Many people who are willing and able to work are kept from achieving what they are capable of by obstacles over which they no control. For the most part these obstacles are environmental primarily unfavorable social attitudes based on sex, race religion or age. Women for example, rarely achieve the success they are capable of in are outside of home making. Prejudice against women exists in many occupations and in executive positions in the occupations in which they have been accepted.
Work dissatisfaction which contributes to poor achievement can come from other environmental factors than discrimination and unfavorable social attitudes. Students show that workers dissatisfaction comes mostly from factors peripheral to the job such as work rules, seniority, wages, and fringe benefits.
Academic achievement is often adversely affected by lace of social acceptance. Those who are well accepted perform better than those who are neglected and much better than those who are actually rejected. Poor academic work is common among those who are resentful because they do not receive the social acceptance they crave. Although some students try to compensate for lack of social acceptance by high academic achievement, this is a far less common source of motivate than is social acceptance.
Successful achievement is likewise hampered by subjective or personal factors. Theoretically, these are more easily controlled by the person than the objective or environment factors discussed above. In practice, however, they are so often the result of pressures from significant people- pressures to aspire unrealistically high- that the person is unable to control them. In addition, anxiety stemming form trying to achieve in unfamiliar situation or in situation which are associated with failure in the past militates against good performance even when the person is strongly motivated to achieve.
Poor achievement may come from the person’s unfavorable attitude toward self, from poor health from lack of motivation, and from many other subjective factors. Many people for example, accept the belief that with age they will reach a plateau in their achievements from which them less and less capable. This attitude deprives them of the motivation to work up to their capacities.
Many factors, both objective and subjective, obstruct achievement. When the person knows or suspects that he is capable of achieving more than he actually has, he feels guilty ashamed, and embarrassed if he believes that his lack of success stems from obstacles put in his path by members of social group, he feels resentful and martyred. In either case, his personality will be damaged.