10 Reasons Why You Fail

10 Reasons Why You Fail

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Think of something in your life which you’ve wanted to accomplish but haven’t. Something deep down. Whether it’s because you haven’t gotten around to it, are too timid to go for it, or you took a shot and failed spectacularly, conjure up in your mind that big failure of your life. Perhaps you’re in the middle of it now.

It goes without saying, we all fuck up big time. That’s obvious. Of course, some of us are better at it than others, but that’s kind of obvious too. And then there are those who string along coulda-shoulda moments throughout their life like the toilet paper I used to string up along my neighbor’s house as a kid — a failure so consistent, it borders on art.

Back in my dating coach days, when I regularly worked with some men’s deepest and hardest problems (no pun intended), people would often ask me what was the biggest cause of failure that I came across.

The question was in the context of women and dating — the 30-year old virgins, the cheesy guy in the club that sends women stampeding to hide in lady’s room, the hopeless nerd whose deepest relationship was his free 30-day trial at Brazzers.com (NSFW) — what were the keys to their failures? And how could they have avoided them?

But the biggest problems I saw in these men were not specific to dating. It’s easy to figure out how to ask a woman for her number. Dealing with your fear of abandonment and how that neuroticism is affecting ALL of your relationships? That’s a tad more involved.

Chances are a profound struggle in one area of your life will bleed over into other aspects of your life (the sheer number of clients I had who happened to be unemployed was a testament to this). The principles of failure are rarely prejudiced. The behaviors and thoughts that sabotage you in one area of your life will stalk you in other areas. That reticence to ever ask a woman on a date probably plays out in your failure to move to a new city, to take that new job, the timidity around your domineering co-workers, your passive-aggressive relationships with your family members.

When confronted with life’s biggest opportunities, most of us shit the bed. And then we enact a number of strategies to avoid the pain and pressure inherent in reaching for our dreams. Below are 10 of the most common strategies for reluctance I can think of. We’ll start at the shallow end and work our way to the deep end. Read it and weep.

1. You’re afraid to stand out among the crowd.

Emerson wrote, “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the self-reliance of every one of its members.” People don’t like it when other people change or do something that makes them feel awkward or insecure. Pushing ourselves to reach our own greatness threatens the complacency of those around us, shining a light on their own squashed dreams and failed potential. In many cases, these people lash out. It makes makes them question themselves, which is difficult for most to handle.

I talked to a fellow internet entrepreneur last night. He’s started multiple online ventures. Some have failed. Some have made money. All of it was struggle. He spent time traveling around the world and returned home for the holidays, where his father promptly told him that he needed to “be realistic” and get a “normal job.”

Simple fact of life: if you want to do something incredible, something that makes you stand out above the rest, then you have to become comfortable being different from the rest. People will think you’re weird, crazy, selfish, arrogant, irresponsible, obnoxious, stupid, disrespectful, fat, insecure, ugly, shallow, etc. Those closest to you will often become the harshest. If you have weak boundaries or are not confident with your own ideas and desires, then you’re not going to make it very far.

2. You’re not persistent enough.

In 2009, debut author Karl Marlantes finally published Matterhorn, a novel based on his experiences in the Vietnam War. The book was a hit. The New York Times called it, “one of the most profound and devastating novels to ever come out of any war.” Mark Bowden, bestselling author of Black Hawk Down declared it the greatest book ever written about The Vietnam War.

It took over 35 years for Marlantes to get his book published — more than half of his lifetime. He re-wrote the manuscript six separate times. For the first two decades, publishers hardly read it, much less rejected it.

Most of us give up on something we’re passionate about too soon. And anyone who’s been successful has a tale of struggle and perseverance to share. As the cliche goes, nothing worth having comes easy.

3. You lack humility.

There are many people out there who accomplish a little bit and decide that they are an expert. Humility is knowing what you don’t know.

In the world of online marketing and internet business, I began to notice a trend a couple years ago in the business owners I met. The people who had a big mouth, who regularly went on and on about what they accomplished, exaggerated their successes and sapped the attention from the ether around them: they were moderately successful at best. Sometimes they were not successful at all, i.e., they still had day jobs or even lived with their parents. Yet they were more than willing to dole out their sage wisdom to anyone and everyone who would listen.

