7 Internal Barriers – Unleash Your Potential

Do you need help to reach your goals? Here are seven Internal Barriers to unleash your potential and possibly holding you back, including imposter syndrome, fear of failure, and negative self-talk. Learn how to rewrite your story and achieve lasting success.

Internal Barriers

Introduction to Internal Barriers

In our journey toward personal and professional growth, we often find ourselves hindered not by external obstacles but by our internal barriers. These mental and emotional roadblocks can significantly impede our progress toward achieving our most cherished goals.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt stuck or thwarted by your actions or thoughts. Below, we’ll explore seven common problem areas that may hold you back and provide practical steps to overcome them.

Have you ever dreamt of something so big and exciting that the mere thought of it sent shivers down your spine? But then, reality sets in. Doubts cloud your mind, past experiences whisper limitations, and suddenly, that once-vibrant dream feels miles away.

We’ve all been there, stuck, frustrated, and held back by invisible forces stemming from our past and self-perception. But what if I told you that these forces, while powerful, are not permanent? You can overcome limiting beliefs. Read here on how to overcome your limiting beliefs.

The truth is several common thinking and behavior patterns can sabotage our best intentions. Let’s explore seven of the biggest culprits and some small ideas on how to overcome them:

Imposter Syndrome

You feel like you are in your way because you don’t feel good at something or have a perceived low level of ability. You may also lack self-confidence, which usually stems from past events of people telling you you are not good enough or you are told you can’t succeed in a specific task. You can read this article from Healthy Place, learn from your past, and gain self-confidence.

Imposter syndrome can make you feel like you don’t belong on the path you are on or aren’t good enough to work for your written goal despite evidence telling you differently. However, these thoughts can affect your ability and self-confidence to move forward. Here are some thoughts you may have:

  • Feeling Like a Fake: You downplay your accomplishments and convince yourself you’re not good enough.
  • Dwelling on Past Failures: Negative memories of past rejections fuel self-doubt.
  • Fear of Exposure: You constantly worry that someone will discover you’re not the “real deal” or criticize your efforts.
Imposter sydrome

Conquer the Imposter:

  • Recognize your achievements: Regularly list your accomplishments, however small, to remind yourself of your capabilities.
  • Seek feedback: Discuss your performance with a trusted individual whose opinions you respect to obtain valuable feedback. This input can highlight your strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Affirmations: Positive affirmations will help reinforce your self-belief and counter negative thoughts.

Decision-Making Paralysis

Having a fear of making the wrong decision, or any decision for that matter, can stop you in your tracks, especially when options lead to unknown outcomes. Being stuck on not making a decision can cause you to freeze and not take any action. Here are some things that can be going through your head:

  • Analysis Paralysis: You overthink every option, leading to inaction.
  • Fear of the Unknown: Stepping outside your comfort zone feels terrifying.
  • The Perfect Paralysis: You wait for the “Ideal” moment. Except that the “Ideal” moment never arrives.

Alternative Actions:

  • Limit choices: Reduce the number of options to make decision-making more manageable.
  • Set deadlines: Give yourself a clear deadline, make a decision, and prevent endless deliberation.
  • Consult a mentor: A trusted mentor can provide guidance and help you see different perspectives.
Decision Making

The Procrastination Monster:

You cannot get started or move forward with a task because starting a new project or task can be daunting, particularly when you feel overwhelmed by the scope of what needs to be done. Here are a few things you may need help to take the first step. If you need to speak with someone to help you on your journey here is a great resource.

  • Feeling Overwhelmed: The sheer magnitude of a task paralyzes you.
  • Perfectionism’s Grip: Fear of making mistakes keeps you from starting.
  • Motivation Meltdown: You need more initial spark to get going.

Ideas to Move Forward:

  • Break tasks into smaller steps: Tackle projects in manageable portions to reduce overwhelm.
  • Set small, achievable goals: Celebrate minor achievements leading to your larger goal.
  • Create a routine: Establishing a routine can reduce the mental energy needed to start a task.

