Since ancient times, we’ve been fascinated with the seven deadly sins that lead people astray. Gluttony, greed, and lust (among others) have certainly been the downfall of many. But lurking in the shadows lie traps just as sinister. While less overtly treacherous, these sins befall most of us at various times in our lives. They may not bring us to the ground, but they lead us to the dark place of mediocrity. Instead of succumbing, we can rise above to the rarified air of champions. Let’s keep these seven foul sins at bay:
1. Settling. When your dreams feel out of reach, you may be lured into settling. Yet the best of the best never do. Instead of settling, push yourself and those around you to reach far beyond what’s merely acceptable. Don’t stop pushing until your calling has been fulfilled.
2. Pragmatism. Nearly all breakthroughs were first perceived to be impossible. Too often, we succumb to imaginary limits that hogtie our greatness. Look beyond the logical approach, shatter conventional wisdom, and discover the unorthodox approach.
3. Complacency. When the perceived risk of trying something new trumps the often-overlooked risk of standing still, the sin of complacency takes hold. Instead of resisting change, resist standing still with the same sense of unease to fight through this gripping trap.
4. Wavering. Too often, our commitments are softer than crushed velvet. Hopes and wants don’t deliver results; only firm commitments followed by tenacity, grit, and unwavering determination do the trick. No follow through plus no accountability equals no success. Period.
5. Timidity.Halfhearted resolve, endless disclaimers, and low-calorie promises fail to move people to action, including yourself. As the Zen proverb states, “Sit. Or Stand. But never wobble.”
6. Acceptance. Accepting the world as it is instead of shaping it to one’s vision has been the hallmark of unfulfilled potential. Instead, look past they way things are in favor of what they can be. Realists don’t make history.
7. Fear. The granddaddy of all sins, fear’s gripping fist has been the primary pitfall for far too many. Coming in many flavors (fear of failure, change, embarrassment, success, etc.), this false idol wreaks havoc on our ability to soar. Fear only exists if you let it. Look this monster in the eye and it will melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Keeping these traps top of mind will allow you navigate a course better suited for greatness. Know them, avoid them, and conquer them. Flip these seven sins upside down by perusing the polar opposite of each, and you’ll have a clear roadmap to seizing your full potential.
Anything less would simply be sinful.