But the people who were legitimate self-made millionaires, the ones who actually did scale to the peaks of their industries, they often admitted they did not know an answer, they downplayed their successes (or usually never even mentioned them). Instead, they regularly pointed out their weaknesses and how they needed to learn more.

This did not strike me as a coincidence.

4. You fail to network and build strong relationships.

I’m a perennial loner. I’m also a mild control freak with my projects. Whether it’s insecurity or obsessiveness or plain arrogance, I have trouble letting people in on or influence whatever I’m working on or passionate about. It’s counter-productive. It single-handedly submarined my aspirations to be a professional musician once upon a time (an industry based almost entirely on networking) and I’ve surely missed quite a few opportunities over the years with my internet business because of my hesitance to reach out and connect with others who could help me.

It’s said that 66% of people hired for a job know someone within the company that’s hiring them. But even in the non-professional world, isolation can undo you just as quickly. Instead of going broke, you just go depressed. Creating a wealth of social and romantic relationships hinges on the ability to meet people and connect with them in a meaningful manner. Research shows that living without regular social contact is as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes.

5. You’d rather argue against advice instead of taking it.

Guaranteed express ticket to sucking: trying to be right instead of good. I don’t care what it is, if you’re more invested in arguing your point of view against people who are trying to help you than you are in improving yourself, then you’ve effectively given up. And for all of your brainiac debating, you’re still too stupid to see it.

To succeed at anything, there’s a feedback loop that must be in place: try something -> get feedback and results -> learn from feedback and results -> try something new. People who are dead-set on arguing why what they already believed is right (despite not working) are effectively breaking the chain off and not accepting feedback. Therefore they will never change.

Not to say that everyone should always take advice from everybody, but you should accept feedback whether you believe it’s relevant or not, not try to argue your way into looking like you were right all along.

The people who suffer from this problem tend to be highly intelligent and extremely insecure. It’s a bad mix, because the more intelligent someone is, the more they’re able to rationalize their own bullshit excuses to themselves, and the more their intellect is used as a defense mechanism to protect their fragile ego.

6. You’re too distracted.

Facebook newsfeed, Tweets, Reddits, sub-Reddits, Imgur, check email, Facebook again, back to Imgur, oh a funny comic strip, post on Facebook, check email again, message on Facebook, funny cat pictures, tweet funny cat pictures, look on Reddit for more funny cat pictures, rinse and repeat.

I apologize if I just described the majority of your waking life.

But the affliction of attention saturation disorder is not limited to useless social media interactions. Earlier this year I experimented with giving up sports and politics for a month. I was blown away with how much information I once considered vital and important soon felt like meaningless fluff — sensationalized info-tainment meant to keep me clicking rather than informing and influencing my life.

7. You don’t take responsibility for what happens in your life.

Also known as having-an-excuse-for-everything disorder. To fix the problems in your life you must have power over them. You can’t have power over aspects of your life unless you take responsibility for them. Therefore if you don’t take responsibility for what happens to you, you fail.

There are numerous situations in life which may seem completely unfair, insurmountable, like God decided to piss in your Corn Flakes (R) unfair, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I know it’s tempting to blame your problems on some external factor, to insist that it was impossible, that it wasn’t your fault, that you couldn’t have done anything to help it, you see, it was Abu the taxi driver who accidentally ran over some little boy’s dog, and the guy actually pulled over to see if it was OK causing a more-than-unnecessary 30-minute delay, and the police came and questioned you until they realized you offered little Timmy some beer to make him feel better — i.e., to help him erase the impending decades of trauma and images of blood-splayed sidewalk that will surely haunt the first quarter of his life — and stop the crying, my god, the little brat could fucking cry, you were just trying to help, to clear his poor undeveloped psyche with some alcohol; but hey, then the cops came and the (drunk) little bastard told them about the beer, told them everything, ab-so-lute-ly everything EXCEPT that you were just being a nice guy, which you obviously never get credit for; and dude, it’s not your fault cops are so anal-fucking-retentive about child alcohol laws; it’s a fucking puritan, fascist state anyway; and hey man, I’m sorry I didn’t show up; it’s not my fault, I promise it will never happen again; there’s always the next wedding, right? I won’t be in jail for that one, I promise.

