The Only Three Things That Can Stop you From Achieving Your Goals

The Only Three Things That Can Stop You From Achieving Your Goals

Despite what you may have been told, or what “serial tryers” would like you to believe, there are only 3 things in the whole world that can stop you from achieving your goals.

Three things which once you’re aware of them you can plan ahead for, negate and breakthrough to achieve your goals and get the results you desire.

Which is exactly what I help my coaching clients to do.

Now you may be thinking, “wait a minute, I can think of more than three things that could stop me achieving my goals…” but bear with me, as you’ll soon see that all these things fall into one of three categories.

Sure, there may be things like unforeseen circumstances, natural disasters, accidents or family emergencies but even these fall into one of the three categories and can then be dealt with appropriately as such.

So let’s dive right in…

Negative Emotions About Achieving Your Goals


The first of the three things that can stop you from achieving your goals are negative” emotions.

Things like guilt, shame, anger, sadness, apathy, fear, doubt and any other feeling which limits your neurology, energy and potential in any way.

For example, if you want to double your income in the next year, that is a goal which is 100% achievable. There are countless people who have done this before you, all of whom, have the exact same potential as you.


If you have some negative emotions around money or “success” i.e. a feeling of unworthiness, good old catholic guilt, fear or even anger at all “these damn rich people,” then this is going to make it very hard for you to achieve your goal.

Another example could be that you want to improve your health and fitness yet fear holds you back from taking the first step.

Frustration, anger or apathy impedes progress and makes you quit.

Or a sense of unworthiness keeps leading you back to your favourite chocolate treat several times a week.

When you experience “negative” emotions it limits the mental, physical and emotional resources you have access to in order to achieve your desired goal.

Think about it, if you want to double your income or improve your health, what’s going to propel you towards success…

Guilt and shame about the thought of having lots of money, frustration/ apathy/ resistance about how long it may take or how much effort is involved in improving your health…

Or joy, confidence and excitement at the very thought of it?

When working with my coaching clients one of the first things we do is create a crystal clear, compelling vision of exactly what they would love life to be like.

That way we can then easily elicit and identify their present emotions about their goals and vision, change anything that doesn’t serve them and double down on what does. 


So if you have a new goal in mind, a goal you’re currently striving or struggling for or a goal you’ve failed at in the past… here’s what to do to help you in achieving your goals


Before jumping straight into action, write your goal out on paper and underneath write out the question:

How does this goal make me feel? / When I think about this goal, what do I feel?

Ask yourself the question out loud and then check in on yourself, notice what thoughts and emotions come up and take note of them.

Repeat the question again and again in different variations until you feel you’ve elicited every emotion you have around it.

If you feel anything stronger than nervous excitement on the “negative” side of the scale then you may want to clear this /these emotions in order to make achieving your goals much easier or at all possible!

Clearing negative emotions is best, quickest and most effectively done with a professional coach as the triggers for negative emotions tend to reside in your subconscious mind… But you can make a start yourself by following the next steps.

  1. Identify the negative emotion around your goal as detailed above.
  2. Once the emotion has been identified, ask yourself, “what is the thought/ thinking which creates this emotion?
  3. Then question a) where this thought/ thinking comes from, b) what this thought’s positive intention is and c) how true actually is it?
  4. Once you’ve questioned the thought and challenged it, you can begin changing it by asking a) what else could have been going on then? Or what could be another way of thinking about things?

b) what more empowering thoughts could get me this same positive intention?

c) what is a more valid and truthful thought that empowers me?

5. Write out your new thought, practice saying it out loud and see if it elicits a more empowering emotion. If so, keep repeating and practising it as much as possible to replace the old thought.

This is a great way to get started and if you’re struggling to identify what they thought is or in actually changing it, it’s perfectly natural.

Like I say to all my clients, “you can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame,” so get yourself some help from a professional coach trained in letting go of negative emotions.

This is something which I specialise in as part of my coaching services and if you would like help we can have a friendly chat by clicking here and booking yourself in now.



Limiting Beliefs About Achieving Your Goals


The second of three things which can stop you from achieving your goals and fulfilling your potential is your beliefs.

Put simply, you believe you can’t have it.

Or that you’re not worthy of it, capable of it or any other limiting belief that makes it a more difficult, arduous or seemingly impossible task.

The man who believes he can and the man who believes he can’t are usually both right.

If you believe you can, you’re worthy and that it’s only matter of time, then you’re going to have access to all the mental, physical and emotional resources within you to achieve it.

And as for the resources outwith you, then you’re going to go and get them or even better have them come to you!

If you believe that you can’t, you’re not worthy or are filled with doubt then your thinking, energy and actions are going to be extremely limited and the effort you put in will be minimal to none with very low expectations.

Not only that, the vibe you’re giving off may repel other people, resources and opportunities from coming your way.

Who would you rather on your team, the person who believes they can and thus is full of energy and ideas or the person who believes they can’t and is fully deflated bar doubts and limitations?

Well, when it comes to achieving your goals, you are your team! So check in on your beliefs!

Another advantage of helping my clients to create a crystal clear, compelling vision right from the start is so we can then ask, “what do you believe about your vision/goals?

