5 Mindset Traps That Will Derail Your Success

UPDATED: January 22, 2016
PUBLISHED: January 21, 2016

For 12 years, I was a bread delivery driver, and I dreamed of more for my life. But I also listened to my doubt and fear, and I let them keep me from more—from success.

Then I finally got fed up enough to stop just “existing” and to do something about my dream. I wanted to be a writer, so I decided to stop listening to all those self-limiting beliefs, those negative voices, and I self-published a book.

It was a complete flop. I only sold five copies in the first six months. I was defeated—but I was also determined.

It took four years of figuring things out, but my books (now plural!) have now sold more than 100,000 copies. And I’m a writer and a speaker and a coach. I’m living what success means to me. (Ps. I’m writing this blog post from a café in Madrid, Spain, where I just spoke at a conference—so yes, I found the freedom I was after.)

The way many of us who have experienced success in our life got to this place is by having the right mindset. What you think affects the actions you take. If you don’t believe success is possible for you, you’ll make excuses and stay stuck.

There are five common mindset traps that will ruin your chances of reaching whatever success means to you. Don’t let them.

1. Comparison

Thanks to social media, we all share, like and comment on what’s going on in our lives. Whether it’s a personal or business win, every day you see interesting and inspiring things that he’s doing, she’s doing, they’re doing. This can be good and bad.

In a sense, it can inspire you to keep taking action in your life. In another sense, it can frustrate you at the lack of perceived progress in your own life. It’s easy to compare where you are to where someone else is—and that can make you want to quit. Your journey is personal, and your success should not be measured against what someone else is doing or has done. It should be measured by the goals you’ve set and what you do to hit those goals.

2. Self-Doubt

Doubt and fear are in each of us. We fear failure or looking bad when we stumble. These and many other self-limiting beliefs can easily derail your progress—listening to the negative voices inside your head will convince you that you can’t make big changes or hit your goals. But they’re wrong, and you can prove them wrong by ignoring the noise and taking action.

3. Negative People

You’ve probably heard that whom you associate with will affect what you believe and what you do—it’s true. Negative people can’t see past their situation, and their only goal is to bring others down to their level. If you listen to them day in and day out, it will affect your mindset and attitude. As much as it hurts, you have to cut negative people out of your life to make progress in your journey to success.

4. A Lack of Inspiration

The road to success is long, and you need constant motivation to keep you focused. We live in the Information Age, which means there’s an endless supply of it—you can get daily inspiration through blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc., etc. Setting aside some time each day to get inspired, to stay motivated, will help you conquer those self-limiting beliefs and negative influences.

5. Waiting

The one thing each of us is guaranteed in life is death. The one thing we’re not guaranteed is knowing when our time on this earth will end. All we have is today and right now. Today is the day to start, to push forward. Telling yourself that you’ll take action later, in the future, will keep you from making the choices that lead to success.

Have you committed to making changes in your life? Make this the year they stick. Beat these mindset traps by realizing you have what it takes.

How have you overcome mindset traps or self-limiting beliefs of your own?

Kimanzi Constable is the author of four books, and his articles have been published in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, SUCCESS, NBC, CBS, FOX, and 80 other publications. He is the co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting and is a senior editor at The Good Men Project. Connect with him at kconstable.com.