AVOID THIS! – Tripping Points in Community Building

In the years that I’ve worked alongside and mentored with Orrin Woodward and the other LIFE founders, I’ve learned a lot about being a leader in the field of community building. Working with people and building communities is exciting – especially when you have a great tool like the Mental Fitness Challenge – and I love the many opportunities I have to sit down with others along this journey and share things I’ve learned along the way.

One thing I’ve come to realize is that there are many tripping points that a community builder has to watch out for. Even in one of the most exciting and fast growing industries, it doesn’t take much to get off track. So here are a few things I’ve picked up that a community builder should be on the lookout for.
Tripping Hazard

Lack of A Dream

(or of belief in it)

The number one thing that holds most people back is not having a dream. You have to get a clear image in your mind’s eye about what success means to you. I’m not talking about having tons of money, five cars, and a huge house somewhere expensive. I’m talking about the life that you truly want to live. How would you feel if you already had all of that? What would you want then? The answer to those questions will help to reveal your passion and dream for your life.

Negative Expectations

We’ve been conditioned to talk negatively to ourselves all day long. Some people just don’t believe in affirmations, and even go around telling themselves that they aren’t good enough, can’t accomplish anything, and that nothing is really worth doing anyway.

Try saying those things to yourself right now and see how you feel. Negative expectations drag you down, but positive expectations will make good things happen. After all, you don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there…. and not knowing how to swim!!

Negative Beliefs

Negative expectations quickly lead into negative beliefs – and this is a universal problem. An even bigger issue is that most people like their negative beliefs, because they have benefits, they feel familiar and many people think they are “realistic”. These people haven’t realized that letting go of these negative beliefs is the only real way to move ahead. By continuing to accept the negative, many with great potential will find themselves trapped for years!

Everyone has their own set of negative beliefs. Figure out what yours are and start letting them go.

Waiting for Someone Else to Make It

There’s no one to wait on . You alone are responsible for not only the business success you have, but also how much you enjoy life right now. No one else can go after your goals for you. Develop an attitude that says:

“I will pursue and achieve my goals with or without my coach or mentor, my team, my spouse’s support, my friends, my family or anyone else.”

Of course, if all these folks support us it’s certainly easier! And I’m not saying we shouldn’t take advice and heed good counsel. But it’s time to stop hanging around waiting for someone else before we pursue our dreams.


It doesn’t matter how much you say it, your team will know your little character flaws, even if you don’t. Do you say things like, “I’m moving on. I will be on time. I’ll call you back.” but don’t follow through with it?

Watch out! That’s a character problem and it will hurt your community.

Being Comfortable

Familiarity holds everyone back. Feeling like you’re safe and comfortable is nice, but it ultimately keeps you stuck. It’s nowhere near as nice as when you take action, face your fears, and build a life that you truly desire. Being uncomfortable when you do something new is a part of the game and is really just a sign that you’re changing and making progress.

When ancient Greek armies traveled across the sea to do battle, the first thing they would do after landing was to burn the boats, leaving them stranded. With no way to make it home but victory, the resolve of the soldiers was solid.

If you have a goal, but are afraid to commit, force yourself into action by burning the ships that keep you comfortable where you are. Define and believe in your dream, get rid of negative expectations and the negative beliefs they inspire, pursue consistent character and go at it! Avoiding these tripping points will speed you along your way to successful community building.

Have you encountered these tripping points? What strategies have you used to avoid and overcome them?

God Bless, Tim Marks

86 thoughts on “AVOID THIS! – Tripping Points in Community Building”

  1. Great post, Tim! If each of us, including myself, would confidently go through this checklist and be honest with ourselves, we’d see an explosion of results in our business. It certainly is tough to face the brutal reality of where we fall short; harder still NOT to acknowledge our faults and continue to flounder.

  2. Great post
    I like coming to your blog. Always know I’m going to learn something or reminded of what I need to work on. Thanks

  3. Great post Tim. This blog post along with Marc Militello’s Captain Obvious CD are two great materials that can help you see what may be holding you back.

  4. Tim, thanks for your challenge!

    “I will pursue and achieve my goals with or without my coach or mentor, my team, my spouse’s support, my friends, my family or anyone else. Of course, if all these folks support us it’s certainly easier! And I’m not saying we shouldn’t take advice and heed good counsel. But it’s time to stop hanging around waiting for someone else before we pursue our dreams.”

    Significant impact in the lives of people will only happen when I am “proactive” (Rule #1 in Seven Habits …) and “begin with the end in mind” (Rule #2 in Seven Habits …). Like Claude Hamilton said “we can only fix what we take responsibility for”.

    Thanks for your leadership and the role you play with Team VIP – Phalanx.

  5. Hey Tim! I love this post and I have tripped up on all of these things. I find that the best way to keep me on track is the calls to Ron Held, who has been helping Jillian and I a lot! The CD’s and books through the life subscription help with my attitude as well.

