There are 7 traits common to most people that are actually obstacles to your personal development.

These 7 obstacles – or monsters within as I’d like to call them – need to be removed before embarking upon any self improvement endeavour.

If you don’t handle these inner monsters earlier, they will return to haunt you as you go about your personal growth journey – and I guarantee you – no amount of wishful positive thinking will make them disappear until you learn to manage them positively and constructively.

Before I continue to unveil who the 7 monsters are, here’s a disclaimer: the following list is in no particular order of importance or relevance whatsoever.

Some monsters may be more relevant to you than others. Some are monsters that you may not even be aware of, that you need to be more vigilant in identifying and dealing with them.

Here goes -

Exhibit no. 1 – The Monster of A Closed Mind.

A mind closed is like an ineffective parachute.

The mind should be open to function, like a parachute.

A closed mind – or its worse complement, a hard, emotionless heart – is the greatest obstacle to personal growth.

In fact, it is the most detrimental of all inner monsters that are obstructing you from your personal success.

It makes you static instead of dynamic. No change is taking place, no transformation is possible.

The worst thing that can happen to you when you have a closed mind and heart is that you become fanatical to your present assumptions, beliefs and attitudes.

The best way forward is to begin to consider the possibility of better situations.

Ask yourself – had there been positive outcomes in your life that came about after or as a result of a particularly negative situation?

Have you ever considered the possibility that a negative situation in your past had happened for a reason – even if it was a reason that you can now deliberately conjure?

Think about this – what are the possible positive outcomes that you can derive from your present circumstances – no matter how dull or dire they are right now?

Exhibit no. 2 – The Monster of Over-Attachment.

Attachment can be both useful and harmful.

While attachment to an ideal, a principle or a purpose can be noble, too much is harmful.

Over-attachment can come in many forms.

Over-attachment to the past – especially your past mistakes – is a disease that plagues many people, causing unnecessary guilt, grief and wasted time.

On the other hand, over-attachment to past successes and the “glory days of old” can also slow you down especially if your present situation is worse than that which you were remembering about.

Over-attachment to desired future outcomes when you unrealistically demand something of yourself or of Life, can cause you grief and throw you into a vicious cycle of failure, especially when your expectations are not met.

Although having goals and specific targets is necessary, obsession with specific details of the results you want, which may not be in your direct control, is unhealthy.

Keep this in mind – your personal growth is of utmost and foremost importance – not the amount of money in your bank account, not the assets you own, not even, I dare say, the love that you think you are receiving from your family.

These are good accessories to your happiness and success, but they do not define your success and happiness. Only you do.

What matters ultimately is how you feel about yourself and your life. Being attached to things that are not in your direct power and control will never bring you lasting peace, success and happiness.

Exhibit no. 3 – The Monster of Over-Indulgence.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. That is a truth shared by many, even myself.

All of us have our own indulgences – the things we have or do that gives us some measure of enjoyment.

But when indulgence turns into vice, and that vice turns into a permanent habit that is especially destructive to your health and saps away your time, energy and money, perhaps you should never have started with that indulgence in the first place.

I’m not talking about sins or abstinence because different people have different definitions of sins and abstinence.

What I am referring to here are those activities that may temporarily bring you some pleasure but in the long run will only waste your time, energy and money, or even cause damage to your physical, emotional or mental health.

It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline to keep an otherwise harmless indulgence of yours from becoming a vice.

The best method to avoid a vice or harmful habit is to not even start trying it in the first place.

To check if your indulgences have become vices, ask yourself these questions – which of my habitual activities are actually a waste of my time, energy and money? Which of my habits are actually harmful to my health?

Begin to notice these habits of yours and take appropriate actions to reduce them or even eliminate them – if possible, especially when it is something that you had just started trying out (for example, if you’d just started to try smoking, the beginning stages are the best time to quit before it becomes an addiction).

If you happen to have a religious or cultural prohibition on certain vices, and especially if you are very adherent to your religion or culture, the prohibitions may be a good motivation for you to not even approach vices that may cost you time, energy, health and money (or in the case of religion, your spiritual purity).

Exhibit no. 4 – The Monster of Malnutrition.

Malnutrition is caused by either overeating or under-eating.

Most people would approach their personal development as if their minds are the only things that need to be worked upon.

They would look into such things as self-hypnosis, speed reading, meditation and other brain boosting activities, but would neglect basic body maintenance.

The truth is, the mind and the body are both important in your personal growth. Giving more attention to one aspect and neglecting the other would be like trying to walk with only one leg even though both your legs are capable of walking.

The monster of malnutrition can also be linked to the earlier monster of over-indulgence, especially when food is your vice.

