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Removing barriers to success

Steven A. Plewes, CLU, ChFC

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Defining who you are and what you want make it easy to move ahead.
Masterfile/Andrew Judd

If you didn’t wake up tomorrow, what part of your life would remain unlived? What would people say about the type of person you were?

I ask this question because there are many factors involved in discovering how to break through barriers to achieve success. First, ask yourself: Do I really want success, and what does that mean to me?

Who are you?

Think about what would make you feel successful. To define this properly, we have to ask ourselves, who are we really? And that has to do with our values.

We tend to think of ourselves as our role — as financial advisors or a father or a mother. Instead, I’m trying to get you to think about your core values. Because when you get to where you can just show up, and your values are aligned with your goals, it makes many of your life decisions very, very easy.

So when we know exactly who we are, what we do and don’t do, what we accept and what we don’t accept, and what our boundaries are, we can be very focused. And when we get focused, many obstacles no longer stop us.

What do you want?

Once you know who you are, then you have to talk about what it is that you really want. You can make it something short-term if you want. If you’re striving to make Court of the Table for the first time, fine. Top of the Table, fine. Lose 10 pounds, fine. Whatever your goal is, just define it.

Write down a couple of things that would be important to you in your life, in the short-term, mid-term or long-term.

Why do you want it?

Is it for the money? Is it for the financial security? Is it for the ego? Is it for the status? Is it for the sense of accomplishment? Come up with something that is your “why,” and write it down.

When we know who we are and what we’re all about, we become very comfortable in our own skin. And we can show up saying, “This is who I am. This is what I want to do. And this is why I want to do it.” Everything is clear and well-defined.

When you know who you are, that becomes your foundation for everything. And when you know what you want, that becomes your mission. And the “why” becomes your fuel, the source of your passion.

It makes it simple because if you know exactly what you want, and you know why you want it, then you build all your systems around that. All your decisions come back to that, and anything that tries to get into your thinking that is contrary is just a distraction.

It’s a distraction because it doesn’t measure up with who you are, the boundaries you set for yourself, the values you put in place that are important to you, and it doesn’t match up with your “why.” So it’s easier to make decisions. Especially when we’re so busy and our resources are just tapped out.

But, even after we are clear, we still have three main obstacles we run up against.

How do you see yourself? Some of the barriers to success are actually how we view ourselves and how we think.

How do you view the world around you? How we react under stress and how we go through the day has a huge impact on our productivity.

How do you manage your mindset? Are you willing to let go of some things you always thought were true? Because they’re only getting you what you already have, but maybe not what you want. How you got where you are is likely because you’re locked into some particular thinking, good and bad. This is mostly stuff we have learned. But we can learn new things, and we can adopt new habits and practices.

7 ways to shift your mindsets

  1. Stop trying to please other people.
  2. Be completely clear about how you provide value.
  3. Accept that failing is the secret sauce of success.
  4. Be prepared to walk away from the wrong prospects to save space for the right clients.
  5. There is no endpoint to success, only incremental steps forward.
  6. There’s no such thing as perfection, only progress.
  7. Relentlessly pursue the release of control.

Steven Plewes is a 32-year MDRT member from Naples, Florida.

Contact: Steven Plewes


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