How to Identify Roadblocks to Success: 5 Key Questions to Ask Yourself

As leaders and ambitious professionals, we all want to cultivate the practices, habits, and culture that truly serve us. And we want to hit the eject button on all the garbage that does not serve us. The things that don’t serve us, act as roadblocks, keeping us from growth, performance, and success. So how do we identify those things that don’t serve us?

Your inbox and social feeds are probably regularly bombarded with zillions of tips and tricks of what you should do to succeed. How much of that has helped you confront the things that are currently getting in your way? Are you ready to try something different? So why don’t we Heroikly go where few have gone before? Let’s get a step closer to becoming Mission Ready For Life. First, let’s get clear about the things that benefit us and the garbage that hinders, damages, and holds us back.

What does it mean when we say something is serving you?

Everybody has basic human needs; food, shelter, sex, boundaries, happiness, respect, etc. These are basic needs, not nice-to-haves. They are required, not optional. So anything that is hindering you from meeting your own needs, could be something worthy of the eject button.

We also have higher needs; self-actualization (finding purpose), connectedness, identifying with something greater than ourselves, etc. We’re capable of truly amazing feats. We all carry with us those higher ambitions, our goals, and aspirations. These higher needs are also important to us. And often times, we get in our own way of achieving them.

We all have negative behaviors, attitudes, desires, wants, attachments, coping mechanisms and perceptions that get in the way of our growth and success. There are often short term gains and benefits that lure us in, and get in the way of our long term success.

Things that don’t serve you…

  • enable procrastination and add to your resistance
  • help you avoid necessary confrontations/challenges

How do we spot and get a hold of the ones that aren’t serving us? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help discern and identify your roadblocks.

5 Key Questions to Ask Yourself to Identify Roadblocks to Success

  1. Is it helping you meet your needs and positive aspirations of yourself?
  2. Does it inspire you to take appropriate action?
  3. Is it pushing you toward your growth and empowerment, or helping you procrastinate?
  4. Is it enabling and anchoring you in fear and resistance? 
  5. Is the attachment to it propelling you forward or dragging you down?

Some of the obstacles in our paths can often be tools for our own growth. So be sure to ask yourself this challenging question:

Will facing this obstacle/challenge help you grow?

Don’t run from the important challenges

At various times in our lives, any circumstance can be perceived as extremely difficult and in our way. We may feel that the people, places and things surrounding us during these trying times are not helping us on a path we wish to tread. However, don’t be too quick to eject or reject things, people, or surroundings simply because they feel difficult at times. It’s likely that it is the discomfort itself you disagree with, for whatever reason. These are often the times when we need to dig in, bring our own bravery, get Heroik and lean into these challenges. Relationships are difficult. School is difficult. Personal development is difficult. Professional development is difficult. All can be – at times.

Before you hit that eject button, take 3 deep slow breaths to check in with your gut, your triggers and your feelings.

  • Maybe you’re attached to a fear of failure
  • Maybe you’re too attached to your story, whatever it is
  • The perceived obstacle may simply be drawing out feelings and thoughts, symptomatic of issues you’d like to avoid
  • Maybe you’re afraid. Maybe you’re angry
  • Maybe you don’t feel that you’re ready, or skillful enough, to face the issue

The point is, try first to identify and acknowledge why you’re avoiding facing these challenges, obstacles and difficulties. Get to the root and core of it. Start with yourself and look within and recognize if the emotions of the moment are clouding your vision.

Dealing With Ambiguity

You may not have a clear answer right away. That’s okay. Start with the obvious and let the ambiguous issues marinate. Make the time to revisit the ambiguous issues with focused attention to see if you can gain insight or a greater degree of clarity. Keep going, you’ll get there.