There are thousands and thousands of books and resources about success and failure and how “to get ahead” in life. There is certainly no magic formula to succeeding and your path to success will be different than mine. Certainly, we all have different talents and abilities–and we need to develop those gifts and talents—but no amount of talent or ability will make you a success if that’s all you focus on. Over the years, it’s occurred to me that there are six common obstacles to success. So, I thought I would take a different approach and list some things I’ve learned that, if practiced, will do nothing to help you succeed. Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll see your chances of success improve greatly.
- Having an Unteachable Spirit: As someone who has hired, trained, and fired employees for years, there is nothing that dooms someone more quickly then being unteachable. By unteachable, I mean the unwillingness to learn. It always amazes me of the number of people that believe they have “arrived” and have nothing to learn. When approaching a new job or new venture, you should always take the humble approach that you don’t know everything and you can always learn from those around you.
- Having Unforgiven Offenses: Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things we suffer with as Christians, as people. When someone offends us or does something to harm us, our natural tendency is to fight back and seek revenge. We offer many articles in our blog about forgiveness and can help you in this area, but suffice it to say that our refusal to forgive others only hurts us in the long run and hardens our heart. You can’t be a successful leader in life with a hardened heart.
- Having Un-Wise Associations: It has been said by many famous speakers, such as Zig Ziegler and others, that you are a product of the people around you and the books you read. I totally agree. In fact, it’s often said that your behavior is a reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I couldn’t agree more. If you can’t seem to break through your clutter or get to the next level, check your associations. Who are you spending time with? Do you need to change your network of friends and associates?
- Having a Negative Tongue: You’ve heard the old cliche that misery loves company. Leaders and successful people take steps to make themselves stand out from others. When others look at you, others should see someone different. They should see someone that they want to be like. What they shouldn’t see (or hear) is someone that constantly tears down others. If you are constantly saying something negative about others, I would encourage you to check your own self-confidence and self-image. There are only two ways to make yourself stand above others: you can work hard and do the right things to make yourself stand out, or you can knock others down. Make sure you’re not doing the latter.
- Having Inconsistency in Your Actions: Speaking as a Christian, there’s nothing that sickens me more then seeing what we call “Sunday Christians.” We’ve all seen them–those that are in church and profess to be Christians on Sunday, but live otherwise during the week. As Christians, we have to be consistent in our actions. Our behaviors should be the same on Tuesday, as they are on Sunday. As leaders, we can’t treat people one way on Monday and a different way on Friday. Certainly, we are all human and make mistakes; however, when others look at you, they should see he same person on Monday as they see on Saturday.
- Having an Uncommitted Heart: Committing to anything is often the fuel that sustains you during the tough times. Our journey will always be filled with pitfalls and setbacks. Without commitment, you’ll give up and turn back. Without commitment, you’ll be influenced by anything or anyone in your path that seeks to prevent your success. Remember, not everyone will want you to succeed. Committing to your goal will enable you to move past the nay-sayers.
I can promise you, from my own experiences, if you improve your life in these six areas, you’ll go a long way toward being a Godly success.