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OBSTACLES TO PEAK PERFORMANCE:


Turning Stumbling Blocks into Building Blocks

By Steve B. Reed, L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

The greatest obstacle between you and your goal may be yourself. Fears, self-limiting beliefs and low self-esteem can form hidden stumbling blocks to performance. When people trip over themselves, they can fall far below their peak potential. To reach your potential you must first identify and then remove the self-defeating barriers to your success. This is like clearing a pathway so that a race can be run unimpeded. If your path is clear, then your own efforts can carry you to your goals. But if there are unseen blocks, even the best effort can stumble to a halt. Let’s look at five fears that stop many people dead in their tracks.

Fear of rejection

Ellen experiences a common difficulty for many people in sales, call reluctance. She is uncomfortable picking up the phone and getting rejected. Sometimes the rejection may be rude or angry. On other occasions the prospect will simply never call back and the realization finally sets in that they are not going to. The meaning that Ellen attaches to this is that she is worthless, unimportant and that people didn’t care about her enough to give her a chance. This is how she felt in her family and each unsuccessful sales call knocks the scab off those old painful wounds. Because of this hidden block she is unable to think of the rejection as simply a sign that the prospect is too busy or has no need for her product. The rejection becomes painfully personal. Under performing hurts too, but not as much as rejection.· Fear of criticism

When people are hurt by criticism they become scared to take any risk that might subject them to scrutiny. Avoiding criticism can inevitably lead to avoiding opportunity. Janice avoids promotions and offers from other companies because of her fear of what others might say. If someone criticizes her she feels so hurt that it is easier to suffer the frustration of feeling stuck. Her fear holds her hostage and thus she performs far below her potential in order to remain comfortable.· Fear of competition

Competition is inevitable. If something is worth doing, many people will be attracted to the opportunity. Allison is reluctant to compete though. If she can not be the best, she thinks she is worthless. She uses self-to-other comparisons to determine if she is better-than or less-than others. Being less-than is a painful reminder of feeling inferior to her older sisters. By not competing she avoids painful associations but also the chance for success.· Fear of failure

Failure is more than just not getting the result you want. It is not being the person you want. Failure means your self-esteem is involved. When your self-esteem is at stake, the stakes are too high to take risks. Successful people don’t have this stumbling block. They are free to try many things, some will work and some won’t. If something doesn’t get the result they want they simply find another strategy. A mistake or something that doesn’t work is only about their actions not about their being.· Fear of success

Julie is afraid that if she leads her office in sales that she won’t be able to keep it up. When Ann approaches the level of success that her parents enjoy she begins to sabotage her work. She doesn’t realize that she is afraid to out perform them. For Amy there is a discomfort in performing beyond a certain level. It is like being outside a comfort zone. Each of these people have a subconscious financial script from which they are afraid to deviate. This subtle mental programming serves to block their efforts and positive intentions. Their peak potential is out of reach. For people like these, powerful psychological tools are now being utilized to overcome stumbling blocks to success. Redecision Therapy is helping people to rewrite their financial scripts. EMDR Therapy is helping to clear one’s path of self-defeating fears. Neurolinguistic Programming is helping people to feel more resourceful, creative and empowered. Self-Hypnosis is helping to anchor success oriented thought patterns. People are turning to psychological tools when they discover that their greatest obstacles to success are hidden inside their own mind.

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