7 Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way and Get Things Done

UPDATED: October 16, 2015
PUBLISHED: October 16, 2015

I get in my own way.

That’s what I learned at the Podcast Movement, anyway. It was one of those classic light bulb moments—and I had it thanks to the conference’s keynote speaker, blogger and podcaster Pat Flynn. He talked to podcasters from all around the world about why the time to start is now… and why they seriously had to stop getting in their own way. 

Aha! When it comes to accomplishing my big goals, it’s not everything else that is the problem—it’s me. I am my own worst enemy.

Are you worried you’re getting in your own way, too? Pat shared seven ways to get started today on whatever is on your to-do list. So here they are, his tips to overcome self-defeating behavior, retooled for anyone who wants to get going and get things done:

1. Just pull the trigger. 

There will always be a reason why you shouldn’t do something. The trick? Just start. Push through the insecurity that’s stopping you. Because once start, your momentum does, too, and you’ll roll right past any obstacles you were anxious about before you started.

2. Do one thing at a time. 

If you are like me, you think you can do it all. But, if we’re being honest with each other, we can’t—at least not all at once. It isn’t faster to juggle more; it’s faster to focus on one thing and then move on to the next. Just like the domino effect, your “row” of to-do’s will fall one after the other—one domino at a time.

3. Forget failure. 

You can’t have success without failure. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before…. So why do we worry about failing when we know it’s a necessary part of the process? Do your best to expect failure, and try even harder to learn from it.

4. Be consistent. 

Consistency will keep you going; unfailing hard work will help maintain the momentum you created by first pulling the trigger. “We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle once said. “Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

5. Choose your friends wisely. 

You know the saying “you are what you eat.” Well it’s also true when it comes to who you keep company with. Are you running with the right crowd? Because the people you interact with on a daily basis directly influence who you are and what you do. Make sure you surround yourself with people who encourage you and hold you accountable—people who you can learn positive habits from.

6. Systematize everything.

On average an adult makes roughly 35,000 decisions a day. No wonder we stall out when it comes to getting started on our goals. Systematizing your processes takes decision-making out of the process, leaving more mental room for bigger and better thinking.

7. Reflect on your influence. 

Ask yourself how the work you do affects others. We all transform other people whether we’re conscious of it or not—so really think about how you’ll be helping someone else for a little motivation. You starting work on your goal or project could spur someone else to pull the trigger on theirs. You just have to pull your trigger first.

Got goals? Check out 10 steps to power toward them and get what you want.

Producer, blogger and board game fanatic Mariana Lenox is the digital asset production manager for SUCCESS. Before joining SUCCESS, Mariana worked with local Dallas production houses as a television producer. She is also the co-founder of the movie review website ReelandUnscripted.com and mother to three children (two canines and one human).