How to Overcome the 5 Things that Block Success for Most People

Whether you think of yourself as average or as successful, you are blind to some of the things that are holding you back from the success you desire.

I have found some very successful people wanting to achieve more success stuck in their own mind, default thinking, and habits. Even people on their way to significance can and do get caught up in their own unconsciousness and lack of awareness. What may have worked in the past no longer seems to work.

It is so simple and that’s why so many people do it. They do this unconsciously because they are not awakened to living a life they design. In fact, if you are reading this because the title caught your attention, chances are very high you also have some awareness blind spots just as I do.

Let’s wake up to a harsh and very real truth here. Most people’s lives start decaying long before they are pronounced dead. Oftentimes this starts very early in life. So many people die at age 25. It just takes another 50 or 60 years to bury them. Other people live to be 90 years of age however most of them live the same one year 90 times over. In fact, according to recent research only 9.2% of people actually felt like they achieved their New Year’s goals. You can check it out yourself if you wish.


Recognizing the Blocks

I have a client in the energy industry that engaged me as his coach. He was already doing well yet desired more success in growing his company. During our strategy session coaching call we discovered one of his blind spots was procrastination and leaving things undone or only done halfway. After one year of coaching with me, his attitude about himself and business has really matured.  His main business has grown from 3 full-time employees as a small $3M shop to 10+ employees and a $200M private equity commitment.  Many coaching sessions were dedicated to leading his team through this over the last year and as a result, his 2017 revenue right now is 34% more than all of 2016.

5 Things that Block Success

Here are five blocks that the vast majority of people struggle with regardless of their level of success. And, I will show you how you can overcome them.

BLOCK #1: Staying asleep at the wheel of your life. Not waking up to your own desires, capacity, and potential is often the first obstacle when it comes to living a life by your own design. This life by design is totally within your grasp.

HOW TO OVERCOME: Your own awareness is key to being awake to possibilities and becoming intentionally curious about what you would love and developing a burning desire to find your life’s purpose and live into it. Pay attention to and write down what you desire. These desires can feel like a longing for something or a discontent with a condition. This form of writing opens your mind to see possible solutions.

BLOCK #2 Refraining from thinking anything. This one is especially easy because everybody has thoughts but not everybody thinks. Thinking is the hardest thing anybody will ever do and that’s why so many people don’t do it. Failure to gain control of your mind, and therefore your thinking, is the fastest road to decay.

HOW TO OVERCOME: Gaining control of your thinking and therefore your feelings leads to taking the action required to climb the Mt. Everest dream of your life. Choose one desire you have and take as little as 5 minutes a day to give serious, focused thought to what you can do that day to either experience what you desire or to move toward the life you desire.


BLOCK #3: Following the crowd. Average people have a highly vested interest in keeping you average and go to great lengths to help you stay there with them in a “herd” state of general malaise and decay. Breaking away from what others are doing or to stop doing what others say you should be doing can be as hard as thinking for yourself.

HOW TO OVERCOME: Charting your own course in life regardless of what others say because of the existence of less than perfect conditions and circumstances to act is the most challenging yet most rewarding thing you will ever do. Once you have an idea of what you can do (see the previous recommendation), you must DECIDE to do it. One way to do this is write an “I am” statement that declares who you are now being or what you are now doing. Read that statement often, especially if you again find yourself following the crowd.

BLOCK #4: Procrastinating too often and for too long. If you ever do actually make a decision on anything, you might make it slowly and change it often because you want to make sure you get it right the first time and every time. You follow the adage, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” Even worse, “Let’s schedule that for some other time to be determined later.”  “Good things come to those that wait,” is another phrase we’ve all heard too often. The only thing that comes from waiting is slow decay and eventual death from standing still while waiting for something else to change.

HOW TO OVERCOME: The decisions we make based on the answers we get from the good quality questions we ask ourselves is the fuel to taking action. If you’ve followed the advice in the previous steps, then you need to take action. Immediately after coming up with an idea worth acting on, and deciding that you will act upon it, block the time in your calendar and honor that appointment with action.

BLOCK #5 Being afraid! Being very afraid! Change and growth are scary which is why so many people believe they are to be avoided. “Better safe than sorry,” and “Look before you leap,” are the battle cries of the average and common person. Most of us were taught to focus our thoughts on what’s reasonable, what’s safe, why we can’t, what’s missing, what problems we might face, why it won’t work. As Jim Carrey once said, “Fear will often disguise itself as practicality.” Somewhere along the way to adulthood average people stopped giving themselves permission to fail.

HOW TO OVERCOME: Highly successful people do what they desire even when they are very much afraid. We celebrate highly successful people for what they practiced privately for years; and that is, faith over fear. Practicing faith privately requires a partner in believing or even a coach. Most successful people have one or more coaches, not because they are successful, but because the coaches help them see what they cannot see and believe what they cannot believe about themselves. If you want to be successful, find a coach who can see you for who you really are and is willing to believe in what you think might be possible for you if you get out of your own way.

How to Achieve Success

Succumbing to the gravitational pull of the familiar and subsequently collapsing to the normal of past habits and thinking and living is what is now commonly known as our “comfort zone”. A comfort zone can actually become quite painful physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when ignored.

There is a way out for those that are awake enough to actually listen to what is going on inside them. It is being awake to the feeling of longing for something we haven’t yet created, and feeling of discontentment with current circumstances that sparks us to grow, to change something, to create something new or even to rise up out of the ashes. The possibilities for any of us are infinite.

Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome. You must be willing to fire.
~ T. Boone Pickens

If you are ready to give up your default thinking and living and are ready to live a life where your business or vocation, health and well-being, love and relationships, and what you do with your time and money are by your design, the time to act is now. Your first step is to book a short strategy session with me, during which we’ll explore your dreams, see what thinking is keeping you blocked and work to turning those dreams into reality.

To get started, just send me an email at or if you are still not sure, visit my website at and be sure to download my chapter from my book.

About the author:

David Norris is a leadership development and personal growth coach for entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and men and women who seek to up-level themselves, their businesses, their lives, and the lives of the people around them. David has dedicated his life to empowering and teaching people to be better leaders and better human beings.  David is co-author of the international best-selling book The Change 7- Insights Into Self-Empowerment, and he can be contacted by email at, or through his website at

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