    Thanks for these posts, I love reading them and find that the nuggets I learn can always be applied to help me with what I need to work on.

  6. Hey Tim awesome post as always. Your wisdom and experienced backed up by your results of continuous improvement are both inspirational and a bar set to push me out of my comfort zone (or familiar zone??).
    Thanks for blazing the trail, setting the example, and chasing your dreams with courageous resolve.
    The courageous Canadians have joined the battle with you!!!!

  7. Tim,

    Great timing on the this post. All of these apply to me at any given point in time of my journey. It is a battle and only the diligent and purposeful will overcome. Yes, I will learn to swim. 🙂

    –thank you

  8. I find the more cd’s i listen to in a
    day the more i am focused on my
    dream and the less negative crap goes
    On in my head.

  9. I have absolutely run into these goliaths, and many of them are big, but a big dream and a big prayer go a long way. Visualizing successes, while failures occur, is a mental shield against victimhood. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when in your story trails are merely speed bumps. Thanks Tim for modeling that, many more are following.

  10. Reminds me of D. Martyn LLoyd-Jones in Spiritual Depression, ” Don’t listen to yourself. Talk to yourself”. Important to hear and believe Truth and speak Truth to myself. Thanks for this post. I will be returning to it often.

  11. Tim, hey, I’m sure I’ve been tripped up by each of these points before…and I’m sure they will try to trip me again. I’ve found that reading helps tremendously and reaching out and asking questions of your coach and mentors is paramount (and I don’t do that enough).

    I believe in the power of affirmation statements. They work (when they are read consistently over time).

    And I love to write 15 min a night in a journal. It helps me with my self-talk and with goal-setting.
    I also think it gives me a great space to review and evaluate what I’ve learned via a book, a cd, or an experience that day.

  12. Thanks for posting this! Yes, I can identify with every single tripping point, some more than others. I always thought I was a pretty positive person until I met the leaders in my organization. By their awesome example and encouragement, I’m learning to expect only positive and to keep digging for gold.

  13. Thank you for this. I have been tripping. With the way you laid this all out with simplicity, I wont be tripping much longer. 🙂

  14. Thanks Tim, Many years I have listened to myself and hung around the negative side of groups. All that has changed in the last couple of years. Tuning in the positive, growing my faith, reading and listening to the information that has been offered, by you and the founders of LIFE. This definitely has moved me forward, not saying easy, but it does shut me up to hear and see the truth and find the positive.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  15. Thanks for the post Tim! Constantly being vigilant about my purpose is something I needed to be more consistant about doing. Dreaming is FREE. Now, it’s FAST & FUN with the Mental Fitness Challenge bringing my purpose into CLEAR FOCUS. Grace, Joy, Peace!

  16. Great post Tim! I find the tripping points are most dangerous when we get complacent. If the ball is always moving forward then these trip points are more like small road bumps but if we are stranded on the side of the road and not moving then the trip points look like landfills…stinky and hard to get through. Thanks for all your wisdom Tim!

  17. AWESOME Post Tim!! Wow it seems to be everyone is posting exactly what I need to hear!! Time to get out of my comfort zone and get out there and help as many people as I can Get the life they always wanted!! Thanks Tim!!

  18. Highly insightful & applicable, Mr. Tim – thank you, sir! This could very well read as a new chapter or chapter headings (?) in a new book 😉 God Bless you & your family!

  19. That was a fantastic blog, your words are always quick to get my thinking unstuck, thank you for making all the leadership and business building material that you have already made, it always helps me realize where I’m at, and when I need to change and grow, Tim Marks is the only speaker in the cd player. By the way I love your book, I can relate to a lot of the things you changed about yourself and it helps me realize how much I still need to grow, so thank you for making a tutorial on how to move that change along at a quicker pace.

  20. Great points and insight. I know that my struggles are for a reason. God wants me to learn and grow. I need to focus and keep moving forward. He will guide the way and will open doors of opportunity. Learn to enjoy the journey :o)

  21. I think everyone that is in leadership comes across these trip points. I’ve always found that listening to postivie CDs will quickly help me overcome those trip points. “Just push play” is what I always hear in my head when the negativity starts to creap in. I couldn’t have asked for better advice than that.

  22. Awesome Blog Tim!!! its this type of information that will keep people on track to great achievements!


  23. Thanks for the post Tim! A simple PDCA in community building, just what I needed. Thanks for all that you do!

  24. Thanks for this great article, Tim! I’m going to print it off and check myself against it weekly. When applied, this information has the power to keep me out of the ditches and moving forward!

  25. Tim, great post! Thanks for sharing about waiting on others….reminded me that others are climbing their own ladders and are always looking for a great example on how to get to that next rung. Thanks for being that example!

