adversity

Learn from mistake

How to Learn from a Mistake

Have you ever made a huge mistake? You know what I mean, right? It’s one of those mistakes that you’ll never forget and always regret. It’s something you wish had never happened that you would just love to do-over again. But what’s done, is done. There is no going back. But just maybe there is some value to be found here. Just maybe, you can use this mistake to help you move forward in a better way. Mistakes are after all a part of life. They are part of making progress through life. As long as we learn from each mistake we make, we can then use that experience as a platform to make better choices. Here are six steps that can help you do just that.

 


1) IDENTIFY WHAT WENT WRONG

Oops, you just made a mistake. What now? Well you can choose to either ignore the mistake, or you can admit what you did and figure out what went wrong. You can also of course admit to it and then make every excuse under the sun why this mistake wasn’t your fault. But what good will that do? Making excuses just shows that you have no control over the situation. And with no control you won’t be able to make things any better. I assume you want to make things better, right? In that case, own up to your mistake and take responsibility for your predicament. Things might not have turned out as you had expected, but there could still yet be some value in this situation.

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SIX STEPS TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE

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2) SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Yes, you made a mistake, but maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. Just maybe, there is something of value to take away from this experience. However, in order to find that value, you need to first shift how you’re viewing this situation. The best way to do this is to challenge yourself to see your mistake in a more optimal way. For instance, you could ask yourself how making this mistake might be helpful. There could also be an opportunity here to do something, or at the very least to learn something. What could that opportunity be? Think long and hard and don’t stop until you find something of value.

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SIX STEPS TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE

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3) LEARN SOMETHING

Now that you are in a more receptive and resourceful state-of-mind, it’s time to learn everything you can from this experience. Take a moment to reflect upon the mistake you made. Think through exactly how things unfolded and how you responded. Consider the decisions you made the led up to this mistake. Take into account your state-of-mind and what motivated you to make certain choices that resulted in this outcome. Think long and hard about what else you could have potentially done and how things might have unfolded. Then consider the lessons you can take away from this experience. What value is there in these lessons?

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SIX STEPS TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE

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4) OUTLINE YOUR NEXT STEPS

Having learned some valuable lessons within the previous step, it’s now time to take those lessons and turn them into practical action. Yes, I realize the mistake has already been made, however that doesn’t mean that you can’t potentially improve the situation or make amends for what happened. You hold the power to do something, and it all begins with figuring out your best course of action moving forward. Specifically outline your next steps. What’s the next action you could take to improve things? Or, what could you do differently the next time around? If you get stuck, then consider what other people might do in your situation.

how to learn from mistakes

SIX STEPS TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE

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5) ACQUIRE SKILLS AND RESOURCES

Having outlined your next steps, you’ve possibly identified some areas for improvement. You might for instance not have the necessary knowledge, skills or resources to take those next steps. If that’s the case, then it’s time to acquire anything that can help you move forward in a better way. Think about what you might need to know or learn. Also consider the skills you may need to develop, the resources to acquire, or the support that might be of value. In order to avoid making the same mistake again, you need to upgrade certain aspects of yourself. With these upgrades in place, you will then be better prepared to give this another shot.

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SIX STEPS TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE

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6) FUTURE-PROOF YOUR MISTAKES

As a member of the human species you are given the permission to make mistakes. However, making mistakes isn’t always fun, can be emotionally taxing, and often slows us down. It can therefore be helpful to minimize the mistakes we make. With that in mind, you need to spend time future proofing your goof. In other words, prepare yourself for future mistakes in advance. One way to do this is by improving your ability to solve problems, to think objectively, critically and creatively. Another way to do this is to learn from other people’s mistakes. Read books or speak with people directly. Learn about how they goofed up, then avoid those same blunders.

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SIX STEPS TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE

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CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Yes, we all make mistakes. Mistakes are a part of life. They are a part of making progress, right? In fact, the human species is where it is today because of all the mistakes we have made over the centuries. We didn’t understanding something, and so we tried new things, goofed things up, then learned from our experience and made adjustments moving forward. We made mistakes time and again, but because we took the time to learn from them, we eventually made breakthroughs, which of course turned into progress.

