post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Enemies of Personal Greatness

10 Enemies of Personal Greatness

Beware!  These ten inner enemies can quickly erode your grandest plans and your noblest intentions.  They can drain your life of passion and potential, and fill your spirit with lifelong regret.

  1. Always taking the path of least resistance. – Just because you are struggling does NOT mean you are failing.  Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there.  Good things don’t come to those who wait.  Good things come to those who work hard and struggle to pursue the goals and dreams they believe in.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  2. Comparing yourself to everyone else. – You will never fully believe in yourself if you keep comparing yourself to everyone else.  Being true to yourself in thoughts, words and actions is as important as being kind and true to others.
  3. Worrying too much about what others think of you. – As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them.  Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself.  If you’re being true to yourself and it isn’t enough for the people around you, change the people around you.
  4. Ignoring your gut instincts. – There’s a difference between being agreeable and agreeing to everything.  Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes.  There is no need to explain or make sense of it.  Just trust the little inner voice when it’s telling you, “This is a bad idea.”
  5. Holding on when you need to move on. – Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting, it means you choose happiness over hurt.  Sometimes you have to love people from a distance and give them the space and time to get their minds right before you let them back into your life.
  6. Living in the past. – If you don’t leave your past in the past, it will destroy your future.  Live for what today has to offer, not for what yesterday has taken away.  Life is a journey that is only traveled once.  Today’s moments quickly become tomorrow’s memories.  So appreciate every moment for what it is, because the greatest gift of life is life itself.  Read The Power of Now.
  7. Doing the wrong things just because others are too. – Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.  Right is right, even if you are the only one doing it.  Always do what you know in your heart is right, for you.
  8. Allowing small problems to overwhelm you. – Everything is going to be alright; maybe not today but eventually.  When you’re upset, ask yourself, “Will this matter to me in a year’s time?”  Most of the time it won’t.  Remember, sometimes bad things in life open up your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.
  9. Surrendering to the draw of comfort. – The most common and harmful addiction in the world is the draw of comfort.  Why pursue greatness when you’ve already got 324 channels and a recliner?  Just pass the chip dip and forget about your grand plans.  NO!  The truth is growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone will put things into perspective from an angle you can’t grasp now, and open doors of opportunity that would otherwise not exist.  Read The Power of Habit.
  10. NOT believing that you CAN. – If we don’t know that greatness is possible, we won’t bother attempting it.  All too often, we literally do not know any better than good enough.  Sometimes you have to try to do what you think you can’t do, so you realize that you actually CAN.  And sometimes it takes more than one attempt.  If ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work out, don’t fret; the alphabet has another 25 letters that would be happy to give you a chance to get it right.  The wrong choices usually bring us to the right places, eventually.  But you must believe in your own potential to get there.

Photo by: Thomas Hawk

Download the ebook If you enjoyed this article, check out our new best-selling book.
Marc and Angel Subscription via Email And get inspiring life tips and quotes in your inbox (it's free)...

Enter your email address to get new articles delivered for free:


  • Spot on as always. Thank you for keeping it real, and for reminding me of the importance of working on my core values and the things I believe in.

  • I. Love. This. Blog. You guys rock… times a million!

  • Yep. I dig this! A solid list of personal success enemies to avoid like the plague.

  • I LOVE this post! Definitely needed this.

  • I think this list is useful even when personal greatness isn’t what you’re after… Thank you!

  • Madhu Ramalingam
    June 6th, 2012 at 6:09 am

    I really love your website.. really nice stuff to inspire people. A lot of us aren’t perfect..neither am I.. just trying to get better and these posts help me do just that!

  • Great post as always! You guys ROCK! The part that I have always lived by is in believing in yourself… A good point to remember though is that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

  • thanks so much for always making me think positively. Your practical tips are indeed what made take responsibility for my behavior and change it. May God bless you both richly. Keep up the good work :-)

  • I love this site. It’s like a bible to me. I read it all the time. Thanks for helping me become a better person. Keep on writing guys! :)

  • I always look forward to your next post, your blog is great! I need to work on #3 :(

  • “Why pursue greatness when you’ve already got 324 channels and a recliner?”

    This statement is quite powerful. If I was someone who sat around and watched television that comment would bother me… However, when you are goal oriented, driven and resilient; watching television is of no interest because you are constantly looking to perfect yourself and others.

  • Each time you post a new blog I’m in awe! You are full of wisdom - and common sense - every time and I always need to hear it! I almost always post your blogs to my FB page and I’m constantly emailing them to the people I care most about. Thank you, thank you - and keep them coming. The doses of regular encouragement plus reminding me of things I know but forget when I’m in the trenches are really appreciated!

  • Another Rachel
    June 6th, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I agree with Rachel, I LOVE THIS BLOG! Always so inspiring!

