Your progress in life begins within you. Conversely, being stagnant starts from your thoughts and the actions that you did or didn’t take. You may not necessarily be the architect of your life’s events but you are definitely the builder who respond by placing each brick on the spot that you deem fit. Most people don’t place the bricks on the right spots and ultimately hold themselves from moving ahead. I briefly explained below what I know are the common things that hold people back from making tangible progress. Some of these have held me back too.

1. Absence of Vision

As sad as this is, many people never change their position life because they lack vision. Many people can’t tell you the direction they want to see their life go. The absence of vision means the absence of the right actions needed to get you ahead. When you have a vision, the next best thing is to itemize the actions needed to bring the vision to life and start taking these actions.

Vision is like a propeller to your pursuit. If you have one and use it correctly, you would get you ahead. If you cannot imagine your destination, then you cannot walk towards it and of course you cannot measure the movement away and towards it. Personally, I have lost potential gifts and momentum to push further in some areas of my life because of the absence of vision. Thankfully, since I understood the importance of vision, I have never failed to have one.

2. Lack of Guidance

Many people have the greatest vision and are always taking actions but they often find themselves in a circle. The next blocker to moving ahead is the absence of guidance or mentorship. The best way to walk an unknown path is to walk with someone who knows it. Everyone can use some sort of guidance as we journey through life and certainly as we get into an unfamiliar domain.

Mentorship is a great tool that aid success in the quickest possible way with minimal loss of time and other resources. Having someone walk alongside with you everyday is paramount to getting ahead in life. In a practical sense, you will have more understanding of what’s ahead of you when an experienced person is pointing to and explaining everything you see in front of you.

3. Distraction

Distraction is one of the main dream killers in 21st Century. We are attached to our electronic devices and glued to the apps on them in a way that is just absurd. Technology is a great invention and I support the innovation by all means. However, I am an advocate for its decreased usage simply because of security and distraction. Many of us cannot be offline for a week to focus and dedicate our time to something of greater value. Distraction can come from several sources other than electronics.

Distraction can come from “good things” like family, work or other organizations you are involved in. Studies have shown that many people have spent their time building another man’s empire by working tirelessly on a dream that is not theirs and at the expense of their own precious dream. If you desire to go up, you have to put a balance between what is important and what is much more important. You have to be laser-focused on things that you know are much more important to you.

4. Excessive Time at Comfort Zone

The absence of consistency in life’s daily pursuit is a big hindrance to many people’s progress. There’s no permanent pinnacle of success because success is continuous. All you need to do about success is to reach a stage, enjoy it and move on to the next pinnacle. Many people have settled down, overstayed their time at one stage of success and refused to move further and higher. You cannot afford to be complacent with your current situation even if it is tagged your “greatest accomplishment”.

Getting ahead in life demands that you don’t spend excessive time at your comfort zone. Of course, you don’t want to spend fewer time at your comfort zone. Comfort zone is where you rest, strategize and kick-start your next move. Take a moment to measure the time you have spent in your comfort zone and determine if it is time to move on. Remember, comfort zone is not your last lap but the lap to change your baton.

5. Fear

If you knew you could not fail. What would you have done? Fear is a major hindrance to anything you can think of. Fear has been proven to keep us from vision, hopes and dreams in every area of life. It can be a big motivator but it has unfortunately deterred a lot more potentials than inspire dreams. While fear cannot be completely eradicated from our day-to-day thinking, it can be managed. It can be shut down with preparation and determination.

Many people do not move ahead in life or move at a very slow pace because they are overwhelmed by fear. If you want to get ahead in life, you have to ignore the fear of failure, take calculated risk and more importantly take actions towards the direction you need to go. When you shut down fears, you would see your potentials and navigate to your destination with confidence.

The above reasons are the major reasons why most people I know (including me) couldn’t get ahead. There are several other reasons which you have to keep an eye on as you journey through life. One of the small but powerful reasons is not knowing when to say “yes” or “no” to the daily request we get from our friends, family and even bosses. Remember, your progress in life begins within you. I hope you find the above explanations helpful and you are ready to fight against these blockers.