  26. Tim,
    Thank you for posting this! These are daily struggles, so great to see it all in one place. I’ll be printing this and posting it on my wall as a daily reminder. We’re so blessed to be following amazing leaders like you and Amy.

    God Bless You!

  27. Thanks for the great post Tim. Finding out what is holding you back is just the first step, taking action against these is the next. It’s great to have this list to refer to and to keep in front of me. Being willing to get uncomfortable is the way to move forward. Thanks for sharing you knowledge!

  28. Tim, you have really hit the nail on the head! Sometimes we don’t realize what we are tripping over until a wise PC lays it on the line! Thanks for always leading.

  29. Tim,

    Thank you, this is what I have been thinking and working on these topics..
    You have put a light on where I need to work on.

    thank you!!

  30. As Chris Mattis says, “You never get what you want out of life. You only get what you focus on.” Great job Tim for focusing on the life you always wanted to live!

  31. Good advice thank-you. I believe my Dream is lacking. I will be focusing energy and some positive thinking there. And it is so hard to strike a match to my comfy boats. CD’s & CD’s God Bless TIM.

  32. Thanks Tim for posting such a great blog. The LIFE leadership team is a prime example of a group of people set on a common vision of helping others live the life they always wanted. Your tips on Avoid this are a great reminder for anyone!

  33. Tim provides the truth tempered with wisdom AND experience! Not many true leaders have this full circle of leadership. Tims humbleness is his best asset that ties it all together.

  34. Fantastic blog! I recognize a few of these tripping points in myself. Now to PDCA and stop tripping. Thanks for your leadership!

  35. Thanks for an awesome post, Tim!! Really puts it into perspective and right away I noted my tripping points…time to jump over them! Thank you for being a great example to all! 🙂

  36. How many organizations or programs have a duplicatable and scalable system that ask you to work on yourself with the benefit that you lead people around you? How many ask you to work on integrity, character, courage, etc., AND supply a system to guide you along the way? How many mention the words sacrifice, honor, legacy? Not too many, I think.

  37. Wow, thanks for everything you do Tim.There’s so many little tripping points in our lives that the enemy uses. Thanks for helping me identify them!!!!

  38. Thanks Tim for your wisdom. One of the hardest things for me is dreaming but your post surely put some new perspectives on how not dreaming enough can become a tripping point. I appreciate the post and will Dream Big!

  39. Great stuff Tim! To avoid being comfortable, I often don’t upgrade little things like fixing a fender dent, or adding trim to a door, or getting new curtains (actually that’s an example from Orrin’s old CD). Not making my home and cars all perfect causes me to think bigger and not get comfortable with them.

  40. Tim, what an awesome post. I’m not sure it could have been summed up any better than that! Thanks so much for all your service as a battle tested leader!! So glad to be following someone like you! See you at the top!

  41. Great Post Tim. In answer to your question at the end of the post, I have found the best way to overcome a tripping point is to first do my part, the part I can control, and that is to be a good student in the system, constantly striving to grow and be the best I can be. I then lift everything else up to God for he is the one in control and knows what’s best for me and the timing of it.

  42. Thank you Tim for that post. I really need to be reminded that I need to stay on track and that dreaming is something that needs to be done as much as making calls or reading. Thank you so much for all you and the policy counsel do to help us be successful.

  43. Hello Tim,

    I do appreciate all the work you put into your blog, as well as the invaluable advice. I am having to revisit my dream, as I have gotten off track. Thanks for all that you and the policy council do for us.
    Much Regards,

  44. I continue to read this blog and pull out a different nugget to focus on each day. Thanks for your continued leadership.


  46. Thank you Tim, for always reminding us to not give up on our dreams,and staying focus, by the way I love your book! Very inspiring!!!

  47. Thank you for the great post. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we are not alone in this world or in our endeavors but that we also don’t need others to hold our hands to do great things.

  48. Tim,

    Negative Expectations and Negative Beliefs have been my two biggest barriers although I have experienced the others to various levels.

    Both negative expectations and beliefs had more to do with the lack of belief or confidence in myself than the opportunities surrounding me. To overcome these I did and continue to do several things; think positive, talk positive, expect positive, listen to positive people and Cd’s, read positive books and blogs (like yours), pray and mentor.

    Like Chris Brady says you cannot maintain. You can only grow or die so…….I chose to grow!

  49. Awesome post. Ive got it all, dream board and things I want(dreams and goals) and a dread Im running from. PDCA every week with my mentor and go out and try my best to get results EVERYDAY!!!

  50. That’s good stuff right there! Your Leadership is inspirational! I can’t thank you enough verbally; so I will continue to thank you by learning from your Leadership and paying it forward.

  51. Completely on point. Thanks Tim for these reminders to keep us charging forward in a positive direction in life.

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