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What I think stops people from reaching their goals is FEAR. If fear were not a factor people would not be (afraid). We need to ignore that small word that tries to take our spirit and our motivation away. Do not fear, just do. You will never know how successful you can be unless you give it a try.

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Fear is a self induced psychological barrier to achievement. What stops people, to me is different, if you are talking about Hispanics or people in general.  Fear is at the root, but depending on your socialization patterns borne out of  family values, societal, gender, racial etc. stereotyping caregiver influences and access to credit etc.are the multiple reasons.

I agree with Felix.  I think (focusing on fellow Hispanic professionals) it's not so much a matter of fear of success and lack of applying oneself, but where a number of us stand in various industry circles and how we are perceived by non-Hispanic professionals.  The world has become much more competitive over the decades and to a certain extent, less nurturing (not in the parent-child sense).  I've met one too many bright Hispanic professionals in multiple office settings who unfortunately have been overlooked by management; a clear example of this is how small of a presence we possess in boardrooms across our nation, the U.S.A.; I find that current statistic to be troubling, and I really don't perceive this is due  due to Hispanic professionals' "fear" of joining elite C-level professionals in this exclusive setting.  We, culturally speaking, are quite well-known to have (I don't mean to generalize, by the way; there are fellow Hispanics who don't possess this trait) a keen knack for socializing and developing friendships.  We, for the most part, enjoy gatherings and meeting people; I can't honestly see a Hispanic professional turn down the opportunity to meet and greet high-level professionals from Fortune 500 companies and engage with them in annual boardroom conferences.  

Followup to discussion:

I think we Hispanics have to start to  fast track our presence to center stage; the immigration focus has given us the publicity to leverage other items on the back burner. Although some Hispanics would state, that the focus on immigration only takes care  of the undocumented, versus focusing on concerns of the Hispanic middle class, those who are US citizens and are experiencing problems, pertaining to mobility and "breaking glass ceilings"; I believe that votes are like dollars, which if Hispanics are legalized then we better address our needs in the political climate due to our voting numbers. The voting numbers are what moves the political agenda, this is what has had Anglo Americans running the political system to meet their priorities under various "marketable labels" , etc. Whigs, Know-Nothing Party, Republicans [party of family values}, what value is their in disrupting families by deportation? Tea Party [at the local level--"Good Government League" , by whom and for whom?  One of the most important historical lesson  is the the stark reality that society is made of varied self-interest definable groups" that once taken the reins of power the agenda becomes their priority. "Punto claro!"

Hi Felix, I do differ here with you in respect to the immigration issue, which I rather not debate (I have a contrasting viewpoint on this) about in this forum.  I really feel we, as professionals in our nation, the U.S., need to see how we can be taken more seriously in various industries, from accounting to the sciences.  Oftentimes, overlooked Hispanic professionals possess the drive, the charisma and the acumen to hold elevated positions, but time and time again, are not welcomed.  And this is an outrage which relives itself day in and day out in 2013.  I would also add that Anglo Americans do not hold total blame in seeing this type of "glass ceiling" behavior maintained; there are plenty of Asian and African-Americans in key managerial roles who have no problem in blocking access as well.  It's like I have said to other fellow professionals who have suspected that they have been the recipients of such actions; people in these pivotal roles are not automatons; they are human beings with developed prejudices; sadly, some quietly play these negative perceptions out in the arena of hiring and promoting staff members.

Fear is a huge factor.  However, I also think it is not easy to differentiate between a successful life and a successful career.  This is a hypothetical but one example is to decide between holding a Master's degree and live comfortably amongst our friends/family, or start anew elsewhere with another goal like achieving that PhD.  Who is more successful?  The one that did work hard and stayed with friends/family or the one that took that extra step working for greater goals, but also risked losing that connection from those that care for him/her most.  Perhaps they both are successful.  But which is more?

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