What’s holding you back?

Do you really know what’s holding you back?  What’s keeping you from achieving the results that you’re looking for?  Too often we don’t really know what is separating us from what we want – after all, we don’t know what we don’t know.  Is it possible that what’s really holding you back is something that you have complete and total control over?  Did you know that there is a proven 3-step method for identifying exactly what is holding you back? 

Step 1: Clarity of intention

Poster via IMP Awards

The first step to accurately identifying what is holding you back is to identify in great detail what it is that you are seeking.  Understand that the success that you achieve in step 3 will depend in large part on the clarity of detail that you achieve in step 1.  The biggest obstacle in this area is the tendency to settle for a lack of clarity about the details and rush forward.

You can’t achieve what you’re looking for if you’re not very clear about what it looks like.  Getting clear about the details of what you’d like to attain is hard work.  It is a lot harder than it sounds because it requires time and mental energy and frankly most people aren’t up to the challenge.  Clarity usually doesn’t come easily and it always requires a conscious choice and commitment to achieve.

Writing is a very powerful tool that can help you gain clarity about your goals.  Try to describe your goal in as much detail as possible.  If your goal is along the lines of taking your business to the next level, what does that mean to you?  Describe what that would mean in terms of your income, in terms of your daily schedule, in terms of your stress level.  Describe what that would mean in terms of spending time with the people who are most important in your life, in terms of travel and vacation, in terms of where you live.  Describe what this would mean in terms of being able to help others, in terms of giving back and making the world a better place as a result of your life.  Once you have great clarity about the details of the goal that you’re seeking you are ready to move on to the next step.  I use a program called The Journal for this kind of conscious growth writing.

Step 2: Spend time with the right examples

Now that you know exactly what you want and what it looks like, look around you to discover people who represent good examples of what you are working to achieve.  You won’t find someone who has achieved everything that you’re seeking but what you will find is people who are ahead of you in certain areas.

Understand that someone who may be a good example in one area may be a terrible example in other areas.  For example, I remember a stock market guru once telling an audience, “If you’re looking for advice on how to stay happily married, ask someone else because I’ve been divorced three times.  But if you’re looking for advice on investing, I’m very good with that.”  When you identify people who are ahead of where you are now, try to learn from them.  How did they get where they are now?  What do they do differently than you?  How can you benefit from their wisdom and their experience?

When spending time with people who are examples of where you want to be in certain areas you’ll notice that they think differently and approach certain situations differently than you do.  This is an important part of why they are ahead of you.  How do they approach situations differently than you do?  How is their thinking and mindset different from yours?  How is your thinking holding you back?  What would the people that you look up to as examples do if they were in your situation?

Although time and chance happen to all, the choices we make have a tremendous impact on the results that we attain.  Our way of thinking determines the choices that we make.  The key to achieving your goals is to realize that your thinking, far more than chance or your physical circumstances, determine your results.  When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Step 3: Look for opportunities to advance

The last step is about continual progress toward your goal.  Understand that if your goals are sized properly (ie. big enough), you can’t achieve what you’re seeking over-night.  Don’t be disappointed that it will take time.  Look for ways to make small, incremental progress toward the details that you’ve gotten clear about in step 1.  Know that the cumulative effect of these small advancements will be huge.

Take time to periodically review what you’ve written in step 1 and consider who you can learn from as an example.  As you do so, you’ll find that you’ll grow toward your goals and learn how to break free of the limiting thinking, beliefs, and mindsets that are holding you back.

  • Sondi October 31, 2011, 1:37 am

    I literally jumped out of my chair and danced after reading this! I’ve felt frustrated and stuck for so long. This gives me hope. Thank you.

  • Charles October 31, 2011, 11:15 am

    Glad it was helpful for you Sondi.

Leave a Comment