5 Thoughts That Block Your Success in Life

Let’s face it, we all want success!  We want to be respected by our peers for achieving formidable accomplishments, overcoming obstacles, and emerging victorious.  We all want success in life – it’s a natural desire.  Success builds our confidence, opens doors for new opportunities, and helps us prove to ourselves that our pursuits are viable and worth it.

During my doctoral studies, I chose the topic of leadership in the small business environment as the focus of my dissertation.  I wanted to explore how certain leadership styles impacted small business and employee performance.  Specifically, the participants in my study were small business owners from various industries who operated organizations with as few as 1 employee and as many as 150 employees.  One common thread that emerged in each participant interview was the discussion of success.  These men and women offered a variety of definitions for success, ranging from consistently achieving profitability to controlling their own time, and finding balance in their lives.  Despite the broad range of definition, one thing was certain – each individual had taken the time to identify their personal idea for success.  No one gave me a standard definition.  On the contrary, they took the time to craft a customized definition that fit their personal aspirations.

As I reviewed the interview content and began analyzing, categorizing, and forming conclusions, I realized that what these small business owners were able to accomplish – by defining success for themselves – was not a task just reserved for them.  At some point, every individual needs to take the time craft their own definition of success and move strategically toward that goal.

Unfortunately, most people won’t form a target, let alone hit one.  Yet, everyone still wants to experience the joy of not only setting, but also achieving our most desired goals?  So, what’s the disconnect?  Through my research, I’ve identified five thoughts that block success:

5 Thoughts That Block Your Success in Life

I Don’t Know What I Want.

A lot of us are dead in the water at this point, but it’s not because we can’t identify what we want.  Typically the issue lies in not taking the time to do so.  Often times figuring out what direction we should take isn’t a quick task.  There may also be a few wrong turns along the way, requiring a reassessment, rerouting, and revising.  Sometimes just the thought of all of that work leaves us in neutral, content to pine after an intangible dream, rather focusing on setting achievable goals.

I’ll Just Copy What Others Are Doing.

Here’s another trap that is alluring and dangerous.  The “copy cat syndrome” is running rampant these days, as so many people exploit the desire to be like what they see.  We crave the success we see others experiencing, so we try to copy their process, rather than forging our own.  Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with obtaining functional tools to help you along the way, but embracing the idea that your journey will be a carbon copy of anyone else is a dangerous assumption.  Learn from others, but write your own story.  Don’t plagiarize someone else’s path.  That won’t end well.

I Want Something New, But I’m Afraid to Pursue It.

I absolutely hate fear.  This crippling emotion can render you useless and rocking back and forth in the fetal position.  Fear, when allowed to roam free, will strip you of your motivation, your confidence, and your resolve.  The problem is that we approach rational fears and irrational fears in the same manner.  A rational fear (fear of someone of something that presents verifiable danger) should garner our focus, so as to be fully aware and hopefully equipped to protect ourselves.  However, an irrational fear (fear of someone or something that does not present verifiable danger) should only be given the focus needed to eradicate them.  All too often, we expend the same energy on irrational fears that should only be reserved for rational ones.

Pursuing something new can produce many negative emotions because embarking on the unknown is scary.  Is that fear; however, valid enough to snuff out your desire to achieve your goals?

I Can’t Find the Time to Pursue What I Want.

The well-known speaker, coach, and motivator, Tony Robbins stated, “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives; It’s what we do consistently.”  Success won’t just drop out of the sky and into your lap.  You must take strategic, consistent, and persistent action toward achieving your goals.  Convincing yourself that you can’t make time will ensure that you don’t.  In a society that pushes the concept of fast results, quick money, and shortcuts, consistent action (most times without immediate gratification) isn’t very popular.  However, consistency supports stability and longevity.

There’s Only One Way to Achieve My Goal.

Stop boxing yourself in with the idea that there’s only one way to achieve your goals.  If I had allowed myself to think that way, I wouldn’t be enjoying the life I live today.  Allow yourself to dream, plan, execute, and exercise flexibility along the way.  You never know what new experience, adventure, or new dream you will find.

I’m a natural planner who tends to avoid spontaneity; however, over time I’ve discovered two powerful things:

  1. Sometimes the only plan you need is faith.
  2. Never underestimate the power of a gut feeling.

Living successfully isn’t just for a select few.  There’s no cutoff for the amount of people allowed behind the velvet rope.  Your success is yours, it was tailor-made for you, and no one else could handle it if they tried.

Have you been battling with any or all of these thoughts?  Let’s tackle them together.  Be sure to like and follow my Facebook page: Thoughts of a Homeschool Mom so you’ll be in the know as we dive deeper into this topic of success!


  1. Shalena D.I.V.A. on 07/04/2017 at 4:35 pm

    Great piece. I agree with your points.please write more articles like this.

    • Dr. Tiffany McKinnon-Russell on 07/04/2017 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you, so much! I appreciate your feedback!

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