How To Overcome Some Of The Biggest Threats To Achieving Your Goals
In my last article, I talked about 6 powerful steps toward setting and achieving your business goals. As with anything in life, there will always be challenges, obstacles, and even mistakes made along the way. Below are some of the biggest threats that can prevent even the best of us from achieving our goals, and some helpful tips on how to overcome them.
Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure, and loss only act as motivation.
Fear of failure and sometimes even fear of success.
It's totally normal to have fears surrounding the goals you want to achieve. Fears like:
"Will I succeed?" "What if I don't have what it takes to get there and I'm a huge failure?" "What if I get there and I don't know what to do next or I can't maintain my success?"
And on and on the fears go. One of my favourite authors and renowned researcher, Brené Brown says that "vulnerability is the core of shame and fear...". (Listen to her Ted Talk here).
When we endeavour to achieve something we've never done before, we become vulnerable and that's where the fear comes from. Instead of caving in to our fears, we must acknowledge and address them. Embrace the vulnerability and have the courage to charge ahead anyway!
Letting setbacks discourage and derail us.
We've all faced setbacks in life, and yes, they can be discouraging and, if we allow it, a reason to quit. Setbacks can be anything from a supplier going out of business, an employee quitting, or any number of things.
As you write down your goals and create your action plan, understand that there may be setbacks along the way. Determine that you will find your plan B, C, or D to help you overcome those blocks in the road. This is why it's so important to know why you're working towards the goals that you've set.
Whenever you experience a setback, go back to your why, to your vision board. Review the progress that you've made so far, and see the setback as a "setup for a greater comeback!" Remember that setbacks are a part of every great success story.
Impatience and/or unrealistic timelines.
Living in a society that craves "instant gratification", we can become impatient with our goals. Everyone wants to be an overnight success...except that there's no such thing. Success is the result of consistent effort and hard work over a period of time.
It's important to set realistic timelines that give you and your team the opportunity to realize goals without becoming impatient or feeling stressed and overwhelmed because there isn't enough time to complete the required steps.
If you break down your goals into short, mid, and long-term goals, along with the required action steps, roles, and resources needed, it will give you a better idea of the amount of time it will take to get there. Adjust your sails accordingly and be patient.
Then there's such a thing as setting too many goals or having unrealistic goals altogether.
Dr. Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D. Psychology put it perfectly like this, "a goal is unrealistic when the goal is something that requires more energy, skills, talent and time that you have available to achieve it."
If any of your goals fall into this category, go back to the proverbial drawing board and follow the SMART goals principle i.e. create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Setting too many goals can overwhelm you and your resources. Focus on a few at a time, that can be properly managed and therefore achieved.
Lack of skill or knowledge
Oftentimes the success of our goals may hinge on skills and knowledge that we don't possess. The most successful people didn't get there by doing it all or knowing it all.
There will be times when we must invest in learning a new skill or furthering our knowledge in a particular subject area, and there will be times when we need to hire talent or outsource to another company or individual. Lack of skill or knowledge need not be a factor that prevents us from achieving our goals.
Believe it or not, negative assumptions of what will be required of us to achieve a goal can often set us into procrastination mode. Assumptions like:
"I'll have to work longer hours and I won't have any time for myself or family." "I'll have to spend a lot more money." "I'll be the only one putting in any effort and then others will get the credit for it."
Or some version of negative thinking like this can set us into paralysis, because who wants to have a negative experience?
The best way to move past these types of assumptions is to challenge them by writing down a clear and practical action plan that lets all involved understand their role and exactly what will be required. Very rarely are our negative assumptions ever factual.
Not Tracking Progress
One of the greatest ways to stay on course is to track your progress! When you can see how far you've come and all the effort you've put in, it makes it harder to give up and that much easier to keep going.
Have you encountered any of these threats on your path to achieving your goals? How did you overcome it? Let me know by commenting below or send me a quick note here.