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.
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.