Are you getting in your own way?  Are you sabotaging your own success?  Are you knocking on your own door of achievement but refusing to open the door to let yourself in?

Meet Eric, Karen, Bill, and Deanna

“I’m not one of those people.” Eric tells me. “I’m way beyond that.  I’ve got my own consulting business where I teach success and achievement.  Just look at my website and LinkedIn profile; you’ll see that I’m a motivational professional.”

Karen replies, “No way I’m a victim of myself.  I’ve read too many books, attended too many lectures and seminars, and am involved in a number of social communities where everyone knows me and I know everyone.  In fact, I give presentations myself.  Just check out my blog.”

Bill refuses to even consider the possibility.  “Hey, I’m a positive thinker,” he responds. “I would never allow that kind of ‘stinkin’ thinkin,’ like Zig would say; it’s not productive.  I would never allow those negative thoughts to ever enter my mind.”

Deanna shakes her head as though I am asking dumb, second grade questions.  “I pave my own way; I don’t get in my own way,” she says with a slight manner bordering on superciliousness.  “I create my own success and open doors of opportunity every day.  I’m not a victim; I’m a victor in all that I do.”


The late, great business philosopher and award-winning presenter Jim Rohn warned that we must not be faked out.  He noted that it’s important to affirm the truth.  And, often times, we fake ourselves out when we really need to be honest with ourselves.  “There is nothing wrong with affirmations providing that what you are affirming is the truth.  If you are broke, for example, the best thing to do is afiirm, ‘I’m broke.’ And one of the best things to do is to find someone who is willing to share the truth with you.” (Jim Rohn’s Treasury of Quotes).

The four people I mentioned above, Eric, Karen, Bill, and Debra are real people.  They are good people, professional, well-spoken, likable, well-intentioned, and seemingly hard working.  Eric lives in Denver, Karen in Seattle, Bill in Chicago, and Deanna in South Florida.  Now here’s the challenge.  They ARE victims of themselves.  All four are financially broke, stressed out, fear the future, and two of them, though they have their own businesses, told me recently that they were looking for jobs because they can’t make their businesses profitable.

All of us live in challenging times

We will be victims of ourselves if we fail to recognize the truth. Here’s a key phrase to ponder: Sincerity is NOT a test of truth; and we must NOT make this mistake.  Are Eric, Karen, Bill, and Deanna correct in their thinking because they are sincere?  The fact of the matter is that it’s possible to be sincerely wrong; to sincerely fake ourselves (and others) out by feeding our egos, rather than our authenticity.

Below are 6 strategies to be authentically sincere to face the truth; so you never become a victim of yourself or settle of less than you can achieve:

  1. Set your own high expectations and don’t settle for other people’s expectations for you.  When authentic expectations are high and compelling, achievement will follow.
  2. Differentiate yourself (and your brand) in a manner that provides added value and, what Tom Peter’s calls, “The Wow Factor.”  When you genuinely “Wow” yourself, you’ll begin the miracle process of genuinely “Wowing” others.
  3. Be an example first to yourself… then to others. Personally, I wouldn’t go to an orthodontist  with crooked teeth; a personal trainer who was overweight and out of shape; a life coach who didn’t have her own life in order, or a career coach who didn’t have a successful career.  So be true to yourself… so you can be an example to others.
  4. Be disciplined. The key to success is to understand that about 6-8 things make most of the difference.  The problem is that most people are not disciplined to invest 90% of their time, energy, and finances on the 6-8 things.  Underachievers spend too much time on things that don’t matter and way too little time on things that do matter.  High achievers, on the other hand, have the ratios right.
  5. Be truthful with the truth. It’s easy to allow egos to dictate success when it fact, it’s truth that determines success.  If Eric is struggling but acknowledges his struggles, he is successful because the only way he’ll achieve more is to be honest with his current situation.
  6. Feel worthy or success, achievement, and fortune.  You’d be surprised how many people sabotage their efforts, fall short on achievement, and are under-compensated because, at the deepest level, they don’t feel worthy.  Worthiness is worthy of self study because it may be the greatest obstacle to success; especially financial success.

Take home message

There are enough “external” life challenges to success like the economy, health problems, relationship issues, and factors outside our control.  The “truth” is that most people ARE victims of their own success.  The take home message is that “success requires that we face the truth (authenticity) and beware of fakeouts (being disingenuous).”

The six steps above are a good starting point for optimal success.


Jay Block is an industry pioneer and the nation’s leading motivational career coach.  Jay is a best-selling author of 15 books, including his latest blockbuster: 101 Best Ways To Land a Job in Troubled Times (McGraw-Hill).  He has a 20-year record of success for creating and recreating the career management industry. His website is: