Who, not what, is holding you back? The answer will surprise you.

Shari Bench

Who's holding you back? You probably spend time thinking about what you want in life, but how often do you consider why you have yet to achieve what you want? Maybe you desire a raise or a promotion.

What is your barrier? Maybe your company isn't providing opportunities for growth. Maybe your boss has yet to realize your value, your co-workers are a problem or your employees don't work hard enough. It's time to realize that most of your barriers are created by you. Here are the 10 steps in eliminating the things in life that hold you back.

1) Examine your thoughts: How you think about yourself and your opportunities are in direct alignment with your results. Believe in yourself and your ability to create the results you want to achieve. Sometimes your thoughts are ingrained so deeply you are not even aware of how negative they may be. Make a conscious effort to replay your thoughts during the day. Recognize negative thoughts, discard them then replace them with positive and encouraging thoughts. Continue this process until you have retrained your thoughts to be naturally be positive and encouraging

2) Clarity: Lack of clarity can weaken your progress. If you know you want to do something different but have not brought clarity to the results you are trying to achieve, you are stifling your progress. Invest time in yourself and your future by allocating time to contemplate the results you wish to achieve. If you have become frustrated and confused about what you really want, this is where you begin. Each day create an environment (meditate, take a walk, relax) where you can clear your mind and place yourself into your professional future.

3) Habits and choices: Your habits lead to the choices you make (consciously or subconsciously) which bring the results you currently have today. If you want to change your results you must change your habits and choices. Once you have examined your thoughts and created clarity on your future, you must bring your habits and choices into awareness.

4) Eliminate self-justifications: If you want to make progress you must stop justifying that it's ok to be where you are. Be aware of justifications that take you out of the game: "It's too hard, it will take too long, I'm not smart enough, People just don't understand, Change is not safe, The economy is so bad I should be grateful for what I have, I'll start tomorrow". The reality is dealing with justifications will feel as if you are arguing with yourself. Your head wants you to stay safe and will sound intelligent as it tries to keep you from making progress.

5) Eliminate the blame game: Until you are willing to take full responsibility for your results, blame will seem appropriate. While blaming, you become a victim and changing your results will become impossible. Why? Because if you are blaming others you are telling yourself you have had no say in where you have ended up in life and it is someone else's responsibility to change your results. Eliminating blame releases a shadow over your thoughts, and you begin to see the accountability you have had all along and the opportunities that are all around you.

6) Self-reliance: Create a healthy reliance on yourself to succeed. Although you want to realize the responsibility you have over your own results, you also want to avoid having an attitude of having to do it all. As you determine what your goals are, begin to consider what you need and who can help you achieve each of your goals.

7) Lack of accountability: Taking responsibility and accountability go hand in hand. As you begin to create clarity around your desired results, it's important to have accountability built into your progress. Without accountability, it's easier for justification to start derailing you which can prolong your ability to meet goals.

8) Lack of education and knowledge: It has been said the only thing standing between where you are and where you want to be is learning something different. Education is a valuable tool and should be considered as such for the rest of your life. Don't let your education discontinue once you have finished school. As you evaluate each of your goals, identify the education you will need to achieve the results you expect.

9) Fear of pain or failure: Fear has to be one of the most powerful emotions you're facing. This can create significant momentum for change or shut you down all together, preventing any progress from occurring. How fear effects each person is going to be very different. Your fear will expand and possibly elevate and intensify to a level much greater than it actually is upon experiencing it. Keep in mind The degree of your fear will be relevant to the change you are experiencing.

10) Relationships: The reality is you will live up to or down to the standards of those with which you spend most of your time. It is in these personal and professional relationships you have found comfort. Evaluate these relationships and begin to reduce negative influences. Although listed as a final step, this is one of the most important places to begin. Through your habits, beliefs and actions, you have strategically aligned with people who influence your outcome. Ensure you are continuously looking at the relationship alignments you have created within your life.

This article began by asking "who's holding you back?" and then continued explaining that by blaming others you become a victim and lose control over your own destiny. By reading this article, you have already created an awareness of barriers that may be present in your life. Continue to recognize that if something or someone is perceived to be holding you back that you have the absolute power to remove these barriers.

About the author:
Shari Bench is a certified trainer and author of the forthcoming book, "Five Essentials of Transformation; Change your life one thought at a time." Her many programs on leadership, career enhancement, relationships, and health and wealth break down the barriers to create incredible results. For more information, visit www.effectivetransformation.com

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