow" becomes a single mother... that's not a mistake, she guided her life toward that moment - well rather her imprinting did. If she really doesn't want to be a single mother she has to literally cast aside all that she has learned growing up about men from her mother and work hard to break that mold.

Dealing with Imprinting:
You literally have to figure out why you do what you do first. Are you not successful? Is it because of some imprint from your father or mother? Did they grow up telling you that money is evil? And to be good? If so - that would create a natural conflict in your mind that in order to be good and liked you can't have money. Yet you sit there struggling to figure out why that one project of yours hasn't gotten off the ground. Maybe you were not imprinted with 'working hard' or 'grinding'. Maybe you were imprinted with too much 'instant gratification' or 'shortcut to your goals'.

We're all on a train ride folks. The final destination - that finish line is the same for all of us. We can spend our time mimicking the past, our parents, or other family members, or think about the things you do and try to trace the imprinting that originated that. Break that mold - maybe confronting your parents about a certain fear or struggle you have that was passed down by them unknowingly - that can be a start. And don't beat your parents up too badly, it's not like they got a manual to parenting...

Maybe by completely casting out all thought and desires and wants of everything and grinding on a single project - not partying and going out until you've 'made it' to that goal line will break your 'non-grinding mold'.

Imprinting continues to happen as you get older, but it is never as strong as the original imprints of your surroundings in your early age. So a form of imprinting that can help you is to surround yourself by 5 people that are doing completely better then you are, and learn from them. Remember in school when the teacher was teaching and you REALLY wanted to learn - become a sponge and ask questions and continue growing, but make sure you surround yourself by actual successful people. Otherwise you'll find yourself in skype chats with 9-to-5-ers teaching you how to become a an entrepreneur - which in itself is a contradiction in nature.

I'm still struggling to break different molds that I've housed my mind within, so I'm throwing darts at what looks like will work, but maybe imprinting is nearly impossible to totally defeat - I don't know, I'm still working on it.

I know one imprinting I'm working on is patience, as I have too much of it for people. I've started to simply cut off nonsense from my life that doesn't help me obtain my goals. Selfish, hell yeah, but this is my fucking train ride. I'm not going to sit next to some clown that's draining my energy or struggling with bad imprints of their own. So if I give advice and people don't bother taking it, guess what - I move on. If i tell an employee to do something and they decide not to, guess what, that employee is not going to be here tomorrow - I move on. When you have less patience, people notice that and tend to get shit done faster around you - cause they know instinctually "you are not fucking around".

The lesson to be learned is - do not waste time, and have a lot less patience in life than you were imprinted to have, cause at the end of the day no matter how old you are this train ride is not long enough and wasting time on the petty - well at least just doesn't jive with my flow anymore. I'm here for something more, to learn from others, their mistakes, their knowledge, so wasting time on conversations that do not add to either - well, I just ain't about that life anymore.
 

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Yes, via "imprint" is probably the best way to look at it.

Realizing that at the core, we are just copies of environment we have grown up with, is already a quite big jump into transformation.

If you haven't been successful already and, your closest environment isn't what you want to become in life, that means you have wrong habits. If your parents are not the people you want to become, you will have to face it.

That doesn't mean judging them with no mercy and showing them disrespect but, unfortunately as @CCarter said, it might turn (at some point) into hate. Especially if we are immature we tend to see the world black and white. On the other hand the younger we are, we have more chances to change our imprints. So it might be not easy ride regarding our family and their expectations twords ourselves.

I got into hate twords parents at some point in life, about ten years ago. Right now I'm more mature and see all of this from different perspective. But most certainly than not, if you have grown up in a family that isn't successful by your standards (financially for example), you will probably have a tough ride with them at some point.

In my opinion pain is a great motivator but, it's a wrong motivator for us marketers (or achieving goals in general). We shouldn't be escaping from things but, instead working our asses off twords our goals. Pain is often this first kickstarter but it cannot be a real driver.

Focusing on negative things produces negative outcome. So it all comes down to what one wants from his life.

I'm sure everyone is able to create some goals. The point is, are those goals are really what we want in life? Having a lot of money isn't a real goal. Especially in this IM environment, goal of having a lot of money is most often than not like saying hey "I just want to be rich and work 4 hours a week". That's short term solution at best.

So the questions you have to ask yourself is what do I want from life? Who I want to be?

Let's face it. IM is like a honey pot for people who want to have comfortable and easy life. It was created like that by smart marketers. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as they market it.

