We all set out to achieve happiness with lofty intentions about all that is possible as we head into Springtime. However, we become so focused on setting and achieving our goals that we neglect ensuring they are well aligned with our values which is a critical step toward realizing these goals and achieving our ultimate success. Our brain is wired to protect us at all costs – which means we come with an automatic, negative defense system. We have an average of 70, 000 thoughts each day1 that drive us to be safe, yet this pattern keeps us from sustainable joy and achieving the results that we most want. Most of us weren’t taught to be aware of our beliefs and how they influence our feelings, behaviors, and ultimate outcomes. Neuroscience shows that over 95% of the time we operate in autopilot and are unaware2. This unconscious unawareness is the hidden barrier to realizing our purpose. Being present to the thoughts that create your reality is your only power to change! Simply put, when you’re willing to be responsible for your results, all things are possible. 

Do any of these thoughts resonate: “No matter how much I achieve, it’s never enough.” “Life is a zero-sum game: someone else’s win is my loss.” “I don’t have control of the outcomes I want most in my life.” and “I can’t rest until I reach my goal.” 

If so, you’re not alone… and YOU can end this thinking and suffering once and for all! 

Here are four myths we commonly embrace which are huge obstacles to ultimate success: 

Myth #1 – The Success Myth  

The first common myth impeding our progress is “the success myth.” It involves us believing that if we achieve our desired results, we will have arrived. In reality, we never “arrive,” and this faulty linear belief leads to stress, dissatisfaction, and a lack of fulfillment. And, it’s not sustainable or true. After people try this belief on for size, they are commonly left feeling that they are not enough and don’t have enough, despite how hard they try and work. It’s equivalent to being stuck on a treadmill. 

Myth #2 – The Scarcity Myth 

The second myth to bust is “the scarcity myth.” This myth involves adopting beliefs like, “someone else’s win is my loss.”  

The reality is that there’s no way to get to abundance from scarcity. And a scarcity mindset drastically limits opportunities. We often focus on finding one right way of doing things instead of looking at the many possibilities. We stay in a protective zone. Yet, it’s impossible to be creative when we play it too safe. People confined to a scarcity mindset automatically resort to limiting black-or-white and all-or-nothing thinking.  

Myth #3 – The Externalization Myth 

The third common thinking trap is “the externalization myth.” This belief presumes that your security, control, and results depend on external factors outside of your influence — like you are merely at the whim of external forces. 

The truth is that you control what you want to create and become. The world, quite literally, is your oyster! Anything is possible. The only real limit is what you think is impossible. 

Myth #4 – The Toxic Productivity Myth: 

The final common myth that limits success is “the toxic productivity myth.” It tells us that we will achieve our desired results if we work harder and longer. Just working harder often isn’t necessarily more productive. In fact, continuing to work at something that isn’t working for you is insanity. As Albert Einstein infamously quoted, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  

Below are four steps with helpful daily rituals and routines which can help you avoid getting into these mindset traps: 

Step 1: Enhance your awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and environment and take radical responsibility for yourself. 

  • Before you put your feet on the ground in the morning, decide how you want to feel and commit to being aware of your movement. Walk, eat, and breathe with purpose and intention. 
  • Be still instead of always being busy.  
  • Let go of thoughts that no longer bring you joy.  
  • Feel your feelings all the way to completion, by noticing where they are in your body. Then breathe and speak them, so they release all the way through. Stop resisting, judging, and apologizing for your feelings.   
  • Take full responsibility for the circumstances of your life and your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Commit to supporting others to take full responsibility for their lives VERSUS blaming others and yourself for what is wrong in the world. 
  • Be curious about how you have unconsciously created what you don’t want. Notice how this is a pattern in your life. What is it giving you?  What is it costing you?  

Step 2: Live life aligned with your purpose  

1. Live in appreciation, fully open to both receiving and giving appreciation VERSUS feeling entitled to “what’s mine” and resenting when it’s not acknowledged in the way you want. 

Notice where you are shrinking and not speaking your truth and shift to practicing candor.  

2. Embrace and express your full magnificence and support and inspire others to fully express their creativity and live in their zone VERSUS holding yourself back and not realizing your full potential.  

Dream big — listen to your heart. Who do you want to be? What are you here to do? What excites you?  

Let go of should’s and have to’s.   

3. Create a life of play, improvisation, and laughter. See all of life unfold easefully and effortlessly. Maximize your energy by honoring rest, renewal, and rhythm VERSUS seeing your life as serious and requiring hard work and struggle with play and rest as distractions from effectiveness and efficiency. 

  • Do more of whatever you love doing. 
  • Don’t take things so seriously.  
  • When you don’t get the results you want, realize that life isn’t do or die. 
  • Get into a playful state which breeds creativity, fun, joy, and abundance.  

Step 3: Commit to perspective taking  

1. See that the opposite of the story you are telling yourself is as true or truer than your original story. Recognize that you interpret the world around you and give your stories meaning VERSUS believing your stories and the meaning you give them as truth.  

How could the opposite of what you are telling yourself be just as true or truer to help get yourself out of inner drama and into curiosity (from limited options to multiple options)?  

2. Be the source of your security, control, and approval VERSUS believing they derive from outside people, circumstances, and conditions.  

  • Practice being your own approval VERSUS seeking enough according to other people.  
  • Offer yourself “extra love” — you’re right where you need to be! 
  • Notice when you’re trying to control or are attached to an outcome in order to feel safe. It can help to hold your hands loosely, remove yourself from that attachment, and come back to the present. 

3. See all people and circumstances as perfectly suited allies to help you learn the most important things for your growth VERSUS seeing other people and circumstances as impediments to getting what you most want.  

  • By whom are you most triggered? 
  • How is it that someone is for your teaching and growth?   

Step 4: Manifest your magnificence  

1. Realize that you have enough of everything (time, money, love, energy, space, resources) VERSUS living in a scarcity mentality and choosing to believe that there is “not enough” for you and others in the world. 

  • Stay present — right here, right now. You are enough and you have enough!  

2. Create win-for-all solutions (win for yourself, win for the other person, and win for the whole) for whatever issues, concerns, or opportunities life provides you VERSUS seeing life as a zero-sum game.  

  • How can we create something greater together, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?  

3. Be the resolution or solution that is needed. See what is missing in the world as an invitation to become what is required VERSUS responding to the needs of the world with apathy, resentment, doing nothing, or assigning blame. 

  • It’s your responsibility to show up.  
  • “Be the change you want to see in others.” – Mahatma Ghandi 

In summary, in order to open your mind to all that is possible, you must change your thinking and adopt a new mindset. Only then can you break through the four common mental traps and myths to reach your goals, achieve real success, and realize your true purpose.