Have you noticed how there are a bunch of things people do when struggling with their goals? Things that don’t actually move them closer to achieving them?
It can be frustrating to watch, but it sucks way worse for them.
I don’t know about you, but for me, there is nothing more frustrating that struggling with a goal, and then not knowing what to change. Or do. Or fix.
Sometimes I’ve abandoned goals because they’ve become too difficult or frustrating.
But other times, the goal has been too important to me to leave.
So, despite my struggle, I carried on.
I tried different strategies in the attempt to make progress.
I sought inspiration or mentoring from other people who have done it.
Personal trainers. Business coaches. Spiritual healers. Personal development courses.
With these newfound experts and people I admired, I’d attend courses and workshops, engage mentors and personal trainers, read articles and books to discover the secrets of how to succeed at the goal I was hoping to hit.
You name it… if a goal is important to me, I’ve probably done it.
Because when a goal is important to me, it’s important to me.
The things I’ve tried have resulted in varying degrees of success.
Some of which worked, if only temporarily, in helping shift something to help me get closer to the outcome I was wanting. Others, if I’m honest, did sweet fuck-all except making me feel temporarily good about myself, or my struggle.
Both of these led to me thinking the person helping me, or the course I’d done was FABULOUS.
But time would pass and I’d realise that the things I’d been trying hadn’t actually worked.
With some things I’d tried, I may have gotten a little bit further along towards my goal (or not), but really, I was still struggling.
Over the years I have done this with a multitude of different things I’ve wanted.
Business goals. Weight-loss goals. Career goals. Spiritual goals. Self-actualisation goals.
Fuck. Even writing this is even making me feel exhausted thinking about how much I used to struggle with my struggle.
Why we do shit that doesn’t work
Many people seem to think it’s their ‘fault’ when they are struggling with their goals.
But if you think about it, for most of us, we haven’t been taught how to achieve our goals – particularly those we don’t know how to achieve.
So instead, we are often flying somewhat blind, trying our hardest with the limited knowledge we have.
But then when it doesn’t work out, we often don’t know what to do.
…. we know what we need to do (like eat better and exercise, for weight loss, for example), but we find ourselves not doing it, and we just don’t know how to get over our bad habits and sabotage patterns.
In the latter case, there is something else going on.
And that is the problem.
When we don’t know what’s going on, we can’t get past it.
So instead, we experience a raft of uncomfortable emotions…
Frustration. Worry. Confusion. A sense of failure. Shame. Embarrassment. Self doubt. Jealousy when we see others succeeding.
We know we need to focus and motivate ourselves, but struggle with getting into action.
We procrastinate. And distract ourselves. And beat ourselves up a tonne.
Which while feeling shitty, also isn’t effective at changing anything.
Then, because we like feeling uncomfortable, we do whatever we think might help.
We may experience a flash (or many flashes) of inspiration. We hear about new ideas or things we could try to get traction.
This could include a new business strategy, a new get-rich-quick scheme or networking marketing idea, or a new weight-loss strategy.
But these strategies are typically followed by disappointment when that doesn’t work out.
And none of this helps solve the problem. In fact, it simply makes it worse.
They then we to find new strategies to solve the discomfort. Only to discover that those don’t work either.
But there is a better way.
What Actually Will Work
In this blog, I am going to share with you a better way. One that actually works.
Here’s what I’m not going to tell you…
I’m NOT going to tell you to:
- write SMART goals
- try harder
- be more committed
- give up the things you love
- love or believe in yourself more
- fix or change yourself
- ‘trust’ or believe more in the outcome
- learn to use the Law of Attraction more effectively
Because none of these is are the problem or the answer to your success. (I’ll explain why in other blog posts).
In this post, I’ll share with you what you need to be NOT be doing or focusing on.
Because I want you to see clearly the behaviours that you might be engaging in that won’t work. Because if you are doing any of these common 8 things, you need to stop wasting your time and energy NOW.
If you are doing something that isn’t working, it’s great to find out, so you can stop doing that in preference for a path that is more likely to be successful for you.
If you are struggling with your goals, you may well recognise some of these behaviours.
And it’s important to understand that while these behaviours make sense, they are typically ineffective.
So please know that none of these are criticisms. (Heck, many of these I have personally suffered from myself in the past!)
They don’t make you wrong or bad or stupid.
What it tells me is that you don’t know any other way.