This is where their “if’s, but’s, maybe’s and never’s” reveal themselves and come to surface. And we then transform them from limiting beliefs to energising and empowering beliefs before they’ve even started. Now that’s what we call a head start!

Having a professional coaches outside perspective to help you identify your blind spots and limiting beliefs is invaluable but you can make a good start yourself with the following steps:

Write out your goal and ask the following questions:

What do I believe about this goal?”

“What do I believe about myself in relation to this goal?”

Ask them over and over and get every thought/ belief out and written down on paper. Any thought/ belief that elicits a negative emotion or could potentially hold you back, address it and get it changed!

Click here to read my article on blocks and limitations and scroll down to the section on changing limiting beliefs. Again this can be tricky to do yourself but this is a great start and you can always go and seek further help.



Ineffective Strategies


Last but by no means least, is ineffective strategies. Or put simply, you don’t yet know how to effectively achieve your goal.

Maybe you haven’t started yet, maybe you’re on your way but feeling drained, frustrated or disheartened or maybe you’re on your hundredth attempt…

Regardless, if you’re not there yet, struggling and/ or failing then this could be down to an ineffective strategy.

Either you have no idea what so ever of how to do it, your strategy keeps leading to failure or you’re experiencing much more stress and difficulty than is necessary.


If you’re thinking or feeling that one of these sounds like you then there are a few things you can do:


  • Look around to see who else has what you want and model themHow did they get there? What did they do? What do they think and believe about …? And what could their strategy have been?

– You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.

Even if you can’t get a full strategy from looking to others then you can at least get a starting point which you can test, see how effective it is, and if it is effective then it will reveal your next step.


  • Assess your current strategy objectively. Write out each of the steps you plan to take to get to your desired result in a list/ linear fashion. Number each step and then ask, “Could there be a more effective way to get the results I’m looking for in less time and/ or with less stress and effort?

If so, in what way? What specific stages of the strategy could you change? How? And to what?

Then again, go test it. If it works, magic! If not, then try something else!


  •  Find an external resource. Whether that be a coach, mentor, trainer or expert in that field, signing up for some form of course, workshop or seminar or simply buying a book on the subject.

As the old saying goes, “the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

So if you don’t know where to start, keep failing or are experiencing much more stress and difficulty than you feel is necessary, then learn something new and change something!

See my article on finding simple solutions and creating new perspectives to help you with this further.

Once you’ve got a new strategy, test it, if it gets you the results you want, great! If not, change and test it again and again until you get the results you want.

Having a coach who specialises in what it is you would like to achieve is hands down the best way to create an effective and empowering strategy that plays to your strengths, will get you the results you want and allows you to enjoy the journey.

Every single action plan my clients and I create is “co-created” by us both – with my clients strengths, ideas, desires and best interests at the heart of it.

That  way they are fully bought in to and excited about the process they have created and have optimal energy and confidence to put into and enjoy the process and make it a success.


Bringing It All Together


Negative emotions, limiting beliefs and ineffective strategies are the only three things that can stop you from having everything you want in life.

As blunt as it sounds – everything else is simply an excuse.

Sure, external circumstances, life and “problems” may come up from time to time to challenge you, such is life! But these external forces can only affect one of three things – your emotions, your beliefs or your strategies.

Now, you may try and say that because “X” happened “I now can’t achieve my goal or it’s much more difficult.”

But in reality, all that happened is “X” rendered your current strategy ineffective, allowed you to feel a certain negative way or changed your belief about the possibility of your goals achievement or your worthiness for achieving it.

How you choose to deal with (or not deal with) challenges, setbacks and problems big or small, is at the end of the day your choice and thus falls into the category of your strategy.

The more responsibility you take, the more resources and opportunities you have available. Blame things outside of you and you are the victim – limited and at effect.

Take responsibility and you’re back at cause! And have the power and resources to make changes and cause great things to happen.

Having negative emotions or limiting beliefs about yourself or your goal and just “pushing through, hustling or grinding” is like trying to drive with the handbrake on. You’re either going nowhere or you’re going to waste a lot of fuel and burn yourself out.

Having an ineffective strategy is like holding the map upside down or packing waaaay too much or too little for the journey. You’re going to go in completely the wrong direction, waste a lot of fuel getting there or run out of fuel along the way.

Overcoming an ineffective strategy is possibly the easiest to do by yourself and following the steps above you’ll be able to make a great start overcoming all three!

So remember, if you’re not yet where you want to be and you’re stuck or struggling…

Firstly, it’s perfectly natural, so go easy on yourself!

And secondly, check in with yourself! Is this down to a negative emotion? A limiting belief? Or an ineffective strategy? (Or potentially a combination of 2 or all 3).

Because outside of these three things, everything else is simply an excuse… You can only ever have reasons or results, so what’s your choice going to be?

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I hope that you’re taking away some value to help you in some way.

If you have any questions, feedback or anything you’d like to share then please leave a comment below or contact me here.

If you would like help with anything we’ve discussed in this article, improving your confidence and energy and/ or  achieving your goals then click here to find out how you can get my help for free.