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8 Things People Do (+Need to Stop Doing) When Struggling with their Goals

Posted In Goals / Must Reads // 0

Struggling to achieve your goals – but don’t know what to do to make them happen?

There is nothing more frustrating!

When people are confused about why they’re struggling, they tend to just ‘try stuff’ and hope it will stick.

But when that doesn’t work, they don’t know where to go with it.

I recently wrote a post on how important knowing where to focus your attention is to your goals. It’s so easy to get distracted by the many distracting things you could be thinking about or doing to try to hit your goals. But most of them won’t lead you where you want to go.

In this post I am going to share with you 8 common things that if you’re struggling to achieve your goals, you need to NOT be doing. 

These 8 things are common examples of things people do when they don’t know how to achieve their goals.

If you are struggling with your goals, you may well recognise some of these behaviours.

So please know that none of these are criticisms. They don’t make you wrong or bad or stupid.

And what they tell us is that you don’t know any other way.

I’m also going to share the link to the post I wrote on what you do need to be focusing on…

That way you can stop wasting time, energy and tears over things that don’t work and get yourself on the right track.

Sound good?

Cool. Let’s kick into it….

The 8 Things People Do (+Need to Stop Doing) When Struggling with their Goals

#1. Sitting around waiting and hoping

People often do this when they haven’t been taught how to achieve goals.

Or maybe they’ve been taught ideas about how to achieve their goals – like ‘visualising your goal is important’ – but they’re not sure what else to do beyond that.

Sometimes they think they have to give up something they like (chocolate, anyone?). Or do something they don’t want to do (gym on a wet Sunday morning, anyone?), so they experience a conflicting pull between two things they want.

Either way, waiting and hoping is not going to do it.

#2. Putting lots of time and effort in trying, (often including coming up with new ideas and strategies as each one fails, sometimes including changing of direction) hoping something will work, yet not making any real progress

Oh, I so know this one myself! It’s incredibly frustrating!

This happens a lot with people who are trying desperately to achieve their career and business goals. (Many are also engaging in #4, #5, #7 and #8 as well!)

Chances are, you don’t know how to achieve your goal. And this behaviour makes perfect sense when you don’t know what to do.

Following or copying other people who’ve done it makes perfect sense. Except, if it doesn’t work, please understand there is a reason for that.

And it’s also very possible you’ve got something else that may be very subconscious to you pulling you in the opposite direction. We call this ‘structural conflict’. (I’ll share more on this soon. Please pop back later, or subscribe to have posts on this sent direct to you.)

#3. Distracting themselves from working on their goal, + trying to make themselves feel better with immediate gratification activities that sabotage their other goals

Like eating, drinking, socialising and partying. (Basically, the fun stuff).

Something they haven’t learned is that their goals need this little-known-about ingredient, known in structural dynamics, as ‘structural tension’. (I know, it sounds boring. It’s not. It’ll change your whole world.)

People who distract themselves from their goals don’t have structural tension in their goals. Which is why they lack motivation to take action on their goals.

To learn more about how to achieve your goals (using structural tension), read this.


#4. Distracting themselves from working on the goal and trying to make themselves feel better with what feels like more productive, positive activities (often while also not admitting to themselves that they’re not making any real progress towards their goal)

This list includes things like:

  • goal reviewing
  • planning
  • re-planning
  • journalling
  • networking
  • learning
  • personal, spiritual and/or business development courses
  • hiring of new mentors
  • exercising

While this is a slightly more healthy version of #3, it’s possibly more frustrating, because given you’ve chosen a more healthy course of action, your assumption is that surely this should be helping you and/or your goals.

Except that you notice that it doesn’t. And then you’re left feeling really lost.

While a ton of these activities are often promoted and thought of as helpful, they often don’t lead you to the result you’re after. 

Chances are, just like with #3, you don’t know what to focus on to achieve your goals. To learn what to focus on, read this post.

#5. Focusing on what others are doing + listening to others success stories in the hope of finding ‘the answer’ to their own success

Ooooooooo… This is danger zone.

And yet, in our social media frenzied world, it’s so easy to do!

While it might be a place to look, and even an inspiring way to go, it can be really dangerous for your goals. 

Click here to read why. And here is a post on what to do instead.

#6. Talking to best friends, significant others, etc, who don’t know how best to help, but offer support and the best advice they can think of

Okay. Let me be clear. There is nothing inherently wrong about talking to people about your goals and your struggles.

While it can help a little bit, but it doesn’t often lead to an effective result.

But, it’s also worlds better than hiding it from everyone, which is #7, which I’m also dead against.

But if the option is between learning what you should be focusing on to achieve your goals and talking to people about your struggle, pretty please, pick the first one.

Once you know what to focus on, you won’t need to talk to anyone about your struggles, except to pass the time of day and to chat about what you’re up to.

#7. Hiding their struggle from everyone

This is a super-common one for people who want to appear a particular way to other people – or to themselves.

They think that struggling implies weakness – or that it risks people not wanting to be involved with them.

But it’s also dangerous to your goals and the time you have left on the planet to achieve what truly matters to you.

Chances are if you are doing this, you are trying to work it all out yourself, while in all likelihood, mindfucking yourself over how to get over the struggle. This isn’t a helpful strategy.

What is a helpful strategy is to learn what you should be focusing on to achieve your goals.

#8. Hoping to get ‘discovered’ by Oprah, Ellen, or their top industry magazines/news stations

This is a big one with solopreneurs, coaches, trainers, and artists who have a belief that the only way to succeed in their career is to be discovered.

They haven’t been able to create the success they want themselves yet, so part of their strategy (and vision board if they are new-age/spiritually inclined) is to have being ‘discovered’ be their way of getting the exposure they feel they need to hit the big time.

It’s an exceptionally high-risk strategy.

Because chances are slim that you’ll be discovered in a way that enables you to hit the permanent big time.

And even if you think positive and get 5 minutes of fame on Oprah, or Ellen, or whatever show or magazine you’re hoping for exposure with, if you think about the percentage of people who get exposure that leads to very little permanent results afterwards, then chances of world-wide eternal fame are very slim.

But the good news is that, with your ego out of the way, you can have a truly amazing and fulfilling career and business without needing to be discovered.

What you need to do instead…

Do you recognise any of the above behaviours in yourself, or anyone you know?

They’re super common!

After all, not many of us are well taught about how to create what matters to us!  Then we find ourselves struggling.

Okay, now that you know what you need to NOT be doing, this blog series will teach you what you DO need to be doing to achieve your goals and create what matters to you.

I wrote it to help you focus on what you need to focus on to set yourself (+ your goals) up for success. I hope learning this seriously transforms your whole understanding of goal achievement! It may well not be what you think!

It can take quite a bit to digest, so you may want to make yourself a cup of tea and find yourself a comfy pozzy!

Please do let me know how you get on! I’d love to hear!

Serious about achieving your goals? Follow me here on Instagram

Big love to you + your success!

P.S. If you’d like to receive new posts direct to your inbox, please fill in your details below…


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