You, as an individual can do the same in your own life. However, in order to make real progress, it’s important to remember that you are not your mistakes. Mistakes are not a part of you. You make mistakes, and therefore you can also unmake them. As long as you learn from every experience and are willing to adapt and change your course of action, then you too will consistently make progress.


Six steps to learn from a mistake

 

Imagine for a moment you could develop new habits and methods of thinking where you naturally and effortlessly adopt these ideas into your life. How would that make you feel? Would you feel more fulfilled, empowered and in control?

Yes, there is such simplicity within this IQ Doodle, but of course there is a reason for that. Making positive change doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just needs to be a consistent process where we progressively develop new habits-of-mind through repeated exposure and implementation. And that’s what these IQ Doodles are for.

We have prepared for you an IQ Doodle pack that includes several variations of this IQ Doodle that you can use for guidance and inspiration throughout the day. Use it consistently and you will begin making positive changes in the way you live, work and interact with others.

Visit the IQ Doodle Store to learn more about how to use this IQ Doodle and begin optimizing the way you live your life today.


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How to Deal with Failure and Disappointment

How to Deal with Failure and Disappointment

Have you ever tried really hard to achieve a goal, but ended up failing miserably? It initially seemed as though you had all the answers and knew exactly what to do. At one point, things were actually going quite smoothly, but then suddenly, like a lightning bolt, everything just crashed to the ground. You are now filled with regret about what could or should have been. You of course didn’t deserve that failure, but it’s unfortunately not something that you can now change. But maybe you don’t need to change things. Just maybe failure can actually be quite helpful. Just maybe there is a more optimal way do deal with failure. Here are six steps that can help.

 


1) STAY COOL, CALM AND COLLECTED

When things don’t quite work out as expected and you suddenly find yourself facing failure, that is the moment you must keep your emotions in-check. What happened, has happened, and there’s nothing you can change. What you can however do is stay cool, calm and collected. Don’t make any assumptions or jump to silly conclusions. Don’t you even dare blame yourself for all this. You gave your very best, right? If that’s the case, then you have nothing to be ashamed about. What matters most right now is not what just happened, but rather how you respond to this predicament. That will make all the difference in the end.

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SIX STEPS FOR DEALING WITH FAILURE

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2) TAKE OWNERSHIP FOR YOUR FAILURE

In order to deal with failure in an optimal way requires proper perspective. However, before we even get to a point where we start seeing our failure as a helpful experience, it’s vital that we first take full ownership of that experience. This effectively means to stop complaining, to stop making excuses, and to stop blaming anything or anyone outside of ourselves. Instead, openly acknowledge what just happened and take full responsibility for your predicament. Taking responsibility is of course not about taking the blame. It rather means taking ownership and empowering yourself to take control of how you respond to this situation.

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SIX STEPS FOR DEALING WITH FAILURE

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3) ACCEPT THAT FAILURE IS PART OF LIFE

Let’s stop for a moment and take the time to consider how failure is simply a natural part of life. In fact, failure is life. Throughout human history, we as a species have failed time and again. We tried new and unfamiliar things, we attempted improbable feats, we pushed the boundaries of our comfort zones, and we failed miserably. But failure of course doesn’t mean the end of the road. In fact, failure can actually bring with it opportunities for reinvention, for new beginnings, and for refining our approach. It can bring with it new perspectives and understandings that can help us move forward in a better way.

how to handle failure

SIX STEPS FOR DEALING WITH FAILURE

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4) FIND REASONS TO KEEP GOING

To successfully deal with failure requires mental toughness and resilience. Failure is of course an emotionally taxing and brutal experience that completely derails all our efforts and best intentions. You’ve put in all this work for an extended period of time, and then to have it all suddenly crash to the ground just seems unfair. But then again, life isn’t fair. It doesn’t play favorites and certainly doesn’t always reward you for your efforts. But losing one battle doesn’t mean that you have lost the war. This is where you need to dig deep and find the strength within yourself to keep moving forward. Possibly there is a glimmer of hope yet to be found.

