We all know success takes hard work and perseverance. But there's another factor that's often overlooked: mental and emotional strength. Like most positive traits, it comes more easily to some than to others, but anyone can work to develop it.
To develop mental strength, you have to be willing to take a hard look at how you live your life so you can discover what you need to work on and what you need to let go of.
Here are nine of the biggest obstacles people put in their own path--the things you need to clear out first if you find them in your own way:
1. Envy. Sometimes described as the art of counting another's blessings instead of your own, envy destroys success. The more you can focus on what you have rather than what you don't have, the happier and more successful you can become. Envy is an illusion; someone else's good fortune takes nothing away from you.
2. Perfectionism. Self-abuse of the highest order, perfectionism is not a quest for the best but allowing yourself to be governed by the harshest voice in your head--the one that tells you you'll never be good enough. Perfectionism doesn't just hamper success but can also lead to anxiety, depression and paralysis of our best achievements.
3. Comparison. Successful people don't compare themselves to others. They know it's a waste of time and energy, because, as you may already have noticed, no one else is like you. Compare yourself only to where you've come from and where you aspire to be.
4. Blaming. Our lives, our success, our achievements are what we make of ourselves, so blaming others when things don't go right is just wrong. Spend your time and energy fixing the problem instead of blaming others. Blame is just a lazy way of making sense of failures and mistakes.
5. Self-doubt. Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come--everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, all the fears you have overcome. Don't allow self-doubt to keep you down, because nothing's more effective at keeping you anchored in one place and unable to move forward.
6. Fear. If you're afraid of failing, you're most likely fearful to act. Fear is only the mind's way of saying that there's something important for you to overcome, so don't allow it to stand in the way of your success. Risks and dangers are real, but fear is a choice. Overcome it and you can move forward stronger, wiser and smarter.
7. Distraction. Distraction is an ever-present temptation, waiting just a few steps or clicks away. But if you want to succeed you must starve your distractions and feed your focus. Instead of momentary enjoyment, learn the deep satisfaction that comes with maintaining steady action and getting things done. Don't let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of your own success.
8. Safety. Most people will say they don't regret the things they have done but the things they didn't do when they had the chance; "oops" comes and goes but "if only..." does lasting damage. Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. if you want to succeed, take chances and be bold.
9. Procrastination. Hands down, procrastination is our favorite form of self-sabotage. Every day you spend procrastinating is another day spend worrying about what you need to get done, so that, as the saying goes you end up putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have be done the day before yesterday. Discipline yourself to banish procrastination and you will have taken a massive step toward success.
What obstacles are holding you back?
Take some time to identify the anchors you tie yourself to, then work to free yourself from the things that keep you playing small.