We all have goals and dreams that we’re striving to fulfill. It may be creating and operating a successful business, being the best parent to your children, or climbing Mt. Everest (or all of the above!). Whatever your goals are, there can be numerous obstacles that slow you down, minimize your progress, or even bring you to a grinding halt. Here I discuss four key things that can keep you from reaching your full potential in your life pursuits.
1. Lack of planning. Planning should be an essential part of any major endeavor. Yes, life happens and things come up unexpectedly, but that’s no excuse to start the journey with no plan. Most of us have heard the expression that failing to plan is planning to fail. So often, we don’t take the time to get clear on our intentions and expectations and chart a clear path forward to get us from point A to B. Then when we end up at point J instead of B, we wonder what happened—where did we go wrong?
I encourage all of my business clients to develop and periodically update a business plan. Many business owners (particularly small business owners) don’t think it’s necessary unless they’re required to submit one for a loan or certification application, but the process of documenting what your business does, who it serves and how is invaluable even if it’s just for you. The process of creating the plan forces you to think things through and define the key goals, steps to achieve them, and measures of success. This type of planning is also critical for other major life projects and goals like climbing Mt. Everest (can you imagine trying to take that one on without a plan) or becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
2. Lack of execution. Let’s say you develop a detailed master plan for achieving your dream. What good is that plan if you never actually execute on it? Sometimes we don’t reach our best success because we don’t put in the time and effort to execute. There may be many “valid” things in our way of execution such as lack of time or resources (often money), but sometimes these “valid” obstacles to execution are actually rooted in fear—fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change, etc. These fears often aren’t even conscious to us but rather show up as the story of lack. Don’t let your fears keep you from executing!
3. Limiting beliefs. We are all subject to a variety of limiting beliefs that shape when, where, and how we show up in the world in different aspects of life. For many, these beliefs are so engrained in who we are that we don’t even realize how they play in our life and the degree to which they can cause unnecessary suffering. You may have experienced things in your life that consciously or subconsciously instilled beliefs such as there’s never enough money, I’m not worthy of love, I’m not capable—the list goes on and on. The real problem is when these beliefs rear their ugly heads and hinder you from doing and being your best.
As a coach, I work with my clients to identify these limiting beliefs and disentangle themselves from the beliefs that cause suffering. A key philosophy that I carry as a coach is to live it to give it which means I work on my own “stuff” (including limiting beliefs) in order to show up transparent and authentic for my clients. As such, I recently uncovered that I have a bundle of deeply engrained parenting beliefs, some of which were causing me suffering as I tried to live up to them. Recognizing this has raised my awareness and allows me to confront these beliefs head on and decide which ones work for me and which ones have to go. This process of identifying and dissolving those limiting beliefs that cause suffering can shatter a glass ceiling that you aren’t even aware of that’s limiting your success.
4. Failing to listen to your inner wisdom. We are all equipped with an inner wisdom more powerful than any information we can collect out in the world. This wisdom can be experienced physically and non-physically. Our physical bodies are constantly providing information that can be used to guide our decisions and actions; however, these body signals are often overlooked and ignored by us. Ever wonder why high security agencies and organizations rely on lie detector tests when screening job candidates or criminal suspects? It’s because our bodies are always producing signals and signs in response to our environment and circumstances that are nothing short of truth serum! So that whole concept of ‘listening to your gut’ rings true—just remember that the signal may come from somewhere else in your body!
In addition to physical feelings and sensations, our inner wisdom can manifest in other ways. Ever had a big decision to make and you just knew what to do without elaborate trial and deliberation? Ever ‘coincidentally’ walk straight over to a book in a bookstore that gives you the exact information you need at that moment? Ever feel strangely compelled to take a different route to work only to find our later that your usual route was shut down due to an accident? Your inner wisdom is very powerful and uniquely yours. Focus on consciously and consistently tapping into it to reach your peak success.
Do any of these ring true for you? Do you have other obstacles you’d like to share? Comment below and let me know what’s holding you back.