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September 5, 2016
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Roadblocks to personal development by bryant maxwell

Part of human nature is a desire to make progress,

or positive change. We all want to improve some

area of our life. Perhaps we want to improve our

finances, relationships, health, or education. We

may want to control our emotions, develop

self-disciple, or grow more tolerant. But why is

progress so slow?

Part of the reason lies in asking the above

question. That is, rather than ask what’s holding

us back, we shrug our shoulders and sigh, “Well, I

guess that’s what is meant to be.” However, what

happens to us is not the result of what is meant

to be, but the result of the actions we take or

fail to take. So, if we find ourselves in less

than satisfactory circumstances, let’s start by

considering the major roadblocks to our success.

And once we have identified them, let’s ask

ourselves how we can overcome those hurdles.

Finally, after arriving at a solution, let’s act

on it.

Thus, a simple 3-Step Plan can launch us on our


Identify what is holding us back.

Figure out what steps we need to take to overcome

the obstacles.


Take action! Implement our plan.

Major Roadblocks that Slow Our Progress


  1.    Living by default instead of by design. That

is, rather than plan our actions, we usually just

automatically react to whatever happens to us at

the moment. And when we act automatically, we just

continue doing what we have always been doing,

which is the definition of NOT making progress.

The solution is to stay alert, vigilant, and think

before we act. Before acting, ask yourself if what

you are about to do will improve your life, keep

it the same, or make it worse.


  1.    Making excuses instead of making plans.

Success is not a matter of luck that happens to

  1. Rather, it is created by us because of the

actions we take. When we accept responsibility for

our actions, we empower ourselves, but when we

deny our shortcomings and rationalize our poor

behaviour, we condemn ourselves to mediocrity or

failure. For as Shirley Chisholm wrote, “You don’t

make progress by standing on the sidelines,

whimpering and complaining. You make progress by

implementing ideas.”



  1.    We listen to our Inner Child instead of our

Inner Adult. We constantly hear two voices within

  1. One suggests how we can improve our lives.

This is the voice of our True Self, Inner Adult,

or Inner Wisdom. Unfortunately, the inspiring

words of our Inner Adult are often drowned out by

our Inner Child, which is the stored memory of our

childhood. Our Inner Child is a “Fraidy Cat” or

scaredy-cat. It is afraid to try anything new or

to step out of its comfort zone. When you act

without thinking, you usually turn over control of

your life to your Inner Child. To succeed in life,

we need to listen to our Inner Adult and act



  1. 4.    Fear of being wrong. As children, we were

afraid of making mistakes, being criticized,

denied affection, appearing stupid, breaking the

rules, or being punished. For when we were

‘wrong,’ we were made fun of, humiliated, or

scolded. Unless we remain vigilant, these

childhood fears will carry over and direct our

present action. Remind yourself that you are no

longer a child and resolve to act courageously.


  1.    Fear of our own inner power.We all know we

have vast inner power. We know this by observing

the great deeds of others. For we share the same

human nature. If others are capable of greatness,

so are we. But we are afraid to use our power.

Marianne Williamson explains:


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond

measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that

frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to

be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child

of God. Your playing small does not serve the

world. There is nothing enlightened about

shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure

around you. We were born to make manifest the

glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in

some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our

own light shine, we unconsciously give other

people permission to do the same. As we are

liberated from our own fear, our presence

automatically liberates others.” 


Why are we so afraid? Here are some reasons:


  • If we acknowledge our power we have to accept

responsibility and can no longer make excuses or

blame others for our failure.


  • We may be afraid of working hard and prefer to



  • We may be afraid people will expect too much

from us or take advantage of us.


  • Friends may become jealous of our success and

abandon us.


  1.    Lack of self-reliance.In childhood we

learned that we could not take care of ourselves.

We relied on mom and dad to provide us with food,

shelter, and safety. They told us what we had to

do, when we had to go to school or see the doctor,

when to go to bed, when to go out and play, and

when to study. As a child we came to believe we

could not look after ourselves and we had to rely

on others. If we do not remain careful, remnants

of those early beliefs will remain, and as adults

we will continue to search for help outside of

ourselves instead of relying on our inner



  1.    Chasing after what we want rather than what

we need. For example, satisfying our craving for

sweets instead of our need for nutritious food is

self-defeating and will sabotage our plans for

good health.



  1.    Making poor choices.For instance, students

partying instead of studying, young working men

purchasing expensive sports cars instead of saving

for the future, and families spending more than

they earn and going heavily into debt. Wrong

choices weaken our stance and make us ill-equipped

to handle future emergencies.


  1.    Allowing our past to rule our present.Tom’s

parents divorced when he was just three years old

and his single mom had to work two jobs just to

survive. Tom received very little guidance from

his mother because she was away working most of

the time. Today, Tom is confused and not very

successful. “I can’t help it,” he says, “I never

received proper guidance, so I’m all screwed up

and don’t know how to succeed.”


Tom is allowing his past to rule his present. It’s true

that we cannot change our past, but we can change

how we perceive it. Instead of focusing on the lack of

guidance he received from his mother, for example,

Tom could have focussed on his mother’s

self-reliance. Even though Tom’s father wasn’t

paying child support, his mother worked hard

enough to raise him. He could learn a lot from his

mother’s devotion, dedication, and perseverance.


