When you are striving to reach the success you’ve always wanted and deserve, there will be roadblocks along the way. However, your journey is sure to be smoother if you are able to avoid the five most common pitfalls that could stand in your way.

Don’t make vague goals.
The brain cannot achieve ambiguity. It is only capable of achieving specificity. The more specific your goals are, the better. When you are crafting your goals, don’t make vague statements like, “I’m going to network more.” Instead, state, “I’m going to attend networking meetings twice a week.” Then be even more specific. Which meetings will you attend? Finally, take action and schedule them. Get clear on your intentions about what you want to achieve by attending these meetings. Who do you want to connect with? What kind of conversation will you have? Make a strategy and deploy it. You’ll get results when you have clarity.

Avoid being too rigid and restrictive.
This journey should be fun. It may feel arduous, but you need some play within your work so you won’t burn out. The most flexible person in any situation controls it. If you have a plan or schedule and something happens that is outside it but might move you closer to your goals, shift your schedule. Be sure to exercise flexibility in your schedule to explore new, unexpected opportunities. Move things around to open up time to focus on this new opportunity.

In reality, you are the best and worst boss in the world. Fortunately, if you want time off within your schedule, you give it to yourself. Unfortunately, if you want time off you give it to yourself. You need to avoid being rigid, but you also want to be reasonable in how you exercise flexibility and how you are disciplined and hold yourself accountable.

Don’t forget there are many ways to find success.
There are thousands of ways to grow, and you need to avoid tunnel focus. There are multiple ways to prospect, market, communicate, and follow up. Just because one way of doing things works for one person, does not mean they will work for you. Evolve yourself, your skills, and your mindset, and put yourself outside your comfort zone. You will introduce yourself to options and unknowns, exposing blind spots. Learn what you don’t know, so you have knowledge about what you don’t know and can seek learning in those areas.

Stop focusing on your “can’ts, should’ves, and could’ves.”
It takes effort to navigate success through all the “can’ts” you throw at yourself. Stop perseverating on what you should’ve done. You will get bogged down by all your negative thoughts, and you will “should’ve” all over your dreams. It’s not about staying perpetually positive; it’s about knowing that what you focus on becomes your reality. The way we allow our brains to think determines our internal representations of ourselves, which then determines our behavior. It dictates the environment that our behavior creates. Energy goes where your focus flows, and when you focus on the negative aspects of your life, that’s how things will go.

Avoid not being congruent and ready to “make shift happen.”
A goal without a plan is only a dream, and a plan without action is really disappointing. Our brain learns from habit. The more frequently we are not following through and taking action, the more of a habitual behavior it becomes at an unconscious level. You have to be ready to change your life and take the necessary steps toward success. If you are not, you won’t.

How are you navigating your unknowns? How are these pitfalls affecting your success? How are you allowing yourself to reach success? Stop creating the same plans without allowing yourself to first reflect on what has and hasn’t worked. If you can see what hasn’t worked and the obstacles standing in your way, you can learn from them and fix them. Stop going out of your way to look for excuses. You are only strengthening your obstacles. You will disempower yourself and be unable to take control of your success.

If you don’t control your life, dreams, and successes, who does? Life will get in your way. But know that you can make shift happen. Choice is powerful. Choose success, and if you need help getting out of your own way, reach out today.