Enemies of Success

For anyone that wants to achieve success, there are certain things they must do to do this. But there are also enemies to success that must be managed or eliminated.

Five of them, in particular, are harmful to every type of success. No matter what your final goal is, you must avoid these five things or you won’t achieve victory.

1. Doubt

Doubt is that little voice in your head that says you’ll never accomplish what you set out to do. It is the first killer of any new activity. We’re all familiar with it. But for adults it also has some insidious disguises:

  • Am I doing this right? Maybe there’s a better way.
  • I’m not sure I trust <expert>, maybe I should find another one?
  • This seems too X, though I know I can achieve success with this route. Maybe I can make it better with Y…

These seem like wise statements, but they’re really doubt in disguise. The only time that they become valid is when you’ve taken action on a path long enough to know for certain there are inefficiencies or problems.

This can take years depending on your chosen goal. Don’t let doubt make you give up too soon through second-guessing!

2. Overconfidence

The flipside of doubt is overconfidence. Overconfidence is more than just ego (which we’ll cover below). It’s also underestimating every other factor that could spoil your plans and dismissing things that could improve them because you think you know best.

Overconfidence also causes another problem when defeats do come. It shatters our confidence and leads to a huge wave of doubt that could take us completely away from our goals. It makes us brittle inside, and often obnoxious to other people.

3. Wrong Timing

Taking action at the right time is another important component for success. Wrong timing can be symptoms of the first two errors. The overconfident often rush in when delay is needed, and doubtful people take too long weighing options before acting.

Success has a timing component that must be mastered. Learning to recognize when opportunities are present as well as absent will help you avoid wrong timing.

This is something that must be gained through experience and the study of those who have gone before you to achieve success in your field. Out of the five enemies in this article, this is the one least related to ego assuming you don’t have doubt or overconfidence issues.

4. Stagnation

Stagnation is staying still rather than acting at all. This enemy often comes to people who achieve a certain level of success and stop. A small amount of success can become quite comfortable. You’re making enough at your business to pay your bills and keep things running. Why go further?

There are people out there who have very modest business goals, but it’s one thing to be truly content with a very small business and another to be scared of taking the steps to reach out the true dream.

If you’re feeling stagnant in your job, dig into yourself to find the fear and confront it. Then take action to break up the stagnation. It’s the only way you’ll get past it.

5. Ego

Whole religions take it as a foundation that our ego is the main source of our issues. Small wonder then that ego can be an impediment to success. Ego runs through all of these issues.

Feeling unworthy can bring up doubt and stagnation. Feeling egotistical can bring overconfidence and push people into wrong timing. But ego can do more than this.

People do not like doing business with people who are too egotistical. Business deals are made on mutual give-and-take, not bullying or running roughshod over clients or customers.

Over to You

No matter how much you might brand and promote yourself, you need the help of other people to recognize your efforts and be impressed enough to pay you for whatever it is you’re selling.

You don’t have to negate your ego completely, but you can’t let it flare up and hit someone else’s ego either. That’s a sure way to lose customers or start a confrontation that could lead to one of the other enemies to kill your dream.

These aren’t the only enemies to your success by far, but they are the largest internal ones. If you can’t control your inner demons, you won’t be able to act effectively out in the world to achieve your dreams. Reflect on your opponents. Are they getting in the way?



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