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7 Roadblocks to a Successful Career

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It makes no difference whether you’re a chief executive officer, entrepreneur, salesperson, or server. Whether you work in a skyscraper, school, or park, there are certain insurmountable obstacles that will slow down or stop anyone in his or her career track.

Here are my seven roadblocks to a successful career and how to overcome them:

You don’t know what makes you happy. If you succeed at something you don’t love, you will find out—eventually—that you technically failed. Determine early on what drives your happiness and you’ll be on your way to success no matter what the outcome of each day looks like. If you’re not sure what I mean, you simply need to live a little longer and you’ll soon enough know what I mean. Check out How to Figure Out Your Purpose in Life in Fewer Than 600 WordsThe Secret to Avoid Career Stagnation, and The Top 12 Happiness Factors for Employees.

You have no goals. I tell people never let the “how” determine the “what.” Want to be CEO? Great. Figure out how. Want to be an author? Great. Figure out how. Your ambition will drive you. If you conk out along the way, you didn’t want it badly enough. Then you only need to ask yourself, “What was I unwilling to give up to achieve my goal?” Once you have the answer you can reassess whether you truly want to achieve the goal. Hopefully, you’ll start up again with your newfound wisdom. Otherwise, move on. Check out my blog series Out of Reach but in Sight: Using Goals to Achieve Your Impossible. Better yet, buy the book.

You fear the unknown. In Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired, I wrote that most people would rather live with unhappiness than uncertainty. It’s true. If you’re afraid of the unknown, you’ll likely be unfulfilled for a very long time. Embrace the unknown and your possibilities will be endless. Click the Interview Intervention link and enjoy a free eBook download. I give it away.

You’re afraid of failure. This one is different than fearing the unknown. You actually are afraid to fail whether you know how to do something or not. You simply fear falling down. The most successful people I know fail in glorious fashion every day. That’s what ultimately makes them succeed because only those who are willing to go too far can know how far they can actually go.

You’re unwilling to do whatever it takes. When I previously addressed the issue regarding goals, I mentioned asking yourself what you were unwilling to do to achieve something. Often, people fail not because they couldn’t do something, but because they were unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices and accommodations to free themselves to do it.

You’re not likable. I know many unlikable, brilliant people. They’ll never go as far in life as a quasi-talented, hardworking, likable person. It’s a universal law. Of course, there are exceptions. In this case, there are very few exceptions.

Your attitude stinks. This is an albatross around your neck. You’re sour. Perhaps you always think it’s someone else’s fault you’re not where you’re supposed to be. Over the course of your career and life, you will discover you are ultimately a victim of your own vibration. Try smiling even when you’re upset and the problem or issue will likely solve itself.

I’d love to hear from you: What roadblocks have you overcome to become successful? What do you consider an issue that’s holding you back?

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