Instead of interpreting his past as depressing and

discouraging, he could have found it inspirational

by learning from his mother that we can survive

even in very tough situations. Besides, Tom is no

longer a child. What’s to stop him now from going

to the library or bookstore to get the guidance he

didn’t receive in his youth? If he were to do so,

he would be receiving guidance from the top

experts, giving him the edge over most of his



  1. The wrong mindset.It is surprising that many

people continue to believe that their suffering is

caused by external events, failing to realize that

it is their attitude that is the cause of their

problems. More than 1,800 years ago Epictetus

taught “Men are disturbed not by things but by the

views which they take of them.” Similarly, around

the same time, Marcus Aurelius taught, “If you are

pained by external things, it is not they that

disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it

is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.”

Instead of bemoaning your present problems, why

not rejoice, which you can do simply by adopting

the attitude, or mindset, that no matter what

happens to me, I’m going to benefit from it one

way or another.


  1. Postponing future success for immediate

gratification. It’s silly to deny ourselves the

exhilaration, satisfaction, and pride of lasting

success for temporary pleasure. But our brains are

programed to favor pleasure over the ‘pain’ of

making an effort to succeed. That’s why

procrastination is rampant. But procrastination is

the postponement of life. That doesn’t make sense

does it? Despite our programing, we can override

it by making conscious decisions to make the

effort to succeed. After all, the rewards of

success far outweigh the ‘rewards’ of partying,

TV, playing games, and other diversions.


  1. Not willing to pay the price. We don’t seem to

mind paying for the tickets of sports events,

concerts, and the theater, so why do we resist

paying the price for success? We cannot succeed

unless we first recognize that anything worthwhile

has a price. So before you begin any endeavor,

cheerfully promise yourself that you are willing

to pay the price for success. If you’re not

willing to put in the time and effort, you’re just

wasting time dreaming about success or making

half-hearted attempts.


  1. Avoiding problems.Problems aren’t the

problem, but avoiding them is. Why don’t we

already have the degree of success we want?

Because there are problems, obstacles, and hurdles

blocking the way. Isn’t it obvious we have to

solve the problems before we can succeed?


  1. Lack of resilience. The path to success is not

smooth. There are bumps in the road. We are bound

to stumble, trip, and, perhaps, fall. Successful

men and women are resilient. They know how to get

up after each fall and how to maintain a positive

attitude, regardless of the difficulty. If you

could use more help in developing resiliency, I

heartily recommend this book: The Resilience

Factor, 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and

Overcoming Life’s Hurdles by Karen Reivich  and

Andrew Shatte Ph.D.


  1. Trying to overcome our weaknesses instead of

building on our strengths. Working on improving

yourself is great, but the biggest payoffs flow

from our strengths, so keep building on them.


  1. Giving up too early. To repeatedly do what

doesn’t work is foolish, but it is equally foolish

to give up too early. Setbacks are not for sitting

back and doing nothing, but for learning. Setbacks

are normal, to be expected, and part of life.

That’s how we learn what works and what doesn’t,

what to do and what to avoid. Remember, temporary

setbacks are not permanent failures.


  1. Talking instead of listening. We don’t learn

anything by telling people what we know; rather,

we learn by listening to what they have to say.

So, stop talking and start listening. Before you

speak WAIT; that is, ask yourself, “Why Am I

Talking?” (W.A.I.T.)


  1. Feeling helpless.If and when you’re feeling

helpless, help someone. It will get your mind off

your problems, make you realize others are worst

off, and make you feel powerful. Remember, it’s

impossible to help others without helping



19.Mistaking useless action for progress.

Doubtlessly, you understand the importance of

progress, for it is what narrows the gap between

where we are and where we want to be. But we

mustn’t mistake aimless action for progress, for

as Alfred A. Montapert wrote, “Do not confuse

motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving

but does not make any progress.”


  1. Inaction. Another reason for the importance of

progress is that we are either progressing or

regressing. There is no standing still in life.

Charles Caleb Colton explains: “He that is good,

will infallibly become better, and he that is bad,

will as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue

and time are three things that never stand still.”


  1. Believing you are a failure.You are not a

failure, but a person experiencing a failure,

setback, obstacle, hurdle, or roadblock. Setbacks

are temporary and pave the way for comebacks.


  1. Not understanding the nature of life.Here is

what Henry Ford and Hillary Clinton have to say

about the subject: “Life is a series of

experiences, each one of which makes us bigger,

even though sometimes it is hard to realize this.

For the world was built to develop character, and

we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which

we endure help us in our marching onward.” (Henry

Ford) “You know, everybody has setbacks in their

life, and everybody falls short of whatever goals

they might set for themselves. That’s part of

living and coming to terms with who you are as a

person.” (Hillary Clinton)



Margaret Hirsch

Margaret Hirsch
Margaret Hirsch
Hirsch COO runs South Africa’s top independence appliance company that specialises in all appliances, electronics, furniture and bedding. They give the best deals and the best prices and everything is guaranteed.