Do you really want to know what is keeping your from success?
Because it’s not a lack of productivity apps or time management skills…
It’s not even those customers that aren’t calling you back, those friends who are not supportive or those colleagues that never seem to listen to you…
I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.
But it’s you!
1. You’re Not Clear On What Success Really Is
I’ve been interviewed for a popular magazine in the Netherlands when I was a student and it was all about what we wanted out of life after our studies. I’m caught on print that all I wanted was to have an amazing, well-paid job, a big house and a car to go with it. 6 Years later I find myself in a big fancy office filled with highly achieving consultants where I drove to in my big fancy car from my big fancy house being incredibly jealous of the guy who waters the plants because he’s obviously a lot more HAPPY with his life and work than I am.
Having a clear vision on what success is to you is a basic necessity; how else are you going to know that you’re heading in the right direction and if you indeed ARE successful?
But make sure your vision grows and evolves along with you in life.
2. You’re Not Listening To Your Gut
Us human beings are a fascinating bunch; instinctively we almost always know what’s right or wrong for us but we hardly ever listen to those instincts and do the wrong things anyway. The reasons for this could fill an entire library but the effect of it is that we waste our time and energy on things that are not in line with our core vision and are therefore keeping us from success.
Listening to your gut and acting on it demands you to be very brave. It means that you’ll have to say no to opportunities and people even when that puts you at risk of being unpopular or even not profitable in the short-term. But it’s authentic, and in the end, that’s the only way to success.
And not listening…that will keep you nice and safe in your comfort zone. You know, the place where you’ll very likely NOT achieve the things you want to.
3. Your Ambition Is In The Way
Who is your big hero, entrepreneurial or otherwise? Do you just look up to them and learn from them or do you want to be exactly like them?
There’s a big difference! It’s great to have people to look up to and learn from, especially in this day and age where so many inspirational stories are shared. We learn that we’re not alone in our struggles on the path to success and we learn how to recognize and not fall in to the pitfalls these people have.
But what if you want to be exactly like them? What if you’re not happy until you’ve achieved the same as they have?
Personally, I can’t seem to shake the ambition of being a combination of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Angelina Jolie and am not happy until I get the same recognition they get…
Yeah, that’s never gonna happen!
Not because I don’t deserve that recognition or am anything less than they are but simply because I’M NOT THEM.
But it does limit my behavior and level of courage at times…
We all have our own lives, paths and characters and can be extremely successful in our own rights, but we’re keeping ourselves small if we keep comparing ourselves to others.
4. You Can’t See What You’ve Already Achieved
At what point will you be able to look at yourself and your business and be happy with what you’ve achieved?
Most of us can’t. Most of us have this continuously lingering thought in the back of our heads that tells us that it (and we) are still ‘not good enough’…
It’s both the comparison of ourselves to others and an ancient imprint in our brain that compels us to always be something bigger and better than we are. It’s evolution and simply in our DNA.
But it’s not really useful is it? What’s the point of working this hard and actually achieving all this success but not enjoying it for what it is?
Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz wrote this beautiful post about his depression. He says that he feels guilty for the mistakes he’s made and that he has put his company at risk. But facts are that they’ve never been at any real risk, at least not more than any other business. Another fact is that pretty much everyone responding in the comments, including his colleagues, disagrees with him and tells him there’s no guilt necessary.
I think Rand is a superhero for sharing his story but it goes to show how deep these self-deprecating thoughts go even when someone clearly IS successful.
Sometimes…there’s nothing keeping us from success. Sometimes, we’re already there but just not able to see it.
Not sure if you’re holding yourself back in any way? Answer these questions:
– Do you really know what success looks like for YOU?
– Do you always listen to – and act on – your instincts?
– Does the awesomeness of [insert name] keep you from even trying?
– Could it be that you’re already there? Hint: listen to the people close to you!
Dreaming big, having huge ambitions and always aiming for growth and improvement are all essential for success and great characteristics for anyone that thinks of themselves as a personal leader.
But don’t let them become their own pitfalls.