7 signs you’re subconsciously holding yourself back from success

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We all have dreams, yet sometimes they remain just that, dreams – unfulfilled and distant.

You may look back on your journey and wonder why you haven’t attained the level of success you’ve always desired, or feel uncertain if the obstacles you face are self-imposed or not.

How do you know if what’s holding you back is not an external circumstance, but rather your own subconscious mind?

After reflecting deeply on my own path to success and observing the lives of many successful people around me, I’ve compiled a list of 7 signs that could indicate your own subconscious might be your biggest obstacle.

If these signs strike a chord, it might be time to confront those deeply ingrained obstacles.

This is the introduction to an article titled “7 signs you’re subconsciously holding yourself back from success”.

It’s time to uncover the hidden barriers within yourself that might be hindering your road to success.

1. Constant Self-Doubt

Do you find yourself regularly questioning your abilities or second-guessing your decisions?

This could be the first sign that you’re subconsciously holding yourself back from success.

Self-doubt is a silent saboteur that lurks in the shadows of your subconscious mind.

It’s like a whisper in the back of your head, constantly reminding you of past failures, exaggerating the risk of taking new steps, and convincing you that you’re not good enough.

This chronic lack of confidence can prevent you from seizing opportunities and exploring new possibilities.

It can deter you from taking the necessary risks that could lead to your next big breakthrough.

Recognizing this subconscious self-doubt is the first step to overcoming it.

Start by acknowledging your achievements, no matter how small, and use them as a foundation to build your self-confidence.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes and experiences failure; it’s an integral part of the journey to success. Don’t let self-doubt rob you of your potential greatness.

2. Fear of Success

This might sound counterintuitive, but fear of success is a real and powerful subconscious block.

It’s often rooted in a belief that achieving success might lead to something negative, such as increased responsibility, pressure to maintain the success or fear of becoming a different person.

The fear usually manifests itself in various forms of self-sabotage. You might procrastinate on important tasks, underperform or avoid taking necessary steps towards achieving your goals.

If you find yourself feeling anxious or uneasy about the thought of success, it may be time to confront this fear.

Consider what it is about success that scares you and challenge these beliefs.

Remember, success doesn’t have to be a burden—it can be a platform for growth, personal fulfillment, and a means to make a positive impact.

Don’t let the fear of success stop you from reaching your full potential.

3. Comfort Zone Confinement

As humans, we are naturally inclined to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. However, this can sometimes result in us being stuck in our comfort zones, hindering growth and progress.

I’ll share a personal example to illustrate this point. I had been working in the same job for over five years. It was comfortable, predictable and safe.

But I had a nagging feeling that I was capable of more, that I was not living up to my full potential.

Despite this feeling, I found myself resisting the thought of seeking new opportunities.

The idea of leaving the familiar behind and venturing into the unknown made me anxious.

The fear of failure and uncertainty held me back.

But then I realized, my comfort zone was turning into a prison, keeping me from exploring possibilities and achieving greater success.

It took courage to step out, face the uncertainty and embrace change. It wasn’t easy, but it was certainly worth it.

So, if you’ve been feeling too comfortable for too long and are yearning for more out of life, it might be time to break free from your comfort zone.

Growth rarely occurs within the bounds of comfort. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back from chasing your dreams.

4. Negative Self-Talk

The language we use in our internal dialogues can significantly impact our attitudes and behaviors.

When we repeatedly tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, not smart enough, or not talented enough, we condition our minds to believe these statements.

In a study by the National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day.

Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.

If you find yourself often engaging in negative self-talk, it’s essential to recognize this harmful pattern.

Start working towards replacing these negative thought patterns with positive affirmations.

Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Instead of saying “I can’t,” say “I can and I will.”

Your thoughts shape your reality. Don’t let negative self-talk hold you back from achieving success.

5. Inability to Accept Compliments

In my early stages of career development, I found it incredibly hard to accept compliments. Whenever someone praised my work, I would brush it off, downplay it, or attribute it to luck or help from others.

On the surface, it may have seemed like humility, but in reality, it was a sign of a deeply ingrained belief that I did not deserve success or recognition.

This inability to accept compliments was a reflection of low self-esteem and a subconscious barrier holding me back.

I was subconsciously telling myself that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve praise.

Over time, this eroded my confidence and hindered my growth.

But once I recognized this pattern, I began to work on accepting compliments with gratitude.

I started acknowledging my hard work and accomplishments, and slowly, my self-esteem improved.

So, if you find yourself dismissing praise or struggling to accept compliments gracefully, it might be worth examining your self-esteem.

Remember, accepting compliments is not about being arrogant; it’s about acknowledging your worth and reinforcing positive self-belief.

Don’t let poor self-esteem stand in the way of your success.

6. Procrastination

We’ve all been guilty of putting things off until the last minute. But when procrastination becomes a recurring pattern, it could be a sign that you’re subconsciously holding yourself back from success.

I remember a project I had been assigned at work. I was excited about it and had numerous ideas, but for some reason, I kept delaying getting started.

Days turned into weeks, and before I knew it, the deadline was approaching, and I found myself scrambling to get everything done.

My procrastination wasn’t due to laziness – it was fear. Fear of failure, fear of not meeting expectations, fear of success.

By putting off the task, I was subconsciously protecting myself from these fears.

If you often find yourself procrastinating, especially when it comes to tasks that could lead to your growth and success, it’s time to confront this behavior.

Break down your tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and set specific deadlines for them.

Every journey begins with a single step. Don’t let procrastination keep you from taking that first step towards success.

7. Avoidance of Risk

Risk is an inherent part of success.

Without taking risks, we limit our opportunities for growth and advancement.

However, fear of failure or rejection can often lead us to avoid risks altogether.

There was a period in my life when I had the opportunity to start my own business.

However, the thought of leaving my stable job and venturing into the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship was daunting.

The fear of losing everything or failing held me back.

But then I realized that by avoiding risk, I was also avoiding potential opportunities for success.

Taking calculated risks is not about being reckless; it’s about weighing the pros and cons and making informed decisions.

If you find yourself consistently choosing the safe route over potentially rewarding risks, it might be time to reevaluate your approach.

Remember, no risk means no reward. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from taking chances and achieving greater success.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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