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SIX STEPS FOR DEALING WITH FAILURE

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5) LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE

Now that you are in a more resourceful state-of-mind, it’s time to learn from your failure. These lessons can of course help you to gather valuable insights and perspectives about your experience. Maybe things are not as bad as they seem. Potentially you can use this experience as a stepping stone toward something even better. However, before you make that a possibility, take a moment to consider why exactly you failed. Was it bad timing? Was it because of unrealistic expectations? Was it a lack of knowledge or experience? Or maybe you just didn’t have enough time, resources or support? Figuring out why you failed will help you outline your next steps.

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SIX STEPS FOR DEALING WITH FAILURE

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6) OUTLINE A NEW PLAN OF ACTION

Having taken a moment to learn from your experience, it’s now time to take those lessons on board and build a plan of action for moving forward. This of course might mean using this failure as an opportunity to refine your approach, to start over again with a new objective, or to use this experience as a platform for personal growth and reinvention. No matter which of these three paths you choose, it’s quite clear that your journey doesn’t end here. In fact, it’s only just beginning. What you do from here-on-in is completely in your hands. You can either quit, or you can choose to instead make the most of what initially seemed like a miserable situation.

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SIX STEPS FOR DEALING WITH FAILURE

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CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

When we succeed we celebrate, when we fail we contemplate. We therefore gain a whole lot more value from a failure than we do from our victories. But this of course doesn’t make failure any easier to deal with.

To deal with failure successfully takes introspection, perspective, courage and faith. It takes introspection to make peace with failure. It takes proper perspective to see the value in your predicament. It then takes courage to try and make the best of your situation, and of course faith to know that it will all work out in the end. When all four factors are in play, that is when you will know that you have what it takes to successfully deal with failure.


Six Steps for Dealing with Failure

 

Imagine for a moment you could develop new habits and methods of thinking where you naturally and effortlessly adopt these ideas into your life. How would that make you feel? Would you feel more fulfilled, empowered and in control?

Yes, there is such simplicity within this IQ Doodle, but of course there is a reason for that. Making positive change doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just needs to be a consistent process where we progressively develop new habits-of-mind through repeated exposure and implementation. And that’s what these IQ Doodles are for.

We have prepared for you an IQ Doodle pack that includes several variations of this IQ Doodle that you can use for guidance and inspiration throughout the day. Use it consistently and you will begin making positive changes in the way you live, work and interact with others.

Visit the IQ Doodle Store to learn more about how to use this IQ Doodle and begin optimizing the way you live your life today.


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How to Overcome Adversity

How to Overcome Adversity

Have you ever wanted something so badly, but stuff just kind of kept getting in your way? By stuff, I mean all the problems and setbacks that life throws between you and your goals. Achieving those big goals is never easy. In fact, the bigger the goal, the harder things get, and the more problems we inevitably need to deal with. Life of course throws obstacles along our path to help us learn valuable lessons needed to achieve our goals. But unfortunately most people give up before they fully learn those lessons. If only they knew what it truly takes to overcome adversity. Then just maybe things could be a little different.

 


1) BECOME AN OBSERVER

When an unexpected problem arises, it’s very easy to lose your emotional grip of the situation. This problem just comes out of the blue and immediately takes over your life. It’s ferocious and overwhelming, and certainly not something you want to deal with. But it’s here, and you must now learn to deal with it. In times like this it’s important to stay calm and collected, and then step back emotionally from the situation. View this problem as an neutral observer from afar in a detached way. See it objectively and rationally. At the same time tune into your thoughts and assess how you’re reading and interpreting this situation.

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SIX STEPS FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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2) ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT MATTERS

What matters most at this time is not what you do about this problem. What matters is actually how you see the problem, how you respond to this problem, and how well you maintain your composure. In other words, you must put yourself into an optimal state-of-mind where you can then deal with this problem most effectively. This of course is heavily reliant on the story you tell yourself about this problem. If you tell yourself a woeful and uninspiring story about what happened, then that will put you into a very unresourceful state-of-mind. But tell yourself an empowering story, and that will give you the strength you need to move forward.

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SIX STEPS FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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3) TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY

Now that you have put yourself into a more resourceful state-of-mind, it’s time to take ownership of this problem. Yes, we all understand this problem isn’t your fault. In fact, you probably had little to no control over the outcome. But here you are caught in this mess — a mess that you must now deal with. Complaining, blaming and making excuses won’t change your situation, so why even bother? The only rational approach you have is to take full responsibility for what just happened, and then commit yourself to making things better. This problem might very well have hurt you, but don’t you dare allow it to break you!

