How To Shatter 8 of the Most Common Barriers To Goal Setting

September 19

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Have you ever written down something you wanted to do, declared you’ve been goal setting, only never to look at that piece of paper ever again? I have done this in the past. And I am pretty sure I am not alone. In fact, I know I'm not. I have delivered goal setting workshops to thousands of people over the years. It would amaze you how many people have the SAME problems with setting and achieving goals. Let's look at the biggest barriers to goal setting and see if we can overcome them.

Disclosure: If you purchase anything from links in this post or any other, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not.

So many people find goal setting difficult due to the limiting obstacles that are in their own way. Some of the most common goal setting barriers involve lack of belief and fears. These factors affecting goal setting are often strong enough to stop the setting of a goal. Never mind following the steps toward achieving them.

What many people don't realise is that all the possible obstacles in achieving goals are the same ones everyone else faces, too. If you can find me a person that has successfully achieved all their goals without facing any obstacles, I'll give you a gold medal.

You see, the ability to overcome obstacles is genuinely part of the goal setting process. If you are serious about accomplishing your goals, you need to learn how to reach goals despite obstacles getting in your way. Don't like that idea? Tricky! I promise you, success does not happen overnight!

how to overcome barriers to effective goal setting

I thought if I could highlight some of the most common goal setting barriers for you, you can work toward overcoming them. If you know what they are, it’ll be easier for you to recognise them. Break those barriers down before they even rear their ugly heads. Ooo a bit like that arcade game: Whack-a-mole!

We don't want what we think we want

Now, I know I have written about this before, a lot! In fact, it has it’s own chapter in the ebook I’m writing right now.

Sometimes we end up setting goals because other people want them for us. That’s not to say we always realise this and other people are writing our goals for us. No, no, often it is a case of different people feeding us ideas, and we end up thinking they are the right ideas for us.

If you don't really want what you say you want, it will be challenging to stay focused and motivate yourself towards that goal. You need to be sure that you have set the right goals, for the right reasons.

Tip: Write down the pros and cons of any possible goal. Know exactly why you want to achieve that specific result before setting it in stone.

Not understanding the importance of goal setting.

Many people think goal setting is either a bit woo-woo and doesn't honestly work. Or that it just involves writing down something you want to do and moving on (as I said earlier). If you don't understand the power behind goal setting, it can be hard to take the time out to set a goal properly.

To understand the importance of the goal setting process, I recommend reading books about goal setting and success. I have listed 5 excellent books below. You'll find that most successful people set realistic and actionable goals. They then work that goal into their schedule every single day.

These days, we hear a lot about people who experience "overnight success”. But I’ll tell you a secret… shhh… ready?

They did not achieve everything overnight. These people become successful through many nights of following a plan.

Not knowing how to set an actionable goal.

If you've tried to set goals before but didn't experience results, it could be because you don't know how to set an actionable goal.

You see, it is not quite as easy as writing down a dream. Goals are not dreams. Goals come with a plan!

Goals have very specific, realistic, and achievable end results that you want to see. It is crucial to take time to learn the best goal setting techniques to experience real success.

Fear of failure

I wrote a blog post on this a little while ago - check it out here.

I have come across SO many people don't set goals because they have a limiting belief that they will fail anyway. What’s the point of setting goals if you’re going to fail anyway, right? Well, no!

These people believe that if they do not set a goal, they won't have to be a failure.

But remember that we are planning to succeed here! We are absolutely not planning to fail. Goal setting is a recipe for success. Yes, it may go wrong from time to time, but no rulebook says you can only try once.

If you're able to recognise that you can achieve success through goal setting, you'll overcome this barrier, FOR SURE.

Fear of judgment

Every so often people are scared to set a goal because they think others will see it as outrageous.

For example, let's say you want to start your own business. You might fear that if you set that goal, and other people know, they'll judge you or will laugh at your ambitions.

If you worry about what others might think of you, it is time to dig deep inside and go for what YOU want.

What and how you think of yourself is more important than anything else. If you can stop judging yourself, you will stop worrying about the judgment of others. If people think your goals are crazy, let them. They will not see you as crazy when you achieve what you set out to do. Do not let fear of judgement be one of your barriers to goal setting!

You might like these goal setting books

Fear of success.

You may not believe it, but some people are afraid of success.

I speak from experience with this one. At the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games I won a Silver medal in the 50m backstroke. Or, you could say I allowed myself to lose the Gold medal. In fact, I went into that race as number one in the world by 4 seconds and the clear favourite for gold. But I lost the gold medal by 0.04 seconds - not even a fingernail.

At the end of the race, I was devastated and shocked. But if you were to watch the video of that race, you would be able to see me visibly slow down at the 45m point. Upon reflection, I realised that I was 18 and scared of the success I was about to gain. So, silver it was!

Fear of success comes from feeling too much pressure. Often, people are more comfortable being “normal" instead of as someone who seen as a success.

The worst thing in life has to be the regret that comes from not doing something. You see, most people will regret the things they did not do, more than the things they did wrong.

I don’t regret losing that gold medal, because I learned a lot from the experience. But it will always irritate me that I didn’t bite through the fear for 5 more metres!

Never be afraid of showing people how awesome you are. Trust me, it feels fantastic to be successful.

The self-worth battle

The way you see yourself is SO important, which all falls down to your self-worth.

You might see yourself as someone who doesn't follow through. Or as someone who doesn't succeed and who can't change their life. If this is the case, you will avoid goal setting like your life depends on it. In fact, you'll make up barriers to goal setting that are not even there.

You are absolutely the only person on Earth who can control your actions. So, you are the only one who can set the goals for you.

In reality, you’re also the only one who can make yourself feel worthwhile. There is no one else like YOU in this world! That, in itself, means you’re worth a billion bucks!

Lack of belief

Finally, people avoid goal setting because they cannot see the vision of what could be. In other words, the belief is not there. Often, people don’t picture themselves entirely at the point of success. Visualising success is beneficial.

If we cannot visualise ourselves achieving goals, we are unlikely to even try them. So, if we can picture them, but the image is dim, there is every chance that vision can become brighter and more powerful.

In reality, you cannot know anything for sure anything unless you try. Trying is more important than actually making it. And, chances are that if you keep trying, you will get what you want.

Goal setting is vital if you want to see all your dreams turn into reality. It doesn't matter if your goals are business oriented or personal goals. Setting realistic and achievable goals does work. You have to do the work every single day - even if it is something small. Do this, and you'll shatter those possible obstacles in achieving goals in no time!

You might like these goal setting books

Disclosure: If you purchase anything from links in this post or any other, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not.

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You might like these goal setting books

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