When Success is Slow, What Can You Do?
by Jack Canfield
Pop Quiz: Can success be sped up? Is there an antidote to slow outcomes despite arduous planning and actions taken? What’s the secret for seeing huge results right now?!
I get versions of these questions frequently from people who feel frustrated at sluggish progress in their success journey – despite all the know-how and principles they rigorously employ.
Let’s get one thing straight…
When we admire someone’s success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to get there. This can cultivate unrealistic expectations, especially the idea that overnight success can happen through careful strategy and an execution of sound advice.
The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core – your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.
If you focus on what’s not working, guess what: You’re likely coming from a place of aggravation as your mind wraps around all that is wrong.
You may even have negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “It will never work,” or “Something must be wrong with me.”
What this mentally does is engender more of these counter-productive feelings. And given what we know about the Law of Attraction, you attract what you are feeling. So negative experiences, people, and results will beget more negative experience, people, and results. There’s not much success in that.
The key, then, is to focus on what IS working. To do so, I recommend two simple practices: journaling and meditation.
Maintaining a journal (I call it an Evidence Log, Results Journal, or Gratitude Journal) is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.
Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down), however small they may seem.
Spend time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation.
Meditation can be powerful tool for arriving at solutions to problems and shifting your attitude so you can attract success sooner rather than later. The magic of meditation is its ability to essentially shut down the outer layer of your judgmental, highly-critical brain and allow your unconscious mind to take over. This is where you enter a deeper state of inner peace and joy, tapping into a higher level of creativity that will help usher in the results you want. (Don’t know how to meditate? Lots of books and materials are available to guide you this practice. It’s easier than you think. )
Let’s say you’re doing ALL these things, but you still aren’t happy with your results…
I’ll ask you then, are you taking real ACTION?
You may be taking the actions you are used to taking. But if you keep doing what you’ve already done, then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. It’s a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones.
Remember the Rule of 5.
Every day do five specific things that take you toward your goal. Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you’re off course.
Lastly, I want to remind you about patience.
It’s natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one. When I set a goal to become a millionaire the year was 1983. How long did it take? Eleven years. It took time for Chicken Soup for the Soul to hit the bestseller lists. You could say our tenure on the New York Times list was more than a decade in the making. That’s a lot of patience for someone who initially wanted overnight success.
So, yes, patience is a virtue. But keep at it, and in no time, you’ll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success.
Remember… be grateful, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!
Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com
Marta Raptis says
This is a great post! I will start meditating now 🙂
Thanks for adding this post to your mashup! For me it’s been 5 years of making soap and lotion, selling as much as I can and using the proceeds for more supplies. Sometimes when I have a lot of soap that doesn’t seem to go anywhere for a while I ask myself “am I doing the right thing?”
But looking back on everything I have learned, as well as looking forward to everything I want to learn, helps me refocus and see that this really is what I want to do. 🙂
Some days at Bramble Berry are (gasp!) mind-numbingly boring. I do the same thing, day in and day out, often and some days, I really don’t feel like I’m making progress. But then, a month or a year goes by and I’m excited about the progress (and mildly amazed!). Keep at it – and I love your attitude that you’re exhibiting. you can do it! Little baby steps lead to great things over time =)
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I did the bulk of the exercises in the book with my Mastermind Group two years ago and they were powerful – really amazing to do. We did them over a year-long period. I hope that you like the book as much as I did.
Yes, thank you for this post! I went out and got the Success Principles after you wrote about Accountability.
It is so easy to become mired in obstacles, distractions and responsibilities that seem to drag on what you want to accomplish. I like the practical advice, too. and the journaling helps for some helpful analysis, especially when every situation you face has a lesson to teach.
I'm so glad that you liked the post. I find Jack Canfield's work very inspiring – practical advice coupled with decisive action makes me feel like I can do anything =)
I love how you have a knack of posting just what I need to read when I need to read it. Business has its ups and downs and sometimes it's too easy to only focus on the down time. Thanks for the reminder that positive thinking really does garner positive results.
Thank you for sharing this article and keeping us grounded. There are days when I wonder "what the heck am I doing". The time you take out of your day to help 'mentor' those of us who follow you is really helpful and supportive.
Deep South Bath Co. says
This is really great! Love the the Rule of 5.
I love it.
Last week I went looking for the quote from Rudyard Kipling on success and failure both being imposters. It was a low low low
I will apply the principle of 5. The journey is worth taking. And we become better people in the process.
I feel this, deep deep inside. Character is building and alot of work is going on under the surface.
But isn't that how trees grow too?
xxxooo Anne Marie, Thank you!