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Success Advice

5 Enemies of Success You Must Avoid At All Costs



Enemy of thyself.

In the journey of life, we all come across certain challenges that in one way or another attempt to derail our success. Sometimes these challenges are of our making while other times they creep up on us when we least expect them.

Here are five enemies of success you need to avoid at all costs:

1. The Villainy of Complacency

Complacency is one of the biggest enemies of success we must avoid at all costs. Believing you have “arrived” is a very costly mistake. One never arrives at success. Success is a journey, not a destination. While you may achieve your goals and objectives, you must never forget that there are always bigger mountains to climb and tougher obstacles to face.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize early enough that there’s always more to do and that the competition is rapidly gaining on them in the race. They assume that the initial achievement of material benefits, i.e., money, power, and status is enough to sustain them on for the rest of their lives.  

There’s always someone coming behind you who is hungrier than you, and willing to work a lot harder for less pay until they achieve what you have and more. As someone once said, “Complacency will get you killed.” You need to maintain your fire if you are going to stay the course and achieve lasting success.

“The right time is always right now.” – Casey Neistat

2. Lack of Resources

If you study successful people, you will observe that an overwhelming majority of them succeed in spite of their obstacles. On the other hand, failures always complain and give excuses that their failures are as a result of lack of resources i.e. money, connections, and access.

The presence or absence of resources is not the primary determinant of success. Resourcefulness is the essential ingredient that separates the winners from the losers. The ability to make the best out of what you have, and manipulate situations and circumstances in your favor is a critical success factor. Resourcefulness is a learned skill.

You can improve your resourcefulness by training yourself to collect seemingly disparate and unrelated resources. Casual information you stumble upon today could be the missing link to someone else’s success story. You need to become a collector and connector of resources and people if you want to achieve lasting success.

3. Ego

Your ego is another powerful enemy that can hinder your progress and success in life. Believing that you are infallible or invincible after achieving some prior success is a trap that ensnares many people.

The problem with a growing ego is that by the time you realize it is a problem, it is already too late. Ryan Holiday’s book “Ego Is The Enemy” discusses how the “Ego” has led to the failure and destruction of many great men and women throughout history.  I would suggest that you grab a copy and read the section on how to manage your Ego during times of success. It is a compelling chapter with many valuable lessons that cannot be summarized in a few short sentences.

The main thing with your ego is that it does not let you see beyond your immediate circumstances. Ego blocks you from seeing the full picture and therefore increases the chances of failure. By not letting your ego get in the way, you can look at things from different perspectives and come up with solutions that are pragmatic.

4. Loss of Focus

When most people reach the top of their game, they become the envy of their peers. It is at that point many decide to branch out and diversify their interests and activities. As a result of increasing their capacity and activities, many people are unable to make any meaningful impact on any one task. This is a major problem for a lot of successful people.

To guard against this, you need to stay focused and dedicated to tasks that are the highest and best use of your time. If the project or task you are taking on next is not suited to your strengths and does not provide a high ROI, you need to seek help.

Learn to practice the art of strategic delegation. Delegation helps you create high leverage opportunities for yourself and provides an avenue for your team to learn and grow.

“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.” – Brian Tracy

5. Fear of The Unknown

After achieving some success, many people shy away from taking bigger risks. They get accustomed to their new situation and create a comfort zone where they do not take risks.  The truth is, everyone gets scared and everyone doubts themselves from time to time. It is a part of life. Everyone you look up to has at one point or another had to cause to question themselves.

A small voice in their head tells them “you have gone far enough, don’t rock the boat or you could lose everything.” That is the voice of Fear. Fear plants little suggestions that cause you to doubt and second guess yourself. Everyone has heard that voice at one point or another. The people you look up to hear that voice routinely.  The only reason they appear heroic to you is that despite the self-doubt and overwhelming fear of the unknown they still make a conscious decision to take action.

Action breeds confidence and kills fear. The only way to silence the voice of fear and doubt in your life is to act confidently and trust your instincts. When you approach new challenges and larger obstacles, you must believe that you already have what it takes to succeed. Once you can do that, you will become unstoppable, and your future success is guaranteed.

What would you say is another enemy of your success? Please leave your thoughts below!

Chi Odogwu is a writer, speaker, teacher and a business growth consultant. He helps fast growing private companies with $500k - $5M in annual revenues scale up by taking advantage of underutilized digital marketing strategies. He is a thought leader in the direct response marketing field. Chi is also an avid student and teacher of personal development and success principles. You can connect with Chi through his website or through his Facebook.



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2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


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10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


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18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


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20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


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