Success: Are You Getting In Your Own Way?


road closedLast night, I was reading Wayne Dyer’s book, “Excuses Begone!,” and came across a statement that really resonated with me. “We don’t always want to undertake the necessary steps to create the life we desire.”

Many times, there are limits as to how far we’ll go to achieve success in our lives and businesses. Maybe we don’t want to move, or give up a certain type of lifestyle. Maybe we don’t want to have to bootstrap our new business idea and drop some of the luxuries we enjoy on a daily basis, like cable television or expensive cell phone plans, or maybe we don’t want to have to do things we’re uncomfortable doing, like promoting our businesses and “putting ourselves out there.”

We say we want to “do everything” to see our businesses succeed, but we don’t stop to think about the sacrifices we might need to make along the way in order to reach our destination.

In his book, Dyer suggests making a list entitled “All the Things I’m Unwilling to Do in Order to Live the Life That I Intend to Live,” with the ultimate goal being to have a blank “unwillingness sheet.” We have to be willing to stretch our comfort zones and do things we’ve never done before, if we ever hope to succeed. So, how do you keep from getting in your own way?

Have a Blank “Unwillingness Sheet”

Having a blank “unwillingness sheet” doesn’t mean being willing to do anything unethical or illegal, but it does mean making sacrifices and pushing yourself. List all the things that you’re afraid to do, and then learn to embrace them and work through them. Write down the things that are standing in your way and then figure out how you can overcome them.

Put an End to All Limiting Thoughts and Beliefs

Many times, we sell ourselves short by imposing ceilings on our abilities, our resources and our goals. We tell ourselves we’re not smart enough or successful enough or connected enough to succeed, and most times, we believe it. In his book, Dyer quotes Lao-tzu: “In order to eliminate the negative influences, simply ignore them.”

I can think of relevant example of this that happened just yesterday. I’m in the middle of launching a new branch off my business and was thinking of contacting someone who might be able to help me. I wrote the person’s name on a list, along with a few others who might be able to help, but this person was the next in line to be contacted. Immediately, my limiting thoughts started trying to sabotage my efforts. “This person is too busy, too successful. She’ll probably laugh in my face. After all, I bet she gets paid to do what I’m going to ask her to do for free.” I scratched her name off the list. My next thought, “Do you want to make this a success or not?” That was followed by, “What’s the worst she can say? No? I have nothing to lose by simply asking.” I didn’t give it another thought. I composed a very brief and concise message asking her to help me. Within five or ten minutes, she had replied with an emphatic “Yes!”

A roadblock presented itself, and in the past, I would have easily let it stop me, but this time, I was serious. My “unwillingness sheet” is empty, and I’ve decided to stop thinking bad thoughts about this endeavor entirely. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Don’t worry about what others will think of you. As Dyer says, “What you think of me is none of my business.” That’s an easy way of thinking of it and shutting down the limiting thought.

Find a Way to Make it Work

Dyer also shares a  great quote from Virginia Woolf:  “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” Things are not going to always go well, or in your favor. Inevitably, there will be some challenges and surprises. Maybe some things will not work out as anticipated, so you’ll have to be ready to make adjustments. It’s a work in progress. Just “arrange the pieces” and keep moving.

Hold on to Your Vision

“Hold it in your mind.” This final quote isn’t from “Excuses Begone!,” but another Dyer book called “Write It Down, Make It Happen.” You have to keep the vision for your business and its ultimate success in your mind until you finally reach it. Stay connected to why you want to do this, how you intend to accomplish it, and what things will look like when you get there.

Take a look at where you are in your life and business. Are things moving towards your goals? Are you doing things with intention and focus, purposefully moving where you want to go? It’s hard to see it, but sometimes, we get in our own way. We have to stop and think about what it is that we’re really willing to do to see our vision into existence.

Have there been times when you’ve gotten in your own way? How did you overcome limiting beliefs and roadblocks to move one step closer to achieving your goals?

Image from Flickr by MobilFunk7



I totally agree with some arguments, in fact with all of these. You are right.
Being positive is the best thing we can do succeeding in life.
Nothing can be so hard, so insurmountable. And I really believe that positive mentality increase our productivity.



I love the idea of putting an end to limiting thoughts! Or at least always approaching those thoughts with an attitude of “how will I overcome”? Being positive and going through life with a “can do” attitude makes a world of difference in our personal health, happiness and success.


Bradford Shimp

Wonderful advice. It is amazing the things we won’t do simply because we think we know what the result will be. If we stop worrying about reaction, and just focus on action, we would all be better off.


I really like the idea of being willing to do anything it takes to create what you really want. And I think sometimes we get locked on specific goals though, and limit ourselves by believing that we must have what we value in that particular form, because we haven’t yet been able to see the many other ways we can have what we want. It’s important to have a balance between being willing to stick through the hard bits to get what you want, and recognising that sometimes obstacles are a gift in that they provide information to help you adapt to create something even better, that you hadn’t even imagined before.


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