You’ve read articles on motivation, time-management, belief, faith, and there have been tips on the pursuit of success, winning, reaching destinations… but this article is going to be vastly different. We are going to talk of the invisible barriers to success. It isn’t an article telling you how to succeed, but one that will warn you of the obstacles and raise your awareness of them! Thus, for all aspirants who go through this article, will find that it will as important as a lighthouse beacon is for ships that are straying in the dark stormy seas. It’s true — you can do everything right, you can follow all the right programs, and take all the right steps toward success, and you could still be stuck. It’s frustrating for sure.

Despite everything seeming to be moving in the right direction, there seems to be a sudden stopping sometimes. Why does it happen? A serious student will ask himself: “I have my books, I have my mentors, I have my friends, I have all the motivation and time-management that I need, and yet I don’t seem to be moving at the right speed in the right direction?” This could be because of invisible barriers are standing in your way.

Invisible barriers are those obstacles that are not tangible or experienced as real. They reside in your subconscious, and their job is to keep you in your comfort zone – no matter what you do to try and move ahead. Though you know you have your vision in place, and you work hard toward that vision, these invisible barriers can be sabotaging your efforts on a very subtle level.

Let us try to understand what these barriers could be in the form of questions that need to be answered:

Why have you hidden your power?

It is through thoughts, words and actions that you sometimes hide your power. You might be hiding your power through your words if you start sentences with phrases like “this might sound silly, but…” or “I’m not sure this is right…” You can hide your power through your actions if you downplay your looks, or if you procrastinate. Hiding your power through your thoughts happens when you time and again worry, fret, and agonize over every little detail.

Remember that this tendency is almost akin to sabotaging your own power to do anything beneficial and powerful. Meeting trouble half-way has never benefitted anyone. Presuming and assuming is very rightly said to be effectively making an ass of u and me.

The solution to this obstacle is to be aware of your powers and make them do wonders for you and your dreams.

What are you afraid of?

Obviously, if worry, fret, and anxiety rule your day, fear is not far away! No one is asking you to remove ‘fear’… this emotion speaks a language of success in its own way because fear’s real function is to keep you safe. But sometimes, it can paralyze you into inaction.

Who doesn’t experience rejection, judgment, or embarrassment? Sure, we all do! Thus fear keeps you safe from feeling those emotions. When you’re about to take a step toward success, you may think of 100 reasons not to take the step, and they all may be centered around fear.

Could fear be holding you back? If that be the case, be bold and fearlessly cease being afraid of imaginary disasters!!

Are you really in control?

It is neither people, nor events that you must allow to overwhelm you! For instance, if you have decided to sit for CAT, then no other person must be allowed to overrule your decision by a different set of arguments. Remember that once you convince yourself of your decision, your resolve to reach that goal will be stronger. Yes, sometimes outside forces cause certain events in our lives, but, we have a choice in how we handle them.

The right solution is to be powerful, take charge and choose to get things back on track. Do not let someone or something else lead the way.

What is your inner critic telling you?

Ensure that your inner critic does not hinder your progress. Sometimes, that inner critic serves us well by pushing us to make something really great. But sometimes, that inner critic goes on over-drive and actually creates obstacles. If your self-talk is negative and is putting you down, your inner critic is destructive.

The solution to this is to put the inner critic on a motivation-generating path, rather than a severely critical one!

Is comparison sabotage harming you?

We are all individuals with a unique message.  We have the ability to create our own imprint. Comparing yourself to someone else is truly like comparing apples to oranges. Your successes and the rate of your successes is unique to you and must first be accepted by you as an individual. Comparison can be like sabotage and may make you undermine your own capabilities and strengths.

Invisible barriers can be so subtle sometimes, you may not even be aware of how they are affecting you. Observe your thoughts and your actions over the next few days. Keep a journal of how you are reacting to certain situations. Also, when you think about what it is that you want, journal your answer. You may be surprised that some invisible barriers show up.

Once you are aware of which barriers are holding you back, you can begin the process of breaking them down, and stepping into success.

[Arvind Passey]
Written for PT Education