The Enemy That’s Keeping You From Success

2013-10-31 16.58.31

I’ve been thinking about what else I can do to help you succeed. It’s what I work on the most at Owner magazine. It’s what the 20 other writers are working on, as well.

But here’s the thing. The enemy that’s keeping you from success needs to be known by you. You need to really think through this, deeply. Do you have four minutes? Click below to listen. runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • Dave Linabury

    Loved that. My enemy today is merely a snoring Pug while I’m trying to work. I put him in the basement.

  • Robb Gorringe

    I really enjoyed your soundcloud version.

  • Terri

    All right. I am off to write a blog post as part of my 21 day commitment to write everyday. Good reminder, Chris. It is very tempting to say, “I don’t feel like writing today.”

  • Lucy Chen

    So true! Happiness? From my personal experience, I’m now a LOT happier because I’m fighting the enemy every day for my success. So I think people will be happy as long as they are on the path to succeed. Because you can do yoga, or meditate, or go on vacation etc. but unless this is how you define your success (e.g. become a yoga master etc.), these are just short term fixes, you will still feel empty and unhappy. – my opinion :)

  • Chris Keaton

    Great message! Thank you!

  • Matches Malone

    Wasn’t it Pogo that said, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us!” ? Not sure where that question mark goes, actually. Back to Strunk & White for me…. ;)

  • Jeff Goins

    Great points, Chris. I agree that the enemy is me. My fear, my selfishness, my inability to see the big picture.

    Someone once asked GK Chesterton, “What’s wrong with the world?”

    To which he replied, “I am.”

    This idea that happiness doesn’t matter is interesting, though. I wonder if there’s a reason why we strive for happiness, why we actually have an appetite for it (unlike animals).

    The fact that we have an emotional self, what some might call a soul, is significant or at least worth pondering.

    Why is this?

    Perhaps, it’s the only way we can exhibit compassion and fight injustice.

    Otherwise, life would merely be a matter of survival of the fittest, and I believe (as I think you do, Chris) that it’s much more than that.

    The fact that we have not only the ability, but the desire, to help those who are weaker than us, that we can discern between right and wrong and what fights are nobler than others, is what makes us truly human.

    My two cents, at any rate.

  • TerryBrock

    Absolutely, Chris! We have to fight that enemy. I shirked from the concept of “fighting” for a long time. I believed (and still believe) in peace. Yet, what you’re saying is so true and the “fight” is with the enemy in our mind. This is much like Stephen Pressfield said in his work (loved your interview with him!). We have to fight that resistance that is within us. It is not a “do it once and you’re done” thing but rather every day.

    Thank you for the reminder and encouragement in this audio. Always good to get your messages, Chris!


  • Tom Jackson

    That was excellent. I love the sentiment to not waste failure. Learn something. One of my favorite sayings is “strength is never a weakness”.

  • Mark Harai

    The greatest and only enemy you’ll ever need to conquer is yourself.

    Until you understand what drives YOU and the decisions you make, YOU will always have barriers & enemy’s to conquer. Same shit different day, same crap you fight will continue to be there because you give it power to exist.

    For some reason, we always look outside of ourselves, our circumstances as the enemy, when the enemy is really buried six feet under in the deepest part of being where no light or truth can set us free.

    My problem is I’ve always been an ass kicker – something gets in the way, KILL IT, FIGHT IT, DESTROY IT – WIN!!!! That will get you places in life, but it won’t get you WHOLE IN YOURSELF ON THIS PLANET…

    Until you discover the key to unlock your own personal genius, you’ll always give power to childish enemies that keep you from being powerfully YOU!

    Happy Wednesday, Chris!

  • CosmicRosebud

    My enemy is armed to the teeth right now, a Goliath to my David! Clearly my only strategy is a well focused slingshot; aimed at the heart.

    Your statement that, “The world does not care about your happiness, only your success” is bitter medicine to those who believe that somehow the world owes them a living and a smile at all times. Maybe we should forget the “pursuit of happiness” and concentrate on defeating our own demons.

    A dose of reality is much needed when one gets absorbed in navel gazing, and I thank you for that.

    I’m off to sharpen my slingshot, and will return for tactical updates on enemy defeating.

    Sarah :)

  • Rex Williams

    Wow! A passionate plea. That gave us a bit more punch hearing your voice rather than just reading words.

    Thanks Chris. Sometimes we need detailed instructions, sometimes we need an emotional kick. You provide it all.

    This may be just enough to get me over the ledge.

    I know I’ll be more happy if I’m successful, so to do what you’re suggesting may be an indirect route to happiness, but it’s all connected.

    The world does need each one of us. We make a difference.

    • Mark Harai

      Wise closing words, Rex… Recognizing we are all connected and empowering the genius in each of us is key to living the vision baked inside of you.

      Keeping the energy (people) out of the mix that don’t see things like this (attitude/ perspective) is also key to avoiding missteps and, even failure.

      The people you connect with who are part of your daily life are merely reflections of ourselves. If you like what you see, you’re in a great position. That’s what I LOVE about the social web; access to the most awesome people on the planet. Literally.

      If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to change things up, or you will never get to living the life of your dreams.

      Thank you for sharing your insights!

      • Rex Williams

        Thanks Mark. You’re absolutely right, the environment of people we choose to put ourselves in has a huge impact on us.
        When I think about it (which your comment influenced me to do) I have a great circle of people I interact with on a daily basis, in person, and online. It’s true, I’ve found so many awesome people online that have influenced me for good. (I suppose there are probably a lot of bad people too, but I don’t know them because it’s easy to choose not associate with them.)
        Exciting times.
        Good people unite!

