Success isn’t without its challenges. The real challenges, however, tend to be internal obstacles rather than external challenges. For many, these obstacles prove to be more difficult to overcome.
Negative Mindset: This may be the most difficult opponent you face. Most of our thoughts each day are negative. Almost everything that comes to you from the media is negative. You have friends and family member who, without meaning to, infect you with their negative thoughts and beliefs. If you want to be more, do more, have more, and contribute more, you must maintain a positive, future-oriented, empowered mindset.
Fear: Fear is healthy when it causes you to act. It is unhealthy when it prevents you from acting. The fight that you must win is the fight with your desire to respond to fear by freezing. You are not going to be attacked by a saber tooth tiger, but you are going to have to deal with conflict, difficult conversations, and difficult circumstances. You win this fight when you act in the face of your fear.
Self-Doubt: Self-doubt is a special subset of fear. It’s the voice of your inner critic that tells you that you aren’t good enough or smart enough to do what is you want to do. The little critic tells you that you are going to fail, that there is no reason to try. It reminds you that you are going to embarrass yourself, that others are going to laugh at you, that you will be shamed. You must win this fight against your inner critic by acting in spite that voice inside you.
Resistance: Inertia, the tendency to do nothing, is strong. It’s a law of nature that bodies at rest tend to stay at rest until acted on by some external force. If you need an external force to motivate you, your fight is with the part of you that resists doing whatever it is that you need to do. That resistance, that need to seek comfort and entertainment instead of effort, is your enemy. Your success requires that you beat it into submission by acting every day.
Too Small a Vision: You are capable of becoming more than you are now. This statement is true no matter how well you are doing now. So far, no one has ever found the upper limit on human achievement, there always being another level available to all those who continue to grow. Your battle is with the part of you that believes you cannot become any more than what you are now. You win when you see what you can become and move towards it every day.
Goals That Are Too Small: There is the idea of goals being SMART, an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. It’s a nice little frame, but it’s the “realistic” part that is problematic. No one ever dreamed big or accomplished anything noteworthy by “dreaming small” or “being realistic.” None of what you see around you was realistic before someone set an unrealistic goal. Your opponent here is the idea that you should lower goals to match those around you. You win when you dream bigger—and set the goals that get you there.
Being Judged: When you strive to do something, other people are going to judge you. You are going to cause them to feel bad about themselves, and in doing so, you initiate criticism. Most of this criticism will come from people who have not yet engaged in winning the conflicts listed here, the ones who are not doing anything to move themselves forward but are made jealous when you do what it is they fear. You win this skirmish when you ignore those who criticize without the intent of that criticism being constructive.
Awareness of your who your opponents are allows you to recognize them and helps you understand what is necessary to defeat them. Now get to work putting them down.