The Top 4 Obstacles That keep you From Your Goals (and How to Overcome Them)

December 10, 2018

As a personal development junkie and coach for goal-getters, I consistently see people struggle through 4 major roadblocks. I myself have personally fought through many of these in my early years. 

The insight that I'm sharing with you today will help you no matter what stage of personal development you're at and no matter how far along you are in your goal crushing journey. From beginners to advanced goal-crushing machines you will value this post for years to come! *wink* you can thank me later! *Drum roll please!*

The first and primary obstacle I see hindering people's progress is...

1. Procrastination

This is a hard habit to break. It shows up like a thief in the night as soon as we make a commitment to pursue our goals. Think about it, most of us make new years resolutions, but how many of us actually achieve them? Only about 8% according to research done by the Statistic Brain Research Institute

We don't achieve our goals for various reasons but make no mistake about it, procrastination is at the top of the list!

How to Overcome it

Step 1: Set realistic goals

Write down your ultimate goal and then consider all of the steps it will take for you to get there. Write down each step. These small steps now become your baby goals. Crushing each of these baby goals helps you to stay on track and they act as a checkpoint for you to measure your progress.

Step 2: Start small

Start with the first task(s) you have to accomplish before you try to move ahead to the more exciting stuff. The process of goal achievement is like preparing for a wedding. All of the hard work is done behind the scenes. You have to lay the right foundation before you can start building your empire, you have to water and nurture the soil before anything starts growing. The same principle applies to goal achievement.

Bonus Tip:
While laying the right foundation for your goals include mindset work that will expand your thinking and stimulate personal growth. Working on your goals and challenging your beliefs at the same time develops your creativity and helps you to see your personal challenges from a fresh perspective.

Step 3: Reward yourself

Celebrate your small wins. This will help you to stay motivated and strengthen your confidence. You will know without a shadow of a doubt that YOU CAN ACHIEVE this goal. The more success you see while you work towards your goal acts as confirmation and strengthens your belief in yourself and your goals.

2. Lack of Self-Awareness

Research shows that most people believe they are more capable, gifted, skilled, eloquent, and so on than they actually are. We generally have a tenancy to overestimate what we can do and end up letting ourselves or others down.

Another way that we lack self-awareness is when we don't consider the heavy consequences associated with not achieving our goal. Before you decide to slack off on your goal(s) really think about who suffers in the end? Most likely it's you. You will not only suffer the pain of regret and live the rest of your life wondering "what if I tried...what if I actually achieved my goal, how would my life be better now?..." you will also have less confidence in yourself. 

One question I always ask myself before I pursue any goal is will you be proud of who you become? If the goal is something that I want to be true at the end of my life or is something that I want to be a part of my life story then I go for it. On the other hand. if it's a good idea and something nice to add to my story but it isn't really something I'm passionate about,  I simply put it on my list of cool ideas and after I complete my passion projects I slide in a cool idea just for fun to spice up my life a little bit.

"We must all suffer one of two things: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret."
- Jim Rohn

How to Overcome it

Step 1: Humble yourself

The truth is we don't know what we don't know until we find out. You could think you're an amazing singer with unbelievable range and sweet dynamics, but if you get in front of 2 or 3 vocal professionals and they all tell you to maybe consider songwriting instead of singing you should take their advice seriously. 

Constructive feedback is key to helping you to discover yourself. It is not meant to tear you down or take your dreams aways it actually does the opposite. It helps you to save time, money, and effort. Find someone who has success in an area that you are struggling with like physical health, finances, relationships, and so on and ask them for help. They could become your mentor or a trusted advisor. 

Step 2: Get Accountability

Getting someone to hold you accountable is your breakthrough to freedom! Without accountability we all tend to get lost doing our own thing, trying to figure life out and we usually end up creating a mess. With accountability, we have someone that:

1. Believes in us
2. Helps us to realize our dream
3. Walks with us through the process.

"Two are better than one because 
they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, 
one can help the other up. 
But pity anyone who falls 
and has no one to help them up."
- Ecclesiastes

3. Your Comfort Zone

According to US News, 80% of people who make new years resolutions fail by mid-February. Are you one of them? Let's be honest. I've been in this boat before. I even stopped setting goals because I didn't want to fail or beat myself up for not being committed to what I really claimed to want.

The truth is life gets busy, but another truth is that we all make time for what's important to us. The reason why you suck at achieving your goals is because 1. You don't know what you're doing and 2. You're way too comfortable!

You have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired, broke, overweight, struggling to find love, hating your job, regretting your choices, and feeling bad about your life. You have to get tired of the cycle, tired of the abuse, tired of lack, and tired of the emptiness you feel. Look at where your life is and decide that now is the time to change. Only you can get up and walk out of your comfort zone.

As a coach, I know that habits and mindsets are the biggest hinderances to personal growth, but with realistic goals and a teachable heart, I've seen people completely transform into goal crushing success machines! This can become your story too if you want it to be.