        • Mark Harai

          Love the spirit behind your words – perspective and attitude manifest our reality. Going to find where we can connect on other platforms – I’m always on the hunt for people who can add to, and enrich my journey.

          Thank you, Rex! : )

        • Mark Harai

          BTW, love the intro to your website… still not sure how to access it, but definitely peaked my curiosity : )

  • The Franchise King

    Great job, Chris. So true.

    No. More. Excuses>


  • Tammy Whitten

    This ended up being the theme for year: keep on keeping on, keep swimming, don’t give up. Over the year I’ve noticed the number of excuses that people give for why they aren’t succeeding or happy or ________. Being committed and determined are the key. It’s not easy, but life’s not easy (nor is it fair). Excuses ARE on the biggest enemies in life. Here’s to success- for all of us!

  • CharlesRivet

    Great, passionate plea! And very much true in most cases (even paranoid people have real enemies…).
    I especially like: “Failure is an outcome I didn’t really want or didn’t expect”. This kind of thinking leads you to thinking in term of learning experiences from failures – next time, you’ll do better!

  • laineyd7

    You’re so right – I rail against “the fight against _______” because I don’t like the idea of an enemy at all, but we as a society seem always to feel like we’re one-upping something or someone. Competition provides many of us a reason to succeed. Excuses provide us a reason to slack off. I’ll do better next time – thanks for stating it in such compelling fashion, Chris.

  • Terry Simpson

    We do have an enemy that we cannot control – and that is time. We have so much time- and then its done. As a surgeon I have too often told a patient that their time on this planet is about to come to an end. It does make you re-evaluate what is important, because often it is the unimportant things that keep us from living

  • jon_mitchell_jackson

    A wonderful and very insightful post Chris. My short response is that as you allude to, the “enemy” can be almost anything. But when it is a person I am reminded of something Abraham Lincoln once said- “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

    Regarding failures, my thoughts are as follows. Rarely do I ever get something right the first time. That’s life. I’m actually use to not getting things right the first time so rarely do I get too worried about trying something. Usually the result is less than expected or even unexpected. And that’s OK. I just keep taking action until the task gets done. At the end of the day, people who approach life this way usually complete something that others are afraid to even start in the first place.

  • Susan Jones @ ReadySetStartup

    Ouch! I needed to hear that this morning. :-)
    Thank you Chris for being so honest with us.

  • Susan Jones @ ReadySetStartup

    Ouch! I needed to hear that this morning. :-)
    Thank you Chris for being so honest with us.

  • Gloria

    Wow. Thank you, Chris. That was great. Just what I needed to hear.

  • Terry Pappy

    What stops us often is what starts us when we have the kick-in-the-pants perspective that you offer, Chris! Thank you for this energizing post–sometimes all we need is “Chris the Coach” to offer something that shifts a distinction in getting results that matter. In a world with so many “enemies” to point the finger at, for me, the mirror is always the best place to start.

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  • Michael Feeley

    Wow! Great call for all of us Chris – ‘Fight the Enemy That Keeps us From Success’ and ‘…stop babying yourself…stop settling.’
    It’s that inner bully that goes after us and just as you say…fight it. Stand up for yourself. When you challenge it you call out your own strength and self worth.
    Thanks for a very surprising and powerful call to action.

  • Cole Wiebe

    So true. “We have met the enemy… and he is us”

    - Cole

  • Marie Modra

    Great message – compact and memorable. Thanks

  • Kim Yuhl

    Chris, I think most people know this down deep. Some choose to embrace it and some choose to keep it hidden, as if it will go away. I will say that nobody can achieve great things unless they embrace their fears and recognize failure for what it is – an opportunity to refocus.

    I appreciate the reminder. Thank you. Time to go out and fail. :-)

  • Monica Nielsen

    yes, thanks for the reminder Chris! Nothing to fear but fear itself. I am in! :)

  • JeremySeoChicago

    Awesome stuff, Chris! Thanks for sharing. Getting past your own fears is crucial! Be courageous! Try new things!

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  • Laura G. Jones

    How true, Chris! I was reading A course in miracles yesterday and it said “Fear stems from lack of love”. I was dumbfounded when I read it. Something just clicked. How much do you love yourself? How much do you love others?

    If you truly love others, you will serve them without fear because you know that your gifts can make a difference. If you truly love yourself, you will let go of the self-defeating thoughts that hold you back and push yourself to own your truth, because you know that the world somehow needs your truth.

    I love that quote from Ender’s game :) It’s not about being happy – happiness is fleeting. It’s about being unequivocally, unapologetically victorious over the enemy that lives inside of you. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Dave Delaney

    Always such a good reminder to hear, Chris. Thanks.

  • Phil Ferrante

    Well said Chris. You are accountable for yourself. The enemy is doubt. The enemy is complacency.

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  • Spook SEO

    Thank you for this one. I just think that the human mind is so complex
    that you cannot reduce a person’s problem to just one cause. There are a lot of
    factors that could help it. However, attitude towards these problems could be
    the cure that you have been searching for. Keep it positive and keep it
    energized at all times.

  • High Altitude Audio

    Thanks Chris…always reminding myself that I am “all-in”…letting go of fear and helping others is essential. “suit up and show up” no matter what.

  • Michelle

    Brilliant reminder as we sit down to review our achievements for the year and start planning for the next! I’m IN!!

  • ingmarmxy321

    My Uncle Nathan recently
    got a nearly new silver Ford Mustang Convertible by working parttime at home…
    go J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

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  • Kay Wilson

    I just read the question & knew the answer immediately was me:( Funny how we put that shoe right on! So I am constantly working on me…..Thx for your clarity, Chris.