Yeah, fuck people like that.

8. You don’t believe it’s possible.

I’m a little hungry, so I’m going to outsource this bullet point to the Dagobah system ($3 an hour, great turnaround time) where Jedi Master Yoda will fill you in:

This isn’t some sort of manifestation/affirmation crap. There’s no supernatural power at work here (well, with Master Yoda there is, but with us, no). The mind’s unconscious beliefs about possibilities inform the level of effort and expectation of success from the body’s behavior. For instance, one study showed that athletes who held inaccurate positive beliefs about their own abilities out-performed athletes with accurate or negative beliefs about their own abilities.

Beyond that, people who over-estimate what they’re capable of are far more likely to actually, you know, get off their ass and try. And when you try and learn from your failures, you can eventually lead yourself to success. So, a little delusion of grandeur goes a long way. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pay Yoda $3 to help me with some parallel parking.

9. You’re afraid to care.

Many people catch the indifference bug. They lack a clear, true passion. They’re reluctant to invest themselves top-to-bottom into a venture, project or pursuit. Many of them give up quickly. Others just lose interest. Many lack the wherewithal to even begin.

Chronic indifference is an insidious defense mechanism. It undermines the drive and motivation required to overcome it. Unconsciously many people are terrified to invest themselves into something because investing themselves into it could potentially lead to failure and failure could potentially lead to a lot of thoughts their psyche is not yet prepared to face: questions about self-worth, competence, being worthy of love, etc.

Look, I’m no Freud, but in my experience, people crippled by indifference don’t overcome it until some other emotional issue in their life is uprooted, confronted and kicked out.

10. Deep down, you don’t think you deserve what you want.

Many (or most) of the bullet points above are actually top-layers for this underlying cause: believing you don’t deserve what you want. Many of us, at our core, have buried beliefs and feelings about ourselves that aren’t so savory. Maybe we were teased a lot growing up, or our parents and teachers told us we wouldn’t amount to anything, or we were punished for being smart by our peers. Whatever happened, something happened. And something inside us makes us feel uncomfortable with the idea of accomplishing too many great things as a result.

Entrepreneur and business consultant Sebastian Marshall wrote in his book Ikigai the following:

Last night, I was talking with my friend. I said, “If you did this, I’m pretty sure you could get your first client at $400/hr within 90 days.” It would have to be his main thing for the next 90 days, but it would likely work.
 

His core goal right now is total financial freedom. And I laid out a plan that would get him there.
 

But will he do it? I ask him.
 

He cringes and says … “No. I won’t.”
 

“So, that’s a million dollar question. Why won’t you?”
 

He replies, “I don’t know. I don’t even like thinking about it really, but I’ll try to. I don’t know, fear? I have to confront my potential and the fact that I’m not living up to it? It doesn’t feel right? I don’t feel ready? I don’t think I deserve that much? I think I’d have to study longer first? I don’t know.”
 

Why don’t people do it?
 

Hell, I offer to make people money for free, draw up a simple, clearly workable business plan, offer to help out. 80+% of them don’t take it.

It’s another self-esteem conundrum: you always find a way to get rid of what you feel isn’t rightfully yours. The heights and burdens of success make some feel like a king and others like a fraud. For many, getting what they want summons that worm-tongued voice in the back of their mind, prodding their insecurities and fears until they find away to destroy everything they worked for. It may be a relationship with the best person you’ve ever loved, it may be a dream job you can’t bring yourself to take, it may be a creative opportunity of a life-time which you ignore for more “practical” pursuits, it may be merely hanging out with people who you actually admire and feeling like a ghost.

Whatever it is, the sludge-pool of doubts bubble up and find a way, always find a way, to ruin it for you — to make you ruin it for you — and that’s the hardest truth. It’s you. There is no other in this equation. And as much as you deny it, that fear will always linger and remain as an invisible barrier, a clear film separating you from happiness, pushed through and never broken. These issues can be overcome. But it’s painful and gut-wrenching. And then there’s always just another layer, simmering further below, more fear, ever-present, something we all eventually face over and over and over again.

