The Number One Reason Why You're Not Succeeding

By Leo Gura - May 24, 2013 | 1 Comments

Learn the best strategy for counteracting the biggest slip-up when it comes to accomplishing anything in your life.


It never ceases to amaze me how good we are at finding ways to avoid follow-through. If you’ve been struggling to deliver results in some part of your life, chances are it’s not for lack of information, or even a plan. You’re simply not executing what you know you should be while your mind deceives you about the fact.

Making sure you follow through trumps everything else when it comes to results. Designing a plan is great. Thinking about strategy is great. Making lists is great. Setting goals is great. Reading books is great. But all of that won’t be enough if don’t actually act on the advice and information. It seems so simple and obvious, but so often problems arise simply because you don’t obey.

Your Sneaky, Deceptive Mind

There’s a huge world of difference between talking about doing something and actually doing it. Yes, sure, you understand this logically, but your mind is still pulling the wool over your eyes, again and again.

Let’s look as some examples:


Are you struggling to lose weight? Are you not able to hit the gym and shed that excess fat? Get real, you know exactly why…

Are you actually going to the gym daily? Are you actually not over-eating? Are you actually limiting your carbs? Are you actually doing this consistently over, say, 20 or 30 days? If not, what kind of results can you expect but failure?

Finishing a Book

Are you struggling to finish reading that book? Get real, you know exactly why…

Are you actually reading every day? Are you reading the same book? How many minutes are you reading it for? If you’re not doing this consistently over at least 7 to 15 days, what kind of results can you expect but failure?

Completing a Project

Are you struggling to complete a project like writing a novel, redecorating the house, launching a business, or creating a website? Get real, you know exactly why…

Are you working on it every day? How many hours? If you haven’t been consistently working on it for 20 to 30 days, what kind of results can you expect but failure?

Quitting a Bad Habit

Are you struggling to quit smoking, drinking, sleeping in, eating sweets, or biting your nails. Get real, you know exactly why…

How many days has it been since you’ve stopped doing it? How many consecutive days? If you haven’t consistently resisted the urge for 20 to 30 days, what kind of results can you expect but failure?

Integrating Self-Help Advice

Are you struggling to change yourself? Perhaps you’ve been listening to a self-help CD that’s told you that you need to use the law of attraction to achieve your goals, but it’s not working. Get real, you know exactly why…

Are you listening to the material consistently? Every day? How many times have you listened to it? Have you taken notes? Have you re-read the notes? Have you done the exercises? Have you been practicing daily? If you haven’t done this for 10 or 20 days consistently, what kind of results can you expect but failure?

In all the examples above your mind is making excuse after excuse. It’s making it SEEM as though you’re taking action when in fact you’re not. And under this illusion you quickly get frustrated with lack of results. But if you actually dig into the matter objectively, you’ll clearly see why results aren’t coming: lack of consistent follow-through.

Why Self-Help Seems Not to Work

It’s a peculiar quirk of the human mind to fall in love with an idea to the point where it actually obscures the fact that you’re not taking action. This is probably the single biggest reason why you’re failing.

How many times have you run across a great idea and said, “OMG! That’s the best advice or technique I’ve ever heard!” And yet, what role is that advice or technique playing in your life right now? Probably none.

This is the all-too-common result of the motivational speech — you hear it, you get riled up, and two days later you’re back in the mundane swing of life and nothing has actually changed at all, except that you build up a resentment for motivational speakers: “Sigh… Not another rah-rah speech.”

I find this very often the case with all forms of self-help. How often do you read a million-dollar piece of advice in a book, or hear it in an audio program, but weeks later it’s completely forgotten? Too often. I do self-help professionally and it’s still frustrating.

You might pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an excellent self-help program, get really excited about the material as you’re listening to it, but then never follow through. You vow to yourself that you’ll follow the advice but it never gets integrated into your way of life. After a few times of this you get frustrated with self-help thinking, “This stuff never works!”

And it’s true, it usually doesn’t work. But let’s also get real, it doesn’t work because YOU don’t work it! YOU fucked it up.

Did you actually do the exercises you were supposed to do? Or did you just read or listen to the information a single time? Get real, how can you expect to integrate a piece of knowledge or advice if only listen to it once and don’t actively apply it?

Integrating the Law of Attraction

Take the example of learning to think more positively and constructively using the law of attraction. Every time we hear law of attraction explained we always say, “Yeah, that makes sense. My life would be so much better if I use this. Wow!” But then a week later we aren’t actually using it! You’re not thinking differently!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

— Aristotle

There’s a world of difference between reading about the law of attraction, understanding the theory behind it, explaining and praising it to your friends, and then actually using it on a daily basis.

Isn’t it interesting how easily your brain blurs those boundaries? “Yes, but I finished the book. I even took notes! I even started thinking more constructively about that thing at work!” Yeah? For how long did you do that? 2 days? 2 whole days?! How can you possibly expect a technique like law of attraction to work for you if you apply it for 2 freaking days?! Use it consistently for 30 days, then you have the right to complain that it didn’t work.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Here’s a new rule: track your actions and ONLY IF you see a consistent trail of action do you get the right to complain that something isn’t working.

Too often we complain and start to second-guess ourselves when in fact the amount of action for the project we’re undertaking is grossly insufficient.

Weightloss is a great example where I find myself doing this. I will commit to losing 10 pounds and then six days later I’m complaining to myself that it’s not working. Logically I know better, but still I complain and start to second-guess myself.

But then I catch myself complaining and ask myself, “How long have you actually been at this? 6 days? 6 whole days! Wow! What a surprise that you haven’t dropped 10 pounds yet! And what’s that? You missed 2 of those 6 days?! What the fuck are you complaining about?! You’ve actually only worked out for 4 days out of the 6 planned, and now you’re crying about lack of results.”

The fact is that you need to set realistic expectations for how long it will take to see results. This will depend entirely on the specific thing you’re undertaking. If it’s weightloss, the most you can reasonably lose per week is 1-2 pounds — and that’s with lots of effort.

If you’re looking to launch a business, a realistic timeframe for that might be 6 to 12 months — again, with lots of effort.

If you’re looking to write a novel, that might take you anywhere from a few weeks to a few months — again, with lots of effort.

If you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder to the very top of your profession, that might take you anywhere from 5 to 20 years — again, with lots of effort.

If you’re looking to make $1 million dollars, that might take you 5 years. It doesn’t have to take that long, but given your circumstances and choice of business, it might take that long — again, with lots of effort.

Do you have the proper expectations in place? Have you even thought about what the realistic expectations are for whatever endeavor you’ve undertaken? Make sure you aren’t thinking in terms of days when you should be thinking in terms of weeks, months, or years. This is why reading autobiographies and talking to mentors can be valuable — they set proper expectations.

The mindset I want you to takeaway right now is that you don’t have the right to complain about lack of results until you have consistently applied yourself over an appropriate period of time.

Bottom Line:  Taking action on a task is distinctly different from doing anything else, like thinking about it or talking about it. If you don’t take consistent action, you have no right to complain about lack of results.

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Deb says:

You nailed it.
I wondered why I never finish anything.
My mind fooled me every time into thinking that it wasn’t really my fault.
You made it simple all clear.

It should be on a poster so we can read it everyday.

Thanks, that helped in so many aspects of my life.

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