7 Common Obstacles to Achieving Your Goals and How To Get Unstuck

Updated: Jun 3, 2019



I dare you to name one successful person who hasn't had to overcome a hurdle in their life. You can't. Even the most wealthy in the world will tell you, more money means more problems. Developing mental tools to be more resilient and exercise your creative problem solving will help you achieve your goals even when it's complicated. As a young corporate executive, entrepreneur, and mom, each transition has been challenging to manage. I've fallen victim and overcome these same challenges at every stage of my journey.


In working with my clients, I've developed a methodology I call TRIBE for short. It's a framework for navigating your life and career.


TRIBE is the belief that: Every little step you take matters.

Every moment is one you can use or waste.

Every Resource you encounter can form a part of your toolbox.

Every Innovation you make can be a stepping stone on the way forward.

Every belief you honor can elevate others.

And every moment of Evolution contributes to your legacy.


Having goals and applying the TRIBE methodology as you manage your life will help you achieve the life of your dreams. Some of life's most satisfying experiences are those that involve staying focused on a goal until you reach it. It's true, you'll still experience times when, no matter how hard you try, you're facing obstacles blocking the way.


Issues come in all shapes and sizes. If you are feeling stuck, here are some typical blocks that can keep you from moving forward.


1. Lack of creativity.

You are a creative person, we all are. But along the way we tell ourselves, we aren't good at certain things, and it sticks in our minds changing what we believe is right. Along your journey, you will face challenges. Creativity means having the energy to come up with new solutions and ideas. Overcoming obstacles requires creativity to adjust when things don't go your way.

2. Negative thinking.

We all struggle with negative thinking. You feel you're not qualified and it makes you want to give up before you start. Negative thoughts create a potent block because once it begins, it tends to escalate and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our minds can be limited by negativity, making us believe we can't change our actions.

3. Impostor syndrome.

If left unchecked, negative thinking will tank your confidence. Soon you start to question your skills and abilities to complete the work required to reach your goal. Overcoming the small voice that says you don't deserve to be happy will change your life and your mindset.

4. Shiny objects.

We all get caught up in a distracting worm hole every now and then. You want to reach that milestone, but we keep getting distracted. How can you finish anything when you keep adding new items to the list?


5. Refusing to put in the effort.

There's no substitute for doing the work. There's no magic pill or short cut to success. Watch Beyonce's Homecoming if you need a reminder, there's no replacement for hard work.

6. Time Traps.

Instagram anyone? Many of my clients cite time as the number one reason they can't achieve their goals. Write down what you are doing with your twenty four hours and make adjustments where you notice you are wasting time. Use apps on your phone to block out social media and set limits to help you notice bad habits.

7. Vague aspirations.

A mentor once said, "never do anything vague. It's a waste or energy." Until you know what you really want, it's going to be hard to continue steadily toward your goals. Vague aspirations equal unmet goals.


Applying the TRIBE methodology


Now that you have a good idea of what challenges you might encounter on your way to goal achievement, use the TRIBE methodology to overcome them. TRIBE can help keep your goals and vision a priority. It is a simple reminder, a structure to protect you from falling into bad habits.


1. TIME- Use your schedule.

No matter what your goal, consistently make the time to work toward it. If you don't have a system for scheduling appointments, start now. Review your entire week or month and what's planned with a quick glance. Write in when you'll work toward goals. Maybe it will be Monday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. or Saturday mornings from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. It's up to you, the important part is to follow your schedule consistently.


2. RESOURCES & RELATIONSHIPS- Read your resume.

When it comes to our careers, you can forget our accomplishments especially if you've changed or companies. Give yourself props for the goals you've achieved before. What were those goals? Remind yourself of what you've already done. Keep up the momentum and update your LinkedIn profile while you are at it.


3. INNOVATION- Think differently about your situation.

Look for visuals that represent your goals and complete the week of possibilities exercise in my book, Getting Unstuck to clarify what you most want from your career and life. Design a vision board charting your pathway to your goal and include how your life will improve after achieving your goal.

4. BELIEFS- Release negative thoughts.

The best way to fight impostor syndrome, low, or negative thinking is to pay attention and stop the behavior immediately. When you hear doubting thoughts in your head, think, "Stop it now" and mean it. Then, replace that negativity with an "I will persevere and achieve" message. Tell yourself, "I was made for this."







5. EVOLVE- Set SMARTER goals.

Make sure your goals are specific, meaningful, achievable, relevant, time-bound. Take SMART goals further by making sure they can evolve and record them. Once you write them, place copies everywhere inside your house, post on your phone, and save them in your calendar. When you're sure about what you want, then you can enthusiastically work toward those goals. Use your words to make sure your goal motivates and doesn't overwhelm you.


Your goals don't work until you do! To be successful, you have to commit to goals. Remind yourself daily about why you want to reach a particular purpose. Maybe you'll earn more money, get a better job, live in a place you prefer, or protect your family's future. Stay the course by recording and re-committing to your goals each morning. Use affirmations and vision boards to keep your vision in front of you. I'm motivated by checking boxes, and I use bullet journals to track my weekly priorities and progress. Find a routine that you can consistently practice to internalize where you want to direct your energy.

Don't get stuck in planning mode, take action. If you are persistent, you will get started. If you are consistent, you will keep going. You've got to put in the work along with committing wholeheartedly to goals. When you feel stuck remind yourself that all of your hard work will be worth it in the end. Consider how you will reward yourself when you win if you need extra encouragement to get started.


The truth is there will be obstacles to block the pathways toward your goals. But like every successful person before you, if you can identify the sources of the blocks, you can develop solutions or use these time-tested strategies to navigate those obstacles and claim your success.


Take the next steps to get unstuck today:


● What are you afraid of?

Choose three of the common obstacles in this article. Make a list of examples from your own life where you faced those same obstacles and how you made it work. Highlight the tools, techniques, and relationships that made an impact.


● Write about it!

What question are you hoping I won't ask you? Set a timer and allow yourself to reflect on a past challenge where you struggled. Journal about what you would do differently. How could you use the tools you currently have to overcome or avoided those obstacles?


● Join the TRIBE here!

Join my tribe of coaching clients, readers, and goal getters! You'll be the first to know when I have openings in my coaching practice, new programs, and the inspiration you need to align your goals with your life. I'll send you my favorite exercise on time and the week of possibilities in your inbox from my book, Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Moving Your Career Forward.


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For more resources like this one, check out my book on success and finding your purpose in life. Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Moving Your Career Forward tells the story of how one woman found the time and energy to overcome the battle for advancement in corporate America.


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©​ 2020 Meredith Moore Crosby

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