How to Love Your “Job” & Live Your Vision of Success Part V

Segment Title: The Top 3 Reasons Why We Fail (#5 out of a 6 series FB Live Event. Next Date: 1/17/18)

Click on the pic to watch the fifth installment of my FB Live Event on Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts Facebook page. Post comments and questions directly to video and I will reply!

In Act II: Initiation, of the hero’s journey or heroine’s quest the hero or heroine faces The Road of Trials (Campbell, 1949) and The Ordeal (Vogler, 2007).  When you are on the heroine’s quest to living your Vision of Success you too will face many obstacles. Just consider these obstacles, trials and ordeals a.k.a. dragons to slay, a normal part of The Quest. Many of these challenges, like the top three reasons why we fail, are internally generated and controlled. In this post I expand on the top three reasons why we fail discussed in the above video. Also like many of these challenges these reasons are NOT real! They are like boogie men who only exist when we give them power. These dragons or challenges are; 1) lack of belief, 2) lack of conviction and 3) lack of self-discipline. Because you must clearly see and know your nemesis in order to defeat it, I will shine the light on these boogie men and give you some tips on how to defeat them. (You may also want to read “How to Write Your Own Heroine’s Quest“)

I. Lack Belief:

Intelligence and talent are not what separates successful women from unsuccessful ones. The major difference is that successful women believe in themselves! We believe that we can accomplish the goals we set ourselves. Successful women also believe in their ability to overcome the challenges that will most definitely come their way. This strong belief in the capacity to overcome obstacles encourages us to seize opportunities that seem initially too big to tackle.  Nothing will work for you if you are not absolutely convinced of it.

How do you overcome lack of belief? It’s like asking how do I develop faith? You just have to do it: believe! Who better to explain this than Master Yoda from Star Wars? Check out these scenes between Yoda and Luke:

“The human brain is a powerful problem-solving and prediction making machine, and it operates via a multitude of feedback loops. What matters most in the feedback loop dynamic is input — what goes into the loop that begins the analysis-evaluation-action process, which ultimately results in an outcome. Here’s the kicker: if your input shuttle for achieving a goal lacks the critical, emotionally relevant component of belief, then the feedback loop is drained of octane from the start. Another way to say that is — why would you expect a convincingly successful outcome when you haven’t convinced yourself that it’s possible?” (DiSalvo, 2012. Forbes Magazine)

II. Lack of Conviction

Your conviction will fuel you to keep searching for a solution to your challenges until you finally achieve your goals.

Women who lack conviction will go along to get along because they lack courage and self-confidence. These women don’t want to disrupt the status quo. This is scary to many, so they often compromise and conform in order to be popular or accepted, even when they know that what they are doing is wrong.

“…the notion of disrupting anything–of being the water that breaks the rock–is scary to most of us. Reason being, disruption is perceived as a threat to our threat-sensitive brains. Disruption means that consistency, stability and certainty might get jettisoned for a time, and that puts our hard-wired internal defense system on high alert. Sometimes, though, you have to override the alarms and move ahead anyway. If you never do, you’ll never know what could happen.” (DiSalvo)

Example of “The Ordeal” THE WIZ LIVE! — Pictured: Mary J Blige as Evillene — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

The Ordeal: This notion of conviction being scary tracks closely with the stage of the heroine’s/hero’s journey that Christopher Vogler calls “The Ordeal.” According to Vogler “The hero stands in the deepest chamber of the inmost cave and faces a direct confrontation with [her] greatest fear.”

No matter what the heroine thinks she came for, it’s Death that now stares back at her. She is brought to the brink of death in a battle with dark forces.

“The ordeal in myth signifies the death of the ego. The hero has soared above death and now sees the connectedness of all things.” (Petersen, 2017)

How do you overcome lack of conviction? Decide what is important to you and don’t ever compromise your values. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Try to choose work that you have passion for because this passion will fuel your work when the going gets tough. Even if you have not found your passion or achieved your Vision of Success yet, do your work with love and passion. Let this passion show even when the road gets hard and a task seems mundane. Kahlil Gibran tells us what it is to “work with love” in his poem, “On Work.”

“When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.”

III. Lack of Self-Discipline:

Any successful woman who has accomplished anything worthwhile has never done it without discipline. Discipline means staying focused and requires sacrifice and self-control to avoid temptations and distractions.