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SIX STEPS FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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4) PUT A POSITIVE SPIN ON THINGS

To overcome adversity takes work. It takes mental, emotional and physical energy. In fact, it can very quickly become an excruciatingly draining experience. This is especially true if you’re continuously fighting your battles uphill. With no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just hard to find the motivation to keep going. However, things don’t need to be this way. You certainly don’t need to be this way. This is where you must dig deep and figure out how to put a positive spin on this experience. Things are possibly not as bad as they appear. Yes, the doors are locked, but just maybe there is a window of opportunity waiting around the corner.

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SIX STEPS FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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5) ASSESS YOUR PROBLEM

You probably now feel more motivated than ever to push through your problem, and to finally overcome adversity. But unfortunately desire alone typically isn’t enough. What you need is to think through your next steps rationally. And that of course begins with getting a better understanding of your problem. Take a moment to assess your problem. Question what went wrong, why things went wrong, who played a part in this problem, and look for clues that can help you move forward. The more you know about the nature of your problem, the easier the next step of this process will be.

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SIX STEPS FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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6) TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION

Having taken the time to assess your problem, you’re now ready to move forward toward solving it. However, to overcome adversity requires an understanding of not only the problem but also of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. It requires understanding how to utilize those strengths and the resources you have at your disposal to tackle this problem successfully. But be wary not to bite off more than you can chew. Take your time and work through this problem meticulously one small piece at a time. And of course don’t expect things to go smoothly. Be prepared for anything, and be willing to adapt when more adversity comes your way.

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SIX STEPS FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

To overcome adversity certainly ain’t easy. Even when you think you’ve got it all figured out, things always inevitably go wrong. You think you have one problem solved, and then suddenly life throws you another curve ball that messes everything up.

The success you desire to create in your life is never going to follow a straight line moving from Point A to B. It will curve, twist and knot-up on itself many times over before you reach your final destination. But no matter what happens you just have to stay the course.

Instead of getting disheartened when things don’t work out as you had expected, simply choose to continue following the path. Just keep moving forward. Those who persist and persevere for long enough, eventually always succeed in the end.


Six Steps for Overcoming Adversity

 

Imagine for a moment you could develop new habits and methods of thinking where you naturally and effortlessly adopt these ideas into your life. How would that make you feel? Would you feel more fulfilled, empowered and in control?

Yes, there is such simplicity within this IQ Doodle, but of course there is a reason for that. Making positive change doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just needs to be a consistent process where we progressively develop new habits-of-mind through repeated exposure and implementation. And that’s what these IQ Doodles are for.

We have prepared for you an IQ Doodle pack that includes several variations of this IQ Doodle that you can use for guidance and inspiration throughout the day. Use it consistently and you will begin making positive changes in the way you live, work and interact with others.

Visit the IQ Doodle Store to learn more about how to use this IQ Doodle and begin optimizing the way you live your life today.


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Good Luck, Bad Luck?

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Good luck, bad luck? Who knows…

Have you ever felt as though the world was conspiring against you? Have you ever wondered why you have such rotten luck, why nothing you do ever works out, or why you just can’t catch a break? If you feel this way, then you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, there are many people out there who feel exactly as you do. They feel as though the world is out to get them — unable to break the cycle of bad luck that seems to be shadowing them everywhere they go.

But what is bad luck really? And is it really as bad as it seems?

Bad luck, good luck or anything in between is nothing more than a situation we find ourselves in. This situation is actually neutral by nature. It doesn’t have any bad or good luck associated with it. We instead give each situation meaning as a result of how we interpret the events and circumstances.

The meaning you assign to a situation depends on your perspective of that situation and on the short and long-term view you take of that situation. And this of course will vary from person to person.

There is nothing good or inherently bad about anything that happens to us, we just make it one way or another based on the questions we ask ourselves when we get caught up in that moment.

The questions you ask yourself can either lead to self-pitty and self-loathing, or they can lead to confidence, excitement and anticipation for what’s to come. It just all depends on the mental attitude you bring to every situation you find yourself in.

