Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Lorna Barrow


cover image for #1 barrier stopping your self-development

I am done with self development…you declare to the world at large!


And you really do mean it. After all, you spent close to $5,000 on training. You bought 8 self-help books. In addition,  you attended 10 webinars and x-amount of coaching. All in the space of 6 months.


I feel you. They told you that:

Personal development helps you to lead a more fulfilled, happier and higher quality life


Yet nothing has changed. Neither in your behavior nor in your life. Only in your bank account.


You still procrastinate. You still haven’t started your business and as for attending that public speaking program…forget that!


You swear this time it was going to be different.  This time, you really believed that you had licked the problem.


No more agony and embarrassment of defeat. There was no way you were going to find yourself completely frustrated and swearing-off self development.


But it happened again. You were caught in the “self development nightmare”…


What is wrong with your approach to self development? 

What is stopping your success?


And…What in the name of wonderful growth…is standing in your way?


Psst! Hi! Over here! It’s me…


I know what’s standing in the way of your structured self development. I know what’s the greatest barrier to your self development.


You see, helping people to develop themselves and build their self-esteem is part of what I do for a living. And from person to person, male or female, young or old, the #1 barrier to self development is the same.


What do I know? And how do I know? 


Perhaps the best way to answer that question is to look at what’s NOT holding you back.


No…it’s not the self-help books

Although a lot of people blame self-help book as being anything but helpful, the problem is not the books themselves.


The problem is that you read scores or even hundreds of books, seeing yourself in every story or example in those books. You feel an incredible closeness with the authors. Wow! I’m not the only victim here?


But do you take one single action step recommended by the authors?


The answer is usually a big, fat “NO!”  You apply nothing.


That is a problem in itself. But even if you had applied everything you read, you might still not get the results you want, until you fix that #1 barrier stopping your self development.


Could it be the Coaching? 

It could be…but often it isn’t.


Yes, you need to chose a coach who challenge you on your attitudes, beliefs or potentially unproductive behavior.


And yes,  you may discover that you did not exercise enough care in choosing a coach that’s the right fit for you.


This does not mean you’re an idiot. Neither  does it mean that what you have done up until now is wrong.


It’s just that the greatest barrier to your self development has blind-sided you.


So, What is the greatest barrier to your self development? 

What if I were to tell you that YOU are the greatest barrier to your self development?




Cuss me all you want, that’s my personal experience and professional opinion.


YOU are the greatest barrier to developing yourself. 


How? Why? you are now screaming at me…


Look, I was just like you. I was hot and I wanted to be the best.


To me,  that meant developing myself and so I began the journey.


I started out on my with a bag of self-help books. After all, reading is what I do best.


Pretty soon, I was uncomfortably aware that on my own, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.


I thought I needed professional help . Therefore, I got it. Yet, I still wasn’t getting to where I wanted to be.


What was the big problem?


After all, so much good stuff has been written and done to help us with our personal development…why was I still not getting the results I wanted?


Confused and miserable,  I set out to find out for myself. After 13 months of searching among my friends, colleagues and several potential clients, what did I find?


The #1 thing you need to know to develop yourself 

You need to know who your “SELF” is.


Yeah…it’s that simple but it ain’t that easy.


You see, sometimes for years, you have created a “persona” which you present to the world. Chances are, you’ve had great success with this. No surprise then, that you believe this is who you are.


But then you come to work with me. Pretty soon, I am discovering eye-opening disconnects between who you say you are, and who you really are. Naturally, these have to be addressed before we can go any further.


Before something crazy like this happens to you, step back from your current methods of self-help and ask yourself: “Who am I at my very core?


To answer that question, you often have to be willingly to face an ugly and unfamiliar “self”.


You also have to HONESTLY answer a series of other questions, such as: 

What are my core values?

What matters most to me?

Why do I do what I do?

What is the biggest lie I tell myself?

What are my non-negotiables in my personal and business lives?

Do I follow through or do I constantly start something and give up when I hit a difficult spot?

Can people rely on my word?

Do I treat friends with dignity and respect?

Can I stand powerfully in my truth?

Do I accept responsibility for my mistakes or do I blame others?

Who am I? 


A method you can use to discover who you really are 

Now, before you spend another penny on coaching, before you buy another book, get out your good old-fashioned spiral-bound notebook and pens or pencils.


Find a quiet corner in your home, a park, a churchyard (Yes!) and ask yourself “who am I?”


Feel completely free to use the questions above to help you with some answers.


When you feel answers coming to you, write them down, beginning each answer with the words “I am a person who...”


Don’t try to filter or judge your answers and be sure to write down the negative things that come up as well.


Don’t worry, only you will see your answers (unless you choose to share).  Also, this post on the 5 top personal development questions to ask yourself, will help you as well.


After discovering who you are at the core (often a journey in itself) you can now plan your self development for the authentic person you have exposed. 


This is extremely powerful because now you’re working on the right “self”, the process will be faster and your results absolutely awesome!


Do you know why?


It’s because now you are no longer doing the “hit and miss” thing.  You are no longer anxious about any barriers to your self development.


You are moving from a secure place of knowing who you are and actually working on that person. Above all, you are no longer getting in your own way.


Isn’t that a powerful place to be?


Your next self development step…

By now you are painfully aware that to develop or improve yourself, you have to “locate” the real you to be worked on.


So I want to challenge you to commit to to taking the first step to improving your self development right now! Or at least by the week-end.


Start with the questions above. As a matter of fact, start with the question “What is the biggest lie do I tell myself?” Answering this will go a long way in helping you find your real self.


Give it a try…won’t you? And if you need help just don’t think twice about contacting me… I have been there and done that and I know how to help you go there and do that…


If after all this you’re still not sure where to start…here are some further steps you can use to jump-start your self-development journey.


So what will you commit to jump-starting your self-development journey right now? 


Please…Do let me know…


What Is The 1 Barrier Really Stopping Your Self Development?

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Lorna Barrow

Lorna Barrow is a Business Breakthrough Specialist, an unfiltered Transformational Speaker, a Writer, a Coach and a self-confessed Small Business Junkie. She recognises that small businesses are unique and when it comes to helping you and your business make that BIG breakthrough, she's all in for you!

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