Discipline is not an excuse for perfectionism. It does not mean going beyond your limits. As a matter of fact, it means acknowledging and respecting your limitations. Beware an idealized vision of success. Achieving your Vision of Success or succeeding at one goal won’t eliminate all your problems, and bring complete happiness and fulfillment.


If you lack self-discipline, you are likely to give up too quickly when problems arise. A lack of discipline makes you susceptible to short-term temptations that lead you astray from your mission. Undisciplined women see no reason in making sacrifices today in order to achieve their Vision tomorrow.

When you’re disciplined it is easier to avoid distractions. You can stay focused on your goals, make temporary sacrifices, suffer and abstain from temptations. You will be able to see these temptations and distractions as what they truly are: Obstacles on the journey to living your Vision of Success.

Self-discipline also encompasses your ability to persevere (persist) and to make and carry out plans, which I will discuss further on.

How to overcome lack of self-discipline? The good news is that discipline CAN be developed. Some do not develop self-discipline due to laziness and a lack of inner strength or conviction.

According to Steve Mueller (2016), you can work on developing and increasing your self-discipline gradually. He says, “You can develop more self-discipline for instance by:

  1. Increasing your stress tolerance levels.
  2. Meditating.
  3. Removing distractions.
  4. Breaking bad habits.
  5. Postponing unbeneficial behaviors.
  6. Making plans and rewarding yourself for accomplishing your goals.
  7. Tolerating a higher level of emotional discomfort.
  8. Exercising regularly.”

If you need some help with this, check out 14 Ways to Improve Your Self-Discipline at Success magazine.

III A: Lack Perseverance (Persistence)

More women fail, not because they lack intelligence or talent, but because they just quit. Women who succeed do not give up. On the heroine’s quest you will be knocked down many times. You will face failure, rejection and fatigue. You may face illness, haters, broken hearts and losing those that you love. Remember these things represent dark forces tempting you to give up! (See “Letting go of Habits, Haters & Hubris”) It’s important to remember two words: persistence and resistance. Persist in what you must do and resist those things that distract or are bad for you.


Perseverance does not mean beating your head against a brick wall! Persistence is important, but you also have to recognize when you need to course correct and learn from mistakes. No one else can tell you when it is time to give up or change course. You have to be in tune with yourself to know this.

Looking for help more help with perseverance? Learn more about these 7 Tips from Success magazine

  1. Ignore everyone else.
  2. Become your own biggest supporter.
  3. Stop and appreciate the little things.
  4. Focus on the next step.
  5. Throw your watch out the window.
  6. Stop looking for a way out.
  7. Acknowledge your limitations.

III B: Lack of Planning

Napoleon Hill said “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Having self-discipline means taking the time to make a plan and then persistently sticking to it. You can’t just dream it. Many women and men have failed because of lack of planning. The plan does not need to be perfect but data shows that having a plan increases the likelihood of achieving one’s goals.

Once you have clarified your Vision of Success, written it down and visualized it you must define your goals. Next, outline a concrete plan with steps to achieving your goals and your overall Vision of Success.  Consider breaking your plan down into 5-year goals, 1-year goals, 6 months, 3 months and 1- month achievements. After completing this plan, you can do weekly goals that will put you on schedule to complete all of the other milestones. Be realistic here so you don’t get discouraged. If you don’t have a proper plan, you are less likely to succeed in life. Without a clear plan, you’re apt to waste a lot of time and perhaps never achieve your goals.

The Ultimate Boon!

My father often quote, “Heights by great men (and woman) reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow). That means stick to your plan. Review your progress, make adjustments but keep moving forward. It also speaks to discipline and sacrifice.

If you need tips on making and sticking to a plan check out “End Procrastination NOW: Creating a plan and sticking to it”

All of the above may seem daunting or sound like a lot of hard work. That’s because it is! Embarking on the heroine’s quest to pursue your Vision of Success is NOT for the faint of heart. But, when you are doing work you love, your passion fuels all that you do: making it a bit easier, more fun and turns your live into an exciting adventure!

Wishing you all the best on your heroine’s quest to achieve your Visions of Success!


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About admin

For over 12 years Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., licensed Clinical Psychologist, Success Coach, Author and Organizational Consultant has been inspiring and empowering people to achieve a more balanced and successful lifestyle. Dr. Cutts has consulted with and trained executives, managers, and teams at Fortune 500 Companies, Federal Government Agencies, and Non-Profit Organizations. As a master facilitator and Success Coach, she helps people create an exceptional life by honoring their mind, body, and spirit so they can experience joy, passion, meaning, and ultimate success in their work.
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