Rear view mirror (Thinkstock/LHP) (Credit: Thinkstock)

 In most of my conversations with advisors, there’s a point when they freely admit that what’s holding them back is…them. This is always true. All success comes from the inside.

Most of the time, they believe that challenges like procrastination, perfectionism and endless distractions are the culprits. But these are symptoms of the real challenges, not their actual roadblocks. The real challenges generally fall into three categories:

1. Fear

Healthy fear isn’t a bad thing. It’s kept you alive to this point. But, as I point out in my first book, The High Diving Board, the paralyzing fears that stop us from taking action in a world where the only real danger is some imagined loss of face or financial loss isn’t healthy. For most of us, this kind of fear falls into three categories:

  • Fear of what people will think or say. What if you fail? What if you become too visible and too controversial? How will you be able to face people?
  • Fear about wasting time or energy. You’re afraid you’ll put a lot of time in and that it will end up not working. You’re afraid that you’ll be working impossibly long hours or that you’ll be overwhelmed or exhausted or you won’t be able to follow through.
  • Money fear. You’re afraid to invest in the help you need — an assistant, a coach, technology.  You’re afraid you’ll waste or lose your money and that you will end up earning less. You’re afraid you won’t be able to keep up the momentum and you’ll have a lot more to lose.  And, on the flip side, you’re afraid of the changes more money will bring to your life.

2. Not Knowing What to Do

We’re bombarded every day with new prospecting methods, new financial and insurance products and services, new approaches to wealth management and protection, etc., and it can be overwhelming. So, we either act on everything with disastrous effects or we don’t act on anything.

3. Believing That You’re “Not Enough”

This thinking is more pervasive than people know or will admit.  Feeling out of your element. Feeling like an impostor. Feeling like you’re not smart enough or brave enough or aggressive enough or old enough or young enough, etc. This affects everything you do. You’re an impostor and someone will surely figure it out and call you out on it.

Fear is a mask for desire.

My colleague, Rich Litvin, who inspired this article, tells us, “Fear is a mask for desire. Not knowing what to do is a clever cover for fear. Not feeling ‘enough is your unconscious keeping you safe.”

While there are a lot of ways to address the three big roadblocks, there’s actually one single solution that often helps you overcome all of them:

Be on a mission.

Find something so important for you to accomplish that nothing will stop you — not fear, not lack of knowledge — nothing. Being on a mission to which you’re 100% committed can make challenges like procrastination, perfectionism, distraction and time management issues simply disappear.

What’s your mission?

Figure that out and get to work on it and your symptomatic challenges will disappear.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.


Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available.