The more you want to achieve something, the more obstacles you will likely face on your quest to reach that goal. If you want to achieve success, you have to stay focused and not let all of the possible distractions keep you from pursuing your goals. However, allowing your passions to flourish and not becoming overwhelmed or discouraged seems impossible at times.

If you have gotten tired of not achieving in life despite your efforts, read on to find out how you can avoid common pitfalls and achieve rather than admit defeat.

10 Things That Keep You From Achieving (And How to Overcome Them):

1. The Internet.

You know when you have to write a paper for work or school, but you go to YouTube instead to watch one video…and ten minutes of indulging in your guilty pleasure somehow turns into three hours of anything but achieving?

To achieve your goals, you have to exercise some self-control, as difficult as it might seem at first. Limit yourself to watching one video, knowing that you can come back later when you finish the tasks at hand. You can also leave open only the tabs that relate to what needs to get done (writing a paper or a blog post, researching for an assignment, etc). The Internet is a wonderful tool for sharing information and learning new things, but you have to make the cyber world work for you.

Prioritize the work first so you can have fun later.

2. Analysis Paralysis.

Maybe you have twenty things you need to accomplish in the next few days, but instead of getting started on just one of them, you analyze ALL of them at once, feeling defeated before you even start.

To avoid this, get in the habit of making structured lists. It gets easier to build momentum once you see the chores or tasks on paper, because then you can have organized, definable goals to work towards rather than a jumbled sea of thoughts clouding your brain.

3. Too much clutter in the brain.

Do you feel like your brain runs the show, and wish you could just switch it off to get some peace and quiet? Maybe you should listen to your gut and do exactly that for a while. Go find a relaxing spot in nature, or even clear out a space in your room, and just leave all the worldly demands behind for a few minutes. Relish in the silence, breathe in deeply, and remind yourself that life really isn’t as serious as we presume.

Your brain can easily overtake you if you don’t give it a well-deserved break each day, so give it a rest for at least five minutes. Then, you will feel much more focused when you get back to work.

4. Living in the future.


Maybe you have ambitious goals like visiting every country in the world, becoming a best-selling author, running a business, or something of the sort. It’s fine to desire (and visualize) better things in life, but when you get so wrapped up in living a different reality that you no longer enjoy your current one, it will only push you farther away from your dreams.

Create your future intentionally, one small goal at a time. Before you know it, you will have achieved your dreams, not by saying “I will only feel accomplished when I reach X goal,” but by saying “I am consciously working on my goals every day, so they will have no choice but to manifest.”

5. Running on empty.

The average person works too much, sleeps too little, gets scant amounts of nutrition, exercises minimally, and then wonders why they feel so tired. Over time, these conditions can lead to dangerous diseases, or at the very least, a frazzled, worn-out mind.

Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, feed your body nourishing foods, get your heart pumping a few times a week, and try not to work to the point of exhaustion. You will find yourself achieving much more when you practice self-care and replenish your energy levels.

6. Giving up too easily.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Billy Ocean

This popular phrase just means that when adversity comes along, the most determined people push through it rather than throwing in the towel. Life will only seem difficult if you make it that way, so in reality, no challenge will seem too great if you decide to never give up. It all comes down to your mentality – do you want to be a whiner, or a winner?

You have a choice, so if something is really important to you, find your grit and don’t ever back down.

7. Switching from one thing to another.

We live in the age of multitasking, which means getting more things done in less time. But is that really the best way to achieve goals? If you spread yourself too thin, that means you give 5% to 20 tasks rather than 100% to one task. This will leave you feeling frazzled, and the outcome won’t reflect your best effort.

Try your best to only focus on doing one thing at a time. This is actually our natural state, not jumping around from one thing to another in a frenzied manner. Give more value to everything in your life, and you will start seeing much better results.

8. Fear of failure.

Society teaches that if you make a mistake, you fail at life. However, the only way to truly fail is to never try at all. Don’t become so attached to perfection that you stay in your bubble of safety and comfort – you will never learn and grow if you constantly cling to the shores of familiarity and order.

Go out on a limb and put yourself to the test – if it doesn’t turn out how you hoped, you will at least have experience under your belt so you can do it differently next time. Simply living is the greatest achievement of all, and you can’t live if you trap yourself in the prison of fear.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

9. Putting your energy into the wrong things.

Wrong is subjective, of course, but you know how it feels to work toward something that just doesn’t resonate with you. Maybe you have a job that you dread going to each day, but you still feel accomplished when you come home simply because you have gotten something done. However, does your job allow you to work toward your dreams? Does it provide a stepping stone for a bigger goal down the road? This can apply to many things, but jobs seem to continually top the list for why people feel unsatisfied in life.

Try to find a job that reflects your passions, so that you really feel like your energy and efforts are going toward something meaningful to you.

10. Surrounding yourself with negative people.

Do your friends and/or partner support your goals, or tell you why they aren’t realistic? If you feel drained or uninspired after hanging out with someone, and these feelings are reoccurring, you need to stop and ask yourself why you continue to subject yourself to their spew of negativity.

Find people that either aspire for bigger things in life, or at least support you on your journey.

What are some things that have stopped you from achieving, and how have you overcome them?  Add to the discussion below!