Fear of Judgment

Worrying about others’ opinions can inhibit your actions and lead you to avoid taking risks or trying new things. Other people may try to hold you back or not encourage you to try. Remember, people who have succeeded by achieving their goals or are where you want to be will not put you down for trying. What’s stopping you?

  • Fear of Failure: View it as a chance to learn and grow, not a dead end.
  • People-Pleasing Paralysis: The fear of disapproval dictates your choices.
  • The Comparison Trap: How often have you compared yourself to others? Do you find yourself envious? Remember, your story is unique, and comparing it to somebody else’s will create insecurity.

Overcome that Fear

  • Mindfulness practices: Stay present and focused, reducing worries about future criticism.
  • Selective sharing: Only share your plans with supportive and constructive individuals.
  • Self-reflection: Regularly assess your fears to understand and address the root cause.
Self Sabotage


Anxiety and fear often result in procrastination and self-sabotage, which can hinder your pursuit of goals. When faced with intimidating tasks, anxiety can escalate, leading to self-sabotage, where procrastination plays a significant role. You may self-sabotage yourself and not be aware you are doing it. Click here to receive a free tool to overcome self sabotage beliefs. With self-sabotage have you ever done the following:

  • Procrastination Power Play: You subconsciously delay action to avoid potential failure. 
  • Inner Critic’s Chatter: Negative self-talk discourages you from even trying.
  • Self-Doubt Spiral: You convince yourself you’re not capable of success.

Stop the Sabotage

  • Identify triggers: Recognize situations that make you anxious and plan coping strategies.
  • Accountability partners: Partner with someone who encourages you to stay on track.
  • Visualize success: Regularly imagine achieving your goals to boost motivation and confidence. Think about the end goal and imagine yourself living how you would feel and be after attaining it.
Inner Critic

Negative Self-Talk

Limiting beliefs and negative self-talk can destroy your motivation before you even begin. All the negativity will defeat you before you even start a goal because you have put yourself down or told yourself why you can’t do something. Negative self-talk looks something like this:

  • Dwelling on What-Ifs: Negative scenarios play on repeat in your mind.
  • Labeling Yourself: You define yourself by your limitations, not your potential.
  • Filtering Out the Positive: You downplay your successes and focus on setbacks.

How about his approach

  • Cognitive restructuring: Challenge and change your negative thought patterns.
  • Journaling: Write down negative thoughts and counter them with rational, positive ones.
  • Encouraging environment: Surround yourself with positivity and supportive people who uplift you.
Overwhelm Stress

Stress: The Overwhelming Overload:

Living in the past or worrying about the future can prevent you from taking the necessary steps towards your goals. You are either living in the past or dwelling on future events. Having a path forward can also help you on your healing path. This worry stops you from taking the first steps toward your goal.

  • Ruminating on the Past: You dwell on past mistakes or regrets.
  • Anxious About the Future: Constant worry about what might happen paralyzes you.
  • Feeling Out of Control: Life’s uncertainties fuel anxiety and fear.

Stay Present, my Friend

  • Stress management techniques: Incorporate relaxation practices like yoga or meditation into your daily routine.
  • Focus on the present: Engage in activities that ground you in the now, such as mindfulness or deep breathing.
  • Organize your life: Reduce clutter and distractions to minimize stress and enhance focus.


Understanding and addressing these internal barriers is crucial to personal development. By acknowledging these challenges and implementing these strategies, you can start dismantling the obstacles between you and your goals. Remember, just starting, taking a first step, and completing the first task is a victory. 

Remember, this is just the beginning of your journey. You can rewrite your story and achieve the goals that set your soul on fire. You are capable of incredible things. Believe in yourself, take action, and never stop striving to be the best version of yourself.

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Disclosure: The content on my website is for informational purposes only, expressing my opinions of what I have experienced and what has worked for me. The information I write about is NOT designed to supplement or replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always research and seek advice from your family physician or a qualified healthcare professional for any queries about medical conditions you might have. You should always research and seek advice from your family physician or a qualified healthcare professional.

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