The first step in how to overcome barriers to success is to identify what is a barrier to success? What is it that stops you achieving what you want?
One of the main barriers to success is fear. In fact the way you handle the fear that you will inevitably feel when stepping out of your comfort zone, pushing out your boundaries, starting new projects, developing will shape the level of your success or lack of it. Many people are put off in the initial stages through a fear of the unknown. For example, not taking a job offer or promotion because it means living in a different part of the country or another country. To ensure success you will need to move out of your comfort zone into the stretch zone and this will involve some emotional challenges. Most people feel some level of fear when starting a new opportunity so it is about learning to manage that fear and use it to your advantage.
Do not want to do what it takes. This is where you want success but are just not prepared to take action. This can be linked to fear or lack of self belief and confidence. It may also mean that the goal you have set is not compelling enough. You have a lack of motivation as the incentive to achieve is not big enough. Your reason why or the what is in it for me is not enough to make you really want to do what it takes. This can lead to an attitude of not understanding why you should take action particularly where the goal is set by someone else e.g. in workplace. Many people give up at the first hurdle and fail to persist in the activity. Often if they had just kept going success was just around the corner waiting patiently for them.
Any form of resistance to action will limit your success. If you are faced with unwanted challenges you may not want to take action and instead focus on how unfair life is and stick your head in the sand hoping that the problem will go away. A lack of flexibility in your approach and not being prepared to change direction when the evidence points to different action. Stubbornly sticking to a course of action. Doing what you have always done and so getting what you have always got.
Lack of certainty about your direction can lead to internal self doubt and uncertainty resulting in poor decisions and mediocre outcomes. A lack of understanding as to what you need to do and fear of asking anyone for help. You could be unclear about the outcome you are hoping to achieve, a lack of clarity about the end and what that will be like. If you do not know what you are aiming for how will you know when you have got there? Also a lack of information and research at the outset will affect the outcome.
A lack of self belief and confidence in your ability to succeed will of course affect the outcome and how quickly you achieve it. Negative self talk and feelings of inadequacy are not a resourceful state to be in. You place limits on yourself and make things harder by having beliefs about your ability that are anything less than positive. A closed mind, pessimistic or negative attitude will lead to missed opportunities and a lack of success. On the flip side of this you can also set yourself up to fail with unrealistic goals and expectations, setting the bar too high. Thinking that you can do more than you are actually capable of.
Believing that you can do everything yourself and then not asking for help when you need it. There are limits to what one person can achieve and if you want success you normally need help from other people. If you do not have a team or network of people to turn to you could end up feeling alone and a lack of support. Equally if you have too much going on at once so you end up with a lack of focus. You are keeping too many plates spinning at once instead of focusing on the priority. Going to too many meetings without a clear aim of what you want to achieve
Making assumptions about a situation by allowing first impressions and your own personal prejudices to affect your decision making. If the first impression or prejudice is totally incorrect you could end up looking foolish and also miss opportunities through dismissing either the person or situation without finding out the truth or reality. A lack of understanding of a person or situation can lead to poor relationships and a break down in communication.
If your working environment is not conducive to effective performance with too many distractions, insufficient resources or poor quality equipment and a lack of relevant skills will limit your success. A lack of honesty with yourself and others too will affect your decision making and results.
These are my experiences of why people are less than successful. In the next article I will cover solutions to the barriers.