Do you feel like you’re constantly on the verge of success, but somehow it always manages to slip from within your reach?
We’ve all been there at some point during our lives. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, fortune ends up favoring someone else.
At least that’s how I’ve felt about the matter for the longest time. But then one day, something clicked for me. I began to realize that even though blaming fate and circumstance for my failures might be justified, more often than not this kind attitude prevented me from doing things that were within my power. Instead of focusing on my perceived lack of success, I decided to try and fix things one at a time.
I began by creating a list of my most obvious shortcomings, and then I tried to find the reason or cause for each one. Once I had identified what the problems were, I went about fixing them one by one. And the good news is, nothing is stopping you from doing the same.
If you want to get to the bottom of this problem, check out my list of 10 things stopping you from achieving success and the ways you can overcome them.
1. Neglecting to Create a Personal Brand
Millions of companies and billions of workers are competing for their place under the sun each day.
To survive in this environment, you need every advantage you can get, even deceptively simple things like a well-designed logo, an inspiring ‘about me’ page, or an explicit mission statement. All these things come together to form what we call a brand, which is like your signature in the world of business.
Without a brand, you would be unrecognizable to the world at large, limiting your opportunities for achieving success. So, cast aside your anonymity, and start working on your brand identity.
2. Giving up on Learning New Things
In pre-modern times, the limited availability of learning opportunities meant that you would learn a profession such as carpentry during your youth, and spend the rest of your life practicing it.
But once education became more widely available thanks to technological inventions and social change, people could in principle change their profession at any point by learning new things. Today, lifelong learning is no longer optional, but necessary to achieve success.
The modern economy is in a state of flux, and the only surefire way to get ahead is to keep track of the situation and learn the skills needed to respond to it.
3. Shying Away from Challenges
To succeed means to surpass, to overcome some kind of obstacle. And if there are no obstacles to overcome, growth, progress, and success lose all meaning. So, to succeed, you have to keep surpassing yourself.
You have to consciously put yourself into situations that will put your skills to the test. In other words, you need to keep challenging yourself at all times, otherwise, you will end up stagnating.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be pushing yourself to the brink. Success is a matter of increments, which means you should build up to it one step at a time.
4. Working Without Passion
People have the habit of thinking about success in strictly rational terms. It is a matter of doing things X and Y to achieve Z. But success hinges more on the passion to succeed than it does on the method used to get there. After all, we are creatures of emotion, as well as of reason.
Neglect your passions when trying to succeed is like entering a boxing match with one hand tied behind your back. In other words, if you want to succeed, you have to want to succeed.
5. Working without a Goal
The word ‘success’ is often used as a catch-all term for all kinds of achievements, which is not very helpful when you are trying to obtain it.
After all, what counts as a success for one man can easily be perceived as a failure by another. So instead of chasing some vague notion of success, you should define a specific goal or set of goals you want to accomplish.
For instance, if you’re running an eCommerce website, don’t just chase after ‘more sales’. Instead, come up with several sales you want to reach for a specific period, and then work towards achieving that specific goal.
6. Hiding Your Achievements
Sometimes people are afraid to show off their achievements because they feel they’re not good enough. This kind of critical attitude can be beneficial if it pushes you to try and do better each time, but it can also be detrimental to your pursuit of success.
Whether you are trying to impress clients, cater to consumers, or land a job, you need some proof that you have what it takes to meet the challenge. And there is no better proof than providing examples of your work. Even if you’re not entirely satisfied with your portfolio (and few people are), it is still better to put it on display and let others judge for themselves.
7. Doing Things Alone
Individualism is still one of the dominant ideologies today, but its connection with success has been thoroughly demystified. Very few people and organizations have reached success on their own. In reality, their success was made possible in the first place through the support of whole networks of people.
Trying to do everything by yourself still has some romantic appeal to it, but to become what you want to be, you shouldn’t be ashamed to seek help from others.
Your family and friends are your first line of support when it comes to pursuing success, followed by acquaintances, colleagues from work, business partners, and anyone willing to lend a helping hand.
8. Being Tech-Illiterate
Technology is the driving force of social progress. Machines have changed the way we live and work for the better, and they have enabled us to achieve things previously thought to be impossible
Unfortunately, many people are still tech-illiterate (whether through choice or circumstance), which is preventing them from reaching their potential. All technologies can be mastered, however, allowing you to pursue success more efficiently. Software technology in particular has been a huge boom in this regard.
Modern software tools can help you achieve both personal and professional goals, and many of them are available online free of charge, so there is little excuse not to use them.
9. Lacking Flexibility
You cannot predict the future, no matter how hard you try. This means that there are no guaranteed outcomes, no matter how much you plan things. So, if you are too rigid in the way you pursue your success, you are guaranteed to run into obstacles you can’t overcome.
What you should be doing instead is adopting a more flexible outlook on life. Never limit yourself to only one path, and always leave a few options open in case you come across a dead-end in your current pursuit.
10. Being too Serious
Success is important in life, but not so important that you should sacrifice everything for it.
Many people put their well-being on the line, hoping that the fruits of their labor will make it all worth it in the end. But if you end up burning out in your pursuit of success, there won’t be anyone present at the finish line to enjoy the spoils. So instead of being single-minded in your pursuit of success, you should adopt a more playful, fun-loving attitude towards the whole thing.
Do the things within your power that will bring you closer to your goals, but don’t forget to have some fun along the way.
Achieving success is something everyone aspires to, but few people know how to accomplish it. The reason for this is often a lack of understanding of what success is, which limits your options for achieving it.
I hope that this article has given you a few ideas on how to think about being successful, and what you can do to improve your odds of grasping it in the end.