A lot of people in the personal growth arena make it look like their live’s started as a bowl of cherries– and then just got better and better. But when you read a little about any of them, you’ll find that they, like everyone else, had to overcome a number of barriers to personal growth.

Some of the biggest luminaries in the personal development field–folks like Jack Canfield, Lisa Nichols, Tony Robbins and many more–began on their road to happiness, health, success and abundance by first overcoming lots of obstacles.

If they had barriers to overcome, there’s a good chance you do too. So let’s have a look at 5 of the most common barriers to personal growth, with some tips on how to get past them.

1. Negative Self Talk

This is probably the single most significant barrier to personal growth for the majority of people. We’ve been so inundated from such an early age to focus in on what’s not working in our lives or the world, that shifting our thoughts demands vigilance and commitment.

If negative self-talk plagues you, here are two simple things you can do to get past this barrier.

  • Create a positive self-talk recording and listen to it every night before sleep. Do this for 90 days, and you’ll see a major shift both in your thought patterns and your ability to catch yourself when you fall back into negative thoughts.
  • Stop complaining. Choose to look at every annoyance, challenge or difficulty as a chance to get a better idea of what you really want. Then, instead of complaining about what is, speak an affirmation of its opposite.

2. Lack of Support

If there’s no one around you who even understands, let alone supports your desire for personal growth, it can be pretty discouraging.

Thankfully today we have so many positive, virtual communities that there’s no need ever to feel alone. If lack of support from family and friends is a barrier to personal growth for you, you can:

  • Get more involved with FinerMinds! Comment on posts you like, offer feedback and encouragement to others who comment here, join our Facebook page and ask us questions. We’re here because we want to help you overcome barriers to personal growth, and to offer a community for anyone interested in personal development.
  • Find or found a group in your community. Check library bulletin boards, community events calendars or meetup.com to find groups that share your common interests near you.

3. No Clear Goals

Until you know what you want, you can’t make a map of how to get there. By clarifying your goals in the key areas of your life: Health, Relationships, Spirituality, Career, Money, and Creativity (at least), you quickly overcome one of the major barriers to personal growth. If you haven’t done this yet, here are some tips:

  • Keep a journal with several pages dedicated to each area of your life. Take the time to meditate on goals you want to achieve in each area and write them down. Then set key steps you want to take in the next 3, 6 and 12 months to achieve each of the goals.
  • Affirm your progress. Every time you’ve done something to move a goal forward, write it down in your book, and then honor your achievement with an affirmation or small reward.

4. Playing the ‘Blame Game’

Until you take full and total responsibility for every aspect of your life, your chances for personal growth success will be limited at best.

Blaming anyone or anything in life (parents, kids, spouse, boss, circumstances, even health) might give you a little temporary relief, but in the long run, it’s disempowering because everyone else has the power to control or limit your dreams. Here’s what you can do:

  • Umm … stop. ‘Nuf said?

5. “I am my Ego.”

This belief that we are our thoughts, that our ego needs always to be right, better-than, more successful than, more beautiful than, less afraid of, etc. etc. has caused more trouble in the world than probably anything else.

Holy wars, famine, community strife, family conflict, disappointment, expectation and of course, fear… all of it stems from the Ego’s insecurities. What do you do to move beyond your ego? Try these things:

  • Treat it like a tantruming child. Just observe with some compassion and neutrality the non-stop, nonsense chatter of the ego, but don’t ‘own’ or identify with the thoughts.
  • Go here for 4 tips on how to put your ego in its place.

Your Turn!

Have we missed anything? What are the biggest barriers to personal growth for you? What, if anything, are you doing to overcome them? Leave a comment and let us know.

Guide to Inspired Life