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3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

A famous study of Harvard graduates revealed that students who write down and review their goals are far more likely to actually attain them.

So, if it’s really that simple, why AREN’T we writing down our goals? Aren’t our goals worth doing everything in our power to make them come true?

Why is it then that we tend to celebrate the end of every year by tossing last year’s goals in the trash, and promising ourselves next year WILL be different?

Well, all due respect to the Harvard study, but I don’t think it went far enough. You see, I think there’s a deeper reason your goals haven’t come true (three of them, actually).

After all, if it was REALLY that simple—if all we had to do was write down our goals and review them every day to attain them—wouldn’t more people be doing it?

There is something deeper going on that’s keeping us from taking that simple action. And, when you understand what’s really stopping you from reaching your goals, you can then make the necessary changes that will help you do so in the future.

Let’s dig in:

1. Your identity doesn’t match your goals.

In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life,” Mark Manson explains how, if you want to become a writer, but you never actually sit down to write, your identity may be someone who wants to write but never actually gets anything done.

When you really think about it, this makes sense. One of the functions of the ego is to protect your core identity, because if that goes, then who are you anyway? It’s scary to lose your identity.

So, your ego is going to fight tooth and nail to keep your identity intact, even if it’s an identity you don’t particularly care for (i.e. a “wanna-be” author or entrepreneur).

And I think there’s a deeper level to this, too.

I think there are certain goals—I call them “Love-Based Goals,” that, if you want them to come true, require you to be different. They’re whispers from your soul, and they help you transform into the person your soul knows you can be.

When you become the person your soul is nudging you to be, those goals will fall into place.

But if your identity doesn’t match your goals, you’re stuck. If, for example, you’ve been saying something like, “Someday, I’m going to open my business/write that book/quit my soul-sucking job,” your identity may be stuck on some sort of future version of yourself that never comes true.

Because if it came true, you would lose your current identity, as you know it. (Paradoxical, I know. But, there are many things in our life that don’t make any sense and yet somehow, they control us, so keep an open mind.) Your ego doesn’t want to lose its current identity, so it creates a resistance to the transformation of it. Which leads me to the second pitfall that may be keeping your goals from coming true …

 2. You have a fear, a mindset block, “resistance,” or something else that’s stopping you.

(Remember, this can also be directly tied to #1—you’re blocked around your goal, and over time, your identity gradually changes to a “wanna be.”) This can show up in your life in many ways, but some common indications that this is what’s going on with you never seem to have enough time to work on your goals, or you can’t focus on them, or you experience constant procrastination when it comes to sitting down to actually work on them.

If you’re really struggling when it comes to taking action toward your dreams, you may also have some sort of fear lurking underneath the procrastination (and that fear can be totally subconscious). For instance, you may have a fear of success or a fear of failure (which clearly would impact the success of any endeavor your take on). You may have a fear of visibility or being seen, which translates to you not marketing your business enough, which results in the failure of your business. You may have a fear that your spouse or partner will leave you if you become too successful. Maybe you can’t bear the idea of making more money than your parents.

All of these are examples of what can happen when your subconscious (which is 95% of your brain) is not on board with what your conscious mind (or the other 5%) wants to do.

(Note: this one is so important, I’m going to talk more about it in future posts.)

3. The goals aren’t yours.

In some ways, this is the easiest of the three pitfalls to handle, but it may also be more deflating than the others, because you may have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve wasted a chunk of your life on goals that aren’t even yours.

If you’re facing this one, one of two things is likely going on: the goals are someone else’s, or you’re not willing to do the work.

Someone else’s goals: Maybe you grew up with a father who thought you’d make an awesome doctor, or a mother who assumed you would take over the family business. Maybe they never even asked you what you wanted to do—it was always just “understood.”

Or maybe you grew up believing part of being an adult meant you needed to get a responsible, boring job. Or maybe you felt a lot of shame around your body because it wasn’t “thin” enough, and you’re forever trying to lose weight that just refuses to come off.

All of these are examples of internalizing someone else’s goals, whether that someone else is a specific person (such as a parent), or society/media, etc.

Either way, the goals are not yours. They’re goals you likely feel you “should” be doing, but they aren’t yours.

Not willing to do the work: The other version of this pitfall comes to light when you have goals that you think are super awesome, but not quite awesome enough to actually do the work to reach them. For instance, who wouldn’t love an extra million or two in their bank account? But are you willing to do the work it requires to get that money there?

Lots of little girls dream of being a professional ballerina (including me). But, the first time I laced up actual pointe shoes and stood on my toes … let’s just say my interest waned after that.

If you’re not willing to do the work, the goals aren’t yours. (And, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that. We have only so much time on this planet—there’s no shame in not spending hours and hours on goals that aren’t yours.)

So, now you are aware of the common pitfalls that could be keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

In my next post, I’ll share a simple, three-step system to help you create love-based goals that you absolutely can bring to life.

