5 Personal Beliefs Which Keep You from Pursuing Your Goals

Everyone has dreams, but not everyone works to turn them into reality – into goals reached. Believe it or not, as a coach, clients share virtually the same issues about why they can’t reach their goals – over and over. You may have a few of these thoughts, too. If so, consider the reasons you tell yourself, before falling asleep at night, why these goals aren’t possible to reach. These reasons are beliefs you have, but that doesn’t make them valid reasons for ignoring goals and pursuing success.

Here are the top 5 reasons clients tell me they can’t or don’t start or reach their goals.

1.  Unsurprisingly ‘Not Having Enough Time’ Sits at the Top of the List.

We all know accomplishing goals takes time. And that said, the bigger the goal the longer reaching it/them takes. The main issue, here, is failing to determine the actual time required to complete each task in order to reach your goal. In my experience, people tend to greatly underestimate the time it will take to complete a task. It’s easy to become frustrated if you believe a task or scenario will take three months, but unfortunately, three months just doesn’t cut it and little is accomplished.

Everyone is busy these days – has the same twenty-four hours in the day. Yet some accomplish far more than most. For a week or maybe two, keep a time ladder of how you spent your time. This includes sleeping, preparing and eating meals, social media, getting ready for work, cleaning your house, and bringing work home from the office, for example. Take a good look at how you expend your time and soon you may discover you actually have more time than you realize and more than enough time to time to reach a new goal.

  1. I Don’t Have the Right Talent.

This is a statement I hear more than you might think. Yet, every year, thousands head off to college, hundreds of thousands develop new skills and thousands apply for new positions.

In my experience, this statement boils down to a lack of confidence; suggesting it may be time to leave your comfort zone in order to move forward.  Here are 5 solid ways to build confidence to help you develop and progress:

  • Emulate confident peers.
  • Absolutely set goals.
  • Focus on your strengths.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Teach yourself positive reinforcement.
  1. After I Accomplish XXX I’ll do it.

When I decided to do more business marketing I was told, absolutely, I needed a website.  It’s expensive and I did not have the money – at the time – to hire a developer. Plus knew nothing about site development or, more importantly, web coding and knew no one I could hire – so continued to put it off.

Eventually, I found most good sites required ‘code’ – which is literally a ‘bunch’ of letters and numbers strung together, in a specific way and which instruct the site what must be done to run properly. Yet to the average person it’s unreadable.  Instead, the customer sees only beautiful photos, (once they reach the site); perfectly aligned paragraphs, and boxes to click to purchase.  After procrastinating for a year, I found a variety of free online and college classes, plus books and training sites to help me learn to write web ‘code’. In time, I taught myself to write three types of ‘code’. It certainly wasn’t easy – I worked and had a husband and family. But I reached my goal of setting up my first site, then several others. With experience, I became faster and more skilled and it became easier as I developed each. While becoming a coder was not something I aspired to, it was
a means to reach my site goals.

Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.

― Israelmore Ayivor

Almost all skills development, job prep, and training – for example – can be done on a part-time basis, after work hours or dinner, on a lunch break, for example. However, it does require determination to reach whatever goal it is you have in mind.

4. I’m Not Good Enough.

I’m always somewhat shocked when a client – especially one with a long list of accomplishments and awards – makes this statement to me. I immediately ask ‘what ruler are you using to measure the how and whys of the ways in which this phrase describes you’?  You are always good enough to go after your own dreams and goals. On the other hand, if this is an internal dialogue that has developed and planted itself in your mind, continuing to repeat itself like a broken record, you must remove it and replace it with positive words of encouragement and those which regularly provide assistance and inspiration as well as act as a boost to your confidence.

If this belief is coming from external sources, then consider those sources and whether their intent is to hold you back. Opting, instead, to disassociate yourself from, to associate and socialize with those who offer help and encouragement.

5. ‘X’ Person Has it Easier.

The phrase “The grass is greener” proverb, from Erasmus of Rotterdam, seems to relate here. However, the grass is usually greener wherever you water it.

This is part of what is considered ‘Self-Limiting Beliefs. You come to me asking for help interviewing for a specific job – yet during conversation mention two or three others who have it easier; surely they will end up being hired. One works regularly as a freelancer in this department; a second applicant knows the VP hiring.  Making it easier, you believe, for either to end up hired for the position although you are highly qualified.

From experience, I know neither of these two scenarios can secure this position for you. While they can help, you have no idea if the actual experience each has will be enough to seal the deal and get them hired.


Take time to examine your reasoning before deciding, unequivocally, someone else has it easier; you aren’t good enough; don’t have the right talent required, nor have the time to set and reach new goals.  While I may not know you and you may not be a friend or connection – I can tell you from experience you have most or all of the experience required – however, if you are reading this you are determined to accomplish more.


Jean L. Serio
Jean L. Serio
JEAN is a certified Human Resources professional with more than twenty-five years of experience in recruitment, interviewing, job training and development, resume, and LinkedIn Profile writing and review. The last 5 as a Certified Interview Success Coach, CEIC. With a passion for training, she guides others in first understanding their skills and strengths and how to best present themselves during an interview to help them secure the job. Her skills and expertise are also utilized to optimally prepare clients for confidently engaging with HR, hiring pros and decision-makers, and guiding them in how to enthusiastically and professionally respond during an interview rather than fearing the process. Her solid experience, coupled with expertise in the unspoken workings of the interview and hiring process, helps individuals prepare to present their achievements, skills, and expertise not only in a professional but compelling, way using stories of achievements which help the interviewee engage the interviewer or hiring a pro to effectively respond to questions to help raise their get-hired opportunities. Jean has been featured in Forbes;; BLR-Daily HR Advisor; ERE’s Daily HR Advisor; Next Ave. division of PBS; Medium; Entrepreneur HQ Magazine; Self Growth; beBee International, CBS, and NBC online and more. Her past has also included workshop trainings for HR, hosting hiring forums, speaking at job conferences for both job seekers and hiring pros, and more.

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  1. Great points for everybody who fails to reach her/his goals, Jean.

    All of them are important. The one that I share with your experience is establishing your website and the procrastination that delayed your first step for ten years. Too late is btter than never and I am glad you did it.
    Was the effort rewarding for you? I hope so.