Think about the person you admire most. Has he or she dared to do something different or simply plodded along the same old beaten path?

"But this person had it easy; it's not that way for me," you argue.

While it's common to blame external influences for our failures, most often we're the ones sabotaging our dreams.

If that spring in your step has slackened, and you're feeling discontented in life, don't simply grit your teeth and carry on. Stop to consider how you can change or improve your path, be it in nutrition and fitness, education, your career, personal relationships or expanding your interests and talents.

Don't let the following impede you from taking the plunge to get ahead.

1. Procrastination

Oh, that status quo. It's so comfortable, and there's always next year, right?

Studies find that the very best way to beat procrastination is to start somewhere now. It's natural to fret about the hard parts of a goal or project and avoid them. But our brains love conclusions, so jumping in and starting serves as motivation to finish.

2. Self-doubt

Fear of failure is a big excuse to avoid trying new things.

Stop making excuses. Figure out where your weaknesses lie and what gives you sweaty palms. If you lack computer skills, for example, get the training you need. To boost your confidence in any area, take a class, read a book or hire a coach.

3. Second-guessing yourself

Think about the last time you shared a presentation or taught a lesson. Many of us experience that pesky, nagging voice in our heads that criticizes even our best efforts.

Squash that voice. If you want or need to take on a new challenge, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You can do hard things.

4. Lack of funds

If your goal is college, for example, don't let a bleak-looking bank account prevent you from your education. Your years of college will pay off handsomely later.

There are many options available to help finance a college degree. Federal Pell Grants are like your best Christmas ever; they don't have to be repaid. Scholarships to any university abound. Also, many graduate programs offer funding for admitted students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantship, or tuition and insurance coverage. Some programs could even cover your full costs and pay the student a stipend. Find applications through your school, extracurricular activities or workplace.

5. Peer pressure

Believe it or not its not just children even adults cave to peer pressure.

It's easy to allow others to sway us. We don't want to veer into new territory and be perceived as weird by our family, friends or associates. But we'll never launch ourselves into something better if we don't seek out new opportunities.

6. Excessive daydreaming

When we fantasize too much about the outcome of a goal and fail to set concrete plans to reach it, our goals can fizzle.

Ciotti points out that while thinking positively about the future is certainly beneficial, "too much fantasy can have disastrous results on achieving goals."

Too much basking in the fantasized outcome prevents us from tackling the steps to achieve the goal: "Our poor brain is thus a victim of itself," says Ciotti.

7. Being unaware of the possibilities

When we haven't seen something done before, it's easy to assume it can't be done. This holds true for advanced education.

It's always possible to change career paths. For example, at Brigham Young University Graduate Studies you can learn about pursuing one of the 85 + graduate programs offered at BYU that may or may not be related to your undergraduate work.

BYU aims to set up everyone for success by providing "intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued." Click here to learn more about BYU Graduate Studies.

If it's for the better, change direction. Veer off your unhappy course. You are in charge of your life, success and happiness.

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