Who in their right mind would want to spend countless hours in front of a PC? What is soo exciting about it? Seating there for all day long (and often nights) digging with the code, links, clients, forums and all that stuff?

There are countless better ways to make money and very good and wealthy living.

My point is this. If you cannot produce some meaningful results and even more, you are feeling tired doing whatever you are doing right now online, why the hell you are doing it?

IM is just one of soo many industries out there. I know people who are doing loads of cash selling paper plates (for barbecues) and similar stuff. They have started few months ago, got container from China (partly on a credit) and they are doing real business now. Or guys who are working for TOP500 companies as consultants for SAP system, or even employees. Those motehrfuckers are doing better that good.

Not everyone is cut out to seat in front of a monitor for 20 hours. Just like not everyone can become NBA star. So before making any serious decisions people should think hard what really drives them and, what predispositions they have.

Once someone have decided that he or her wants to go into IM then I don't see any reason for not making money out of it. Unless that person is trapped in easy money and easy work idea.

Focusing is not a problem also.

What do you mean by "I can't focus"?! Do you mean you can't do some work? Or do you mean you thought you will have easy ride on the internets?

If you really can't focus on being productive than you have a much bigger problem outside of IM or any other business. Focusing on goals is simple, is it easy? Not always.

Make a list of your goals. Print it on your forehead if you have to. Then every day before the bedtime plan tasks for the next day. No matter how many tasks, just write them down. On the next day once you are free to go, just go and finish those tasks.

Plan and execute, plan and execute, plan and execute...

Saying "I have problem, I can't focus on fulfilling tasks" is just a bunch of BS. If you do hard and still find yourself unproductive than you might want to look for pro help. And that is nothing to be ashamed of. Unless you believe that pipe dream saying "IM is easy money and 4 hours of work week".

BTW, that Tim Ferris' book is perceived by many IM pros as a MMO thing. While I agree in some part, I think it brings some important topics also. I have even my own story with this book but, I will leave it for a special occasion :wink: (once my big idea is up and running the way I want).

Really, don't focus on getting focused... Just get you plan straight and execute it without mercy.





 

stackcash

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A lot of what was said here kind of reminds me of legitimate mental issues / mental blocks that I have either experienced first hand, or have learned about through conversations with friends and family.

Cerebration jumped out at me as just being some kind of dissociative disorder where we separate one part of ourselves from another for the purpose of protecting ourselves.

One such treatment that seems like it may help here is "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing" - AKA "EMDR".

It's basically an exercise to help victims of trauma reconnect neural pathways so the can "process" their trauma - and then be rid of it completely.

To me, it seems that something like this could be used to combat "cerebration" and reconnect our emotions with our intellect.

It is most commonly performed in tandem with a therapist, but it seems like there are several self-administered resources out there. Might be worth a look:

http://selfbetter.com/online-emdr/
http://hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Do-Self-Administered-EMDR-Therapy
https://www.myptsd.com/c/threads/a-recipe-for-self-emdr.9458/
 

Ryuzaki

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There is a problem that affects a large portion of entrepreneurs that would appear to represent the character traits of discipline, attention to detail, and follow-through, and thus seem like a quality to be fostered and trained. This is the problem of Completionism.

Completionism is a symptom of Compulsion, which, in this context, can arise from self-esteem issues, fear of making an impact that reflects anything but perfection back at you, and an over-concern with being judged. Or it could just be downright stubbornness. It doesn't really matter.

What matters is that, while you're messing around making sure each pixel is placed perfectly, every word is crafted to create a sub-contextual cue, and treating every inconsequential detail as if it is of the utmost consequence, your competitors are flying past you. The business world moves fast, and the internet business world moves 10x as fast.

One of the main problems here is that of Diminishing Returns. Sure, you want your product, website, email auto-sequence, and whatever else to represent your goals, ambitions, mental images, and whatnot. You could spend a month getting things to the 80% complete and perfect level, and another month pushing it to 90%, and another 3 months getting to 100%. And while you're mentally masturbating, your competitors have hit 80% five times and released their products to the world.

That's a core issue with completionism. None of your potential customers can peer inside your mind. They won't know that 80% isn't your 100%. They'll see 100%, because that's all they get. They get confronted with one reality and one perspective on it, their own. Your own perspective, your own impression, your own judgements on your own work have literally nothing to do with someone else's judgements.

Let's say that I can get three posts completed and promoted that earn me $80 (good enough) each, in the same time you can do one that earns $100 (perfection). Guess who made $240 while you messed around and made $100? Guess what the market sees? They see me being 300% more productive and effective than you (not 240%, because perfect is a relative concept).

