Get Out of the Way of Your Success

To write this post I had to get out of my own way… get out of the way of my own doubts, insecurities, concerns, definitions. I had to push through and just start writing. So, this comes with much gratitude to Ash for the ‘think-nudge’ and helping me to get over myself and ‘just do it’.

What Does it Mean?

So what does it mean for a successful leader to get out of the way of their own success? How do people obstruct their own success?

  • doubting one’s own ability, knowledge and skills
  • doubting others abilities (a wee bit of ego in the mix)
  • judging an idea as not good enough simply because it was one’s own idea
  • doubting one’s own ‘power’ and influence in a situation or in a group

To my way of thinking, these obstructions seem common, at some stage I am guessing we have all thought something like them.

Going Deeper

So what? Well let’s take this deeper.

A successful leader acknowledges that limiting beliefs pop up from time to time and chooses to move beyond them, through them or around them. They make a conscious effort to not get stuck in the sticky of limiting beliefs but rather use it to springboard into the action that is needed to eliminate or contain that belief.

On another point, we all wear a mask; we want others to see us in a certain – generally positive – way. I wonder if these masks play a role in obstructing success? Is the time we spend wearing the mask; the thickness of the mask; or the dogged determination to keep the mask on, all contributing to obstructing our own success? Only the individual leader can answer that, it is a personal matter. I think the answer becomes evident after the mask and/or the limiting belief is lifted and a sense of freedom and success is experienced…damn that thing called hindsight 😉

A smart soul will take the insight from that experience and use it to positively impact their situation. (Just maybe, an even smarter soul may not need to experience the tougher lesson, they may be able to observe it happen in someone else, and still gain the learning).

A successful leader, in my estimation can move themselves to this freer point of success quicker than most. They choose not to dwell on the ‘shoulda got there sooner’ aspect that some do hold onto; they acknowledge, learn and move on. That’s not to say they don’t get help to do this, thinking you can get yourself out of a limiting belief all on your own each and every time could be a little naive. Having a great support structure in place is a smart move. Having personal and professional checks and balances – be they coaches, mentors, friends and family – is not a weakness, it is wise.

What Successful Leaders Do

I believe at the core of this, the key to a successful leader getting out of the way of their own success, particularly in terms of limiting beliefs and masks, they:

  • acknowledge not avoid the obstruction;
  • learn from them rather than live in and with them;
  • move on (move away, move with) from them toward positive action.

What success advice you would you give to an aspiring leader you know?


This article is a guest post from the management success skills expert Sally Foley-Lewis. Find out more about Sally at

Author: Ash Mashhadi

Ash Mashhadi is co-Founder of the Inspiration Zone. He is also co-Founder of the successful website and Partner in the highly successful web design and social media consultancy Design Inspiration. Ash is a popular and lively speaker and frequently trains and mentors owners of small and medium-sized businesses. He is often called The Inspiration Guy, and if you want to discover why, just talk to him.

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