What are the biggest obstacles that prevent people from becoming successful in life? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Tara Swart, Neuroscientist, MD, Executive Advisor, Author of The Source, on Quora:

To be honest, a large amount of the situations we encounter in life are just a construct of our perception. If we direct our thoughts to abundance, patience, harmony and positive visualization it's amazing how the world is not a scary place, we feel lucky and people help us. This is not blind faith, it's faith in science. The results of our upbringing, the rules, boundaries, values and secrets, create the filters through which we view the world. Do we always give up at the first hurdle, or choose the safer option? Neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change itself) has shown us that we don't have to live out life like an actor in the movie of your childhood 'ghosts'. We can choose to create different real-world outcomes.

But we need to know what our 'ghosts' are in order to overturn them. You don't know what you don't know!

Because we tend to believe that we are stuck with the personality, mindset and capabilities that we have today. We say "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" because it's easier to stay in our comfort zone than to challenge the status quo. If you had any idea how amazing and malleable your brain is, you would treat your brain like your dream home. You would maintain it well. You would never expose it to dirt, bad smells, ugly furniture or unwelcome guests. You would pay attention to every memory, every emotion, every relationship and the impact it has on your creativity, your confidence, self-esteem, life purpose, resilience and so much more.

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Published on: Nov 8, 2019