A breakthrough is a sudden, dramatic, and important development in your life or business, but while we are inundated with examples of people achieving the extraordinary, we only see the tip of the iceberg – the end result.
Hidden from view, is their behind the scenes struggle, the self doubt, the tireless effort, the hopeless nights where no end seems in sight and also the small victories that barely seem worth celebrating, the rare days when everything ‘just clicks’, when the bigger picture starts to form and a tiny glimmer of light appears at the end of the tunnel.
But naturally, thanks to social media and everyone’s general reluctance to share the real path to success, we rarely see the full picture, and are left to compare our gnarly status quo of dissatisfaction with our current state with the glittering crowning moment of glory from someone’s highlights reel.
So if you have a habit of doing that, and use other people’s success to beat yourself into feeling like you are not good enough, or that the success you desire is not for you, then the first thing I want you to realize is that you really have no idea how much time, effort and resilience went into producing that moment of success.
In fact, I can practically guarantee that your habit of talking yourself out of going after your big goals, is your brain’s way of protecting you from possible future failure.
Unfortunately, being protected from possible future failure also protects you from possible epic success.
See why this might be a problem?
The first thing to realize is that comparison is the ultimate thief of joy.
Not only do you not have enough information to make a qualified comparison (you know everything about yourself, especially your flaws and only the most editorialized details about the other), when you try to create for yourself from this place of envy, jealousy, longing, you are actively disconnecting from your source of limitless potential.
You see, you really can achieve that dream.
I genuinely believe that human potential is limitless, and you have EVERYTHING you need already inside you to achieve mind blowing results.
You just need to create the right conditions for it and get out of your own way,
Imagine how it would feel to make your personal version of impossible possible.
To do that you have to be unwilling to settle for anything less than extraordinary in that area. Whether you want a breakthrough in your business, intimate life, emotional well-being, health, finances or career, here is your recipe to break through to feel lasting success:
Get really clear on your goals
This is something that seems disarmingly simple but it’s the biggest factor in ensuring that most people fail to get the results that they want.
It’s not enough to have a vague idea of what you want, you have to get really really specific. And when you don’t think you can get any more specific, push yourself to get even more specific.
Here is an example:
Vague: I want to start a business
Less vague: I want to start a business helping people
Less vague: I want to start a business helping middle aged women
Slightly specific: I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college
Slightly specific: I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college, so that they feel a sense of purpose
More specific: I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college, so that they feel a sense of purpose, and generate 100k in the first year
Even more specific: I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college, so that they feel a sense of purpose, and generate 100k in the first year by training them to be virtual assistants
Specific: I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college, so that they feel a sense of purpose, and generate 100k in the first year by training them to be virtual assistants allowing them the freedom to work from their own home and make money
Really specific: I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college, so that they feel a sense of purpose, and generate 100k in the first year by training 100 of them to be virtual assistants allowing them the freedom to work from their own home and make money
Compare the first one to the last one.
If your goal was “I want to start a business,” you would keep spinning indefinitely as there would be so many ways to achieve it.
More options = No action
If this was your goal: “I want to start a business helping middle aged women get jobs once their kids have left for college, so that they feel a sense of purpose, and generate 100k in the first year by training 100 of them to be virtual assistants allowing them the freedom to work from their own home and make money,” suddenly you have a lot more clarity on what you can do.
Instead of a whole world of options paralyzing you, there is a finite list of things you will have to do to reach these women, to convey the value of the training, to create the training, to price the training etc.
Suddenly, the picture is a lot more clear!
You can apply this to anything. It might take you a little while to get down to the level of right specificity but time spent there will give you an exponential return and go a long way in making sure you realize your goal.
Believe that it’s possible
You have to believe that this is possible for you.
If you don’t, your brain will guarantee that you don’t achieve it.
With any goal, there are two parts: the action you need to take and the result that might be dependent on an external situation.
The trick to hacking possibility is to focus on the former, and believe that you are entitled to the result you want. That you fundamentally deserve it, if you take the right kind of action, without worrying about external dependencies.
So if you are selling software on the phone and your goal is to hit a certain sales target, say $500k, you might feel like you realizing your goal is dependent on your prospects saying yes and buying from you and you might not believe that it’s possible for you to make $500k.
You will only be partially correct in this case.
Yes, you can’t control who buys and who doesn’t, but your goal is actually dependent on you adjusting your efforts to the environment you are playing in.
So if you currently make a sale for every five prospects you speak to, and each sale is worth $10, you just have to make 50 sales.
To make 50 sales, you have to speak to 250 prospects.
Your job is to make 250 calls, not to try and make sure every single person buys.
When your focus is on showing up and making calls, will you believe that it’s possible for you to make 250 sales calls?
The answer is a natural yes because showing up is totally in your control.
And when you shift your belief to an internal metric you can control, then you have the confidence to show up every single day.
And when you show up every single day, your breakthrough becomes inevitable.
Decide right this moment that whatever it is you desire, will be yours.
