4 Things Holding You Back From Greatness


We all aspire to do, be, and have great things. Defining greatness is difficult because it encompasses not only how others view you, but how you view yourself.

Yet, it is easy to identify the things thwarting your self-development. Today, I want to touch on four things that might be holding you back from greatness, and how to correct them.

1. You've Surrounded Yourself With Negative People

First, you need to understand that you are strongly influenced by the people you surround yourself with and spend the most time with.

Without your being aware of it, being a member of the “Ain’t it Awful” club can hold you back from true greatness.

You know what I’m talking about!

Are there people in your life who are always complaining and blaming others for their circumstances? Who are always judging others, spreading negative gossip, and talking about how bad life is?

Do they constantly attempt to bring you back down to their level? Are they dream-stealers who try to dissuade you from believing in and pursuing your goals?

Surround Yourself With Encouraging People

Until you reach the point in your self-development where you no longer allow toxic people to hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre standards, you have to disconnect from their negative influences at all costs.

If you are going to be great, you have to start spending more time with great people.

I want you to make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people. People who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams and applaud your victories.

2. You're Holding on to the Past Hurts

The next obstacle that can be holding you back from greatness is holding on to the past.

Most people go through life as if they are dragging a big anchor behind them that is weighing them down. They’re holding on to past hurts, past incompletes, past anger or fear.

Releasing this anchor in the present is the final step to embracing the future.

I have students who forgive people, and a few months later double their income. They also double their productivity and double their ability to accomplish important goals.

Forgiveness Puts You Back in the Present

In any relationship, you need to make the choice to come from a place of love and forgiveness.

You don’t need to condone their past actions or even ever trust them again. You do need to learn whatever lessons you can take away from the experience, forgive the other person, and move on.

When you forgive, it puts you back in the present without all the emotional baggage you’ve been carrying. You can now forge ahead and create the future you want.

3. You're Not Accepting Change

Another key concept I want you to get is that creating your future means dealing with change.

If you don’t embrace change, you’re also holding yourself back from greatness.

Let’s face it. Change is inevitable.

The Earth, the weather, the economy, technology, our leaders, even the cells in your body are constantly changing. You can either resist change and eventually get run over by it or choose to cooperate, adapt, and enjoy it.

Surrender to the Change

Think back to a time when you experienced a change and thought it was the worst thing to ever happen to you. Things like a move, a job transfer, getting fired, a divorce, or a disruptive change in technology.

What happened once you surrendered to the change?

I bet you can look back now and say, “Wow, I’m glad that actually happened. Look at the good it eventually brought me.”

Expect the Best Rather Than the Worst

Perhaps it required you to grow, to develop qualities like courage, assertiveness, creativity, asking for help or perseverance. Maybe you ended up in a better career. Or maybe you ended up in a much more positive and nurturing relationship.

Remember that you’ve been through changes before that have ultimately worked out for the best. Approach change with the excitement and positive anticipation you should.

Expecting the best rather than the worst is a mental choice that you are in charge of.

4. Your Limiting Beliefs are Destructive

Lastly, limiting your beliefs about your own capabilities or what it takes to succeed could be holding you back from greatness.

One of the most destructive beliefs you can have is that you are not capable of accomplishing your goals. You might be thinking, “I can’t do that,” “I don’t know how,” “There’s no one to show me,” “I don’t know the right people,” or “I’m not smart enough.”

Many people don’t believe that they are competent to handle life’s challenges or that they are worthy of love. These two beliefs are the two main pillars of high self-esteem.

These are just beliefs. Beliefs are just thoughts you think over and over and over. You can consciously choose to think a different thought.

Believe You are Capable of Greatness

Use the power of habit to consciously keep thinking that new thought by repeating it as an affirmation. Post it on your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator. Make it into your screen saver. All it requires is consciousness, intention and the power of repetition.

Believing that you are capable of handling anything that comes up in your life will make you fearless.

Consider this:

Haven’t you handled everything that has ever happened to you so far?

You’ve been through the death of a loved one, a divorce, being broke? Maybe the loss of a friend, your job, your money, your reputation, your youth?

These were all temporary, and no matter how painful or challenging, you survived them. You are still here, and you have the time and the resources to achieve greatness.

You Have the Ability to Create Your Life

Once you believe you deserve better and that you DO have the ability to achieve greatness, your confidence will begin to soar. You will do whatever it takes – one step at a time - to create the ideal life for yourself.

I want to leave you with a bit of homework. Identify one of your limitations, and make a change. See how much further you’ll go toward greatness.

To help hold you accountable, take a moment to comment below on what you plan on changing. I’ll make sure to follow up with you to keep you on track.

If you are looking for a roadmap to achieve any goal and create the life you want, look no further than Your Extraordinary Life Plan Program. 

This powerful, brand-new, video course is my ultimate training program in setting and achieving your biggest goals. I’ll walk you through the steps needed to create a crystal clear vision of what you want, choosing a BIG, ambitious goal, and putting together a complete plan of action and achievement. 

