There are many barriers to success, but these are the most prominent.
1. Alcohol, Drug, & Tobacco Abuse
If you’re drinking or using drugs to any degree where your physical or mental performance is reduced, then this behavior is blocking your success. It doesn’t matter if you have a mild or severe hangover. A hangover is a withdrawal and it takes about 3 to 7 days before you’re back to 100 percent.
With tobacco, you are constantly in a state of withdrawal between smokes, albeit to a lesser degree unless you are trying to quit. Once you hit the 24-hour mark, some of the symptoms are similar to alcohol and drug withdrawal.
Alcohol, drugs, and nicotine alters your brain chemistry. That’s why you can’t think clearly for several days after consuming, using, or quitting. It’s also why you have headaches, anxiety, depression, confusion, and worse if you’ve been a heavy user.
I do not agree with the popular notion that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease that requires you to spend a lifetime in recovery. The majority of people who quit using alcohol, drugs, and nicotine successfully do it without entering into a treatment program or joining a group like AA. This is not to say that they do not learn as much as they can about the topic, however. There are several excellent books here (under the category “Addiction Cures”) that offer cutting-edge techniques that can make quitting easier.
The objectives and support mechanisms at AA are highly commendable. I just feel that several of their core beliefs and techniques are invalid or obsolete. Bloodletting was the most popular cure for disease for almost 2,000 years. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it was harmful to patients. Fortunately, we eventually discovered methods that truly cure.
There are circumstances when a person who has been an extremely heavy user of alcohol or drugs should enter a detox program. Due to the potential for dangerous withdrawal symptoms after long-term heavy use, entering a medically supervised program is advisable.
There are several facts about treatment programs that make me leery of them. 1.) Most treatment programs align themselves with AA philosophies and practices. 2.) Their rate of success is low. 3.) Many patients return more than once, some many times. 4.) Most of them are guided by profits. 5.) Many treatment program companies spend a lot of money “selling the need” for their services through advertising.
There are a rare few who go through a treatment program, get a lot out of it, and never drink or use again. Two such people are Elton John and Samuel L. Jackson.
2. Allowing Fear to Paralyze You
If fear is stopping you from taking the necessary actions you need to reach your goals then it is a barrier to success. The most exciting and exhilarating solution is simply this: Walk toward and through your fear. Once you do, then you get the courage!
The biggest obstacle for most people in conquering fear is the belief that they can summons courage intellectually prior to the event. It works in just the opposite way. You must first face your fear and then you get the courage that will carry you in the future in that particular area. So courage is not the absence of fear, courage is going ahead anyway even though you are afraid.
I didn’t intend to include book recommendations in this article, but as I reach the end of each section a book pops into my head that provides a solution. For this issue, I recommend this book. “Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway“ by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
3. Failure to Set Goals
If you are not setting goals, you are not committing yourself to accomplish anything. The very act of not committing yourself to goals is a barrier to success.
How can you expect to achieve your dreams if you don’t clearly define what they are and how you’re going to get there?
If you are not setting goals, you’re probably afraid you won’t succeed so you avoid committing. What if you commit to a mindset of succeeding! Forget about all the work and obstacles. You’ll figure everything out along the way. You always have in the past, haven’t you? If fear is holding you back walk toward and through it as discussed in the prior section. There are many excellent books on goal setting. Here’s a book that covers goal setting and much more. “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be“ by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer
4. Holding on to Past Failures and Resentments
How can you expect to stay motivated and maintain a positive attitude if you’re constantly replaying your past failures and resentments in your mind? Doesn’t it make sense that if you continually replay these negative events in your mind you’ll be attracted to them? According to the Law of Attraction, this is guaranteed.
If you are holding on to past failures and resentments of how others have hurt you these memories are holding you back from success. No doubt about it!
Think back in your life when you held negative thoughts in your mind of something bad that happened to you in the past. How many times did it eventually happen again and you said to yourself or others, “I knew this would happen!” You recreated it with your thoughts.
Holding on to memories of past failures and resentments does not serve you in any way whatsoever! Let them go and focus your mind and energies on what you want! Then you’ll get the inspiration you need to accomplish what you desire. You’ll also take advantage of the Law of Attraction.
5. Failure to Keep Your Thoughts on What You Want
If you are not keeping your mind focused on what you want then you are probably allowing your thoughts to drift toward what you do not want. Usually, this means that you are focused on your list of so-called worries. The insanity of this is that 99 percent of our worries never come true. What a waste of energy!
Can you imagine the power you’d have if you were able to maintain your focus on the things you want? This activity would feed a stream of information on what you want to your subconscious. Your subconscious, which represents the majority of your mental capacity, would then be constantly working to help you achieve your goals. If you are feeding your subconscious a stream of information that is reflective of your worries, it will help you bring about those outcomes as well.
The most powerful aspect of keeping your thoughts on what you want is in how it uses the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction states that whatever you think about you bring about. To learn more about the Law of Attraction, I recommend getting a copy of “The Secret,” by Ronda Byrne. It comes in various formats including movie online, movie DVD, audio CD, and printed. The movie versions are the easiest and most effective way to learn “The Secret.”
The Law of Attraction is an easy concept to test. Think back in your life when you constantly thought about something you wanted and then it became a reality. This would need to be a dream that you imagined in detail so that there would be no ambiguity about its authenticity. Do you have one? This is how the Law of Attraction works! It’s really that simple, yet incredibly powerful. The teachers in “The Secret” do an excellent job of describing how the Law of Attraction works.
Ask any highly successful person about their thought patterns. They will all tell you the same thing. They will say things like, “I am an eternal optimist. I maintain a positive outlook. I only think about what I want and avoid thoughts about what I do not want.” Many of them don’t realize that they are using the Law of Attraction, but they are. Perhaps they picked up this incredibly valuable teaching from the myriad of other well-known but often overlooked sources, as explained in “The Secret.”
I’ve conducted informal interviews with many highly successful people over the years and their most obvious common attribute is their ability to maintain a positive outlook. And they do so regardless of how difficult their circumstances become.
Once you’ve overcome these barriers to success, every other area of your life will improve. This includes your relationships, your health and fitness, your career, your finances, and, of course, your happiness.
These barriers to success are like the locked doors of a self-created prison. Until you come to the realization that they are just imaginary locked doors, they will keep you powerless from getting what you want from life.
The door to your self-created prison can be unlocked merely by your decision to ignore your fear, open the door, and walk out!