3 Ways You Block Yourself From Being as Successful as You Could Be

The world puts many barriers in the way of our success, but the ones we needlessly erect ourselves are the biggest.

learn more about John Rampton

By John Rampton

Markus Bachmann | EyeEm | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people are sure their lack of success is due to external circumstances or simple bad luck. This is not usually the case, though. Whether it is too little knowledge or skill, poor decisions about managing our time or money, when it comes to road blocks to success we are usually our own worst enemy.

Here are three behaviors that have held back entrepreneurs (including me) from being as successful as they can and should be.

1. There is something you can't let go.

Whether it is a sketchy business idea, a startup that's not going well, an old job you are still mourning or a business that has hit the skids, you cannot make something work that just isn't working. The idea that, if you keep at something long enough, it will eventually work out is false logic. There are times like the song from "Frozen" says, where you just have to let it go, pivot, learn from the failure and try again at something else. No one wants to admit defeat, but if you don't look things square in the face you may end up in a deeper hole, like bankruptcy.

Don't let your ego or stubborn nature get in your way. I have in the past and it cost me literally every penny in my bank account. Listen to what your heart or your gut is telling you -- it won't steer you wrong -- and others are most likely saying the same thing to you in unison. When you listen to yourself and pivot, you may find that you actually achieve success much more quickly based on what you learned from previous experiences.

Related: When It's Time to Grow, Sometimes You Need to Let Go

2. You doubt your own abilities.

While I've met a lot of entrepreneurs with inflated egos. That's almost a given, but what really gets to me is when I come across someone who really has what it takes to be a great success, yet doesn't think they have what it takes to make it. They usually are the ones with the best ideas or incredibly diverse talents, but they just can't see it -- even when everyone else is telling them "wow!"

That lack of confidence can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that becomes their demise. If you are one of these doubters, invest in a mentor to guide you and instill confidence. A good mentor will shadow you through various changes and strategies that focus on what you can and cannot accomplish. It's important to have this partnership when you doubt your abilities. Your mentor can build you up and point you in the right direction. Had I not had others push me, I would have never started my payments company.

Related: The Biggest Barrier to Wealth Is Your Self-Limiting Beliefs

3. You don't know how to say "no."

It's great that you want to help everyone, but realize that you are hurting yourself. Those that say "yes" when they really should reply "no" are taking valuable time and money away from their quest to be successful. They are handing their success over to someone else because the successful person realizes when they can call on others (you) to take care of certain tasks.

Be firm and decline to help when you know you need that time to take care of your own startup. Don't feel guilty about it either. You can still assist others when the occasion arises that you are available, but you need to focus on what you want, and have to do in order to achieve that success. When you get where you need to be -- success-wise -- you can help many others in a much better and more sustainable way. And, if the other people were just using you in the first place for their own success, you will be able to see this scenario more clearly for what it is from a place of power, rather than from a place of weakness.

Related: Say 'No' to These 5 Things for an Immediate Life Improvement

In each of these situations, there are mental barriers you are erecting that you can tear down when you realize that you are the roadblock. It can be difficult to see that you are creating, or allowing others to create the beliefs that are hindering your success.

That's why it is important to read and listen to what others have to say and then reflect on your own behavior with self-awareness.

Take time to fully consider and see if these are the reasons you haven't been as successful as you have wanted. You can get rid of these negative and self-limiting beliefs by making the decision to take conscious control of your actions, and positively affirming to yourself that you deserve success and you are fully capable of achieving your goals.

John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.


6 Ways to Wring All the Value from Your Earned Media Coverage

Press coverage can help your brand gain visibility and increase credibility — but not if no one sees it. What can you do to get more value from the media placements you've worked so hard to earn?

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.


Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.