Steve Jobs once said that:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

In other words, what Steve Jobs means is that you can’t pre-judge events or circumstances because in that moment you have a very limited perspective of what this situation might lead to in the future. What might seem as bad luck right now, may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. However, you’re unable to see that at this moment because it’s impossible to connect all the dots looking forward.

All the adversity, problems and setbacks you face might not seem pleasant or fair, but in the long-term — in the bigger scheme of things — isn’t it safe to say that it’s way too early to make that judgment call? Unless you have prophetic powers, then you don’t really know whether or not your circumstances are due to bad luck. Just maybe it’s good luck, but you won’t know until days, weeks, months or even years into the future when you look back and connect all the dots. And for that reason it’s important not to jump to quick conclusions about how things are and how they ought to be.

And since you don’t know the long-term effects of these situations, it’s therefore important to keep an open mind. In fact, what might appear to be good luck today might turn south very quickly and ruin your life in a few years time. You just never know.

Have a think about all the seemingly bad things that have happened to you over the years. Looking back at them today, has anything good eventually come from these situations? Also consider all the seemingly good things that happened over the years. Did any of them lead to unfortunate circumstances weeks, months or even years into the future?

The lesson in this is to refrain from judging something as being good or bad, because you just never know the chain reaction of events this situation has triggered. Your bad luck may turn good just as easily as your good luck may turn bad. Who really knows?

[youtube video_id=”5mHYePoXy8Qo” width=”640″ height=”300″ ]

Action Points

The next time you are faced with a seemingly unlucky situation, take some time to ask yourself:

  • What’s something good I can take away from this situation?
  • How could this potentially be a lucky turn of events?
  • What positive outcomes can result from this in the future?
  • What valuable lessons can I take from this situation?
  • How can I make the best of this situation moving forward?

Whether you experience good luck or bad luck, the best way to approach it is to ask yourself, “Good luck, bad luck… who knows?” Just make the best from every situation and keep an open mind about the future.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

  • The Luck Factor: Explores what luck really is and how to have more of it in your life.
  • Feeling Lucky: Will help shift your perspective about what you think is lucky and unlucky.
  • Remarkable Work Ethic: Luck is all about work ethic. The harder you work the luckier you may get.
  • Take Responsibility: Luck tends to favor those who take responsibility for their life and circumstances.
  • Quit Complaining: Those who complain rarely get lucky because complainers only focus on problems.

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

Overcoming Limitations

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Overcoming Your Personal Limitations…

A baby elephant is born into the world. It’s young and naive. The world is new and every experience is enthralling. It is at this age that the baby elephant learns most about itself and about its limitations within this world.

It is said that elephants are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. This may be true, but even the most intelligent creatures succumb to the process of conditioning.

Just imagine for a moment an elephant trainer at a circus trying to control a 10,000 pound animal. The elephant has so much mass and strength that it could walk all over its trainer and do whatever it pleases. But it doesn’t. The elephant doesn’t rebel against its trainer for one reason. And this all has to do with the conditioning it received as a youngster.

Training elephants must begin at a young age, because when they’re young they are very impressionable and the trainer can therefore use this time to teach them how to do certain tricks and follow simple commands. But the greatest discovery about training elephants has nothing to do with the ticks they perform, but rather with the method trainers use to subdue an elephant’s movement.

Consider this for a moment: A 10,000 pound adult elephant has a thin flimsy chain tied around one of its legs. This chain is attached to a tiny wooden peg that has been nailed into the ground. Who in their right mind would think that this could prevent an adult elephant from escaping? It doesn’t seem possible, does it? But it works.

The adult elephant could very easily offer just minimal resistance and pull the wooden peg out of the ground in an instant. But he doesn’t resist. He doesn’t resist because he believes that resistance is futile. He believes that he simply just doesn’t have the strength to break free of that flimsy chain. But why?

When he was a baby the elephant trainer used the same wooden peg and flimsy chain to keep the elephant from escaping. However, back then the baby elephant wasn’t strong enough to break free from its shackles. Yes, he certainly tried escaping. In fact, he tried, tried and tried, but to no avail. The chains were too strong and he soon realized that resistance was futile. There was no escape because the shackles wouldn’t budge. And so he eventually just accepted his fate and never tried escaping again.

