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7 Ways Entrepreneurs Stymie Their Own Success There will be many real barriers to overcome on your entrepreneurial journey. You can't afford to create more in your head.

By Jacqueline Whitmore Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Throughout life's journey we're always going to experience challenges. However, some of our greatest challenges come from within.

Unfortunately, most of us were never taught to recognize and deal with internal opposition. You could be sabotaging yourself and hindering your own success without even knowing it.

Best-selling author Lisa Kleypas appropriately said, "You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you."

Here are several ways in which you may be holding yourself back.

1. Doubting yourself.

Your failure to believe in yourself may very well be the biggest hindrance to your success. This affects your entire attitude as you go about your daily activities. The first real step in achieving any goal, whether big or small, is to actually believe that it can be achieved. If you do not believe it is possible, you will not possess the drive needed to pursue it with vigor. Start with a positive attitude and you will begin to believe that anything is possible.

Related: How to Rise Above 5 Self-Limiting Beliefs That Hold You Back From Success

2. Procrastination.

You can block your own prosperity by your failure to seize every opportunity head on. Some opportunities may present themselves only once in a lifetime, hence your procrastination may very well rob you of success. Realize that things that you put off today may not get done at all. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, take a chance and go for it.

3. Refusal to get back up.

Many times you will be tempted to "throw in the towel." However, that is the worst thing that you can ever do. It is not a failure when you fall; the true failure lies in your refusal to get back up after the fall. Keep in mind that many successful people -- including Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates -- failed and began again sometime during their journey. Get up and put one foot in front of the other. Don't be afraid to begin again.

Related: Failure Is Part of the Game. Getting Back Up Is the Magic Sauce. (Motiongraphic)

4. Fear of taking risks.

You will never reach your full potential if you choose to remain in your comfort zone. Success requires some degree of risk taking. If you are simply comfortable doing your same old normal routine, you will never reach extraordinary heights. Don't settle for mediocrity when you were created to soar! As Norman Vincent Peale once said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

5. Lack of passion.

You become your greatest enemy when you lack passion, a necessary criterion if you are to achieve any form of greatness. You must be excited about something, enough to turn that excitement into a dream to be achieved, otherwise you merely exist. Sometimes it takes years to find your passion. That's okay. Keep an open mind and keep searching until you find it.

Related: 4 Truths Found in Fighting for Passion

6. Fear of failure.

Fear is a foe that cripples. If you go through life constantly being afraid of failing or falling short, you will do nothing and you will achieve nothing. Have the courage to step out on a limb every once in a while rather than clinging to the things that make you feel safe.

7. Failure to adapt.

You can become your own enemy if you fail to accept the fact that life is not constant. Things change and we must be proactive enough to adapt whenever necessary. If you are unable to cope with situations as they change you are bound to fail. Learn to go with the flow and be more flexible.

Finally, write out a list of powerful, positive affirmations like "Believe," "Think Big," and "Seize the Opportunity" and put them where you can see them every day. In time, you will begin to develop a new way of thinking and will achieve greater results in your life.

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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