Would you like to learn a way to greatly increase your chance of success in life and business? I’ve found in my experience in working with clients, that there are certain obstacles that prevent success. Learn to bypass these obstacles, and you exponentially increase the likelihood that you will be successful in your endeavors.

By obstacles, I’m talking about specific personality traits that keep people stuck. Keep reading to find out if you exhibit any of these obstacles that prevent success. I will also show you how to bypass these obstacles and claim the success you deserve!

Of all the obstacles that prevent success, low self-esteem is #1

Of all the obstacles that prevent success, low self-esteem is most damaging. The effects of self-image problems manifest themselves  in two ways. On the one hand, you might not even try to achieve certain goals because you don’t think you can do it. Second, you might be compelled to set unreasonable goals in a subconscious attempt to overcompensate for your (perceived) shortcomings.

You only achieve what you can believe

Not believing in yourself is a surefire way to create self-imposed boundaries. There are many stories of salesmen/women who always earn the same income regardless of the territory, customers, and time spent working.

There are many stories of salesmen/women who always earn the same income regardless of the territory, customers, and time spent working. Why does this happen? It’s because their self-image prevents them from earning more.

Why does this happen? It’s because their self-image prevents them from earning more. Before you can achieve any goal, you need to see yourself as someone who is capable of achieving it. If you see yourself as a $30K per year man/woman, that’s exactly what you will earn and not a penny more.

Setting unreasonable goals is a byproduct of low self-esteem

In my practice as a hypnosis professional, I have noticed that besides self-esteem, the most common reason why people don’t succeed with goals is because the goals aren’t reasonable and realistic. People with low self-esteem try to prove their worth with their accomplishments. However, doing so is futile because no amount of accomplishment will heal your poor self-image.

I like to use the 20% rule. I never work with a client on a goal that represents more than a 20% increase from where they are now. I know what you’re going to say, that I’m limiting my clients’ success and so forth. But, actually I’m doing them a service. By chunking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable goals, you drastically increase your chances of success. There’s nothing wrong with setting big goals, but make sure you’re tackling an appropriately sized chunk.

Above all, don’t let self-esteem be one of your obstacles that prevent success.

Obstacle #2 – feeling depressed

People who are depressed are at a serious disadvantage. Depression is often caused by habitually saying negative things to yourself. According to Susan Stageman, my NLP instructor, the best way to become depressed is to walk around all day telling yourself I’m depressed.

Your degree of resourcefulness, and ultimate success comes from your ability to think from a positive mindset. That’s why depressed feelings are one of the obstacles that prevent success.

Your degree of resourcefulness, and ultimate success comes from your ability to think from a positive mindset. That’s why depressed feelings are one of the obstacles that prevent success. If you feel depressed, start working on improving your self-talk. Of course, for serious clinical depression, working with a qualified mental health worker is a must.

Depression is also caused by a lack of worthwhile goals

According to Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psycho-Cybernetics, depression often results from a lack of worthwhile goals. Humans are hardwired to set and achieve goals. Just like a bicycle can’t remain upright and balanced unless it is moving forward, a person cannot remain balanced unless they are moving towards a meaningful goal.

This explains why many people die shortly after retirement. They no longer have anything meaningful to work towards and so the body deteriorates rapidly. For anyone who is depressed, taking another look at your goals is a great step towards getting back to being yourself.

Obstacle #3 – Guilt

If you’re harboring feelings of guilt, it’s probably because you didn’t meet a specific, (usually self-imposed) performance standard. It might be time to re-examine your personal standards. Are they reasonable and realistic? Would you impose those standards on anyone else? Make sure you’re working with self-defined, reasonable, and realistic standards.

Another reason for guilt is that you didn’t do something that you thought you “should.” Not everything you  think you “should” do is applicable in your life. Your “shoulds” can become one of the obstacles that prevent success.

Every time you tell yourself you “should” do something, ask yourself “what would happen if I didn’t?” Would the consequence be earth-shattering? In most cases, it wouldn’t.

Every time you tell yourself you “should” do something, ask yourself “what would happen if I didn’t?” Would the consequence be earth-shattering? In most cases, it wouldn’t.

Revising your list of “shoulds” will help free you from the tyranny of guilt-feelings, freeing up more of your positive mental resources.

Obstacle #4 – Being a dilettante

It’s easy to see why a lack of self-mastery would be one of the obstacles that prevent success. Many people have told me that they know what they should be doing, but it’s hard to motivate themselves to actually do it. You ultimately have to realize that you are your own manager whether you work for someone else or not.

How to develop self-discipline

People who lack self-discipline will never be successful because they don’t manage themselves well enough to sustain a successful effort. Successfully managing yourself involves directing your time, money, and resources towards what you want to achieve. It’s doing what you need to do when you need to do it.

Usually, lack of self-discipline results from not being clear enough on your goals and values.

Usually, lack of self-discipline results from not being clear enough on your goals and values. What exactly do you want? How does achieving this goal express your values? How does it express your overall life purpose? If you have trouble answering these questions, self-discipline is going to be hard to come by. Identify what you want and why you want it and self-discipline will come naturally.

Don’t be a system hopper

Have you ever known anyone who never really committed to anything? They just hopped from system to system, just following the latest fads. Such people are rampant in the field of self-development.

In his book No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs, Dan Kennedy talks about giving a speech after which an enthusiastic audience member approached him. This person told Kennedy how excited he was to purchase and read his book. Several days later, this same gentleman called Kennedy at his office and asked for a refund. Apparently, he had gone home and realized that he had already purchased his book the year before. It was still in the shrink wrap because he never read it!

It’s good to seek new knowledge, but also remember to execute on it. Constantly changing your approach based on the latest fads is one of the major obstacles that prevent success.

