From personal experience, I can say, there are so many factors that can hold a person back from achieving success that it can be overwhelming.

As I prepared to write this post, I reflected back on my life and I realised, it’s not just one thing that held me back from achieving the success I wanted, needed, in my life… it has been a combination of things that have all come together and worked collaboratively to help me self-sabotage and derail my life-long pursuit of success and fulfilment.

In this post, I will share just 5 things I have personally experienced that have, at one time or another, held me back from achieving the success I was pursuing.

Please understand, this is not a definitive list… as I can immediately think of another 7 things that could write about… and that’s without even stopping to think too hard about it.

At any rate, here are the first 5 things that came to mind.

1. Putting Too Much Value On What Others Think

One of the most crippling conditions in my life has been my search for acceptance and approval of others. I would count their ‘Great idea Eugene’ as though it was a currency. If they said, “That’s not a good idea” I would believe them and lose energy for the initiative.

I’ve had friends tell me that what I wanted to do, what I had dreamed of, could not be done by someone like me. They would then go on to tell me what they thought I should do.

I do believe you need to have people in your life that help you make sense of some things in your life and yes, be there to support you when you. The trap is when you put too much value on what they think when it’s not their dream!

As I see it, you may be the only person in this world who has had that idea and now it is a dream. Don’t expect others to see it and value it as you do.

2. Having Great Ideas But No Action

I know what it’s like to get carried away with great ideas and the picture of success starts to snowball in the mind before any action has taken place. I am a person that will typically have a great idea and then… another great idea… and then… and so on.

As John Maxwell, the NY Times bestseller says, “The only thing that kills a great idea, is another great idea.” At some stage, you simply have to stop generating ideas and do something about that one idea!

I encourage you to set in place a daily or weekly action plan. This is will bring your idea closer to being a reality.

3. Easily Distracted

I put my hand up. I am so easily distracted. In fact, even as I am writing this blog post I have been distracted at least 20 times.

It is a struggle for me to stay focused on ‘one thing’ without another great idea being thrown into the picture… which as we have already mentioned, can kill the current great idea I am working on.

This one holds so many people back from achieving success. You will not achieve much if every 30 seconds you decide to check your texts, your emails, your Facebook and so on.

Here’s what I have learned.

  1. There must be times when you simply have to shut things down and out.

  2. Eliminate all distractions from around you, so that you can actually get through some solid hard work without continuously stopping.

4. Too Impatient

I struggle with growing a garden. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t. I plant the seed and expect to wake up tomorrow and see growth. I expect to be eating it within 7 days! Sadly this is not how things actually work.

Success does not happen overnight, no matter what you may hear from those online salespeople who promise rapid success in only a few days… for just $49.95! Doesn’t happen!

Success requires an investment of application and time. You can’t just expect to put 100% effort in for one month and expect to be a ‘master’ of your craft or have achieved ‘Significant ROI’ after just one month. Real, true growth takes patience.

"One of the biggest traps in the pursuit of fulfilment is to confuse haste with urgency.

Here’s how I define the difference. Haste means to be impatient or impetuous.

Urgent means to be insistent and attentive to action or attention."

We get so much instant gratification from text messages and social media these days that we may forget that sometimes the best things in life aren't delivered to us instantly or on-demand.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “To lose patience is to lose the battle.”

When you are driven and ambitious, the mere idea of having to wait for the things you are pursuing can feel torturous. Rest assured, the road to success often requires taking a path of patience. So relax and enjoy the ride.

5. Haven’t Found What You Were Born to do

As many of you who follow me know, my wife is in the final month of her counselling degree. I remember when the awareness came to her that she needed to apply herself to becoming a counsellor.

We were listening to an inspirational teacher by the name of Lois Giglio and he was delivering a challenging message titled Passion + Purpose. The essence of his message was, “Among us all are incredible business people, artists, athletes, scientists, moms, dads, chefs, accountants...the list is endless! There is something specific in each of us that makes us come alive. That's our passion.”

Both Chereen and I realised that what made us come alive - what we are passionate about – is what was we were born to do. Today, this is what we do.

Remember, the path to success is a journey... it takes time... it takes patience!

What about you? Have you found what you were born to do?

Sometimes it’s not taking the time to nail this ‘passion’ down that holds us back from achieving success.


  • Success is a journey, not a destination.

  • Fulfilment is not achieved by doing any one thing. It is the result of doing many little things right.

  • When you fall down, and you will… get back up.

  • Quitting is never an option for the person pursuing fulfilment.