But if you don’t believe me, believe Yoda:

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122 Comments

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  • Reply

    Sumit Anand

    21 weeks ago

    All valid points but I believe another one could be added – “You are not meant for that One Thing”

    I had a similar experience in learning guitar. I tried for 5 years and not even a single day will go by with me not thinking about it, actually, I did most of the points mentioned above except may be, the distraction point to some extent

    Overall conclusion that came out of my struggle for 5 years is that I started late (at 23) and I just wasn’t good enough to the extent I always wanted to be. I joined several courses, endless You Tube lessons, daily practicing, even taught other students about the basics of guitar but never could I reach the level I always wished.

    Then, I decided to move out and tried stand up comedy. As you say, I am not great yet but the progress is so uch fun. Every month is better and I feel great about it. This is what should have happened in the process of learning guitar but it didn’t.

    Point is that I believe sometimes you got to realize that you may be much better in something else instead of desperately trying to be great in that one thing.

    • Reply

      Benny

      10 weeks ago

      liked!

  • Reply

    jinal mistry

    20 weeks ago

    Hey that sounds so true, it is what I am suffering from. But at the end the truth doesn’t change that if you “really” want something and you are working hard on it then it is for sure that you will get it. I guess what you said is you gave up on n it and you are trying to tell it didn’t worth you.

  • Reply

    Mark Buckshon

    19 weeks ago

    This is a wonderful posting — and a great example of inspired blogging/Internet marketing. I have had the privilege of being accepted into a closed FaceBook group of about 700 super-geniuses, even though I’m nowhere near that level intellectually. (We’re talking beyond Mensa — several members belong in the top 99.997 or greater percentile, that gets you to being the smartest person in a city of 30,000 or 100,000.) You might think there would be an exceptional level of accomplishment among all these brilliant minds, but there isn’t. Some of course are doing great things especially in the sciences and one I know is can write inspiring prose, and travelled the world to experience cultures and languages we can only read about, but he spends his time as a not-so-young person in his late parents’ home (single) doing stuff that, well, isn’t that inspiring.

    The barriers: Isolation, fear, personality issues and the like — socialization skills can be a challenge when your mind moves faster than virtually everyone around you (think the Unibomber). And things don’t seem to get much better when you bring the super-geniuses together in specialized societies because the engrained personality traits (and “I know what is correct” mind-set) is too heavily internalized

    Of course, for me, this super genius world may be a distraction — intellectually I don’ belong there, but I won acceptance through some pragmatic networking — but it is a reminder that the grass isn’t necessarily greener “if only” we had a little more of this or that, such as intelligence.

    As for me, the story is one of reaching a comfort zone that for most people would be considered quite comfortable (financially, spiritually, emotionally and in family-love life), but by no means is greatness. However, I remember well the day some 33 years ago, in the middle of Africa, where I touched the stars, and then realized that all the greatness in the world would mean nothing if I couldn’t enjoy love and happiness at home. And that set me off on another journey that required another 13 years of maturing.

  • Reply

    Jerri Laster

    19 weeks ago

    Loved that article. A lot of it spoke to me. Especially the part about not feeling worthy. I got a lot from it. Many Mahalos to you Mark.

  • Reply

    Jerri Laster

    19 weeks ago

    Loved that article. A lot of it spoke to me. Especially the part about not feeling worthy. I got a lot from it. Many Mahalos to you Mark.

  • Reply

    Cameron

    18 weeks ago

    I think I’m guilty of all 10 of these.

  • Reply

    Rose Doucet

    18 weeks ago

    Thanks Mark, Words of wisdom. I might just copy and paste this to my desk top and read it everyday :)

  • Reply

    Kendall

    18 weeks ago

    Hey, I thought I’d just point out that the Emerson quote is slightly inaccurate. The correct quote is: “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members”. So yeah, just one word, but a key one. Great article otherwise. Definitely a thinker… hopefully a doer as well of course.

  • Reply

    Kathy Gottberg

    15 weeks ago

    Damn! I hate it that so many rang true for me! #5 and #6 were particularly strong for me but I’ll bet I have a little bit of every single one or these….Thank you (I think!) for pointing them out so clearly. And I also appreciate Yoda for asking Luke to face his fears. Most of us don’t like to admit we have any or that they are any big deal…but if we aren’t a little bit afraid we aren’t pushing ourselves forward. Great post and I will be referring back to it as the year unfolds… ~Kathy

  • Reply

    claire.sandelands

    11 weeks ago

    Think its a really clear easy to read article and really liked the part about stepping away from the crowd and be different as you sometimes stay with something familiar as feels safe.