In my current case study, I spent several months getting this site up to a Minimum Viable Product. Traditionally I've not been a fan of the concept, but I see the sense in it when your product is far too expansive and would require far too many resources to become complete without first testing the market with it. So in this case, I ramped up as far as necessary, about 80% in design and development, before I started promoting the site. Since the roll-out, I've been putting finishing touches on things here and there, but what I did was get myself out there, aging my brand and recouping costs and time with my M.V.P. Don't be fooled by some people's idea of an M.V.P., where you sell your product or service without having built a single piece of it.

"Never fire all of your shots. Always hold a reserve."
Not only does this get you earning and validating your efforts, but it also provides you the illusion of progress. It allows you to satiate the masses by drip-feeding them upgrades and updates.

Solving the Completionism Dilemma
Get over yourself. Get over your feelings. Get over your hesitations. Money doesn't have emotions, and the market doesn't give a shit about your insecurities. Give the people what you think they want as soon as you can and let them tell you that it's good or to go back to the drawing board. The longer you wait, the larger the risk becomes. Get an M.V.P. out there with purposeful upgrades in the pipeline so you can appear as if you're busting extra ass to appease the masses. Do you want $500 bucks three times now, or $900 one time later? Do you want assets out there fighting the war for you, or do you want to stay tinkering in your garage like the hobbyist who nobody remembers or gave money to?​
 

Ryuzaki

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We all are programmed in different ways. There's no right or wrong, better or worse. But what that means is that we all have our own different crosses to bear. And this is where the deciding factor comes in: discipline.

If you're reading this, then your goal is a large one situated on a distant horizon that recedes as you get closer to it. How long are you willing to grind it out? The Delayal of Gratification is the quintessential virtue demanded of every business creator. There is research showing that our natural orientation is to take the immediate reward, even if it is smaller than one we could wait for, more damaging to other aspects of our lives, etc.

The Worker Drone
I've known quite a few people deeply entrenched in the worker bee mentality. Work all week, get paid, blow the majority of it over the weekend. And I've seen situations where paychecks were switched to a bi-monthly format. Suddenly these people are freaking out, threatening to quit, wondering how they will survive, and yet they will receive the exact same amount of monetary compensation for their efforts (or non-efforts. They get paid based on a time trade, regardless of results).

That's hilarious in a saddening way, but it shows us one of the most immediate barriers we have to overcome if we want to succeed in the realm of business or in any of our endeavors.
The Lion-Hearted Leader
As business owners, we may plant seeds that don't sprout for months, that don't grow into saplings for a year, and don't thrust their roots deep into the foundation and grow a strong, sturdy trunk with fruiting branches... for years. 3 years, 5 years, a decade...

To compound the issue, you may even see negative cash flow as you make the investments required to spawn future growth. Not only are you not receiving immediate feedback and reward, but if you're measuring the game based on finances, you're being punished.

How long will you forego a paycheck to continue paying your workers? How much do you like ramen?
How to Delay Gratification Effectively
If you find yourself struggling to break free of the typical work/reward structure, there are tricks you can use to continue to motivate your brain. The game isn't to brute-force change your brain or personality. Just get past the barrier however it takes.

You can literally associate anything as a reward. Remember when Staples began pushing those desktop buttons? Every time you completed a task, you could press the button and it would say "Well that was easy!" Or you can keep a bowl of candy in a drawer, whatever. Have a piggy bank on your desk and drop change in it every time you complete a task. Label it with something you want, such as a new computer. Now you're working towards something with and rewarding yourself immediately for your current efforts. Maybe every day you complete your first 13 Pomodoro's, you get to have a movie playing in another browser for the last 3-5 or however many, if and only if you earned it in the first batch.

The idea is to provide a minor reward for immediate action. Your brain won't know the difference, and these small victories will carry you to the big reward in the future. Eventually, this all becomes a non-issue once cash flow is majorly positive and you're taking profits for yourself. Can you make it to that point? You can, with a proper self-reward structure.

If you're a masochist, you can even add positive or negative punishments as well. If you don't perform, you have to donate money to another builder. If you don't perform, you don't get to have your evening beer. The game is yours to play, but to succeed, you have to realize you are also setting the rules. Set them to guarantee success. Use rewards to gratify yourself as you plow through your process. Don't worry about how far up the mountain you are. Just take the next step and the next reward.