Recognizing the Mindset That’s Holding You Back

There are plenty of reasons you may be struggling to find success, but very often, the main reason can be attributed to our mindset. We can be our own worst adversaries, but recognizing our tendency to self-sabotage is an important first step in overcoming that roadblock.

So what’s your excuse for not performing to your full potential?

The Fear of Failure

I know from experience that a fear of failure mindset can keep us from fully committing to reaching our goals. That’s because, if you refuse to fully commit yourself to something, you just might convince yourself that you could do better if you wanted to. It’s a bit cowardly, when you think about it.

When I was in substance abuse treatment, a counselor showed me that I was afraid to find out how good I could be, because I didn’t want to put myself on the line and compete. “You’ve always hedged your bets by being high or nuts,” he said.

He was right. With every so-called failure in my life, I’d convinced myself I was too cool to care — when in fact, I was being a coward. And that was drastically limiting how much I could really accomplish.

The Power of the Past

Examine your assumptions, particularly the negative ones that impact your world-view. As you reflect on the origin of those thought processes and that mindset, you may just discover they come from your parents, or from something that happened early in your life. Ask yourself: Is there truth in these assumptions, or are you carrying them out of force of habit? If they’re assumptions about yourself — such as your own abilities or prejudices — it’s worth getting to the bottom of them, and deciding whether they’re helping or hurting you.

It’s OK to Ask for Help

Over the years, I’ve seen personal issues holding back many of my sales executives. Anger and self-esteem issues are common factors that hold them back. When I sense that their issues extend beyond just how they’re doing in the workplace, I have to refer them to professionals — because I know how helpful they can be.

Meeting with a therapist has helped me get to the bottom of many of my personal roadblocks, allowing me to remove them and continue moving forward. He has the ability to see through to my underlying issues and to help me be honest with myself in a way that no one else can. That’s what he’s trained to do. If you’re struggling to get to the bottom of what’s holding you back, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone who will force you to dig into some unexplored parts of yourself for an answer.

To learn more about how I changed my mindset and achieved success, check out my book, The Reward of Knowing.