Today as an adult he could easily break free of those chains. He’s certainly strong enough. But because of past conditioning he simply doesn’t believe he’s strong enough, and therefore never even attempts to escape.

This adult elephant is stuck within his self-imposed limitations. He has all the potential in the world to break free, but his limiting beliefs about the situation prevent him from even trying.

In many ways you, me, all of us are just like this adult elephant. We are trapped by our own limiting beliefs and past conditioning. Yes, of course we all have untapped strength and potential within ourselves. And yet we keep holding ourselves back based on what exactly? Based on experiences we had as a child.

As a child you had a plethora of experiences. Some were of course empowering and helped you get ahead in this world, but others were unhelpful — creating a set of limiting beliefs and perspectives about yourself, others and the world around you. Now, of course you were very impressionable back then and had a different view of the world. But now you’re an adult, and yet you’re still living your life based on old beliefs and perspectives that aren’t helping you get ahead in this world today.

Don’t you think it’s about time you broke free of those flimsy chains?

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Action Points

Consider for a moment the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, and ask yourself:

  • How are my limiting beliefs holding me back in life?
  • What childhood perspectives no longer serve me today?
  • What boundaries do my limiting beliefs and perspectives put on me?
  • What must I begin believing about myself, others, my circumstances or the world around me to break free of these boundaries?
  • How must I shift my view of the world to break free of these flimsy chains?

Your limitations are only limitations of the mind based on past conditioning you received when you were younger. These limitations are not real, they are rather only figments of your own imagination.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

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Overcoming Obstacles

[button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/overcome-obstacles-iq-doodle-wd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]Wide background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/overcome-obstacles-iq-doodle-sd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]4:3 background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/overcome-obstacles-iq-doodle.pdf” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]PDF[/button]

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Don’t Let Anything Stand In Your Way…

Every goal you set comes with a price. That price is the sacrifice of your time, energy and the mental resources you need to overcome all the obstacles that stand between you and your goal.

Often the bigger and more audacious the goal the harder you will need to work to achieve it, and the more resistance you will subsequently face. After all, if achieving this goal was easy then everyone would do it, right?

Often the average person looks for the easiest possible route. They look for the shortcut that will get them to their goal in quick succession.

They pursue this goal with zest and passion and then suddenly face an unexpected obstacle in the form of a brick wall. The wall presents a problem that prevents them from moving forward. Now, of course this brick wall is not infinite in size. It’s finite and there are certainly ways to move around it. However, the average person in their haste only sees one way around the wall… through an invisible door that will magically open on their command.

The average person expects that the path towards their goal comes in the form of a straight line with no obstacles or nasty surprises. “How naive”, you might think; and you would be right.

The world doesn’t give us our goals on a silver platter. The world instead places obstacles in the form of big, thick, dirty, scary brick walls that test our resolve. In fact, life will always place brick walls along your path. These brick walls come with no invisible doors that will magically open on your command. No, they have a different purpose. They are designed to toughen you up for the journey that lies ahead.

This is why the average person quits. They quit the moment they come across a brick wall. They will of course first look for the easy way through it. However, after a quick search they realize that there are no magical invisible doors. This is of course disappointing, however they are not yet discouraged. Just maybe if they keep banging into the wall it will eventually crumble. And so they keep banging into the wall again and again doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Eventually the pain of their throbbing head gets too much to bear, and so they quit without even giving a second thought to alternative ways they could have conquered that wall.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all no doubt been that average person looking for the quick way through that invisible door. We’ve all banged our heads one too many times on a wall that would not budge. Yes, as much as it hurts, we’re all guilty of the same crime against our goals. But things don’t need to be this way… things can be very different.

That brick wall standing between you and your goal is by no means insurmountable. It was placed there to challenge you, to test your creativity, and most importantly to ward off those who don’t want this goal as badly as you.

In a ways your goal has certain barriers to entry. These barriers to entry prevent anyone and everyone from attaining this goal. Only those who want the goal badly enough, and only those who use their ingenuity, skill, knowledge, experience, energy and creativity in the right way will achieve it.

