Face What Isn’t Working

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If youre new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 29:  Face What Isn’t Working

It is often said that the first step to overcoming a limited behavior is getting out of denial.  Very simply you have to face up to what isn’t working in particular areas of your life.  Life is giving you signs.  You have to pay attention to them.

Way back in principle one I wrote a great deal about my early struggles with meeting women in college.  The biggest obstacle to my success was myself.  Each night I went out to talk to girls I would proceed to get incredibly drunk.  By the end of the night I was “that guy” slurring his speech, spilling beer on himself, and generally scaring away every girl in a ten foot radius.  For nearly a semester I continued this behavior although it clearly wasn’t getting me my desired results.  It was until I snapped out of denial and realized I seriously needed to reevaluate how I handled my social encounters that I began to see some degree of success.

We do this in all areas of life.  We ignore the warning signs that our relationship is failing.  We ignore the fact that each week we are gaining another three or four pounds.  We make excuses for the fact that we haven’t saved a penny in the last year. But ultimately, successful people face these circumstances squarely, heed the warning signs, and take appropriate action, no matter how uncomfortable or challenging it might be.

Often we’ll make up reasons why something that is not working is working, instead of just admitting that we have a bad situation on our hands. This only causes us to go further down the wrong path.  But to be successful we must get past our denial.

A big part of getting out of denial is to get good at recognizing bad situations and then deciding to do something about them Often our denial is based on the notion that something even worse will happen once we stop denying and take action. Although many times the situation will require drastic changes in how you live, work, or relate to others… it in inevitable that you will have to make these changes sooner or later, doesn’t it make sense to stop putting them off so that you can finally get on with your life?

Here is Canfield’s advice for taking action:

Make a list of what isn’t working in your life.  Start with the seven major areas you would normally set goals for-financial,career or business, free time or family,health and appearance, relationships, personal growth, and finally, making a difference.  Ask your staff, family, friends,class,group, coach, or team what they believe is not working.

Ask:  What’s not working?  How can I help you? What do I/we need to do?  What action steps can I/we take to get each of these situations to work the way I/we would like?

Do you need to talk to someone? Ask someone for help? Learn a new skill?  Find a new recourse?  Read a book?  Call an expert?  Make a plan to fix it?

Choose one action and do it. Then keep taking another action and another action until you get the situation resolved.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.