I wish I could list the blocks to success in order of importance so you could work on the most impactful ones first. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The factors that bring about success come as a package; everything works together. The more developed these attributes are, the more you’ll practice them, and the more easily you’ll create success in your life.
The framework for success is complex, made of many integrated pieces. It’s made up of our beliefs and habits that we have learned and carried with us. These in turn create our thought patterns, which then direct the actions we take or don’t take. Each builds on the other, determining our results — successful or unsuccessful. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- Self-Image: The core of the success framework is your self-image. It is well documented that we will never outperform our self-image, as this is what determines the expectations we set for ourselves. Our self-image was installed when we were young children, before we developed the ability to reject ideas. The great news is that we absolutely can change our self-image, and therefore change our ability to perform. Doing this is fairly simple, but it requires repetition of these new beliefs through a structured process of application. For example, you can start by making a list of all of the things you have accomplished, or by starting a practice of writing down five wins you have each day. This will help project you into a more positive mindset and self-image.
- No Vision: Success requires a very well-defined, well-calibrated vision. Having no vision, or a cloudy one, will likely take you down an unsuccessful path — and if you do happen to stumble upon success, you may not even recognize it. Without a vision, success will not be sustainable.
- Indecisiveness: This block to success is actually one of the easiest to overcome. Most of us were not taught the process of decision-making growing up, yet once you have a clear vision, decision-making is a natural next step. When you have defined what you want, then it will be clear what moves you in that direction and what does not. If it does, then you make a decision for it. If it does not, then you make a decision against it. Choose something you are having a challenge making a decision about and write out your vision for what will happen if it all works out. Then you can clearly see your options and if they sync up with your vision.
- Fear: This can stop us in our tracks on the road to success. We often interpret fear as a sign to take a different route or retreat, but this fear is misunderstood. Fear is natural and will always appear when we are moving away from what we have known toward something we desire. We have all been taught from an early age that it is better to be safe than sorry, yet when it comes to success, playing it safe is not better. Playing it safe will keep you right where you are in your present circumstances. It may be safe, yet you will most likely be sorry that you did not discover what you were truly meant to be, do, and have.
- Response to Failure: How we perceive and respond to failure is closely tied to our self-image. If we lack the belief in our ability to succeed and we experience failure, we may feel that the failure means it’s over. You may perceive failure as a message that you were on the wrong path. But failure is a vital part of success. The truth is there is no failure, because every misstep produces growth or learning.
- Resentment: This has four components that individually (and collectively) are certain to block success. They are the state of not being able to forgive, not being grateful in all matters, envying others, and imitating others. These four states, along with fear, doubt, and worry, stop us from being a match with success.
- The Lone Ranger Syndrome: So often we think we can — or need — to do it all ourselves. This is particularly true with women that feel they must prove themselves. Truth be known, no one does it alone. No one can do it for us, but we were not meant to do anything alone. If you read the bios of all great achievers, they always credit the support they have had along the way. The Lone Ranger Syndrome is one thing you must give up to attain success.
While it may seem overwhelming to have to overcome each of these obstacles to clear the path to success, you just need to keep in mind that you have what it takes. By building a strong network around you and keeping your eye on what you want to achieve, you can make it happen.
Tracy Williams is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.