8 reasons why you are not achieving your goals

Have you ever wondered why every New Year you make a New Year’s resolution but never achieve it? Your desire to achieve said goals is still there but there is something holding you back. Can you relate? I learnt a few important life lessons during the course of 2017. It was a tough year that pushed me to my breaking point mentally, emotionally and physically but I got through it. I needed a wake up call and boyyy did I get one! Here are eight reasons why you may not be achieving your goals.

Focusing on past failures and neglecting to your successes.  Progress is rarely straightforward. It bends, zig zags and sometimes completely comes to a halt. A step in the wrong direction is not a step back to square one. You are not your mistakes. You are not your failures. I have this annoying tendency to focus on all the negatives in a situation. However, every cloud has a silver lining. The situation may not turn out how you wanted it to but an unwanted situation doesn’t necessarily make it a bad one. There is always something you can learn from it or maybe an unexpected opportunity may arise from it. I thought I had every little detail of my life mapped out but life constantly throws you fast balls. If you are not willing to adapt, you will be left behind. When life doesn’t give you lemons make a great drink with what you have! We will all make mistakes along the way but you can get yourself back on track.

Comparison is a thief of joy. A little healthy competition never hurt anybody right? From a young age, I have always been taught to push myself and excel. The typical Nigerian response to I got 85% in my test today is, “But where is the other 15%. Your mates that are getting 95% do they have two heads?” Then proceed to throw us back to when they were younger they were top of their class. Yes, we get it. But you need to find your own way to shine. What worked for one person will not necessarily work for you.  Defining what success looks like to you is so important because your definition will not match someone else’s.  Being yourself is your best asset. You did not come this far by chance. With new heights there are more obstacles which means that you need to step up your game. There is always something you can do to improve what you are currently doing.

Allowing people to project their insecurities onto you. When I first considered starting a YouTube channel, I told a friend and was met with a negative response, ‘why?’, ‘everyone does it’, ‘that’s not a proper job’, ‘okk… *changes subject*’. Their comment stuck with me for the longest time despite others encouraging me to do it. For some reason,  one negative opinion outweighed the level of encouragement I received. Subconsciously, I wanted someone to tell me I was crazy for wanting to do it which is probably why I have delayed starting one for so long. Everyone has something to offer in this life. Do you understand how amazing you are? When you realise that you have been shining all this time, it is not long until others cotton on too.  Don’t let the opinions of others derail you from what you want to do. Many people have dreams but very few actually bring them to fruition because they are scared to take risks. Don’t bother sharing your passions with someone who does not amplify your excitement. Nine out of ten times you will leave that conversation discouraged with a long painful walk back to the drawing board. Sometimes, it is better not to share what you are doing until you are in the full swing of doing it. No one can see your vision more clearly than you can.

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Blaming people for self-made circumstances. I am guilty as charged for doing this! You cannot control the outcome but you can always control your role in producing that outcome. I have blamed family and friends on countless occasions for avoidable mishaps in my life. Naivety, pride and denial have played a role in one way or another. It is easier to blame others for your mistakes. Especially, when you do not want to come to terms with the fact that there is a deeper underlying issue with yourself that needs to be resolved. Self-evaluation has played a massive role in helping me become aware of my actions and impact for the last couple of months.

Rushing the natural process. Being a success at what you do will take time, patience and a lot of learning. It is easy to see others who are ahead of you in your field and wish you were in their position. Many people fail to acknowledge that the people in those positions have already been through their personal struggle to get to where they are today. You don’t know how long it has taken them to get as far as they are now. There are no shortcuts in life. Overnight success can be here today and gone tomorrow but building a firm foundation for yourself ensures longevity in your field. Nowadays, there is this pressure to have your life sorted out by the time you hit your late 20’s. I have hit so many road blocks and I know there are still many more to come, the only difference is that I have started to enjoy the scenery on my journey. Celebrating the small successes is just as important as celebrating the larger ones.

Feeling inadequate. I have always survived on the motivation I received from people I chose to surround myself with. But why did I have to just ‘survive’? Why couldn’t I thrive? I realised that I was doing a lot to please others instead of pleasing myself. I forfeited my happiness to ensure someone else’s. Last year was a pivotal point for me. One day I woke up and said, ‘This is not what I want for myself. I want more than this. I deserve more than this’. I have never been slapped so hard by self-awareness before in my life. When I decided I was good enough, I knew that I had always been good enough. Everyone is struggling with something and some are better at coping with it than others. Your feelings are valid and you will get through this. Have faith in yourself and what you are doing and everything else will follow. Forcing a change in your behaviour can often help to change your emotions.

Overthinking everything 24/7. Some thoughts are completely irrational and unwarranted. Before you know it, one plus one equals three which leads to McDonald’s and a trip to Paris. Do you see how everything correlates? Good, neither do I which is exactly my point. A lot of the time we make a big deal out of nothing. Consequently, we are unlikely to put our fear aside and do what needs to be done. I tend to focus on the future a lot which is fine. I mean, who doesn’t right? It only becomes an issue when my thoughts about the future overshadow what is happening in the present. It is pointless worrying about what tomorrow will bring especially, if it prevents you from focusing on today. Each day has enough trouble of its own. I am learning to take each day as it comes. Long term goals are great but they can’t be achieved if you cannot focus on the short term goals that need to be met first. Taking each day as it comes has not only decreased my anxiety levels but for once I feel an inner peace that I have not experienced for a long time.
What you speak into your life is real. I never understood the power of words until I was in my final year of university. I was just about at my breaking point but I had one central thought everyday, ‘I must pass and leave this place’. Guess what? I passed! Negative thoughts only have the power that you give them. My new phrase is ‘this will not kill me’. If it cannot physically hurt you then you have nothing to fear. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work. If you put even just half the energy you use to speak negative things over your life, to speak positive things instead imagine the amazing things that could happen. I have stopped thinking of my mind as a prison and started thinking of it as my brainstorming sanctuary.
January is coming to an end and you may feel like you haven’t had a great start to the year but we all need the first month to get ourselves together. I have come to the conclusion that my New Year starts in February and so can yours. You deserve good things and in 2018 we are not asking for it. We are demanding it.

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6 Comments

  1. January 25, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    GREAT post and definitely needed at any stage and month of the year. I enjoyed your writing style and points given, especially correlation because I am an overthinker too! But we are going to decrease and eventually eliminate that. Thank you for this!

    • January 26, 2018 / 11:35 pm

      Thank you so much Jailyn! 2018 is definitely the year for redefining who we want to be. Overthinking has hindered me in a lot of areas in my life but that is going to change! 😁

  2. January 26, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    Great post Ihesinachi, you really gave this some deep thought! I agree particularly with comparison being the thief of joy. It really is! Thanks for the tips and all the best with your blogging journey. 🙂

    Yasmin | http://www.yasmintells.com

    • January 26, 2018 / 11:36 pm

      Thank you Yasmin! 😁

  3. January 27, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    Number 6 definitely got to me! Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy and self doubt is always the first step in the process!
    Daily affirmations (in the mirror) have been helping! At first it felt stupid and I would laugh at myself, but as time goes by i can feel my confidence growing!
    This was a refreshing read! Thank you for sharing- keep it up! New subbie here 💙

    • February 10, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Aww that’s great!! I have found that daily affirmations with prayer works for me 🙂

      Thank you so much! It means a lot that you enjoyed it!