How to Overcome it

Step 1: Put in the work

There are no shortcuts. You have to be willing to let go of everything you're currently doing and learn a new way of life. Many people think they're open to growth until it's time to actually put in the work and change! Often times they don't realize how much junk they've been carrying and they've started to identify with it and think they are the things they are carrying. It's almost like because they've been overweight, living pay cheque to pay cheque, repeatedly dating the wrong type of person, constantly doubting themselves their whole life they think this is now who they are and no matter how much they try they can't change who they've become.

If you're in this boat I have good news for you hunny! That is the biggest lie you've ever heard! You are where you are because of the choices you've made and you can create the life of your dreams with your next set of choices! It sounds easy, but don't get it twisted, there is no magic formula. You have to get to work.

Step 2: Create a new normal

Start over and take things back to basics. In the areas of your biggest struggles relearn everything you think you know. Find a good book that teaches how to build healthy relationships and start following the lessons they teach. Find a suitable personal development coach and allow them to help you declutter your life and build a new upgraded version of yourself.

It's time to create a new routine, new attitude, new belief system, and new responses and reactions to old situations. You can't keep doing the same things and expect your life to look different 5 years from now. You are the captain of your ship, begin to take charge of your life and leave your comfort zone!

Step 3: Get rid of complacency

Allow yourself to be challenged in new ways. Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Accept that growth requires change and you are a project. Your life is continually evolving and you are a work in progress.

You are special and can't be compared to others.
Your journey to success is unique to who you are.
You can overcome every obstacle you face.

But if you want to taste success you have to be open to growth and let go of anything less than your ultimate goal. Don't settle for small, trickles of progress. Don't even settle for the compliments you will start receiving. Stay focused on your ultimate goal and don't stop until you get there.

4. Fear

I thought about writing this first and placing it at the top of the list but I wanted to save the best for last! Many times we don't understand how much fear is sucking the life out of us. We make so many decisions based on how we want others to perceive us and the kind of impressions we want to make on others but this way of thinking is causing us to lose touch with ourselves.

Fear dictates so much of our lives that we sometimes opt out of amazing opportunities because it causes a bit of uncertainty. With thoughts like "I can't" and "I shouldn't" fear appears as reasonable logic, but instead leaves us filled with doubt. 

The next time you get an incredible chance in life instead of shutting the door get creative and think of ways to make it work. Maybe working your dream job pays less, but you can lower your expenses or get a part-time job to make up for the lost income. You also have the option of starting a side hustle by turning your expertise into a business. There are so many options. Keep an open mind!

You are too smart to allow fear to make decisions for you. Break out of the norm and choose to live again! Choose to fearlessly experience life in new ways that you only currently dream about.

How to Overcome it

Step 1: Face the unknown

Stop making decisions based on the possible negative outcomes. Notice I said "making decisions..." so I'm not saying don't consider the negative outcomes, I'm saying don't make decisions based on them.

There will always be pros and cons to everything you do. To decide whether something is worth pursuing don't base it on which option outweighs the other. Instead, base it on which one is worth more to you. Which one will add more joy and experience to your life? Which do you want to be true at the end of your life? The fact that you went for it or that you chose the easy road? Which do you know will give you peace at night? Choose to face the unknown.

Step 2: Failure is your friend

Failure is not who you are or someone you can become it's an event. Don't be afraid of making mistakes because they teach you valuable lessons. Now I personally prefer learning from the mistakes of others. It saves me time and energy (sometimes money too!) but have experienced failure and it's discouraging! It doesn't feel good, I don't feel more motivated, I just want to push past it and move on. However, here's something I learned if you don't examine your failure you are more likely to make the same mistake. Why? Because you haven't dealt with the root of the problem.

Imagine a doctor tells a patient they have cancer. Instead of treating the cause of cancer they give the patient medicine that only deals with the symptoms and not cancer itself. What are the chances of the patient surviving? close to none right? Well, it's the same with our mistakes. If we don't examine the problem,  find the reason for the mistake, and then resolve it we will keep repeating the same behaviour.

Nothing changes unless you do.

Step 3: Find Solutions

Try this excerise. On a piece of paper write "what if I fail because..." then make a list of every fear stopping you from pursuing your dreams whether it's logical or not. Do this until all of your ideas are completely out of your mind. Now beside each reason for failure write 5 solutions to that problem. Here's an example:

What if I fail because...
1. I don't know what I'm doing
2. I have no experience
3. Etc

1. I can ...Hire a coach, do research, talk to people who have done it, go back to school, join an internship.

2. I can...volunteer somewhere, find a mentor, work with someone who has done it...

There will always be 1,000 voices giving you all of the reasons why you can't, will never or should not pursue your goals, but I will always be the voice of reason asking you why not?!

Let's crush this year and make 2019 your best year yet. Believe in yourself. choose to pursue your goals and this time you don't have to go at it alone. We're here to help. Until next time! Xoxo.

Theresa Forever
Founder, 6 Weeks 1 Goal

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