Obstacle #5 – Being a sanctimonious know-it-all

Being a know-it-all is probably one of the easiest to identify of the obstacles that prevent success. A former co-worker of mine once proudly proclaimed that she didn’t have any problems. I asked her if she thought that it was a problem that she thought that she didn’t have any problems. After much reflection, her reply was – It might be.

People who claim to have spent the most time on personal development are often the ones who need the most help. In other words, they don’t know what they don’t know.

It seems as though the people who need help the most are the last to admit it. I have certainly found that to be the case in my business. People who claim to have spent the most time on personal development are often the ones who need the most help. In other words, they don’t know what they don’t know.

Cultivating a lifelong attitude of learning and curiosity is vital for success.

Obstacle #6 – Victims and blamers

Some people are perpetual victims. It’s always someone else’s fault. In their minds, something is always being done to them. It’s even worse when someone holds “victim” beliefs at the identity level. These types  play the “victim” role perfectly. It is as if they are an actress, playing the role on stage, and doing so perfectly. Victims will never get what they want because they don’t take responsibility for their lives.

Unfortunately, being a victim is so popular that it’s almost encouraged in popular culture. The only solution to victim-hood is to take responsibility for your life and hold yourself accountable for your actions.

Obstacle #7 – Complainers

Complaining is a habit more than anything else. While everyone complains from time to time, chronic complainers mentally reinforce their powerless position in life. Complaining about a condition in your life is a guaranteed way of getting nothing but more of the same.

Because your mental resources are focused on what you don’t want, you are driven to act in ways that perpetuate the very thing that you’re resisting. The best way to stop complaining is to become aware that you’re doing it. Don’t be a complainer. Instead, be the confident person that does something something about the situation.

Obstacle #8 – Commiserating

People who commiserate are like wolves. They are complainers in packs. When you commiserate, you are doing self-hypnosis on yourself in a powerfully negative way. This is because one of the ways new beliefs are most easily formed is when you are in the presence of your peer-group. As we all know, we essentially become our  closest friends. Drop out of the “ain’t it awful” club and join a group of friends who take responsibility for their lives.

Obstacle #9 – Negative Nellies

Some people view the world from a “glass is half empty” point of view. Not only is this pessimistic attitude bad for business, it’s bad for your health. Many studies have shown that optimistic people actually live longer. They’re also more successful. The greater success of optimistic people is attributable to the power of expectation. Generally speaking, you achieve what you expect. If you always think about and expect the worst outcomes, that’s what you’re always going to get.

One way to improve your optimism: Think about one thing you’re looking forward to the next day as you go to sleep. Imagine how much you will enjoy it! Get into the habit of building positive expectation for the events in your life. Things won’t always go as smoothly as you would like. But, you will still be happier and more successful as an optimist.

Obstacle #10 – Making excuses

Some people’s minds assemble excuses in such abundance that Henry Ford himself would be proud. For these people, there’s an excuse for everything. There’s not enough time, money, education, equipment, etc. to get the job done.

The slightest thing sidetracks these types from taking action. Even going out of town for a few days completely sidetracks their goals. Basically, these types of people have already decided that they won’t be successful. They’re just looking for a way to explain their lack of success so that they don’t feel bad about it.

Obstacle #11 – Closed-mindedness

Have you ever known anyone who based their life on their horoscope or what their latest phychic reading said? I think you will probably agree that giving away your power in such a way is the ultimate abdication of responsibility. Equally problematic, however, are the people who are pride themselves on thinking logically. Anything they don’t understand is cast away as rubbish.

If you want to be successful, you will consider anything and everything that has the potential to help you advance.

If you want to be successful, you will consider anything and everything that has the potential to help you advance. People are often resistant to hire a mindset coach because they think they already have the right mindset. But, buried deep within the depths of the subconscious are insecurities and limiting thoughts. Just because you don’t know about your limiting ideas doesn’t mean they’re not there, sabotaging your efforts. We all have subconscious blind spots.

Many people would never consider things like meditation, mindfulness, and hypnosis as being able to improve their lives. However, the truly successful person does not reject something just because its shapeless or formless. The successful person educates himself on anything and everything that could help him improve.

Obstacle #12 – Laziness

Just watch late night TV and you will find countless examples of “systems” that purport to help you achieve financial independence with little to no effort. The allure of easy money may always be a human flaw. The same goes for personal development “systems.” Are there best practices for doing things? Yes. Is there one system or tip that allows you to bypass all the hard work? Of course not.

In my article about using the law of attraction, I talk about how the law of attraction is simply an excuse for some people to perpetuate their laziness. Most people don’t have the patience nor the commitment to achieve their dreams. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can achieve anything worthwhile without putting in hard work.

If you’re not feeling motivated, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you haven’t properly clarified your goals and values.

If you’re not feeling motivated, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you haven’t properly clarified your goals and values. You might also want to explore working with a mindset coach to make sure there’s nothing in your belief system creating self-sabotage at the subconscious level. Clearly define what you want. Make sure it expresses your most important values. Remember that nothing will happen until you start doing the work.

Obstacle #13 – Skepticism/gullibility

I put skeptics and gullible types in the same category because it’s two sides of the same coin. The personality trait of skepticism is just as problematic as gullibility. The gullible person has no filter when it comes to accepting ideas. The skeptic has a filter, but it’s so narrow that it’s limiting. It’s not too hard to see how these extreme personality traits can keep a person stuck. Be aware of your tendencies toward either extreme and you should be fine.

There you have it, 13 obstacles that prevent success. If you noticed any of these obstacles within yourself, don’t worry. The important thing is to notice them, then take steps to correct them. The quicker you do so, the more easily you will achieve your goals. If you liked this article, please share it with the person in your life who needs it most!

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