9 Common Ways You May Be Holding Yourself Back From Success

Success is always within your reach, even if it might feel far away. Sometimes, your bad habits — even ones you don’t realize are harming you — can get in the way of you achieving all that you’re capable of. So what are the most common ways you might be holding yourself back from the wins that you want and deserve?

Loosely defining your goals

What are you working toward? What do you want in life? If the future you’re envisioning is fuzzy, sit down and change that ASAP. You’re not going to achieve success if you don’t know what it looks like for you.

A clearer picture makes it easier for you to map out the road to your ultimate destination — otherwise, you’re bound to go off course. Spend some time laying out your goals, so they’re inspiring, realistic and easy enough to shift around a little as you grow and change.

Waiting for the right moment

Spoiler alert — there’s no such thing as the right moment to go for what you want. You might think you need to hone your skills or obtain more experience in the field, but these thoughts are only holding you back from what you want — and what you’re already capable of achieving.

Once you take the leap, you can figure out the steps you need to improve and move forward, and you can sharpen these skills while you work toward your goals.

Comparing yourself to others

Whether it’s in the workplace or on social media, you might see people in the same field flourish in a way that you have yet to experience. This is especially true on social media, where people only share the best of what happens in their lives — you’re just comparing yourself to their selection of highlights. Your mental health will suffer if you never see their missteps and mistakes and just assume that’s the norm.

So, from now on, don’t compare yourself to others. Where were you yesterday? Where are you today? Charting your personal progress will show you that you’re on the way to success without comparing your efforts to anyone else’s.

Expecting quick results

You’re working hard, but you do not see any fruits of your labor — what gives? The truth is, success won’t come to you overnight unless you’re extremely lucky.

So, put your head down and keep working hard, aligning your steps with a more realistic timeline. It’s helpful to keep in mind that your efforts will pay off, but don’t expect an instant victory.

Earning outsiders’ approval

You might think that a benchmark of success is the way other people perceive your efforts. It’s true that earning praise from those around you feels good, but constantly seeking their approval isn’t the way to gauge your success.

Instead, you need to be able to measure your highs and lows and figure out a way to bounce back on your own — without the input of anyone but yourself.

Giving in to distractions

Today’s tech-centric world gives us access to an endless stream of distractions. You should avoid it as best as you can.

Whether it’s a Facebook notification or your phone buzzing all day long with texts, it’s easy to break your workplace stride and fall into the Internet rabbit hole. Distractions are only stalling your eventual success.

Seeking perfection

We’ve already said there’s no such thing as the right time to make moves, and there’s no such thing as perfection, either. The road to your success will include mistakes along the way, so the best thing you can do is prepare for them to happen.

If you expect nothing less than perfection, you will only set yourself up for increased anxiety and inevitable failure — nobody’s perfect.

Going it alone

As you chase your well-defined goals, you might think you need to fly solo for it to feel like the success is all yours. That’s simply not the case.

Instead, if you find yourself struggling to move forward in your quest, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends, family and business contacts for advice. Hone in on those who have faced similar challenges as yours and find out how they overcame them. Then, apply that advice to your work.

Refusing to let go

Success is all about perseverance, but what happens when you’re all out of inspiration? For some of us, quitting means the entire effort was a failure. But that’s not always the case — and it’s worth taking a critical look at your project and your efforts to determine if it’s time to go in a different direction.

Sometimes, laser focus works against us — it makes you so intent to finish a project that you ignore how miserable it’s making you or that the original concept is now unworkable. Rather than continuing to work with this cloud over your head, call it a day. You did as much as you could, and, for that, you should consider yourself successful. And, with a little bit of time and perspective, you might be able to rework your initial goal to make it something achievable.

Get started now

With the above in mind, you should be well on your way to overcoming challenges and achieving the success that’s been in front of you all along. All you have left to do is get started and see just what you’re capable of!

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