When I wrote Finding Me Again: A Journey to an Authentic Life[1],I asked 50 people that I knew what fulfillment meant to them. I got some really incredible answers. A few made it past my editor and actually were included in Chapter 8 What is Fulfillment. One of the threads interwoven in every description of fulfillment I received was that of purpose. Those that were most fulfilled were devoted and passionate about their purpose.

To me, fulfillment is found in a meaningful life that is richly connected and aware. Fulfillment is saying “yes” to all that you are, and then connecting with the ones who bring out your brilliance; those few (and you only need a few) who say “yes” to all of you. But there are many easy ways to decrease and even destroy the fulfillment and satisfaction in your life. How do you avoid these traps and roadblocks? It’s by knowing what they are and making every effort to not get trapped by them.

Fulfillment is saying “yes” to all that you are, and then connecting with the ones who bring out your brilliance; those few (and you only need a few) who say “yes” to all of you.

So, what blocks you from having more fulfillment in your life? As I work with clients in my coaching and counseling practice, I find three strong inhibitors to experiencing fulfillment. In 2014 – keep an eye out and run the other way when you come across any one of these.

Top 31.    Listen to whiners

Don’t you just hate listening to people whine? It’s important to verbalize your feelings and disappointment, but that’s very different from whining and complaining. Complaining is like the man who finds a 5-dollar bill and complains it wasn’t a 20-dollar bill. The wheel of complaining never comes to a stop – no end and no beginning, a constant drone. What does listening to constant complaining do to you? For me, it feels like my energy is drained from my body as I hear the same old stories of woe.

Did you know that neuroscientists have proven that exposure to negativity and complaining actually impairs brain function? Exposure to 30 minutes or more of whining and negativity peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. (The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for problem solving.) “Basically, it turns your brain to mush.”[2]

If you find yourself in the presence of a constant whiner – find a way out, excuse yourself and figure out what is your next move to avoid being the target of the complainer.

 

2.    Stay asleep

So many people are asleep and unaware about themselves and life. They walk through life in an oblivious state, never noticing what’s happening in their life and in the lives of those around them.  In 2014, give the gift that never ceases – choose to be “intentional” in all that you do. Become “intentional” – wake up and pay attention to YOUR life, YOUR relationships, and YOUR passions. This act will alter your life in ways that you never thought possible.

And….

3.    Avoid taking a risk

Without risk, there can’t be life. Truly, I believe that one can’t achieve their dreams by playing it safe, but I also believe in doing your homework. The world outside of the comfort zone can be a scary place, so know what you’re getting into. Don’t let what’s scary stop you. Do your research and ask a few questions, these can raise your success level by leaps and bounds. Then go ahead – step out, and see what new opportunities await you.

In 2014, do you want to experience more fulfillment in your life? To pursue what you’re passionate about, leave your comfort zone and achieve your dreams. Ultimately, don’t get trapped by the three deterrents, and you’ll watch your life soar with purpose and passion in 2014.

[1] Nancy S. Kay. Finding Me Again: A Journey to an Authentic Life.

[2] Trevor Blake. Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life.

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