  • Reply

    Crystal

    10 weeks ago

    If you gave me that plan, along with help along the way, I would be part of that 20%. Because the only that makes me feel like I deserve anything good is knowing the why behind what works and how to start it or sustain it. In the past, I persisted despite the mild failures, collecting data and taking notes along the way, and pushed myself to what could actually count as max happiness until ONE thing that one of my exes said (that was extremely observant and spot on) to me just completely broke my notions of how people could act in certain situations. And then I suddenly didn’t know what the things I did or said could accomplish at all or how it would affect people in positive ways. It doesn’t sound possible, but I don’t want to exaggerate either. I know I’m being the epitome of several of those points you put. I just…I don’t know what I ought to do. There’s also the matter of feeling like I will be indifferent in the end anyway because it concerns relationships, and I probably have a fear of intimacy and other deep-seated associations that I’m not fully aware of yet that makes me stop trusting someone the moment they say “I’m in love with you.” I’ve also developed such a huge ego to being “found out” that I put myself in situations where I can avoid feeling trapped with either humiliation or lies on either end.

    Btw. I’m a girl, in case it affects your reply

    • Reply

      Mike

      3 weeks ago

      I always thought I was the only one with fear of getting close emotionally. But after this article, I will take my chances.

  • Reply

    Klete K

    9 weeks ago

    Great article! Identify your excuses, fears and insecurities – then crush them. Because they are not real. Love yourself first.

  • Reply

    nemesis

    8 weeks ago

    hey buddy, there is not much to do.

    Apart from the fact that it’s useless to kid ourselves: External validation is the most important thing influencing one’s self esteem. If one fails over and over again, there is no way he’s not going to believe that “he deserves it”. And if he forces to do that, he’s gonna feel like a fucking fraud towards himself, like forcing himself to go against reality and proof.

    And apart from that, it’s all a bunch of psycho neopop bullshit. Most people who get jobs or stuff out of their reach didn’t ever beleive they could. They could have hoped, of course, but they always believed they weren’t on the same level. A lot of people (me included), confident they would have gotten that dream job or dream X, found themselves eating dust the moment after they realized they didn’t fulfill the dream.

    So, it’s bullshit to mock people and make them believe in random bullshit, like the universe and humanity cares about them and they are at the center of a hollywood movie. It’s not like that. Reality is random, and is shit, and you aren’t the most important person in the world. It’s a matter of luck and preparation, but without that luck that decides over 1000 people, who is the one who is gonna make it, and develop the halo effect of the gifted one (only retrospectively), then nothing can happen.

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      8 weeks ago

      Ah, so it’s all luck. Got it. Thanks for letting me know. Good to be lucky I guess!

      • Reply

        Michael

        7 weeks ago

        Life is merely a run of luck either good or bad. If you’re born with the looks and traits women look for you get dates and girlfriends. If your born without said attributes approaching and asking women out is a waste of time as no matter what you will get nowhere with women. The same goes for employment. I have been a property manager for 16 years and even have A recommendation from a long term former employer. The building I managed was sold and my old company left. I was convinced to stay by the CEO. I found out very quickly everything she said was lies. Less than three months later after the turnover was completed I was pushed out and replaced by an assistant manager for less money. I have had plenty of interviews but cannot get hired. Its absolutely ludicrous. Its complete luck if any of these corporate criminals have the intelligence to recognize a quality candidate. Unfortunately the only things they are profficient at are covering their own asses and being completely deceitful,
        pathologically lying criminals. Its all luck. Hard work is meaningless in corporate criminal america today.

        • Reply

          Mark Manson

          7 weeks ago

          And this is why you fail.

          • Michael

            7 weeks ago

            That’s right. Because those hiring are so paranoid and intent on protecting their positions that they deliberately hire someone way under experienced and for less money. I have been screwed over by corporate criminals twice in the last four years. I know for a fact that none of them can be trusted nor anything they say be believed. Because of these scumbags is exactly why I fail.