If you want to subscribe and read more after this post, I’ll be sharing my own personal stories of struggle, as well as what I learned along the way about how to actually succeed at what I wanted. Posts that you can use to succeed at your own goals.
(You don’t need to subscribe to read them. You’ll just get them delivered to your inbox rather than having to remember to come back to the blog to find them. You can subscribe here.)
I’ll share some embarrassing stories about how the keys to actual success (and happiness) aren’t what I thought they were, or, what I was teaching other people, all the while thinking I was doing the best I could for people.
Now when I listen to people’s goals and their struggles to achieve them, I hear a lot of what I used to say, and think. And I see a lot of the same confusions and ideas that I was suffering from.
So, let’s learn how to stop doing this shit. So we can get on with actually succeeding. Sound good?
Okay…. So, let’s rock into it….
The 8 Things People Do (+Need to Stop Doing) When Struggling with their Goals
Here are the 8 common, but ineffective things people do when struggling with their goals….
If you are doing these, please stop, and learn what you need to be focusing on instead!
#1. Sitting around waiting and hoping
If you don’t know how to achieve your goal, so you’re sitting around waiting and hoping it’ll happen without you, forget it.
Maybe you’ve not been taught how to achieve this goal before, and so you don’t know how?
Or maybe there is something you like that you think you have to give up (like chocolate or leisure time) that you don’t to give up?
Or something you have to do to reach your goal and you don’t want to do that, so you’re feeling a pull between two things you want?
Either way, waiting and hoping is not going to do it for you.
If you are doing this, chances are, you don’t know how to achieve your goals. If that’s the case, read this.
#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!
I see this a lot with my clients who are trying desperately to succeed in their careers and businesses. (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 them sent direct to you.)
If you see this happening with you, and you don’t want to wait for the posts on it to come out to get this sorted, you can book a private session with me. My contact details are available here.
#3. Distracting themselves from working on their goal, + trying to make themselves feel better with immediate gratification activities that sabotage their other goals
Yep, been there, done that! A lot!
This can include eating, drinking, socialising and partying.
If you’re doing this, chances are, you don’t know how to achieve your goals. Here is a post on how to achieve your goals + create what matters to you.
#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
- personal, spiritual and/or business development courses
- hiring of new mentors
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do the above activities.
Planning and exercising for example, are two very healthy activities. And mentors can be very helpful in helping us to learn so we can achieve our goals.
However…. if they’re not helping you get to your goal and you’re doing them hoping they will, then we need to look at that.
While this is a slightly more healthy version of #3, it’s equally frustrating, if not MORE so, because with this one, you hope it’s helping. Given you’ve chosen a more healthy course of action, your applied assumption is that surely this will help you and/or your goals.
Except that you notice that it doesn’t. And then you’re left feeling really lost.
In truth, while a ton of these activities are often thought of as helpful, they are often also used as distractions from the actions you should be taking if you only knew what those were.
Chances are, just like with #3, you don’t know what to focus on to achieve your goals. Read this.
#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!
#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 seem 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.
They 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 a dangerous and high-risk strategy.
Because chances are slim that you’ll be discovered.
And I really don’t want to come across as negative, but it’s important you don’t rely on this strategy, because it’s putting all of you eggs in one basket.
And even if you get 5 minutes of fame on Oprah, or Ellen, or whatever show or magazine you’re hoping for exposure with, because if you look at the percentage of people who get exposure that leads to very little afterwards (Justin Bieber being one example of an exception), then chances are truly slim of world-wide eternal fame.
You can have an amazing career and business without being discovered!
But what’s potentially more concerning is that it’s possible (likely) that there is another driver to this goal for you that’s more about your self worth than anything else. And if you’re relying on getting discovered to attend to or overcome your self worth, the foundations of your goal are set in mud.
I warn you of this one not to be negative or unkind, but to save you from years (potential decades) of working hard to achieve something while having your self esteem on the line.
What you need to do instead…
If you are engaging in any of these behaviours + want to learn what you need to do instead to help you achieve your goals, read this. This will start you on your journey of knowing what to do to achieve your goals and create what matters to you.
Big love to you + your success!
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P.S.S. If you are someone who prefers to work with someone to achieve your goals and would like to book a Free Strategy Session to talk through what you’re working on and see if I can help you achieve it faster and easier, feel free to send me an email. I will reply as quickly as I can.