What’s Holding You Back?

“Let’s talk sense to the American people. Let’s tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains.” – Adlai  Stevenson (acceptance speech, Democratic National Convention, July 26, 1952)

How are you doing with your dreams? Are you happy with your progress? Well on your way? Or are you falling behind? Maybe even stalled?

If you are not making the progress you would like to make, chances are you have tied yourself to one of the following psychological anchors:

* A mediocre self-image. Somehow, along the way, you developed an image of yourself that flickers on — automatically — whenever you attempt to do something important. Find out what that image is and, if it is something less than impressive, change it. You don’t need years of psychotherapy to change your self-image. Begin by visualizing yourself as a winner. Do this as much as you can bear to and don’t tell anyone about it.

* Fear of failure. If you listen to the experts, you’d believe that this is the self-help version of original sin — everyone has it and only those who get rid of it succeed. I don’t think that’s entirely true — neither the universality of it nor the need to banish it. A fear of failure is a healthy thing. Banish it and you will do some very foolish things. Don’t be afraid of your fear of failure. Respect it. Work hard to overcome it. Overcome it by learning the business so well that your fear subsides to a healthy minimum.

* A lack of specific goals. This should NOT be a problem for you. If you think it is, reread Message #102 (“How to Accomplish All Your Most Important Goals”).

* Laziness. Here’s the big one. It’s not talked about by success gurus because they are afraid of alienating their disciples. Laziness is the No. 1 reason people don’t succeed. You can get yourself charged up by reading a book or going to a seminar, but having a high charge won’t get you where you want to go. To accomplish your big goals, you have to work your ass off. How do you do that? Start by turning to ETR every morning — and don’t stop working until everything on your “to-do” list for each day is done.

When great athletes fail, they do so by making the simplest mistakes. The same is true for success seekers. If you’ve enjoyed success before but find yourself wavering now, review the above list with candor. Chances are, you are failing due to one of these faults.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]