Can’t seem to finish a project that you wanted to complete? Been there. Had a goal or dream you gave up on? Sounds familiar. We’ve all been guilty of giving in or not finishing something. I certainly have. I also believe with certainty that it’s completely okay to give up on a goal you no longer care to achieve. But if you do still care to see a dream come to pass, here are some things that might be holding you back…most likely subconsciously.
- You’re afraid you don’t have the capacity to achieve the goal you desire to achieve.
- You don’t want to achieve the goal as much as you thought you did.
- You don’t know if achieving the goal will actually be beneficial, helpful, life-changing, etc.
- You are afraid of other people’s reactions to you achieving the goal.
- Conversely, you are afraid of other people’s reactions to you not achieving the goal (which just creates more negative self-talk that withholds you from achieving the goal.
- You’re unsure of what the future will look like if you do achieve the goal.
- You’ve failed at achieving a goal or goals in the past so you’re afraid you won’t achieve this goal.
- You believe don’t have the resources to achieve the goal.
- You believe you can achieve the goal, but don’t think you can achieve it to the best possible level.
If any or all of the above are true, that’s totally fine. It’s fine not only because these are very common reasons that people do not attain their goals or complete projects they wanted to finish (if you only saw how many ideas I jotted down in notebooks that never came to pass…), but also because understanding why you are not achieving your desired goals will actually enable you to achieve them. Accepting your fear of failure, opinions or even your own perceived inability is that nice bit of smooth road right after you hit the speed bump. (The speed bump being all of the things you’ve told yourself, like the above, that have held you back from achieving your goals.) Accepting your deeper fears and insecurities is actually the path to achieving your goal.
Notice how so many of the things that withhold us from our deepest desires have to do with our beliefs. Our beliefs are subjective, though deeply-held convictions, we have based on our perspective of life. Our perspective of life is simply a reality we’ve created to understand life, based upon our experiences and projections. Ever heard the expression: nobody’s reality is the same? Well, it’s true. We’ve literally made up these deep-seated convictions we have, and most of us walking around not even knowing it.
Now, here’s the trippy part. While we all have our own unique and biased convictions about life – some of which help us achieve our goals and others of which withhold us from our goals – we need to have deep-seated conviction to achieve our goals. This probably isn’t news to you. You’ve heard time and time again that you need to be passionate in order to achieve your dreams. But we all have days where passion is hard to muster up. So what then? What do we do when we’re simply not feeling passionate about a goal we’re actually passionate about? FAKE IT. And by fake it, I mean attach a ton of positive emotion to the feeling of achieving the goal even before you’ve achieved it.
I used to think the line, “Fake it ’til you make it” was total bull, and in some ways I still still sort of do. Like you can’t fake being a surgeon. But you can fake (i.e. MUSTER UP) passion even when it’s not there. Even when everything seems to be standing in the way – either literally, or figuratively, by your own self-talk. Even when you don’t feel inspired. Even when you’re disappointed. Even when you’re scared. Even when you question the purpose of the dream entirely.
If you know in your heart that you want to achieve a goal, accept all of your fears so you can breeze past them. Muster up every little ounce of passion, even when it’s not there. Start feeding yourself positive language about yourself and your abilities. And start feeling all of the joy and confidence that comes with the achievement of a desired goal, even before it is achieved.
What dream are you desiring? If you didn’t achieve a goal in the past, what held you back?