Stuffing yourself with unhealthy foods and snacks may give you temporary satisfaction. But the damage done to your body can kill you in the long run.

Failure to properly exercise your body through a fitness regime that is best suited to you is another flaw common to most people taking up the personal development journey.

Tons of information about healthy eating and healthy exercise is available for free online and offline. Make it a point to look it up if you don’t already have basic knowledge and information about healthy diet and exercise.

Exhibit no. 5 – The Monster of Negative Talk.

The monster of negative talk attacks on 2 fronts – internal and external.

It does great harm when it affects both fronts.

Internally, when the conversations or thoughts you have in your mind are generally negative, unsupportive and cynical, you can face just as many problems as you would if, externally, the conversations and words you use with your friends and relations are generally negative, cynical or gossipy.

This is true because what is your internal reality reflects upon your external reality, and what is your external reality reflects upon your internal reality.

Although this may seem to be a hopeless catch-22 type of vicious circle, this problem is easy to solve.

By simply affecting one side, you automatically affect the other. By consciously deciding to change either your inner or outer aspect, you set in motion changes that affect the other aspect as well.

Be extra conscious of the conversations you are having and the words you are using to yourself and to others.

You don’t have to suddenly change into an “Everything is good and positive” kind of person – in fact, that would be counter-productive.

What you may want to add into your existing conversations with others is the element of possibility – you can still talk about negative things, situations or circumstances, but conclude the conversations with the possibility of things being better, either because of your direct actions or the developments you are seeing around you.

Infuse the same element into your internal conversations as well – ask yourself questions that challenge your present assumptions and currently held conclusions.

Whenever you catch yourself saying a conclusive statement either to yourself or to others, always keep in mind a question that challenges its validity – what if something even better is possible? What if a brighter possibility is already out there, waiting to be discovered – by me?

Exhibit no. 6 – The Monster of Narcissism.

The best person you can love in your entire life, in the entire universe is none other than yourself.

In fact, if you know to truly love yourself, the diseases of narcissism and hubris will not even touch you.

Narcissism and hubris do not come from a basic foundation of love and respect for the self. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Narcissism, conceit, hubris and egotism stem from a lack of love, a lack of respect and a lack of positive expectation for the self.

The truth is, even the most so-called selfless altruistic martyr attains her noble status because of her self-love.

There are numerous factors that can cause a lack of love and respect for oneself, resulting in the diseases of narcissism and hubris.

However, if you are coming from a position of personal volition, you can take positive steps to improve your self-love and self-respect.

Treat yourself as parents would properly treat a child. Parents love their child and would do anything in their power to give the best and bring out the best in their child.

At the same time, parents would also take extra measures to prevent the child from being spoilt. Parents would not normally submit to the child’s every whim and demand. If necessary, parents also exercise discipline on the child while maintaining their love and affection for him.

Begin asking yourself these questions – if I had been raised by the best parents in the world, how would I have been raised? What would they do to ensure that I develop into a healthy, happy and successful human being? What values would they instil in me? What kind of environment would they place me into?

Exhibit no. 7 – the Monster of Indecisiveness.

The 7th and last monster on the list comes from a lack of understanding of where you want to be and how you are going to get there.

Successful people can be either slow or quick to make a decision, but once they’ve made it, they will usually find it difficult to change, especially when they already have momentum.

The best way forward is to simply pick the best, most obvious, most proven choice that has already been taken by people who are successful in whatever field of endeavour you are pursuing.

When you are indecisive, it will cause you to procrastinate. When you procrastinate, you waste time, and lost time can never be recovered.

Indecisiveness is caused by a lack of information – or more specifically, relevant facts. Not theories or assumptions, but facts.

Gather all the relevant facts you need to make a decision and go through your information as comprehensively as possible.

Having an expert or mentor can help tremendously in solving the indecisiveness problem.

Once you make a decision, stick to it resolutely until you either achieve the level of success that you desire or you get feedback that reflects the inaccuracy and ineffectiveness of your initial decision – if the latter happens, don’t call it failure.

Simply take up an alternative pathway as your new decision.

We have covered the 7 major obstacles to your personal growth and I have talked about the various tips and action steps you need to take to handle all of them.

Now it is up to you to decide if you want to conclude reading this article without taking any action at all, or to let this conclusion be the beginning of new actions that you will resolve to take from now on to deliberately design and create the life that you want.

Author's Bio: 

Mohamad Latiff is the Author of Ultimate Secrets of Success, where you can access 5 secret technologies that will radically alter your life, boost your intelligence, expand your creativity, improve your personal effectiveness and possibly multiply your income for only 10 minutes a day!