Do you ever get the feeling that you are standing on the threshold of success, but can’t step into that place where you feel successful. Or, perhaps you have been successful, only to have your fortunes reversed.

There are many factors that contribute to success or failure, the most important of which is a person’s state of consciousness. You can’t create and keep up success unless your thoughts, beliefs and emotions are tuned to it. If you have beliefs about yourself, money or what success means that are in opposition to a successful life, you will find it difficult or impossible to create one.

Although many people crave success, they often have limiting beliefs that prevent it. For example, we’ve all heard, “It’s lonely at the top.” When we hear stories of celebrities who suffer from alcoholism, drug abuse and serious emotional problems, we see that success can bring with it many forms of discomfort. Princess Diana was the perfect example of someone who seemed to have everything, but suffered on many levels — and was alone in the midst of opulence..

When people think of success, they often equate it with financial abundance. But they also know that money often causes as many problems as it cures. In our fantasies, we often see money as a road to freedom. But the fact is, that having money can be an overwhelming responsibility that requires spending a lot of time taking care of it.

Developing a successful business can also be an overwhelming responsibility, one that you may unconsciously avoid. If you’ve never had a successful business, you may be scared away by what you have to learn and your fear of not cleverly implementing plans and strategies.

If you don’t consider yourself successful now and dream of experiencing success, then you know that you have to change your thinking and behavior patterns. Obviously, if you keep on doing what you are doing, you are going to continue getting what you’ve got. The thought of making major changes can be frightening. Also, deciding what changes to make can be a daunting task.

Many people who dream of success, don’t have a clear picture of what success means for them. Eliminating vagueness will help decide a course of action. Take some time with yourself thinking through what your dreams mean in real terms.

For example, I’ve heard many people say they want to build a healing center. Others want to build a business that involves selling and distributing product to a large customer base. Either scenario requires a large capital investment, advanced marketing and management skills, and strong drive and determination. If you have grand plans, think them through, and ask yourself if you are really ready to commit to doing everything your vision of success would need.

Perhaps you need to review your definition of success and look at what you really want in terms of inner and outer achievement. If material success was all it’s cracked up to be, there would be more happy, “successful” people. It’s common for people who create large sums of money either through their own efforts or through inheritance to feel empty inside. There’s a lot more to success than how much money you make and what you buy with it. Mother Theresa was, in my view, a successful person, yet she owned nothing.

Bottom line is that success is a feeling, not a measurable commodity. Small successes can teach you how to experience and deal with positive outcomes. Instead of aiming for a huge achievement and only accepting its accomplishment as success, re frame your life so that you can feel successful with smaller accomplishments, not all of which involve material acquisition. Teach a child something, give comfort to someone who is sick, create something of beauty, take time to enjoy what you already have. Then look at what you have done and allow yourself to feel successful.

If you work very hard and have such high expectations of yourself that you can never be satisfied with what you do, you will never feel successful. People who are really successful, don’t beat themselves up or blame themselves for everything that doesn’t work out the way they want. An element of success is satisfaction. The process of becoming successful requires that you learn to be satisfied. This often means giving up wanting and longing, two feelings that don’t go with satisfaction.

It’s no wonder that people are afraid of success. To achieve it means a lot of self-examination along with major lifestyle and behavior changes. Success requires discipline, determination and a strong belief in oneself. It’s a lot easier to stay where you are than to move into a new state of being.

The fact is that you are already successful. When you can accept this fact, you will be able to expand upon it and live a satisfying, abundant life.