I awoke this morning to hundreds of emails that went out to my contact list, all unbeknownst to me. The subject line read, 'Important Documents' and the body of the email read: 'Hello, I've shared a document with you and it's not an attachment -- it's stored online.'
The email then proceeds to tell my contacts how to open the email to view it. What made me even more upset was that the footer of my email has my signature along with the link to my website. Can you imagine the horrific look on my face? I went into a frenzy, as I have hundreds of people who I connect with via email for business matters. I immediately started putting in security measures to secure my account.
This anonymous person hacked my account and was interfering with my credibility. As I worked quickly to protect my account, I thought about the millions of people whose accounts get hacked and how many of them do just as I was doing.
My email hacker made me reflect about hackers who try to hack into others' success. I call them Success Hackers. Success Hackers come in all shapes and sizes. They are individuals who downplay your hopes and dreams. They use words to make others feel less than who they are to build themselves up.
Success Hackers tell you every reason why you will fail and they are the people who try to withhold resources you may need. Success Hackers like fear, procrastination and self-doubt can wreak havoc in your life. The most deceptive Success Hacker is fear. It holds you back from being your best self and plays negative words in your mind like a tape recorder.
What if you made a decision today to protect yourself from Success Hackers the same way you protect your computer, bank accounts or email? What if you strategically transformed your mind to place a security code that would block Success Hackers from getting in?
Success Hackers can only get as far as you allow them. Check out four ways to protect yourself:
1. Know Yourself. The ever-so-funny Pee-Wee Herman use to say "I know you are but what am I?" every time someone told him something that contradicted who he believed he was. You must believe in yourself and your capabilities, if you do not, it will leave the door open for other people to define you.
2. Tell yourself positive affirmations every day. Anytime a negative thought comes to my mind, I am able to counter it with an affirmation. For example, before I do a speaking engagement, I pump myself up by saying "You can do this, you will do this," and " Nothing is Impossible for you."
3. Occupy your brain space with good food. Read books that are inspiring and geared towards propelling you forward. One of my favorite books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, has so many life lessons; I never get tired of reading it.
4. Time Management. Managing your time wisely will help alleviate becoming overwhelmed. Get a calendar and start jotting down the things you need to do. Be honest and realistic about what you can do in the timeframe you have to do it. And remember, procrastination is a dream stealer. There is always someone waiting to do what you do. Don't put things off until later, handle what needs to get done now.
As long as we have computers we will have hackers and as long as people have hopes and dreams there will be success hackers. Will you allow that to keep you from moving forward? I reckon not. And as the actress Sofia Vergara once said, "I'm fearless, I don't complain. Even when horrible things happen to me, I go on." Don't let Success Hackers hold you back. Go on.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.