Biggest enemies of success?


What are the biggest enemies of success?

  1. Definition
  2. Fear
  3. Excuses
  4. Tradition
  5. Need for instant results
  6. Comparison

If you are failing in your pursuit of success, I would bet that you are guilty of some or even all of the above.


I’ve written about this previously:-

Gary Searle’s answer to What is the secret to success?

You cannot be successful until you define what success means to you.

Looking for success without knowing what it is, is like looking for one particular needle in a stack of needles.

Despite what some will tell you, success is not one size fits all. You may look at the successful CEO who has millions in the bank, goes to the most exotic places on earth, is admired by all her peers, lives in a huge mansion and drives the latest Ferrari; and automatically assume she is successful. In some sense she is. She appears to have It made.

But if you dig a little deeper you realise she cannot hold onto a relationship for more than a few months, she is desperate to start a family and although she’s in a high powered job she hates it with a passion.

Is she still successful?

I argue no, not even remotely.

For some her life is perfect. If you value social status and wealth above family, relationships and working a job you love, then you do you. But if you value something entirely different, even if it means less wealth, go for what you love and to hell with anyone who tries to tell you you’re less successful than the millionaire CEO.

Define your own success and go after it with all you have.


Seems silly right? How can anyone fear success? But so many do. They fear it will change them, they
‘ll become successful and still not be truly happy, it will create more stress, they fear getting out of their comfort zone. The potential list of fears associated with success and achieving your goals is endless.

But if you currently don’t live a happy and successful life; what have you got to lose?

If you reach your destination to find success wasn’t where you thought it was, you can try again. I’ve done it myself a couple times.


This is linked to fear. If you fear success in some way or fear the work you have to put in to become successful you will invariably find any excuse you can to avoid it.

But if you really want something bad enough, there shouldn’t be any room for excuses.

I believe if you find yourself constantly finding excuses not to achieve a particular goal then that particular goal is not for you. If you really wanted it, nothing would stand in your way.

But if you are convinced by your goals but are still finding excuses, then ask yourself this one word question: Why? It makes zero sense when you actually sit down and think about it.


In some cultures and some families there is a tradition. A blueprint for life that everyone is expected or automatically follows just because ‘It’s tradition’.

The sporting superstar who comes from a family of sporting superstars. A doctor or a lawyer whose father and his father before him was also a doctor or lawyer. A wife who is expected to raise her family, run the household and wait for her husband to return from work.

I understand for some defying your family on such matters is very difficult, but if your idea of success differs to that of your family or your culture, I encourage you to do just that. Life’s to short to live someone else’s dreams.

Need for instant results

This used to be me. I was once so fixated on the end result of success I lost interest in the journey. I wanted the results, but didn’t want to put in the work to get them.

How many of you can relate?

I am now on a path where I enjoy the journey far more than the destination. That’s where you need to be. Success should only be a bi-product of the journey you take to get there. When you love the journey more than the result everything else becomes easy.


Far too many people compare their own lives to others.

They see their friends who appear to have more success. They could already be very successful, but just because someone else has more, they begin to feel they aren’t that successful after all.

Anyone who has been around personal development for a while will have heard this before — the only person you should compare or compete with is you. If you’re a better, more successful person than you were a month, a year or ten years ago then that’s the most important thing. Compete with yourself, but never compete with others.

You don’t have to be the best in your profession, you don’t even need to be the best in your hometown. So long as you are improving it doesn’t matter what others are doing.

Written By:  Gary Searle


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