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4 Hidden Barriers to Success (and How to Leap Over Them)

This isn't about money or market timing. This is about those secret fears you have that won't go away.

Every entrepreneur and would-be entrepreneur knows about the visible barriers to success: lack of capital, fear of failure, market timing, etc. However, there are a set of internal barriers that are all the more powerful because they're invisible:

1. Fear that you'll outgrow your friends or family.

Barrier: If you grew up with people who faced financial struggles or who are themselves not particularly ambitious, you may be secretly afraid that your friends and family will envy or resent you, when you become successful.

What to do: Rather than thinking of yourself as an outcast, consider yourself a pioneer scouting out new territory. Once you're successful, you can help your clan achieve what they want from life.

2. Fear that you won't have time to enjoy life.

Barrier: Many success stories emphasize the long hours that somebody worked in order to achieve success. You want a life that's richer than being in the office night and day.

What to do: While workaholics do exist, many successful people live very well-rounded lives. The trick to doing this is the secret of time management.

3. Fear that it won't be enough.

Barrier: You secretly suspect that when you finally achieve your goals, you'll have the same sinking feeling of "Is this all there is?" that you felt when you achieved lesser goals in the past.

What to do: Start feeling gratitude for where you are right now and how far you've come. Get into that habit now, you'll never be disappointed when you achieve any of your goals.

4. Fear that you'll miss something better.

Barrier: The downside of being optimistic and enthusiastic is that you're also alive to the myriad possibilities of life. What if you choose the wrong path? What if you could have made a bigger difference elsewhere?

What to do: This barrier wrongly assumes that it's the path that's important, not the person who's walking on it. Decide that whatever path you take, you'll make a difference in your own unique way.

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IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Apr 25, 2014


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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