What Is Holding You Back From Living a Truly Successful Life?

You may not realize it but you have so much more potential than you could ever imagine. However, you probably wonder why many people are not living up to their full potential. If this is something you can relate to, have you asked yourself what is holding you back?

Do you know what holds you back and more specifically, what is holding you back from achieving your goals?

What is holding you back and hindering you from living the life you truly want?

Everyone has things that are holding them back to some degree.

Unfortunately, people are often completely unaware of what keeps them from living a happy, abundant, and successful life.

The good thing is human beings can create change and control their circumstances.

That means they also have the power to break the shackles that keep them stuck.

Below are some of the things that are holding you back from living the life of your dreams:

1.  Fear of Failure and Uncertainty

It’s normal for human beings to have fears.

One of the most common things that hold people back is their fear of uncertainty or failure.

While these fears are often unfounded, they hinder you from living your dream life if you don’t know how to control them and not let them take over your life.

For example, some people are unhappy with their jobs and what they do and would rather try their luck starting a business.

However, most allow their fear of failure to get the best of them and choose to stay in their jobs even if it’s making them miserable.

Often, people are afraid of things not working or failing.

This fear is common and has hindered people from living their best lives.

Are you one of those people who are afraid of failure? 

Are you allowing the fear of uncertainty to hinder you from pursuing your goals and dreams?

How to Overcome Your Fear of Uncertainty and Failure

To overcome your fear of failure and uncertainty, you must define what failure means.

You need to understand and accept that failure is not as bad as it sounds.

People need to fail to grow and evolve.

Many people believe that failure is the opposite of success which is not true.

Failure is not the opposite of success.

Failure is the key to success.

The more you fail, the more things you will learn.

The more things you will learn, the higher your chances of succeeding are.

2.  You Live Without Any Intention

Another thing that can hinder you from success and living the life of your dreams is your lack of intention.

In other words, you don’t know what you want.

That means you also don’t have a clear direction or specific plan for getting what you want.

Unfortunately, many people end up just following what the majority is doing.

After university, they look for a job, work hard, save money to buy a car or a house, build a family, grow old and then die.

While there is nothing wrong if that is what you prefer, it is not the way to go if you want to live an extraordinary life.

If you want to live your best life where nothing holds you back, you must do something different.

You need to figure out what you want from life and create a plan to get where you want to be.

Successful people living exceptional lives don’t get the results they want by accident.

These people have a clear vision of what they want and live an intentional life.

They figure out the right things to do and the right actions to take to achieve their objectives.

They figure out what they need to do to create the future they want.

Are you living an intentional life?

Are you living your life with intentions?

Or do you live your life not knowing what you want and just surviving each day?

If you want to live the life you want, you need to have a plan and allow that plan to guide you to where you want to go.

How to Create a Vision and Live with Intention

To create a vision for your life, start by figuring out your goals and what you want to achieve.

Tony Robbins sums up the importance of living with intentions by saying, “Setting goals is the first step to turning the invisible into the visible.”

Imagine a football game that is played without a goalpost.

The players will be running in the field without any clear intentions of what to do.

They would be wasting precious time and energy but not achieving anything.

Don’t live your life the same way.

Don’t go about your day and life just going through the motions and not knowing what you want to achieve.

Set clear goals and create a robust plan for achieving them.

3.  You Have Short-Term Thinking

If you focus on the short term, you will not be able to achieve anything extraordinary in your life.

Success is not something that you can achieve overnight.

If you study the biographies of people who have changed the world, you will discover a common pattern: they did not achieve their success in just a week, month, or even year.

It will take years to create real success in your life.

This is especially true if you want to live a life that is a cut above the rest.

Also, you need to remember that you won’t be able to achieve anything in life if you have short-term thinking.

You have to think long-term.

You have to focus on what you want to create in the future.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a clear example of what long-term thinking can do for you.

He was able to achieve everything he has in life by adopting long-term thinking.

With short-term thinking, you focus on what is in front of you.

If you think short-term while working on a specific goal, all you think about is what is in front of you.

In other words, you can easily get swayed by short-term pleasures over long-term gains.

Success can be likened to growing a bamboo tree.