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  • Rosario Manangan

    Thank you very much Sir Jack... very helpful topic... 🙂

    • Rosario Manangan

      Although all of you topics are helpful, motivational, inspirational, transformational, timely... 🙂

      • I am glad that you are continuously inspired by our topics; thank you for reading!

  • Barbora Deutschova

    Hello and thank you! 🙂 I will start with the 3.part - I will accept that change is inevitable and always for my good. I will keep repeating this to myself until I will have it stuck in my head forever! 🙂

    • That is a great start, Barbora! Good luck to you and your new outlook!

  • E Popovici

    Thank you for this great reminder. I need to work on no 4. On a daily basis. That's where I need to make change happen.

  • sfa

    Just had a coachingsession, where I became aware of the fact that I'm being limited by my past hurts.. My coach helped me transform this, and helped me to remember to have more fun and playtime.. More fun and play sends Even more good things in my life 🙂 In the middle of your success-principles - for the second time.. Maybe it is time to change some stupid habits 🙂

    • It sounds like you are on the right path, best of luck to you in your journey!

  • Sudeep K. Rimal

    Very much worthy insightful & thought provoking blog. Thanks Jack for it.

  • abhijeet bagdiya

    I want to change the thinking that i wont be able to attract the girl that i love in my office

  • Melissa

    I always felt limited by my weight, self-esteem issues and being abandoned by my father. I never felt smart enough, pretty enough or strong enough to accomplish anything. I have left things too many things undone, I quit right before finishing a goal and I have been limiting myself for years. I realized through various readings, meditations and these teachings that I have many changes to make. I am positive that with time and progress that I can grow and change my mindset.

  • Peter

    Once a person embraces the idea of change...... then the real excitement begins. Right now, I am as excited as a kid in the candy store..... but it took a while to get there. The sooner one realizes the fun of change........ the better!!!!

  • Swati Mestri

    I want to learn how to visualize without getting distracted by constant​ negative thoughts

    • Hi Swati, I think you may find this 4 Step Meditation Guide helpful in visualizing and reducing distractions. Let me know if you try it out! http://bit.ly/2ptfFIW

  • Paula McLane Jennings

    I need to work on freeing myself from limiting beliefs.

  • Royann Gladstone

    Inspirational and Motivational for self development. Thank you Sir

  • Dennis Martin

    Hello kids!! I seem to bring old chapters into the new chapters I am creating. What I mean by that is bringing up old thoughts and habits and negative influences. I noticed one responder mentioned a coach which would be an option. It is a challenge to rid your thoughts completely of something negative you were exposed to for years. It's a challenge...but not impossible which is the key. As a musician/songwriter there is always the "am I good enough" lingering but that is true for ALL and I no monopoly on that one..ha. I would have to say that getting rid of past negative influences and thoughts and creating a new, authentic, here I am, using my God given talents, no reason I can't do this and do it well and make others happy is where I need to go. Using affirmations now and working on visualization scandal I need to visit The Secret again me thinks. What say yee kids?? By the way, you are ALL appreciated.

  • Nicolas Rodriguez

    Hi Mr. Canfield, thank you for this excellent article. I will be working on number 2. You're Holding on to the Past Hurts: It just came to my mind today that more or less 13 years ago I applied to an exchange an got rejected and that some students (also more than 10+ years ago) didn't want to stay at my home because I lived in a poor part of town. It was hard but very liberating to remember it but it was very positive to react in a forgiving and accepting way to transcend it.

    • Nicolas, this is great! Letting go of these past hurts will take you far.

  • Karen Holgate-Morgan

    I don't think I quite see my issues in the five listed above. But it may be that I am holding on to past hurts- being discriminated against, being fired and just not having enough money to fund my dreams. I commit to forgiving those who caused my pains and just allowing myself to move forward. Thank You Mr Canfield,for these gems. I may even use some of these ideas to help my team.

    • This is a great commitment Karen, best of luck to you!

  • harun theuri

    I Keep on going off and on with mind power techniques and every time I am off, i experience deep anxiety, depressed and lack of sense of direction something that eats into my family since they figure out that am not happy with my life and feeling helpless. I really want to commit to positive thinking, mind power techniques so as to be successful daily

  • Erca JV

    Hi, Mr. Jack! Thank you for this heartfelt blog. Maybe I should surrender to change.... Anyway how can I make myself believe that I'm worthy of so much love? I've grown up in a broken family, Is that one of the reasons of a low self-esteem? And what to do to level up self worth?

  • Catherine Pinchback

    Thank you Mr Canfield. I think I could probably do with working on all four of these in some way or another. I have a dream, like most people, but I don't truly believe I can do it. I don't feel confident enough or good enough. I work with other people all the time, helping them achieve their goals and release their negativity but I find it so hard to put into practice when it comes to myself. As always, you are a great reminder of what I need to work on to achieve the happiness in my life that I desire. Thank you

    • You are welcome, Catherine. Believing in yourself and setting goals for your dreams will help you breakthrough those barriers!