It's November and soon Christmas, a New Year and everyone will be talking about resolutions, goals and how 2010 will be even better than ever.

All we have to do is set our specific goals, have a plan and execute!

Wait a minute! That is what was done last year and the year before!

My income is the same, my weight has gone up and I am more frustrated than ever! What is wrong here? Why no progress? I'm doing exactly what the Gurus tell me, and in detail.

Well, there is nothing wrong with the goal setting; it does work as long as the biggest barrier to success is not in the way!

Let's take a look at this "barrier" to success and how we might permanently overcome it…..

Psychologists indicate there are two basic motivators in all of us.
1. We move toward and are motivated by gain.
2. We move away from and are motivated to avoid something.
So we are in either a "Gain" mode or an "Avoid" mode depending upon the circumstances.

Simply put, we may wish to "Gain" income with an improved life style. Unfortunately, we may also wish to "Avoid" being rejected or uncomfortable. So activities such as making phone calls or dealing with conflict directly are avoided because our "Avoid" is stronger than our "Gain" motivation!

Skeptical, here is a scenario for you: A young upcoming salesperson has a family, great job and a home. He has a $300,000 home with a 30-year $250,000 mortgage @ 5% interest rate. This gives him a $1343.00 payment per month. This is easily within his income range and they live very comfortably.

Now, a competent friend informs him there is a way save almost $200,000 in interest cost! The real kicker is he can do it without changing his comfortable life style! In addition, he can pay off his 30-year mortgage in less than 10 years, and do it through his local bank.

As a third party looking in on this, understanding this is real and doable, you would most likely say do it! My God, its $200,000 in interest savings in your pocket!

So is our young upcoming salesperson a "Gainer" or an "Avoider"?

The scenario is real and I help a homeowner a week do this very thing in our local area. Here is the real surprise. Of 10 qualified people I talk to about this, 9 run with fear! Some do come back once they process the facts, but many do not.

Now we are talking about $200,000 of his money that he does not have to give the bank. You would think everyone would be stampeding to get this done!

The reality, only about 5% of the people I talk to are willing to step up to the plate. By the way, all clients are on track to 10 years or less for all debt, including home, to be paid off. Interesting note, 5% is the number of the wealthiest people in the world. Wonder if there is a correlation here.
( BusinessExpertWebinar 12-4 on the subject)

The point is, it is more comfortable to stay in a bad situation that cost us money, time and pride than to take a chance and lose what we have. It is uncomfortable to make big changes, especially if everyone else is doing it the conventional way.

We are comfortable in our misery! We go to it every day, complain about it, and look at others who have made changes only to justify our choice of avoidance.

Now we come to the goals from past years. Yes, they were good goals with a plan. Here is what happens. The actions needed require us to step out of our norm. We try it and realize how uncomfortable it feels. It can be downright scary sometimes. Soon we find ourselves doing other things that are more familiar and comfortable. The goals are still there, but I guess they will have to wait or just were not meant to be.

Our "Gain" for comfort and our "Avoidance" of pain have won out again!

So how do the successful people do it?

The obvious and logical answer is; they are always in "Pain" in some way. Yes, you would be right. The fact is most highly successful people are continually stretching what is uncomfortable for them until it becomes familiar and comfortable. But, by that time, they are already doing something else that is "Painful" and changing themselves once more. That is why their goals and plans work, they have broken the "Comfort Barrier" that holds so many back!

Highly successful people turn this around. Drawn by "Gain" of a different and better life style, not comfort; also driven by "Avoiding" the "Pain" that their current or past situation caused them. Is this different from most people you know? One of my clients uses "Eagles and Ducks" as the example of this difference in thinking. Eagles stretch and soar, ducks quack and get comfortable.

To summarize, simple be aware how you feel and what has more power next time you do something different that is uncomfortable. You'll quickly determine what your "Gain" and "Avoid" motivators are. Now change them and your goals will start coming realities! There will be more on how to change these motivators.

Meantime, I would recommend Dr. Kevin Hogan's book, The 168 Hour Week, Living Life Your Way 24/7. Yes, Ducks can become Eagles if they break the barrier.

To your success, it's your choice!
Harlan Goerger
© Harlan Goerger 11-2009
Reprint in entirety only

Author's Bio: 

Harlan Goerger has been working with companies, executives and sales staffs to increase performance and outcomes. With 30 years of training and consulting experience, he speaks from experience. The author of The Selling Gap, Selling Strategies for the 21st Century presents new concepts for salespeople to obtain different outcomes. He is president of H. Goerger & Associates and continuously is seeking new ideas that work. Web sites are