By Nicole LaBeach, PhD, PCC. As a coach and success strategist, my joy is advocating and partnering with people who seek to achieve meaningful goals. Together, we push strategy and action till it yields the desired outcome. As clients take their results in their own hands, they quickly embrace what I already know – they are truly their greatest asset! Some naturally move in that understanding, others embrace it as a new way of seeing themselves. Then there are those who must first wrestle with the reality that they’ve been functioning as the opposite – a personal liability to their own success. Which one are you? Here are 6 quick questions that can help you identify if the biggest obstacle is you. If so, not to worry – recognizing it is the first step in ensuring a different more positive reality where you elevate your potential for success.
Question 1. Do you avoid or refuse accountability?
Who can tell you the truth? Who can tell you the truth, challenge your decisions, rationale, or commitment? Who can give you feedback, guidance, and direction? If the answer is “few” or “no one,” you may be on a path of potential derailment that you’re not even aware of. Accountability is directly correlated with success, so if you’re willing to be accountable to no one, you’ve actually decided to only hear and be led by your own voice – the short sightedness of this can work against you over time because it can position you to be an obstacle to your own success.
Question 2. Do you put little value on finishing?
Successful people tend to be finishers. Yes, at times they may choose to let something go, turn a corner, or even shift directions, but their pattern of choice is that of finishing what they start and finishing well. No matter the justification, if your track record is one of not making it over the finish line or prematurely giving up prior to achieving desired outcomes, you may want to examine how this pattern is an obstacle to your success.
Question 3. Is it always someone else’s fault?
If your go to line is “it’s not my fault,” or you find yourself blaming others and pointing the finger instead of asking “What do I need to take responsibility for?,” you may be an obstacle to your own success. Taking ownership is a position of power. Now is the time to embrace most if not all things as an opportunity to learn and grow. Doing so will definitely elevate your leadership promise, show others you can take ownership when things go wrong, and demonstrate your owning your own success.
Question 4. Do you exhibit saboteur-like tendencies?
When you seem to be on a good path, do you let fear or insecurity convince you to mess things up before it gets messed up? Do you feel undeserving of good things and find ways to exhibit actions that assure good things don’t stay “good?” If you find yourself predetermining negative outcomes, consistently looking for the next shoe to drop, or engaging in behaviors that ultimately fulfill negative expectations, you may be an obstacle to your own success.
Question 5. Are you good friends with indecision and/or passivity?
Here’s the thing, there’s no such thing as true indecision or passivity! Contrary to popular belief, doing nothing is still a decision to do something – it’s a forfeit decision! When you decide to be passive, what you’ve really done is decided to give up your power to actively affect the outcome with your input. Therefore, even a forfeit is an active decision… A decision to relinquished the power of your influence. If passivity, or the illusion of not making a decision, is your usual mode of operation, you may be an obstacle to your own success.
Question 6. Do you desire respect without responsibility?
Part of the reason successful people are also highly respected is their perceived and/or real span of responsibility. Responsibility to their direct reports, customers, employees, families, peers, communities, etc. is often what makes them worthy of high levels of respect. Now here’s a question: how many successful people do you know with little to no responsibility? Exactly. So, if commitment and responsibility are things you seek to get away from at all costs, you may be an obstacle to your own success.
Question 7. Do you think success comes before work?
Years ago, I heard master musician Quincy Jones say, “The only time you’ll ever see success come before work is in the dictionary.” Ten points to Mr. Jones for that piece of wisdom. Being successful and maintaining success in your professional and personal life all take work. For the most part, what you put in is a good predictor of what you’ll get out. If you’re unwilling to accept words and phrases like cultivate, resilience, mastery, stretch, grow, learn, pay dues, get back up again, press toward the mark, and failure is not an option, as part of your success journey, you may be…
To learn more about strategies for success and how executive coaching can help, schedule a consultation with Nicole.