          • Mark Manson

            7 weeks ago

            You are why you fail.

        • Reply

          Gi0w

          4 days ago

          I agree that success is subject to a factor of luck; I can’t help but wonder what your perspective is on how much luck plays a role, and how much your own deliberate actions do? 90-10? 10-90? 50-50?

          Do you believe that Texas Hold’ em Poker is a game of luck?

      • Reply

        Reader

        4 weeks ago

        People who always look for excuses and blame anyone but themselves, will just never be happy :-/

  • Reply

    Michael

    7 weeks ago

    Once again my posts disappeared.

  • Reply

    Michael

    7 weeks ago

    That simply isn’t possible. How could you have possibly gleaned that from my posts?

    • Reply

      Mark Manson

      7 weeks ago

      Pretty obvious to me. Your metric for success sucks.

      • Reply

        Eddie

        6 weeks ago

        This was a hilarious exchange.

    • Reply

      Ramona

      2 weeks ago

      Is really obvious to me also,you are describing all the negative feelings you have towards American Corporations and ALL the negative reasons why they don’t hire you,you are full of negative energy,deep seated beliefs that work against you,that’s why you can’t get a job because you placed the power on the external circumstances,instead to find your erroneous beliefs and replace them with something suitable,for example instead “is hard to find a good decent job in this economy” you can start to use affirmations like “I am happy and grateful I finally found my dream job where my skills and knowledge are handsomely paid ” .This is just a small example on what you have to work on Michael,the power of changing external conditions is coming with the change from within .I hope this is helping you to seek in the right direction :)

  • Reply

    Michael

    7 weeks ago

    Do you ever answer in normal english and not in pop psych jargon?

  • Reply

    Katleen

    6 weeks ago

    Thank you Mark! This is the first post I read from you and I loved it. #1, #8 and #10 feel very familiar and I found that I had to overcome these first since they blocked me from really moving forward, toward what I wanted and next. The tools and support to get there, are available and out there. It’s just making that internal click.

  • Reply

    Dennis Mubaiwa

    4 weeks ago

    The 10th point is for me, the most significant. I was hoping you or anyone else reading my comment could point me in the right direction: how can you begin to overcome the underlying issues that create feelings of unworthiness/inadequacy e.t.c? How do you even begin to identify them? Do you recommend any books? Do you have anything you’ve written which is tailored towards this?

    Cheers,

    Dennis

  • Reply

    Luis Samaniego

    4 weeks ago

    Amazing writing and a 100% true to the core issues the “new” man faces…

    Too much info yet so little wisdom, so many “teachers” and “guiders”, yet so very few true examples to actually follow…

    Loved this piece.

    I only wish you could continue with it on the other side… if you want to start the changing process, where do you begin? Particularly when the odds are against and the times are rough.

    Let me do some catharsis with my situation:

    Last year I had a regular day job earning quite a nice decent salary, but I felt I was destined for more than a 9 to 5 “secure” job… I felt like I could take on the world, with humility but with passion. So I built my own consultancy firm, starting from scratch, and I mean… from nothing. For months I spent my free time painting walls, installing lights and toilet, I pieced together our desks out of recycled pallets, also the sofas, I took an old window and used it as a whiteboard. I spent my savings, quit my day job, put on crazy work hours, hell.. without any programming skills I even built our web page, design the logo, the vision statements, the business plan, associated with two, three very talented professionals and started networking.

    A few months and lots and lots of meetings with potential clients later…

    My bank account is empty. My credit card is maxed out. Had to leave my apartment. Moved back in with parents. Lost my GF. And worse of it all.. took serious ego beating.

    In times where the Zuckerbergs, Cubans and Bransons are setting the bar as on “how to become successful” and claiming that venturing and risking is the new “cool thing to do”… what if you applied yourself, challenged the odds, took a chance.. and then lost everything?

    How do you shake the feeling of loneliness, disappointment and utter failure… if your current path is really the way down the toilet? Where and how do you begin the healing process?

    And honestly the whole “is always darkest before the dawn” gets old.. really quickly.

    Keep it up with the wisdom sharing.

