Create your own path to success


When seasons change or we start a new year, it is good to take the time to look at ourselves and determine what we might change to better navigate each day and improve our overall well-being. Being aware of our choices and how we make them can make all the difference.

Personal barriers to success

According to Craig Harper, PhD, we all have “explanations, rationalizations, justifications” that “allegedly” prevent us from achieving our goals: creating our best life, body, career, business, relationship, or health. Examples include:

  • Lack of time
  • Bad luck, destiny, fate
  • The government
  • Lack of ability
  • Genetics
  • Ignorance
  • Lack of opportunity
  • Fast food companies
  • Lack of motivation
  • Other people

Harper, an author and motivational speaker, uses this list of what really stands between us and our goals:

  • Poor attitude: Attitude is the biggest determinant of the kind of result we produce in our world. Our attitude determines what we do, which determines what we create. Many people sabotage their ability with their poor attitudes.
  • Apathy: Some people just don’t want to do what it takes. Sadly, we are the short-cut society and the quick-fix generation. Unrealistically, results without effort are what many of us want.
  • Fear: A certain level of fear is normal and healthy. Being controlled by fear is not truly living.
  • Procrastination: For too many of us it’s always soon, never now. Our life is not a dress rehearsal for the real thing.
  • Poor planning: All the discipline, self-control and motivation won’t produce optimal results unless they’re attached to a practical plan.
  • Over-thinking: “analysis paralysis.”
  • Lack of discipline and self-control.
  • We don’t finish what we start.
  • We invest our emotional energy in the wrong place: jealousy, resentment, anger, greed, bitterness. We hold on to feelings that make us not like ourselves and are unproductive.
  • Poor communication: This is one of life’s most important skills. We have to create connection, rapport and mutual understanding with others to elicit support for our goal.
  • Lack of clarity: We know we want success, we just don’t know what this is. If you can’t define it, you can’t have it. When we get clarity, we create excitement and momentum and we start to produce results.
  • Self-doubt: If there’s a way to shoot ourselves in the foot with a really big self-doubt gun, we’ll find it.

Many of us avoid success by just stopping when things get too hard. We get paralyzed when we start to leave our comfort zone. Lack of self-confidence and comparing ourselves to others is an excuse and makes us our own biggest rival for success.

Change comes with awareness followed by a plan, followed by corrective action. Don’t self-chastise. As Nike says: Just do it!