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3 Unavoidable Barriers That Prevent You From Getting What You Want


“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” – Dale Carnegie

Have your ever felt like no matter how hard you try things don’t work at the way you planned?

Life just seems to be full of one failure after another.

It can be exhausting and a shot to our confidence when we keep getting knocked down and having to dust ourselves off.

But the fact is, no matter who you are mistakes will be made and failure will be experienced.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. We can’t expect to see immediate success. There is always a learning curve.

But, that doesn’t mean we can’t start to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be.

Sometimes we have to take a good honest look at what is getting in our way and reevaluate what it will take to get what we want.

What goals are you struggling to reach right now?

Make a list of these goals and take a minute to consider your main obstacles.

There could be many different barriers you are facing, but it is likely that you’re failure is resulting from one of three areas.

– Lack of focus

– Lack of effort

– Lack of skill

So what can you do to work through these obstacles?

First figure out which one applies to your situation and then make the necessary adjustments.

Is there a lack of focus?

If the answer is yes there is probably a conflict between your goals. What this means is that there are competing commitments, all of which have a sense of importance to you. You may want to get more sleep but also want to watch binge watch Breaking Bad, you may want to get in shape but also want to eat that extra cookie!

Some competing commitments are more subtle than others, but you will notice this dilemma as a lack of motivation or resistance, and a pattern of starting to avoid what needs to be done.

Get clear, really really clear on what is most important to you, and make a daily commitment to follow through with it.

Is there a lack of effort?

Sometimes we fail simply because we aren’t willing to do what it takes. No one has done anything remarkable without putting in some serious sweat, blood, and tears!

This can be hard to accept, but anything worth having is not going to come easy, otherwise we would all have exactly what we want. The idea of giving up wouldn’t even be an issue.

Be willing to put in hard work to create what you want. Go out and find opportunity and prioritize the time to dedicate to your goals.

Is there a lack of skill?

Let’s say I’m a therapist and I want to start a private practice. I am a great clinician and know how to help people solve their problems but I have no experience running a business. I don’t know the fundamentals of marketing or keeping the books. (P.S – I am speaking from my personal learning experience here).

How successful will I be? Not very until I’m willing to acknowledge where I need to grow and develop my skills.

Sometimes we simply don’t have the experience or knowledge necessary to do what we want. But don’t fret, you can learn what you need to learn and develop your skill through practice. Or, if you would rather focus on your strengths, you can connect with others who make up for your weaknesses.

Either way, if a certain skills set or lack thereof is an obstacle for you, get out there and learn what you need to learn, practice the skill you want to develop, or connect with other people who have the strengths you need.

You don’t have to give up when you run into failure.

Failure is your teacher to help you learn where you can grow and what is getting in the way.

3 Unavoidable Barriers That Prevent You From Getting What You Want

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2015). 3 Unavoidable Barriers That Prevent You From Getting What You Want. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Jan 2015
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