By overcoming this obstacle you join an exclusive club of individuals who have conquered that same brick wall. Of course, some of these individuals found a way over the wall, others found a way under it, while you might have found a way to sidestep it. It really doesn’t matter. We all conquer our brick walls in different ways, it just takes a little finesse and imagination to get around them.

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Action Points

When you reach a brick wall, stop for a moment and consider what it means. Look at it from a distance and see it for what it is. Identify its strengths and weaknesses, and then determine what might be the best course of action moving forward to help you conquer this obstacle.

During moments such as these, you might find it helpful to ask yourself:

  • What is it specifically that I am facing?
  • What do I know about this obstacle? What must I find out?
  • Why did this obstacle show up in my life at this very moment?
  • What is this obstacle trying to teach me?
  • How is this obstacle trying to challenge me?
  • Have I ever faced a similar obstacle? How did I overcome it?
  • How have others overcome this obstacle?
  • What’s the best way around this obstacle?

Whether it’s over, around or under, you will find a way through. A little creativity and imagination always goes a long way.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

  • Conquering Obstacles: Provides you with insights that will help shift how you think about obstacles.
  • Overcoming Obstacles: Helps you to better understand and overcome the obstacles in your life.
  • Life is an Experiment: When it comes to overcoming obstacles it helps to see life as an experiment.
  • Life is a Game: Approaching your obstacles in a playful way can help you overcome them.
  • Bouncing Back: When you’re defeated by an obstacle you need to know how to bounce right back.

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Just Keep Trying

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Just Keep On Trying Until…

Have you ever pursued a goal but ended up quitting halfway through? You tried and tried your best but you just weren’t good enough, strong enough, experienced enough, or smart enough to pull it off. Yes, I’m sure we’ve all been there at one point or another.

Have you ever wondered, “what if?”. What if you stuck at it for a little longer? What if you didn’t listen to those naysayers? What if you tried a different approach? What if you hadn’t made that mistake? What if you asked for help? What if you accomplished what you set out to do? What would life be like today?

It’s understandable to reflect on these types of scenarios. After all we learn most from a defeat. When we are defeated or succumb to failure we often reflect about what went wrong and what we could have done better if we had another chance. On the other hand when we are victorious we often get lost in our own self-pride, and as a result we learn nothing from the experience.

Defeat helps us learn and grow if we are willing to sit with our thoughts and reflect on the situation. This period of contemplation can bring new insights, ideas and methods for moving forward in a better or different way. We can then use this new found knowledge to try yet again… and again… and again until we succeed.

Some people of course never quit, but they don’t get anywhere either. They fail to learn from the experience and as a result they continue doing more or less the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. This is not where we want to be. I bet you want to move forward in a better way after a defeat — that in essence is the key to success.

Pick a person… any person who has accomplished anything of significance in this world and they will often tell you that they accomplished great feats because they kept on pushing forward despite the setbacks and obstacles standing in their way. In fact, often they made their greatest breakthroughs at their lowest point when problems and adversity had them by the neck. But they persisted and persevered with determination, guts and creativity through these challenges until things finally turned in their favor.

The person who experiences no problems is a person who doesn’t take the necessary risks to pursue their biggest and boldest goals. Only those who venture out on a limb and take a chance on themselves face adversity. And yet it’s this adversity that makes them grow stronger and bolder. It’s exactly this adversity that challenges them to think in new and creative ways. And it’s this adversity that gives them the incentive they need to try yet again.

Those who achieve great things in this world do so despite rejection, criticism, judgment, failure and mistakes. The journey is of course never easy, in fact it’s a great struggle that takes incredible patience and willpower. However, these individuals use adversity as a fuel that pushes them forward even harder each time they try yet again. Nothing stops them because they believe that they will eventually find a way through… they will eventually get the breakthrough they need to accomplish their goal.

Sometimes all it takes is a little more effort, a little more patience, or a little more hustle. Every little thing makes a difference because you never really know how close you are until you have that goal securely in your hands. In fact, a great many people quit literally inches away from the success they desire to have. If they only knew they were inches away before they quit, their life might be very different today. Just maybe you are one of those unfortunate souls. Then again, just maybe you are inches away right at this very moment and you don’t even realize it.

