8 Little Behaviors That Block You From Achieving Notable Success

Incredible things are possible when you get out of your own way.

Man leaning on wall, behaviors blocking you from success rafafernandezphotos | Canva

Are you holding yourself back from ‘success?’ I’m not here to tell you what success should look like for you. Maybe you want that mansion in the hills, but perhaps you’re content with a simple life and to be left alone. Either way, I will do my best to help you find your way in a language that can be applied universally, whatever your aims and plans.  I’ve experienced relentless self-sabotage over the years. And I’ve seen it repeatedly appear in the hundreds I work with as a coach. But I’ve also seen how incredible things are possible when we get out of our way. 


Here are 8 little behaviors blocking you from achieving notable success:

1. Using rumination as a life-management tool

They did a survey asking people if they had a choice: would they want to completely eradicate worry from their lives? Many said they’d "prefer to hold on to at least some worry." Why? Because many believe that chewing cyclically on thoughts is in some way practical. It isn’t. Worry is a woeful misuse of our imagination. When we worry, all we do is pollute our emotional experience. This blocks us from taking the necessary action.

RELATED: 15 Tiny Reasons You'll Succeed In The Next 5 Years (While Others Won't)


2. Expecting others to support you

This isn’t a suggestion to never seek help. By all means, find support, mentorship, and advice. You can’t do it alone. But don’t expect anything from anyone in particular. To rely on elements out of your control is a source of stress and frustration and will ultimately slow you. If you get a ‘no’ — smile and move on.

3. Seeking validation

We all want to be liked. It feels good when we get a jolt of dopamine from a liked post or a pat on the back of support. But this need also works works against you. Why? If we rely on validation to feel good and get ahead, it means we become avoidant of rejection by default too. This keeps us anxious and on edge. We must be willing to attract disagreement and to feel the pain of that poke to the ego. This is the secret of those who get further than others.

RELATED: 17 Signs You Or Someone You Love Is Addicted To Validation


4. A need to fit in

We all — at a very primal level — yearn to fit in. We wouldn’t be here today if we didn’t have this built-in drive. We’d be long extinct. So, there is undoubtedly a conflict when it comes to ‘success.’ To a degree, we need to work against our innate pull to conformity. But we can’t be outstanding if we’re like everyone else. We must break away from the pack, even if it at first feels isolating, and be willing to do what few do.

5. Fear of getting it ‘wrong’

This is a big one. We are so afraid of making an error in our eyes, that we struggle to act, step up, and hit ‘publish.’ But mistakes are:

  1. A part of life
  2. Vital — because they show us what’s working

The road to success is paved with mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the faster your progress.

6. Believing you have a pre-defined ‘calling’

I’ve seen people waste years of their lives because they kept second-guessing what career path they ‘should’ be on. It doesn’t matter. There is no ‘right’ path. Thinking there needs to be a perfect ‘calling’ for you is holding you back. There is no calling but the one you create through being bold, making a move, and seeing what feedback results. Just don’t stop moving. 


7. Obeying the ego’s need to protect

We all have a part of us that wants us to stay where we are and maintain the illusion of identity. Whether we call it our ‘ego,’ self-image, or limiting beliefs, there is a force at play that keeps us stuck. We all have a view of who we think we are, and whether we're aware of it or not, we continually behave to align with the idea. We might say: ‘I’m not a motivated person,’ and demotivate ourselves instantly. Successful people are aware of their self-imposed limitations and take steps to step outside of their stories, regardless of how they feel.

@levi.powe Self imposed limitations are estimations and not objective measurements. The only thing that can objectively measure your self and the development of your identity is the insertion of the acts of your identity into the world. Your present and future identity is within your control. #identityshift #identity #shiftyouridentity #businesscoaching ♬ original sound - Levi

RELATED: 10 Tiny Signs Your Ego Has Taken Over

8. Allowing the ‘past’ to determine present behavior

It’s insane how many of us fall into the trap of allowing the illusion of the ‘past’ to influence present choices. For many years, because I was shy at school, I carried a shame into my twenties that kept me insecure and anxious. As real as it appears, the past is nothing more than an idea. The present is all we have. There is nothing to connect one’s past with one’s present. Knowing this means we can re-invent ourselves every hour of every day. We’re free to be and behave how we like. This is freedom. And when we’re unshackled from our’ selves,’ anything is possible.


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Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.