“… people like to maintain a positive self-image.  Paradoxically, one of the chief ways people preserve their self-esteem is by putting obstacles in their own way (if not preemptively surrendering).  The body of research on this phenomenon, known as ‘self-handicapping,’ is immense.  But the logic is quite simple.  People want to feel good about themselves and their abilities.  Obviously, any experience of failure puts their self-esteem at risk.  However, if they intentionally do things that could diminish their performance, they can view disappointing outcomes as not reflective of their true abilities.”
Powerplay, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2010

Who knew the biggest barrier to your success could be you?  The race towards mediocrity can be much easier than falling flat on your face towards success.  The scariest part (and I mean really scary) is that I might actually set myself up for failure without realizing it.  It’s so easy to blame everything under the sun for our failures but like every other introspective cliche, the first place we should be looking is ourselves.