Increase the level of significance
We are always moving away from something, and moving towards something.
As we discussed above, when we get really clear on where we want to be, we can ensure that we are moving towards the right things.
A key ingredient in make sure you stay focused on this target is to really unpack why it’s so significant for you:
What it would do for you.
How achieving it would make you feel.
What it would change for you.
How it would impact the people you care about.
What it would enable you to now do.
The key to doing this is to focus on emotions.
For me personally, a big motivator to leave the security of a top tier corporate job was to have the freedom to spend more time with my family, who all live on the other side of the world, especially my mum, who was deeply affected by my dad’s passing.
When things got rough, this is what made me get up and keep pushing.
When I hit setback after setback, this is what made me find the motivation to have another go.
The image of her aging, without much company in her twilight years fuels me when I run out of all other fuel.
Maybe you are trying to lose weight, and want to be able to wear what you want at the beach and for the first time in your life, not feel self conscious.
Maybe you are trying to electrify a village in Haiti, because you grew up poor and want to make sure that at least a few others that you can impact, don’t have to go through the same challenges.
Even if your goal is to just make money, I urge you to think about what that would do for you. How that would change your life.
Significance is like a nuclear reactor, a powerful fuel that can take you really really far, and achieve things you didn’t think possible.
Create a plan
Most people are content to have dreams that they think about once in a while without ever doing anything about it.
But not you.
You’re not stopping there.
You’re going to make a plan.
A plan is the ultimate antidote to the uncertainty you might be feeling.
When you don’t have a plan, you feel lost, overwhelmed and paralyzed.
If you’re like I used to be, you distract yourself with all sorts of things – food, people, social media, the list goes on.
A plan adds clarity to your goal.
It takes the guesswork out of what you need to do.
It gives you confidence that you are making progress and creates a framework for consistent action.
The easiest way to create a plan is to work backwards.
It might seem counterintuitive, but you need to start with the end in mind and reverse engineer the steps you need to take to get there.
The two critical parts of each step in your plan is the ‘WHAT’ and the ‘BY WHEN.’
So if you are trying to lose 20 lbs, you first want to set a target timeline, say 5 months.
Based on this you will have to lose 4 lbs a month, for 5 months straight, to reach your goal.
To lose weight you need to expend more calories than you take in.
And you need to be at a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound.
So to lose 4 lbs a month, you need to be at a monthly deficit of 14,000 calories.
On a weekly basis that translates to 1750 calories.
On a daily basis that means you need to be at a deficit of 250 calories.
For reference a slice of pizza is 285 calories.
So now you know that if you want to lose 20 lbs in 5 months, you just need to reduce your calorie intake by 250 calories (or burn 250 additional calories).
Doesn’t that sound so much more doable?
Take consistent action
Now that you are clear on your goal, the reason why it’s so important to you, and you have a plan to achieve it, all you need to do is show up everyday and take action.
Remember that the way to achieve big, audacious goals is by taking consistent action over long periods of time.
The power of compound interest is incredible. Compound interest is interest on interest.
So when you take consistent action everyday your future actions act as an amplification on all your past efforts.
That glorious breakthrough at the end is usually a result of consistent action taken, whether it’s a big retirement account, six pack abs, the business of your dreams, or making a big difference in the world.
Once you have a plan, your only job is to show up everyday, and make sure your plan, goal, and actions continue to stay aligned.
If you can show up everyday, then there is almost nothing you cannot accomplish.
8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first two years.
The ones that succeed simply weather the storm till it passes and continue to plug away knowing what it means to them to achieve their dreams.
There will be times when you will not want to show up.
There will be times when you will want to give up.
Those are the moments which decide your destiny.
That is the critical moment when you get to decide how badly you want to make your dreams a reality.
Detach from the outcome
The final step is to completely detach from the outcome.
Before you throw something at the screen, let me explain.
Obsessing over outcomes puts us in a place of high attachment.
Being attached to something leaves room for us to be disappointed.
And our brain is so afraid of disappointment that it’s immediate reaction is to make us anxious, and anxiety doesn’t sound like the best place to create from right?
But I’m sure you’re confused. Why did I ask you to get so clear on what you want if I don’t want you to focus on it?
Because the secret to success is high engagement, low attachment.
Being attached to an outcome is the easiest way to make sure you sabotage yourself.
Instead our job is to get really clear on what we want, know why we want it, take consistent aligned action, and then simply trust that it’s on the way.
This has a powerful effect on your brain.
You start training your brain to EXPECT the outcome, rather than anxiously wonder if it will happen.
Your brain relaxes, and goes into a place of trust and calm.
Just like you don’t spend a second thinking about whether the sun will rise tomorrow, you stop worrying whether your goal will come to fruition.
You simply operate from a place of KNOWING.
Knowing that great things are coming your way,
That you are, on a daily basis, co-creating with the universe.
That your breakthrough is already on its way.
You live in certainty and peace.
In a place where anything you desire is possible.
And in that place, you become infinite.
May all your dreams come true.