What’s getting in your way? - Michelle Gibbings

We often have a romanticised notion of success, and yet it’s never as easy as it looks from the outside looking in. Everyone has flaws or hurdles that can hold them back. The difference between people who make progress (and those who don’t) is they know how to work through those challenges.

Success starts with you being open to what needs to change and being ready to critically examine what may be holding you back.

Through my work I’ve discovered seven common challenges that can get in the way of personal progress, so as you read ahead ask yourself – ‘Which of these apply to me?’

1. You blame others
You have choices every day about what you do and don’t do. Yet, like most people, there will be times when you fail to act in a way that best serves you and those around you. Perhaps, you put things off until tomorrow, delay the tough decisions or are always looking for the easy way out.

Do you let yourself down, not treating yourself in the way you deserve?

2. You’re too busy
When you combine busyness with the need to get lots done and the ineffective use of multi-tasking, there’s a real danger that little is achieved. People can fail to see what is going on around them when they are busy and preoccupied with timeliness.

Busy is often a choice, and it helps to be deliberate about how and where you spend your time.

Are you conscious about how you use your time, and focused on what really matters?

3. You’ve become complacent
Complacency is a trap. You take the easy route. Make the easy decision. Shy away from what feels difficult and ignore the difficult conversation. Hope what isn’t working will go away or someone else will fix it for you. At the root of complacency there is often fear – fear of the unknown, or perhaps fear of failure, success or hard work.

In what areas of your life are you taking the easy, but less effective option?

4.You think you need all the answers
Today, there’s often an expectation that you need to have answers at your fingertips, and that it’s not OK to say: ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t understand’, particularly, if you are in a leadership role.

It’s simply not possible to have all the answers, all the time. There are too many unknowns and shifting variables. As well, by being ‘certain’ you close yourself off to different ideas and unique opinions.

Consider, where have you stopped listening to other perspectives?

5. You shy away from failure
It’s very easy for people to talk about embracing failure. But honestly, how many of us truly believe that when it happens?

Not many of us will get up and jump for joy and exclaim ‘Oh hooray, I’ve failed’. Instead, the typical response will be on a spectrum. It may be one of self-loathing (if at the extreme end), disappointment (if you are in the middle) or curiosity as to why it failed (if you are at the other end of the spectrum).

Are there times when you are closing yourself off from learning?

6. You’ve lost time
Reflecting on the past, thinking about your future goals, and being focused on what you need to do in the present is a delicate balance. It’s important to be able to balance all three.

Consider, which of the elements (past, present, future) do you spend the most time on? Are you ruminating about the past, so focused on the present you don’t plan ahead, or are you fixated on the future to the extent that you fail to enjoy the present?

7. You’re not prepared to put in persistent effort
Effort + Persistence = Progress.

It’s that simple. If you aren’t prepared to put in the effort, you won’t make progress. If you aren’t willing to work through challenges and be ready to withstand the ‘ups and downs’ of everyday life, you’ll make limited-to-no progress.

How ready are you to embark on a personal adventure of growth and development so you can unlock your true potential and stay ahead of the game?

As author George Elliot once remarked ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been’.

Getting you ready for tomorrow, today®.

Michelle Gibbings is a change leadership and career expert and founder of Change Meridian.  Michelle works with global leaders and teams to help them get fit for the future of work. She is the Author of ‘Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work’ and ‘Career Leap: How to Reinvent and Liberate Your Career’. For more information: www.michellegibbings.com or contact michelle@michellegibbings.com.