And, if you want more on this topic, check out my new “Love-Based Goals: Your Guide to Your Purpose and Passion” book, available at most online retailers here.

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

How many times have we heard it? The secret to success is to have a gratitude practice — write down three or five or 10 things every day you’re grateful for.

Now, I’m not saying that’s not a good thing to do. Any sort of practice that helps you focus on all the wonderful things you have versus what you don’t have is a good thing.

But, the problem with that gratitude practice is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough. You see, the secret of a gratitude practice, what makes it a truly powerful, life-changing practice, is to tap into the FEELING of gratitude.

If you can truly feel grateful, that energy is what will attract more of what you want to you.

But, it goes even deeper than that. Gratitude is actually such a powerful emotion that, if you regularly practice feeling it, it can transform your life. Here are three other ways you can use gratitude to grow your business:

  1. Market and sell yourself using love-based principles.

When I talk about the love-based copy and marketing philosophy, I teach that to actually market yourself with love, your mindset (or “come from”) needs to be based in love.

While this is important, it’s also easier said than done, especially if you’re really struggling financially in your business.

That’s why I teach that a quick way to shift your energy is to focus on gratitude. And, what I mean by that, is to focus on feeling grateful.

 

  1. Turn around feelings of entitlement, grumpiness, or general dissatisfaction with your business.

It happens to all of us. We decide we’re done with our business. We’re running off to live in a hut on a beach.

Now, in some cases, there is a good reason for those feelings—maybe they’re an indication of the fact that we’ve actually built the wrong business for us. But, in many cases, we’re just experiencing a moment of entitlement.

No, entitlement-related feelings aren’t only for the Millennials. If you’ve ever had a moment where you found yourself saying things like:

• “This should be easier.”

• “I don’t understand why I’m not successful yet.”

• “I’ve done everything I’ve supposed to and I’m not successful yet.”

• “This isn’t fair!”

I hate to break it to you, but you’re having an entitlement moment.

And, it’s okay. We’re human. Feelings of entitlement are a part of being human. Millennials certainly didn’t invent them.

But, if you’re trapped in that feeling, it’s not going to help you grow your business. One of the best ways to shift that feeling and get yourself out of it is to focus on feeling gratitude, instead. Flip your perspective, and find something you can feel deeply grateful for to concentrate on.

  1. Supercharge what you want to manifest. (Ah, this is a fun one.)

I first learned about this in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, but here’s a (very) simplified version of what he teaches.

If you want to manifest a certain outcome for yourself, like hitting a specific income goal, you can supercharge that manifestation by using gratitude.

Here’s how this works:

Focus on feeling grateful. Really feel the emotion. Let it fill your body.

Now, while you’re in this state of gratitude, start visioning what you want to manifest.

See it come true. Really see it happening in your mind.

And, as it comes true, focus on feeling even more grateful it is coming true.

And that’s it! Manifestation, supercharged.

Do this regularly, and watch how your life changes.

If you’d like to dig into this topic even more, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, it’s available at most online retailers here.

[Free Blueprint] Stop Procrastinating and Start Focusing

[Free Blueprint] Stop Procrastinating and Start Focusing

I taught myself to read when I was 3 years old because I wanted to write stories so badly.

When I was a freshman in high school, I opened up the school newspaper one day and there was a short story I had submitted on a lark on the front page.

When I was a senior in high school, I wrote my first novel (which wasn’t very good, trust me) and I also won a national award for one of my short stories.

So, you would think with that sort of early success, launching a career as a fiction writer would be a slam dunk.

Alas, that wasn’t the case.

Instead, over the years, I found myself focusing more on my copywriting company and putting off my fiction writing.

(In other words, I was procrastinating.)

It took me years–years–to break this habit. I tried so many different things to help me stop procrastinating and nothing really stuck.

• I thought maybe I needed to get better at organizing my time.

• I thought maybe I needed to get better at goal setting and planning.

• I thought maybe I needed to bust through all my mindset blocks.

And, while all of those things were likely helpful in my journey to stop procrastinating, they weren’t enough.

I share more of my story how I bust through my own procrastination blocks here, but a below are a couple of key observations I learned along the way:

• Everyone is different (duh!) which is both good and bad. What’s bad about it is just because everyone you know swears by one technique, there’s no guarantee that technique is going to work for you. But, what’s good about it is there are a lot of different tactics out there to try. So, don’t despair–if you still have a problem with procrastination, keep trying different things until something clicks for you.

• What I’ve noticed is procrastination is typically a sign of a bigger problem whereas a condition like Writer’s Block is actually designed to help. I bring this up because a good place to start is to make sure you’re diagnosed the problem correctly before diving in with solutions.

If you’d like more tips on how to stop procrastinating, I put together a blueprint you can get for free when you preorder my new book “Love-Based Goals.” Just send your receipt to Info@MichelePW.com

(And if you missed the free blueprint offer, no worries–I’ve included a bonus chapter on how to procrastination in my “Love-Based Goals” book.)