There are a few barriers to personal development, but there is nothing in the external world which can compare with the obstacles we place in our own way. It starts with our expectations: we expect too much. It’s not that our goals are unrealistic, it’s just that we seem to want everything too quickly (not to mention with as little effort as possible). This means that, because we are looking for fireworks, we miss the the incremental steps we make every day. Sometimes those changes are so small as to be indiscernible, and if that happens for too many days or weeks in a row, we tend to give up, and before we know it the show is over.
When you look at it like that, we are almost destined to fail. Expectations too high, patience too low, and a lack of awareness regarding the tiny steps we are continually making. Know that we are always changing. I am not the same person I was 20 years ago, so it is safe to assume that I am not the same person I was 20 minutes ago; or even one minute ago. Change is a constant in life, and everything you do makes a difference (no matter how small) to who you are. Knowing this makes it easier to relax with your process and then easier to steer those inevitable changes in whichever direction you choose.
It also makes it easier to be patient because all we need to aim for is to be (slightly) better than yesterday. This journey lasts a lifetime (or more), so it helps to take a long-term view. That doesn’t mean we cannot work at an intense level in order to make progress as quickly as possible; but we are well served to keep in mind that better than yesterday is more than enough.