The 6 Worse Barriers to Personal Growth

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There are six barriers to personal growth that have the greatest effect on your ability to change your life for the better.

Once you become aware of these stumbling blocks, you’ll be in a good position to overcome them. How many do you have under control?

  1. Undefined Goals

Setting goals is such a fundamental necessity of achievement, you might be excused for thinking that everyone already knows what they want. But, I’ve found over and over that this just isn’t the case. There are several unconscious factors that keep most people from defining what they want, and writing out clear goals.

If you do not consistently focus on what you want, you will not create, attract or be attracted to the opportunities to make them happen. Instead, you will create unfocused outcomes where sometimes you get what you want, but mostly what you don’t want. What’s worse, you will have no control over those experiences. Your mind is a goal-seeking mechanism, so set it pointing toward what you want. Go Set Your Goals!

2. Status Unknown

Now that you know where you want to go, get real about exactly where you are. If you don’t know where you are in relation to where you want to be, you will have no chance of finding the direction to your goal. You will be like a rudderless ship, adrift in the ocean of busyness or procrastination (whichever distraction you prefer), fretting and doing a lot, but accomplishing little. It’s time to take inventory of your life situation to get an accurate picture of where you are at. Overcome this Barrier to Personal Growth by Taking Inventory of your Life.

3. Unconscious Focusing on What You Don’t Want

When a person experiences an emotional trauma (and let’s face it, we all have to some degree), they will tend to focus on avoiding having that happen again. Unfortunately, the mind takes that focus and sets about creating or attracting to them the very thing they wanted to avoid. What’s worse, the more emotional power behind that focus, the quicker the result. You can see the importance of focusing on what you want, and taking your mind off of what you don’t want.

For most people, this focusing is done completely unconsciously, so they don’t know they’re doing it. But there is a clever trick to discovering your unconscious focus. It’s really easy to implement, and it works every time. “How do you feel?” Do you feel bad? If you feel bad, you are focusing your mind upon what you do not want. Try it. Think of something you find unpleasant, and pretty soon, your mood will turn sour. The secret is, that any time you feel bad, you are necessarily focusing on what you don’t want (even if you aren’t aware of that thought). Simply pull your focus back to what you do want, and begin to feel better. The more you practice this, the faster you will be able to control how you feel emotionally. You’ll be amazed by the power of this secret. Notice when you feel bad, and Refocus on What You Want.

4. Suffering Under the Illusion that You Are Your Ego

You do know that you are not your ego, right? Nor are you your mind, your thoughts, your feelings, your body or anything else you can name. You have thoughts, but you are not your thoughts. You have feelings, but you are not your feelings. You have these things, but you are not them. Well, I didn’t figure this out until I was about 25 years old. Some people never figure it out and are trapped, letting their body, mind and emotions control them. If you are under the illusion that you are your ego, you are bound by one of the toughest barriers to personal growth.

Sit quietly for a few minutes and try to clear your mind of any thoughts. It’s pretty hard to do if you’ve never meditated before. Try again, but this time simply observe those thoughts without judgement. Did you notice any gaps open up between thoughts? It took me about six months of doing this before any gaps opened up for me. But when they did, I found stillness and bliss, and the nothingness that is much closer to my real self. Befriend your true self with Meditation.

5.  Limiting Beliefs

If you’ve read any self-help books at all, you’re sure to have learned about limiting beliefs. I was frustrated by the fact that every supposed self-help guru spoke about them, but never revealed exactly HOW to change them from limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs without buying their product… But wait, there’s more! I discovered that all your beliefs are governed by your values.

Simply think of all the things you value in life. Make a list and write it down. This list can contain things, relationships, activities, feelings, anything. Answer this question as if you are chatting to a friend over coffee, “what matters most to you in life?” List about ten things. Then arrange them in order of most to least important. This is your values list. Your values are like hooks that your beliefs hang off. Clarifying and defining your values changes all the beliefs that hang from them. While you may have thousands upon thousands of beliefs, you only have about 10 – 12 top values. Discovering and refining your Values has a huge trickle-down effect on all your beliefs. Discover, then Refine Your Values in Life.

6.  Relegated Personal Responsibility

If you haven’t figured out that you’re 100% responsible for your life, you have relegated your power over to something else. Taking this view, it’s really easy to blame something outside of you for the situation you are in. But blame doesn’t get you anywhere, and it doesn’t help get you what you want, it just digs you down deeper.

Outside situations have nothing to do with the way you feel, whether you are late to work, how successful you are, or anything else. It’s really the internal thoughts that you have about those external situations that determine how your life is.

So, If you take just one thing from this article, it’s this: adopt the fundamental premise that you are 100% responsible for your own life. This doesn’t mean that you are to blame, but it does empower you to create your life as you would prefer it.

This is one of the largest barriers to personal growth, because we are taught to believe that we don’t have control. Of course we don’t have complete control, in fact the only thing each of us have 100% total control over is our own mind ~ but the mind influences our entire reality, our entire experience of life. So that’s a pretty good thing to have total control over. Your thoughts determine how you feel, and determines how your body works, and everything trickles down from that. It has direct influence over how you perceive the outside world. You change that, and effectively you change the outside world. All this happens in a mostly unconscious way. You are no longer a powerless child. Take back your responsibility!

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