  • As stated before I absolutely love you two!

  • Ani Todd Smith
    June 6th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    There is always one thing in here that just gets me! This time it’s #9. Good post.

  • So many good things here. I especially like the not comparing yourself to others. It is funny, I get email all the time from people telling me that they are living vicariously through my travels. Sometimes I am just not feeling it and long to be trying something/somewhere I heard about. Living your own life is vital!

    You don’t blaze new trails by following someone else’s path!

  • I am really guilty of 7 and 9! Thanks for opening my eyes to my faults. Love you guys!! :)

  • Thank you. This motivates me to make positive changes where needed.

  • Doing the wrong thing because others do is a biggie. I see it all the time in my line of work. And pretty soon people seem to forget that it’s the wrong thing because they get so used to doing it. Go with your gut from the get-go!

  • This blog is sooooo right for the people who struggle, people who think they are nothing and the people who try to be someone else.

    Thanks for these helpful reminders.

  • I wish there was more people in the world like you guys. You do an wonderful job! Keep up the good work :)

  • I love your posts. I have been reading your blog for over a year, and I became a stronger person. I became comfortable with myself and putting my own needs first. I gained enough strength to weed out negative people from my life.
    I subscribe to your Facebook page, and seeing your “status updates” is a great reminder. You guys give me cheers, strength, advice, and warmth. Thank you so much. Please keep it going!

  • Thank you for this blog. It rocks and I needed these reminders today.

  • Great list, number 3 is something that my sister should take note of… she worries what everyone thinks of her and because of it she doesn’t think very highly of herself.

  • Very true, the chaos this second will most likely not be of any importance a year from now… I love ur site. I look forward to ur posts. ;-) Keep them coming!

  • All very sound advice. But what’s really interesting is how all of these have to be balanced against each other.

    For example, on one hand you need to listen to your gut instincts. But on the other, there are times when you’re not taking the path of least resistance and your gut says to run the other direction, but actually you should challenge that and keep going ahead until your gut catches up with what your head knows.

    This is why life can’t be simplified to any formula. It’s always full of balances.

  • I have just started to read your blog. Do you guys plan to write a book or you already have one? Keep inspiring people!

  • The last one strikes a cord. I have come to realize that most of what you believe in becomes your reality.

  • As always, precise and potent - magic!


  • I loved this piece, especially the part about “the draw of comfort.” Choosing action over numbness — yep! Thanks.

  • I work in a job that is a virtual nightmare. Your advice and inspiration keep me going everyday! I now have half of my floor reading your site to keep us grounded; as well as keeping us from going postal :)

  • I love this place! :) Another great one!

  • Wonderful pick-me-up to a slow and tiring day. Thanks once again for the inspiration !

  • @All: Thanks for the kudos, everyone. As I’ve said before, it really moves us to know that so many of you enjoy the ideas and thoughts we publish here. Your praise and kindness inspires us to keep writing, creating, and sharing.

    @Ducky: Great point about the fine line between confidence and arrogance. I think the key is to be confident without constantly telling the entire world about it.

    @Jonathan: Thanks for sharing that inspiring quote. Love it!

    @Steve: Great point! Life is balance. Everything in moderation.

    @Kristine: Look for an original ebook toward the end of the year.

  • #10 is one that I understood this year. So much of change and success is just believing you can do it.

  • I would say whenever you feel you have a Question or Questions in your mind READ THIS BLOG =) you will get the Answers. BUT… Beware because you may not be able to handle the Answers =) I love your Blog! Amazing!

  • Will look forward to it :) By the way, I would love to know little of your biography. A lot will be grateful to know a little more about the people behind your powerful thoughts.

  • Fantastic Read! I especially related to comparing myself to others! My sweet husband gets on me for that one all the time! We are all magnificent, unique beings, with special gifts to give, and forget that sometimes. It’s all about constantly paying attention for me, and working on myself. Reading, writing and tweeting inspiration like this keeps me uplifted and expanding my greatness!

  • This is exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you!

  • I love this quote: “Why pursue greatness when you’ve already got 324 channels and a recliner?”

    Sometimes you got to give up those useless habits like screwing around on the internet and watching TV. I imagine that if people spend the time they had on Facebook in the gym, the obesity problem would be completely abolished.

    I’ve been giving up my playtime on the computer for more productive stuff like building sites to make money online, to become financially independent.

  • “Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing.” I like that. Sometimes when we struggle we feel that we are failing. Good article

  • Amazing… thank you for this! It hit home on a couple of important areas.

  • I agree with the whole post!

  • Your blog is wonderful. Thanks for these inspiring words.

  • Being GREAT = doing what you think is right and being responsive to change.

    “Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing.” Thank for this it reminds me of what I have to do.

  • I am happy to know all about this today. I am greatful for all the words .

Leave a Reply