If your goal is important and meaningful enough then you will keep trying and pushing forward until you grasp it firmly in your hands. There is no other way. There are no shortcuts to success. It’s a tough slog. Are you ready for the battle?

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Action Points

The next time you feel like quitting while pursuing an important goal, ask yourself:

  • Why do I want this? Who am I doing this for?
  • Why is it important I pursue this till the very end?
  • What will I miss out on if I fail to accomplish this?
  • How can I use this setback as fuel to push me forward?
  • What else could I try? How else could I approach this problem?

Remember, most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. Will you be the next to join this exclusive club?

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

  • Persist and Persevere: Presents insights on the mindset required to overcome adversity.
  • Never Give Up: Explores the habits and attitude required to persist despite adversity.
  • Fight the Struggle: Will help shift how you think about the struggles in your life.
  • Wanting it Badly: Examines what it really takes to get what it is you want most in your life.
  • Resilient Willpower: Breaks down the mental resilience required to overcome adversity.

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Big Stinking Problem

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The Big Stinking Problem…

What’s that smell? Can you smell it? It’s right there… it’s right in front of you. Can you see it? Oh yes, it’s your stinking problem.

Life is of course full of problems. Some problems are relatively small and insignificant that we handle with ease. There are also transitional problems that if ignored for long enough, eventually disappear. But then there are those BIG stinking life problems that we have no idea how to tackle. These are the kinds of problems that just hang around like a bad smell that never goes away.

The problems that life throws your way can be very disruptive. These problems often come at us at the worst possible time and in the worst possible way. And ignoring them just doesn’t work. It just seems as though the universe is out to get us — preventing us from living the life we want. But there’s actually a good reason for this.

Problems are there to help you. They are the stepping stones that will move you forward. With every problem you face you learn something new, something different, something that will help you along your journey towards your goal.

To ignore or skip a problem is like jumping over a stepping stone. You incorrectly assume that this is a shortcut, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. To skip a stone is to forgo the lessons that it has to teach. And it’s precisely these lessons that you need to learn in order to tackle the next problem successfully. In fact, it’s very possible that if you try to skip over a stepping stone that you will slip and fall flat on your face. There are no shortcuts to success. There are no shortcuts to your goal. All the lessons must be learned without question before moving on. But how do we tackle these problems? How do we tackle them successfully?

It’s important to understand that there are no insurmountable problems, there are just ineffective approaches to a problem. It’s like trying to climb a mountain over a vertical cliff face when there is a stairway on the other side that takes you all the way to the summit.

Most people never see the stairway because they are so use to climbing the mountain a certain way. They tackle this mountain the way they’ve always tackled this mountain, whether it worked for them in the past or not. They are literally blinded by their own habitual thoughts about the problem and see no other way up to the summit.

To be more specific, the reason why these people are unable to overcome their problem is because of the habitual questions they continue to ask themselves. In fact, the only thing standing between them and a solution to their problem could very well be one simple questions:

“Is there a better way to climb this mountain?”

Most people never ask this question, and so they never even realize that there is a stairway on the other side waiting for them to climb. They stick to what they know and continue to ask poor and ineffective questions that get them nowhere.

Climbing that cliff face is no doubt an arduous and difficult task. They try and try and yet the mountain of dung beats them every time. And so their problem lingers around and continues to stink up the place. If only they learned to ask better and more effective questions that would help them find a better way to the summit.

A solution to the problem always eludes these people because they continue to think about their problem in exactly the same way they did the last time they tackled it. This just doesn’t work.

The mountain of dung that you are being forced to climb is just one of many stepping stones you must cross along your journey. As you approach each stepping stone it will present you with a different set of challenges. You must approach these challenges with an open and flexible mind. You must dare yourself to ask a different set of questions. Questions that will challenge you to think differently about your problem.

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Action Points

When confronted with a big stinking problem, ask yourself:

  • How have I approached this problem before?
  • What worked? What didn’t work so well? Why?
  • How haven’t I yet tried tackling this problem?
  • What other options could there possibly be?
  • How have others tackled this problem? What can I learn from them?
  • How else could I potentially think about this problem?
  • What am I currently not seeing that could be of value?
  • What if I tried…? What then? How about…?

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to ask better questions, however it can make all the difference to the way you tackle your problem.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

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