On this long windy road we call life, we encounter adversity, obstacles and road blocks that keep us from achieving our goals. What might seem like a brick wall, stopping our Civic from becoming a Lexus— might in fact only be a detour or a speed bump. So, don’t cancel the trips yet.
Of course, I’m just speaking in an analogy for our own personal behaviours and mannerisms. These negativities of body and mind hold us back, compromise our confidence and drain our potential. If we are to become better hagglers or just better at everything there is, we need to know what holds us back. Se, here are 18 common road blocks that might just be hitting us harder than the road:
1. Not speaking up or asking for help
Maybe you’ll figure it out yourself—but chances are, if you speak up and ask for help, you’ll find the solution to your problem much faster. Whether you are asking for direction at a gas station or telling the driver that you need to go to the bathroom on a long road trip, don’t be afraid to speak up!
2. Bad body language
Actions speak louder than words. Crossing your arms and staring at the floor in social events might be causing you more harm than you know. Displeasure and antagonism is often associated with bad body language. You can learn more about your body language here.
3. No introductions
Some people need no introductions, but you do. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people you haven’t met before. There won’t always be someone to welcome you, so you should always welcome you.
4. No courage to explore
Experiences are created by breaking from the norm. If you fail to find new experiences and explore, you aren’t going to have those interesting stories to tell. I’m not saying you are a boring person if you don’t try new things, but would you rather be a plain slice of bread or a rich tasting sandwich?
5. Holding a grudge
Revenge might sound sweet sometimes, but if you hold a grudge you are probably just poisoning yourself. Wasting your time seeking retribution and resenting others holds you back from accomplishing your goals. The best revenge is living a healthy, happy life, and the ability to forgive is the first step to finding peace. Read more about ditching grudge in this piece.
6. Lack of confidence in your gut feeling
You don’t always have time to ask for permission or to perform an intensive research procedure—sometimes you just have to go on your gut feelings. Impulsive choices are not unhealthy acts. If done moderately, it can lead to many new opportunities that are invisible to those who aren’t ballsy enough to do something different.
7. Being constantly influenced by others
Having role models and inspirations are good, but if someone wants to change you instead of helping you improve, they are probably not trying to assist you. They are trying to alter your values. Being influenced by others and seeking their acceptance might make you feel “cool” for a little bit, but lying to yourself in the progress is more harmful than beneficial.
8. Prophesying your own failure
Actors, athletes and other high-pressure professionals know that having the ability to visualize success is instrumental to achieving it. Expecting failure drains morale and sucks energy from the performance, whatever it is. If you want good things to happen, expect them to happen.
Don’t be jealous, be inspired. There is always a more skilful and proficient person out there regardless of what you do. Therefore, trying to be better than them will ultimately lead to disappointments. But if you seek to improve yourself and be better than the person you were yesterday, than you can always achieve your goal and gradually raise your own bar.
10. Lack of motivation
Laziness pays off right now, productivity pays off tomorrow. That is a slacker mantra, but it shouldn’t be yours. Good motivation takes time to develop. The more you do something, the more likely you are to repeat it over time. If you floss today, you are more likely to floss tomorrow and the day after. If you tell yourself you are going to clean your office for five minutes, you might end up doing to for 30 minutes. Ease yourself into good habits.
11. Self-destruction and sabotage
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Putting yourself in situations where you are doomed to fail due to various reasons is a recipe for anything but success. If you want to learn to drive, don’t start on a freeway—start at an empty lot with no obstacles. Same goes with everything else. If you dive into the deep end, you might need to be rescued.
12. Reliance on the validation of others
If you need validation for everything you do, you aren’t going to do much. Sure a “thank you” or a “good job” is nice, but you should do something because you are the person to do it—it’s probably your job. Validation is not mandatory, it’s just a nice gesture; you are not entitled to it, so don’t take it so personally.
13. Notion that rejections equal defeat
Yes, in a way, rejections are defeats, but what is success without failures? Embrace rejections. It has happened, move on to the next target. The more rejections you have, the stronger your fortitude becomes, thus building your foundation to success.
14. Being governed by external perception
We all have shortcomings and flaws. Learn what they are and allow them to become a part of who you are. Showcase them and don’t feel ashamed.
15. Heavy focus on superficial attributes
Physical appearance is the first thing anybody notices. Nobody appreciates your personality right away. But that doesn’t mean you should be consumed by your appearance. Dress to impress if you want to, but be comfortable. Self-consciousness will make you unappealing regardless of how fashionable you are.
16. Fear of saying “no”
Whether it’s a date or an extra work assignment, sometimes we just need to learn to say no. Saying yes may seem easier, because rejecting others is sometimes as hurtful as being rejected, but it’ll save a lot of trouble in the long run if you know what you can’t do and voice it.
17. Being too selfless and accommodating
You are a valuable person, so don’t let anyone take you for granted. Because selfishness is selflessness, we should all help each other and therefore help ourselves. You deserve payment, it does not have to be money—but your kind deed should not be ignored.
18. Hesitancy to make any key decisions
If you can’t make the big decisions in your life, nobody will. Plain and simple. Take the wheel and head in the direction you want to go. The key to finding success is to be a pilot, not a passenger.