The 3 Traps That Kill Improvement & Ruin Your Life

If you’ve ever had a goal, perhaps you wanted to lose weight, you wanted to become more social, you wanted to make more money — first you made the goal, and then you started taking action on the goal. You saw improvements for a while, and then things stopped getting better. You hit a plateau. Why? There’s several possibilities.

Learning Technique

One possibility is that your learning technique only works to a certain point. If you have crippling social anxiety, planning what you’re going to talk about ahead of time can give you the confidence to chat with others. This is significantly better than sitting quietly — too afraid to talk to anyone.

Yet, planning your conversations is unnatural. Others will often feel awkward when talking with you because you’re effectively trying to control the other person’s responses and getting them to stick to your script. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with scripted conversations, you’ll only continue to see improvements in your social abilities by trying to have spontaneous unscripted conversations with others.

Another example is fitness. Walking is a great option to help overweight people lose excess fat and improve their cardiovascular health. Walking everyday might produce improvements in your physique for a month, you may even see improvements for a year. Yet, eventually, you will plateau.

30 minutes of walking isn’t going to help Lebron James or Cristiano Ronaldo get in better shape. At some point, you’ll have to adjust your exercise regime to continue seeing improvements. You’ll have to start walking further, running, doing yoga, or incorporating resistance exercises to reach a higher level of fitness.

Mental Barriers

Another thing that could stop you from improving is mental barriers. Consider a high school teacher’s income. A high school teacher can only increase their $50,000/year income in a few ways. They could work more hours, they could earn additional qualifications such as a master’s degree, or they could improve school test scores, perhaps earning a small bonus in the process.

Unfortunately, even doing all of these things won’t be enough for most teachers to earn a six-figure income. Yet, earning a six-figure income is possible as a teacher, it simply requires greater creativity.

An English teacher could create a membership website with regularly uploaded video content designed to help foreign students improve their English abilities so that they’d be able to pass the IELTS or TOEIC tests and be able to study abroad. They could then charge $19/month for access to that content. A few hundred active subscriptions per month would be enough for that teacher to double their income, thus reaching six figures.

Another idea, is that art teachers could host webinars teaching others how to paint. During the webinar, the art teacher could occasionally promote the ebook they’ve written about how to become a great artist. The art teacher could also upsell their services as an artist at the end of the webinar, and offer to help others create custom art for their home or workplace.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless with a little creativity and hustle.

Genetic Potential

Reaching their genetic potential is an excuse people often use for why they can’t get better at something. I’m not fat, I’m just big-boned. I don’t have the logical mind to be a lawyer or computer programmer. Being realistic, people do have genetic limits. Clearly, someone that’s a five foot four (1.625m) ectomorph isn’t going to be an NFL lineman.

The problem, however, is that most people underestimate their genetical potential. Yet, by refusing to work hard and chase your genetic potential, you’ll never know what your genetic potential actually was.

Instead of being overly focused on your genetic potential, evaluate your learning techniques, mental frameworks, reaffirm you’re capable of reaching the next level, and be willing to put in the work to do so. After that — hustle.