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There are a lot of doors of opportunity swinging wide open right beside you, but you could be missing out because of a few personal hang-ups that I have experienced and want to share with you. I am only going to discuss 3 P’s to failure in this article, and next week, I will talk about 3 more.

1. Being prejudice Success is colorless, odorless, gender-less. The most successful people normally don’t flaunt it and because of our obsession with things and how people look, we miss opportunities to connect and meet the person that can lead us to our next level. We size people up based on their skin tone and their clothes and what they drive and 9 times out of 10, we are absolutely wrong. The person with the huge house and 2-car garage could be pulling every dollar they have to make the mortgage, while the person in the 1-bedroom apartment is one-month away from paying a ridiculous down payment on their huge house and 2-car garage. Stop missing your opportunities because you are looking at the wrong things.

2. Being picky . My grandma used to say, Beggars can’t be choosy and I know you aren’t a beggar but if you are not where you want to be you might want to start acting like a beggar at least in theory. Sometimes, you only get one chance and that chance normally disguises itself as an “entry-level position”, a “background role with no speaking parts”, or “part-time with no benefits”. I am guilty of turning down opportunities like this. I turned down a coaching offer as a graduate assistant in which my duties would include washing team uniforms and making sure they were hung up in the lockers before games. I turned down an opportunity to be an extra in the movie, Juwanna Mann, as one of the female basketball players. I would have to drive to Charlotte which is a 4-hr drive from Greenville, and they couldn’t tell me how long I would be up there. Yes, the opportunity to coach is still there, but movies? Like I said, some opportunities are one-shot chances. Do you really want to be that picky? Take the job. Learn everything there is to learn, and if you feel that you are getting stuck or have hit a ceiling, leave.

3. Being prideful. When is the last time that you asked someone for help? Seriously? The Internet is great, and books are even better but sometimes the information you desperately need is in the possesion of another human being. I can name countless times when the help I needed was in the same room with me but I felt better pretending rather than being humble enough to say, “hey, my name is …and I recognize that you have done…could I ask you some questions?”

The bottom line is when you don’t like the direction your marriage, your finances, your children, your business, your body or basically your life is going, that is the WORST time to be Prejudice, Picky, or Prideful. Someone out there has the answer to your problem but if you keep acting like you have it altogether, you will miss your opportunity to improve.

Trust me, I have made a living of acting the part and in the mean time others were passing me by while I was pretending to have everything together. Its time out for hurting and hiding in our homes and on the Internet. Take a deep breath and step out. Attend a writer’s workshop, go out and talk to an college admissions counselor, talk to a couple that’s been married for 35 years, join a gym, take a small business class, or join a divorce-care support group. You only get one life to live. Stop faking it and start living.

But you know what? Regardless of what you decide, I’ve already taken the plunge. Prejudice, Pickiness, and Pride have stolen enough from me, and I daresay they have had their fun with you too. See you next week as I discuss 3 more P’s: Procrastination, Poison, and Pain…oh my!