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What Holds you Back From Success?

by Kevin D. Crone

November 7, 2016

What is it that holds people back from:

  • Doing what they want or should do in life?
  • Seeking out new opportunities?
  • Being at their best in difficult situations?
  • Being comfortable with people problems?
  • Standing up, speaking out, especially in groups?
  • Performing at a high level?



Answer: FEAR

Fear is more dangerous to your success than any one thing. How do you explain people stopping short of their goals, constantly putting off important things, even though they have all the potential to excel?

Somewhere down the line we have learned from our disappointments, from criticism, from mistakes, that we shouldn’t try things. We should play it safe and not go for it. Our childhood and upbringing is full of judgments. We’re right, wrong, good or bad. It’s tough living up to the world’s expectations. We live with disappointment and it affects our confidence.

True confidence is going for it even when you have some fear. Heck, no one knows for sure the outcome of anything. It’s never too late to show fear who’s boss. Having complete assurance of what will happen before you act is a very weak strategy. You get the facts, prepare, train, get in the game and play to win! That’s all there is. Don’t over think, over analyze, over fret about the consequences before you do something, or you will find yourself locked up. You’ll become unable to actually see what’s really going on and unable to respond as naturally and as best as you can.

Try picking up a pen – go ahead, right now. You can’t. You can’t try. You either pick up the pen or you don’t. When we’re fearful, we’re trying too hard and making things more difficult. Just do it!

We have seen managers who are uncomfortable delegating. Sales people with call reluctance. People at every level terrified when speaking to a group of people. Others very uncomfortable mixing with people they don’t know or people they perceive are above them in status or power. C-level executives unwilling to pull the trigger on very important decisions. It goes on and on.

What are they afraid of, looking bad? Making a mistake? Most of it is just habitual bad habits. Let me explain…

Our thoughts make us what we are. Our mental attitude is the “X Factor” that determines our fate. Our problem – what are the right thoughts? If we think fearful thoughts, we will be fearful. If we think failure, there is a good chance we will fail. Am I saying everyone should have a ‘Pollyanna attitude’ about everything? No, I’m saying that I know from over 50 years experience, that fear can be destroyed and transformations can happen when moments of uneasiness creep in, as they do for most of us. I have seen it hundreds and hundreds of times. When moments of uneasiness creep in we have to get that camera back in focus and see the situation/problem/decision from a factual side. Get the real facts then think about courage and calmness and then, immediately get into action.

Don’t Let Fear Win

We should all be more worried about cleansing our minds from the fearful thoughts that hold us back, make us stressful and unhappy, than the fad of using a very expensive body cleansing. Four out of five hospital patients are suffering from conditions created by emotional strain and stress. It comes down to our opinion of what’s happening and that is entirely up to us.

Many years ago, I read a book called “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. He says a person can only rise, conquer, achieve, by lifting up their thoughts. What I’ve seen in our corporate and public projects is when people do the things they’re uncomfortable with, over and over again, with supportive coaching, fear is replaced by success and they become more comfortable doing whatever they were afraid of and begin to look forward to doing it again and again. We go from fear – to fight – to success.

“Do the thing you fear to do and the death of fear is certain”, said William James.

Think and act courageous and you’ll be more courageous. You will open up your life, career and business to so much more happiness and success.




  1. If you’re more of an introvert, which about 60% of us are, and prefer to do things on your own, then you’re probably more comfortable in your own head and less influenced by others. Look for ways to be more comfortable connecting with others – whether on the phone or face to face, conducting meetings, working within teams and speaking to groups. You won’t change who you are, but you will develop your skills and habits in these areas.
  2. If you’re externally driven or an extrovert (you need and like to be around others), you may not be as good as you think you are. You need to listen more and talk less, be open to others ideas, and engage people so you can build a team. Extroverts or introverts can learn techniques, receive coaching and training to develop these skills.Remember: Just reading or knowing about something does not necessarily make you good at it. To develop new skills and habits it takes practice and application, under the guidance of a coach.
  3. Every day start by reminding yourself of your blessings. Focus your thoughts on your courage, on your leadership capabilities, and on your ability to truly create your own life. By doing this the appropriate actions will follow. Laugh if you want, but my advice is to begin each day with a good ol’ fashion pep-talk. Your opinion of yourself is what really counts.


Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
(905) 826-7300

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