  • Reply

    Alex Aguilar

    4 weeks ago

    Just started reading your website articles because a friend told me I should check it out and love it. There are so many great tips and advice that have really got me fired up. I’m in my early 30″s and having just read your 30″s article I really value the opinions of others that were shared within the article. Can’t wait to keep reading more.

  • Reply

    Lynn Venewold

    4 weeks ago

    Hi Mark. I love many of your pieces on culture and life coaching. A lot of your ideas are very resonant and you have a very readable, practical voice. Thanks for writing! Echoing the comment above mine, from Dennis: I am trying to work on #10. I have made some progress through meditation. I would love to hear of any books you would recommend that help identify and work through fear and insecurity in other ways. Have you written more on the subject or can you point me in the right direction?

    Thanks so much,
    Lynn

  • Reply

    Reader

    4 weeks ago

    Good blog, Mark, to the point! I am particularly guilty of No 6. I will be realistic, so I won’t try giving up social media, emails, tabloids, celeb gossips etc but I’ll set a time when I allow myself for distraction i.e. checking email/fb not more than once in three hours. Hope that will help me stay focus and succeed better in my goals

  • Reply

    Linda

    3 weeks ago

    I just recently came across your blog. All you’re saying is very actual for me and it feels like a giant slap in the face, over and over again. And it feels so good to be slapped, hopefully out of the torpor I’ve been feeling stuck in. Thank you, Mark.

  • Reply

    Jezrie Marcano-Courtney

    3 weeks ago

    It was everything I needed to hear. All of the bullet points resonated with me in a way that has left me feeling vulnerable for the good.

    I am also a blogger and budding author. For weeks, I’ve stymied my progress out of fear. I don’t trust my ability to connect with people. I too am a loner, but that at first was out of nurture. I wasn’t allowed to connect with others. My character was constantly under attack as an extension of my actions.

    Your advice I hope will be that band aid off the wound feeling that needed to happen. Truly well written.

  • Reply

    Michael Waithaka

    3 weeks ago

    The exchange between Michael, Property manager and Mark is interesting. Michael seems to blame so much of his failures on other people and seems to believe that for him to succeed at anything he has to be employed. I may be wrong but I believe that with his job experience there should be other alternatives for success.

  • Reply

    Shannon Lagasse

    2 weeks ago

    So frigging happy my friend directed me to your house. Love this. Especially the part where you offer your friends a fully fleshed out, workable business plan, offer to help out, and they don’t do shit with it, because that has happened to me more than I care for it to. So much great information here – can’t wait to share it! :]

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    Lizzy

    2 weeks ago

    I loved this, unfortunately so much of this rang true for me #5 #10…..maybe it’s just a lifelong process of overcoming ourselves and our insecurities…

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    Suresh

    2 weeks ago

    Good article. Almost all points are relevant to me.

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    Beverly

    1 week ago

    Love this article and appreciate the newsletter. Completely relevant to fears I battle regularly in getting this accomplished. I’ve learned to overcome this by writing down a schedule for myself daily and just check them off one by one without the bitching, moaning and overthinking and just DOING. Once in action everything eventually comes together. I love the Yoda clips, btw. Kudos Marc!

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    Peggy

    1 week ago

    Enjoyed reading this. Left me with much to think about. Especially #9. Thanks for sharing!

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    Sosae

    5 days ago

    Geez, no. 10…that one hurt. Are you sure you weren’t a poet before all this? You’ve got this eloquent, burning way of getting deep meaning into so few words. (And stringing them together hella nicely too.) Thanks for writing this. Thanks for sharing it. It’s Good Work Well Done, and it’s already helping…

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    Baya Voce

    5 days ago

    I loved this article. Thanks for posting, Mark. It’s true that this “fear” thing we talk about so loosely can absolutely run deeper than what our base-level thoughts tell us.

    There is also the idea that we quit before we get good enough – right on the brink of what could be success. Since our skill level doesn’t yet match up with our taste level we aren’t satisfied with whatever it is we’re putting out into the world (art, a product, a service, etc)… and since we haven’t yet had enough practice to get good enough, we quit.

    A lot of us don’t have a reference point to go back to and say “ahhh, this is what success feels like. If I just fight through the discomfort of uncertainty and fear, that’s when the magic happens”. It’s right before this point that we generally give up.

    Food for thought!

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