If you plant a bamboo tree, you will not notice anything out of the ordinary the first few years even if you give it the best care possible.

Even if it’s getting the best nutrients and sufficient sunlight, it will not grow tall.

However, in its fifth year, your bamboo can grow 80 feet tall in just six weeks.

What many do not realize is in their first four years, bamboo trees will work on growing their roots deeper into the ground.

Success can be similar to growing bamboo—you must focus on the long term and not fixate on the short term.

If you continue adopting short-term thinking and you won’t see any results, you will likely give up very easily.

How to Think Long-Term

Thinking long-term will require you to know the future you want and focus on it.

Your actions and decisions should be based on what you want to happen in the future and not now.

For instance, you can choose to spend many hours on social media or playing games or you can choose to work on your side hustles and grow your passive income.

If you think long-term, you will prioritize working on the things that can give you the success you want in the future.

If you think in the short term, you focus on what is convenient and what gives you pleasure in the now.

Short-term thinking is considered a thing that hinders people from succeeding in life.

They choose to think short-term and opt for those things, people, and activities that give them instant gratification rather than long-term gain.

4. Obsession with Instant Gratification

It is common for people to go for something that gives them pleasure rather than do things that are uncomfortable, painful, or inconvenient.

For instance, you probably know that you need to develop certain skills to improve, but you prefer to spend hours watching your favorite shows on TV instead.

Instant gratification is one of those things that hinder people from achieving the life they want. 

The mind has been conditioned to avoid risks and pain or anything inconvenient, uncomfortable, and unfamiliar. 

Since centuries ago, man has been wired to stay safe and not take risks to survive.

However, many people realize that saber-toothed tigers were lurking around back then.

We don’t live in that kind of world anymore.

How to Overcome Your Need for Instant Gratification

However, the mind has been programmed not to do anything risky and uncomfortable to stay safe and survive.

You likely feel very motivated when you think about your goals, visions, and dream life.

However, you might always feel reluctant when it comes to taking action.

This is especially true when you need to do something uncomfortable, inconvenient, or risky to get what you want.

Aside from controlling your urge for instant gratification, you must find ways to overcome your fear of taking risks.

It will also help if you make everything you need to do to achieve your goals as fun as possible.

Develop love and passion for what needs to be done so when the time to take action comes, it won’t look like work and you won’t be as scared or as uncomfortable.

5. Doubts and Negative Thinking

At one point or another, everyone will experience doubt and negative thinking.

It’s common and normal.

However, to be successful in life, you must properly manage your doubts and negative thinking.

Do you always think along the following lines?

  • Too many have tried and failed.
  • There is too much competition.
  • The market is too crowded.
  • I can’t do this
  • What if I fail?
  • What if things won’t work out?
  • I don’t have the talents and skills.

If you said yes to any of the above, you have to change your thinking if you want to accomplish anything.

While it is normal to doubt yourself, especially when doing something unfamiliar, doubting won’t do anything for you.

Doubting will only allow you to focus on the problem rather than the solutions.

Unfortunately, doubting can also paralyze you and hinder you from moving forward.

How to Stop Doubts and Negative Thinking

It’s safe to assume we all want to achieve something in life.

The question is, do you let doubt get the better of you?

Let’s say you want to save.

Most people know they need to save or invest but are you doing what it takes to save?

If you are like most people, you likely just say you will save when you have some extra money.

This is exactly the kind of mentality that hinders people from achieving the said objective.

If you want to save, you should be committed to achieving the goal if you want to be successful at it.

For instance, you can do a thorough assessment to determine where to cut costs and save a specific amount each month.

The same thing applies when it comes to other life goals you want to achieve.

If you are 100% committed, you can and will find a way.

This is where a change of mindset can come in very handy.

Let’s take the saving example again.

Rather than thinking you don’t have enough to set aside for savings, why not figure out how you can save?

Perhaps you can minimize the time you eat outside or order food from outside and cook instead.

Or maybe you can stop drinking expensive coffee and brew your own at home.

The idea is to focus on the solution and not the problem.


As you can see, many things can hinder you from living the life you truly want and achieving success. The good news is there is also no shortage of ways you can do to achieve greatness and live your best life.

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