Thinking about some of the things that often hold people back from reaching for success. I produced 18 reasons why success is illusive for some.

NOT Scary

I also produced 18 ways to turn each of those negatives into positives. Negatives evaporate if we change the way we look at them and I turned them around from a place of neutrality.


This is a challenging concept so let’s grab a coffee (or whatever you prefer) and look beyond the word.

Back in the school yard a couple of years ago (Oh really, Steve?), I remember friends asking; “Who do you support”? What they were getting at was, which soccer team did I support. The answer was crucial because giving the wrong one might push me into a corner of the yard and I would become, ‘Steve No Mates’. Being neutral on this was out of the question and where I lived, the answer had to come from one of six possibilities. It didn’t take long to learn which response to supply depending on who was asking but, that’s not a cool way to be.

As we grow, the politics ‘thing’ kicks in. There was never any shortage of opinion about who should govern local politics, or the country and neutrality was frowned upon. Opinion was essential and somebody always had an opinion that must be heard.

Not surprising then that the ability to present as neutral on almost any point or aspect of life was at best difficult, often impossible unless we could cope with life as the odd one out or ‘The Black Sheep’ as I was often called.

Why Choose Sides?

It seems obvious on the surface; we all want to fit in because that has been heavily encouraged by the significant people in our lives since day one until the ego kicks in and polices the whole show. One thing the ego is exceptionally good at is being for or against and it only ever takes the center line when it considers our well-being is at risk by choosing sides. It thrives on a mission to protect us from harm but by doing so, takes away some of our autonomy. It reinforces expectations.

Silently it chips away in our subconscious until one day we are the ones with the opinions that must be heard. We are the ones who children look at and ask, “why”? We know which way to jump; we’ve had plenty of instruction and the voice of the ego whispering in our ear.

Why Choose Neutrality?

I’m trading a thin-line here although there is no intention to tell you to choose this or that. I will try to present neutrally and leave you to make up your own mind.

“If you want enlightenment as much as a drowning person wants air, you would have it instantly”. All I can tell you about that quote is that a Zen master once said it. Yet this simple statement contains the secret to our awakening from the resistance of the ego into the willingness of our spiritual self.

“Your Spiritual Self is you in your most beautiful and powerful form. It is the authentic self, the unconditioned part, the you without patterns”.


If we are willing to choose spiritual growth over the ego’s resistance to change, we can find neutrality. The gears of resistance disengage and disable our needs to judge, expectations, effort, competition and the emotions that drive them.

We all have a well of neutrality inside us. Think about a stormy and demanding situation particularly one where you experienced fear, fury or unhappiness. Did any of these thoughts arise?

  • This is not who I am.
  • What am I doing this for?

I’ve certainly been there and know today that we all experience those two bullet points (and others) during an emotional storm because our spirit doesn’t engage with the ego. It thrives perfectly well without.

18 Reasons Why

Apologies to Jay Asher for borrowing his title and adding a few numbers. But here are my 18 reasons why people fail and how we might respond from a position of neutrality to turn those reasons around.

If some of them provoke a response, ask yourself where it’s coming from. Is it the ego or your spiritual self?

1. Success will be difficult.

All things are possible

2. It’s going to be risky

I cannot fail when I trust the wisdom of self

3. It will take a long time

There is only the present

4. There will be a family drama

I must follow what I feel deeply

5. I don’t deserve it

Everyone deserves it

6. It’s not my nature

I am sincere, gentle and supportive to all and that includes myself

7. I can’t afford it

All that I need will be provided. There is a way

8. No one will help me

How may I serve others so that they may have what I desire?

9. I’ve not been successful before

Look at my life. I’ve had many successes

10. I’m not strong enough

I am not alone. I can reach out to others who are not as strong as I am.

11. I’m not smart enough

I am surrounded by intelligence

12. I’m too old / not old enough

Age is an illusion; there is only now

13. The rules won’t let me

So long as I bring no harm to others and practice sincerity, gentleness, respect and service to others; What rules?

14. It’s too big!

If I can visualize it, passion and the ability to create it are within me

15. I don’t have the energy

I am surrounded by positive energy greater than me and that energy is always available

16. It’s my family history blocking me

I can learn and grow from any history or events

17. I’m too busy

Patience produces results

18. I’m too scared

There is nothing to fear. I am an infinite expression of the universe


We need a box of tools to challenge our limits and move forward toward success. If you feel that you may benefit from help, please leave your contact details in the comments section below and you will be contacted by your preferred method. Please understand that your contact details will never be published and your privacy is assured.

Comments and Questions

Please leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.

I wish you a wonderful and successful day.

Peace & Light

Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.


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