5 Things Holding You Back From Success

The definition of success is different for everyone. Finishing this project you’ve been working on. Starting this project you’ve been talking about. Maybe your success is a number, an action, a trip, a vacation, a book…

Whatever it is, success for you is probably this huge lofty goal you’re dreaming of. But the point is to make it a reality. If you keep it at the dream stage, it won’t come true. Dreams get done when you’re awake. In order to wake up and get to work, you need to stop holding back, and start moving forward.

Here are 5 things you can consider removing from your life in order to do so.


1. Caring what others think

We live in a world where are a lot of people are constantly seeking validation. We want to share everything, to everyone, all the time. Once we’ve posted our content, we want to know what people think, and we count the views, the likes, the shares we get. We care so much about what people think of us, and we now have all the metrics to measure it.

The truth is, you’re better off sharing less and caring less. Stop being superficial, work on something meaningful to you, and the rest will follow. You can’t please everybody, so try your best with what you have, don’t overdo it.

When it comes to people judging you in “the real world”, ignore them. There will always be haters.

People who talk in your back are in your back for a reason.

2. Toxic relationships

Relationships are the heaviest component of your life, so choose them wisely. A lot of us spend more time with people dragging us down rather than lifting us up. The key is to minimise toxic interactions as much as possible on one side, and grow new fulfilling relationships on the other side.

Go meet people who are better than you at what you want to do.

Interact with those people, learn from them.

Implement their techniques and routines.

There is so much more to learn from fulfilling relationships than toxic ones, so get rid of the latter.

3. Thinking you don’t have time

Until you start tracking your time and looking at the data, you have no idea how much time you have. In her TED talk, Laura Vanderkam tells the story of a woman whose water heater broke, spilling water all over her basement. Dealing with the flood took 7 hours of her week. Where did those 7 hours come from? When she had to find the time, she got rid of stuff that wasn’t important.

This is the key to time management. Treat your priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater. Decide to get to these things first, and let everything else happen as it will.

If you’re interested in how much time you actually have, look at your time in chunks of 168 hours (that’s a week), and read Laura Vanderkam’s amazing book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. It will seriously change your life.

4. Lack of clear goals

Goals are extremely important. Without goals there is no purpose, no growing, no place to get to. Define your goal, then you’ll be able to work on getting there.

Write down what you are passionate about, what you enjoy doing in life. Research each area you figure out, read books, write summaries of those books…

Eventually, you’ll find what you love, and what you love will lead to a clear goal, a purpose to pursue in your life.

If you don’t have goals you’ll never be able to move forwards because you won’t have any path to walk on.

5. Clutter

Clutter creates friction, which doesn’t mix well with efficiency. Friction is the natural resistance you will experience when trying to put together and/or execute a plan. It’s the thing that makes everything harder, and it will hold you back from time to time.

Clutter doesn’t only apply things. If you consider clutter as anything getting in the way of your path to success, from the smallest thing to the biggest obstacle, you’ll realise you probably have clutter at multiple levels in your life.

Avoid clutter with these tips:

  • Own less
  • Clean more
  • Question what you buy. Do you really need this?
  • Downsize
  • If it takes less than 5 mins to fix, do it now
  • Spend the time needed to make a decision, then don’t look back on it
  • Cut off toxic relationships
  • Let go of your ego
  • Let go of anger

Never underestimate the power of the small things holding you back. Small things add up, and that’s how a lot of people never live the life they want.

The first step is to make a choice.

To choose you.

Choose yourself today, and let go of the things holding you back.

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