Embrace the struggle

So many people look back on life and wish they had done more; pursued more dreams than they did.  I started thinking more about this a few years ago and that led to taking the trip to Turkey that I took earlier this year.  It was a trip 4 years in the making, but I checked that one off.  I still have many more of those areas in my life.  I decided the next phase of my life will be different.

After reflection, and a little research I came up with the top 11 reasons most people struggle to achieve their dreams.

Writing goals

Writing down your goals, along with writing a plan to achieve them ignites a fire.

Here are 11 reasons you’re struggling to achieving your dreams:

  • You have no goals. – So many people have DREAMS,  but never take the step to turn them into goals.  You may say you have goals but the truth is you’ve never written them down, analyzed them or organized them into reachable and attainable goals. See Write it down and be SMART .
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • You have no plan. – A goal without a plan is just a birthday wish – a hope. A goal with a plan is the beginning to success.  Can you imagine taking a trip without some type of itinerary? No tickets, no hotel reservations, no plans.  Very few people travel this way, yet when it comes to goal setting they make no plans and still expect to reach their destination.
  • You don’t take time to think about it.  Most people don’t take the time to think about what they really want to achieve.  They don’t take the time to think about what they need to do or change in order to get it.  Achievers take time to think about their goals and their dreams.  In fact they think about them each day- sometimes several times a day.  Make time to think.
  • You have no one to hold you accountable. – We are programmed to be accountable to others.  First you are accountable to your parents, then teachers, and then bosses.  Who holds you accountable to the goals you set for yourself? Sometimes knowing someone is going to hold you accountable is enough incentive to follow through.  Find the right people and allow them the freedom to challenge you to work the plan. Maybe this is a coach, a personal trainer or a good friend, but choose wisely.
  • You have been ignoring an inner calling. Passion is a strange thing.  No matter how hard you try, nor how busy you get, you can’t block yourself from the ideas that move you at your core.  Trying to ignore these feelings is an exercise in futility.  Ignoring your inner callings just leads to frustration.  Take time to feed your inner calling.
  • You’re afraid to share the load. – Humans are created as social beings. Maslow identified the need for belonging as the third level of human needs in his hierarchy of needs theory. In order to achieve more we need others, both mentally and physically. Sharing the load builds synergy, makes you give a stronger effort, and keeps your subconscious from sidelining your progress.
  • You’ve given up. – Chances are you’ve tried to make progress toward your goals but things didn’t go as planned.  Maybe you even got knocked down – hard.  See, to be an achiever, you have to keep getting up after each unsuccessful attempt. Successful dreamers are willing to get up after a fall, knowing they will be stronger and better equipped the next time. Failures not an option, it’s a certainty.  You will fail and you will grow from it.  Can you imagine if you gave up after your first few (hundred) attempts at walking?  You’d still be crawling or scootching yourself around the floor.  But you didn’t give up!  You are designed to succeed.
  • You’re not willing to take the risk. – Fear can sometimes be a powerful motivator, but most of the time it is our greatest paralytic.  Top performers know that mastery requires experiences that challenge their comfort zone, experiences that lead to both successes and failures. They celebrate risk taking, for they know that it is essential to take risk to initiated change and to instigate growth. Taking risks is not only important for the payoffs but mostly for the learning.  Some of the best moments of your life are hidden in your fears.  Risk-taking and dreaming big go hand-in-hand.  If the dream requires no risk, it isn’t compelling enough and isn’t much of a dream.  Dream big, challenge your comfort zone and take risks.
  • You don’t DO enough.  The majority of your anxiety and frustration likely stems from a subconscious disappointment in yourself for the dreams and ideas that you never took ANY actions on.  Discovering your purpose and discovering your full potential are achieved through taking action.  Doing. Positive personal development only occurs when you push & stretch yourself through actions.  Even after setting goals and crafting a solid plan, nothing happens until you “work the plan.”

You never really got started – Every road to success begins with one step.  If you don’t start, you’ll certainly never finish. Maybe you overwhelmed yourself with too much planning and too much research and you never really got started.  The steps don’t need to be big and difficult, but to maximize your motivation right now you need to get started.  Commit to getting started NOW!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao Tzu

What step do you need to take? Take that first, big, scary, awesome, life-altering, exhilarating step!

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