The Ohio State Highway Patrol has a safety belt campaign that’s basically, “What’s Holding You Back?”  The idea being that if you aren’t wearing your safety belt, you put your life and safety at risk in an auto accident.  So, in this case, “being held back,” is a good thing.  When it comes to individual performance and success though, it’s not so good!

However, “What’s Holding You Back,” is a good question we should ask of ourselves from time to time as individuals and as an organization.  Most of us could achieve much more than we do if we could ask ourselves this question more often and act accordingly.

There are things we can and can’t control that impacts how well we do.  Too often, people come to me with performance issues and want help in fixing their situations or their environments, both personal and business.  We forget though that most of the time, it’s not what is outside of us that needs fixing, which are things usually beyond our control, but it’s what’s inside of us that needs fixing.  The outside things such as a tough economy, irritating co-workers, or stifling organizational culture are often things we can’t change or things that take a long time to change.  The inside things we can change today!

The thoughts, feelings, and attitudes we carry around with us directly impacts our performance.  If we are being negative, are scared, or keeping a minimalist mentality, we will behave negatively, hide, and hoard our resources which will cause people around us to behave in a similar fashion.  However, being positive, facing our fears, and being generous will allow us to behave positively, accomplish more, and share our resources which will in turn bring us more opportunities as people around us reflect what we display.

So, asking ourselves, “What’s holding me back,” and taking an honest look at what we are thinking, feeling, and believing can allow us to make great strides in our performance.  If I’m thinking, “I can’t do it,” and realize I’m doing just that (and possibly not even trying,) then I can change my thinking to, “I can do it,” and act positively and get better results.  It’s our choice.

If we can’t ask ourselves this tough question, which is often the case, (otherwise we would already be doing better,) we need to get outside, honest, objective help.  A coach, mentor or confident that can say it like it is, straight to your face, can be a huge factor in your success.

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