The Single Biggest Obstacle To Success

biggest obstacle to success

Most people think that successful people were born with more natural ability than the rest of the world.

They think successful people were born with more talent, or more intelligence, or more physical strength. Or they received a better education, or they had more resources, or maybe they just got “lucky.”

That’s bullshit.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have.

It doesn’t matter where you come from.

Some of the most successful people in the world started out with absolutely nothing.” – Tweet This

Look at Oprah Winfrey.

Not only is she black and female–the two demographics that have faced the most discrimination throughout history–but she was also born to an unmarried, teenage mother, spent her first six years living in rural poverty, and was sexually abused when she was nine years old. Few people have suffered as much as she has.

But did she spend the rest of her life feeling sorry for herself, wishing her life was different? No. Instead, she went on to become the richest self-made woman in America, and the first black woman billionaire in history.

How’d she do it? How’d she manage to become so successful, even with the cards stacked against her?

She overcame the biggest obstacle to success, which is the invisible barrier that exists inside our heads–the only barrier that truly keeps us from achieving great things.

It’s this internal barrier–not ability, not resources, not luck–that keeps people from becoming high achievers. It’s the little voice in our heads that tells us that we’re not good enough that convinces us there’s no point in trying. So we never even give ourselves a chance to succeed.

But once you overcome this internal obstacle, no external obstacle can ever stop you.

Think about how many barriers, or things we thought to be barriers, turned out to be only mental obstacles…

  • People used to think it was impossible to fly. Then, on December 17th, 1903, the Wright brothers constructed and flew the first successful airplane.
  • Pilots used to think it was impossible to fly faster than the speed of sound. Then, on October 14th, 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier.
  • Runners used to think it was impossible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Then, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran it in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.

These are just a few examples.

History is littered with people who have proven again and again that, with the right mental attitude and some patience, nothing is impossible.

Sure, you might hit some road bumps along the way, you might have to take another route, and it might take longer than you had expected… but eventually you will get there.

When you really, genuinely believe this–that in the end, you will win, no matter what–then, and only then, are you are on the path to living a life of great success.

I know that I still have a lot to learn; but, I’ve started to realize how incredibly important it is to have this success-oriented mentality, if nothing else.

You didn’t get the job you wanted? You bombed a test? The girl you like doesn’t like you back? That sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. Learn from your mistakes, and move on.

You have to believe you were born to succeed, even when you feel like a complete failure—especially when you feel like a complete failure. It’s hard to do, I know. If it was easy, everyone would be successful.

But if you’re reading this, you’re probably not like everyone.

This is the first chapter of my 35-page eBook: 
12 Ways To Be More Successful
You can get your FREE copy here.

Image Source: picjumbo

About Stefano

Stefano Ganddini

Hey there! I'm the creator of Collegetopia and the guy who writes all these articles. I'm here to help you live BIG, do EPIC shit, & be HAPPY. Click here to read more.

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  • Ken

    Awesome article!

    There’s a great chapter on this in “Think and Grow Rich”by Napoleon Hill where he talks about the importance of seeing your goal as not only a possibility but as a certainty. After going through visualizing and embodying the idea that what you want can and will be yours then any actions you take in a direction off that path is very painful.

    Sure it’s possible to have an OK life without pursuing that dream. It may be comfortable to accept being decent at what you do but knowing that whatever you want IS attainable causes an incredible mindset-shift.

    Again, great post.


    • Ken – totally agree with you. I’m going through that mind shift now where I’m realizing that anything really is possible. Makes the mundane day to day of everything being ok impossible to settle for anymore.