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Positively Attaining Your Goals: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

My passion is to inspire and coach people to achieve what they want to get out of life.

Setting to many goals an act of self-sabotage?

Many people are attempting to change themselves in order to increase his or her value in themselves or their performance. Daily failures tend to strip us of our confidence little by little without our awareness. Coping alone with daily experiences is hard enough without adding personal change into the mix. Everyone is struggling to perform better in one form or another whether it is in a relationship, home life, parenting or career to make a positive change.

"Performance in life doesn't get better by chance, it improves through action and practice."

When some people try to accomplish goals or improve their own lives through goals, many find that they are running into self-limiting and self-defeating thought or emotional barriers. These barriers stop them from achieving positive change. Personal barriers are issues that originate from within. These personal barriers are not always conscious because they are embedded deep within the subconscious mind. In fact, the majority of people are consciously unaware of self-limiting and self-defeating barriers they possess. So they are constantly asking themselves "why am I not achieving what I want?", "why am I stuck?" or “what is holding me back?”

What questions should I ask myself?

Here are some questions you might want to answer if you think you are stuck or underperforming in your attempt to make the positive change you desire:

1st - Do I set too many goals to complete any of them?

2nd - Am I sabotaging myself by splitting my energy among all my goals?

3rd - Do I overwhelm myself with too many tasks without being conscious of it?

4th - Am I facing the same barriers and resistance I have in my past?

5th - Am I reaching for perfection that is not attainable?

6th - Do I deserve to succeed?

How do we tend to self-sabotage ourselves?

Subconsciously we tend to set too many goals that produce barriers to success.

Say if we set too many goals or want to resolve too many issues in our life, what happens? We sabotage ourselves. Our focus and energy are split in too many directions. Let’s say we set four goals we want to accomplish. Therefore our energy goes in four different directions at one time, we get frustrated, unhappy and quickly give up. Why? It is because we run out of steam and motivation. With working on 4 goals at one time, we can only give 25% to each goal or issue. We end up spreading our energy too thin, and it is a recipe for failure.

This is why New Year Resolutions get dropped by the end of January. Why? People generally set so many goals at one time that they become overwhelmed. They are mentally and physically divided in different directions causing a loss in desire, motivation, and drive. Subconsciously we set our expectations too high. We end up becoming disappointed which manifests into poor performance, therefore, missing our chance at positive change.

If you desire real positive change and an increase in personal performance then you have to decide to work on one specific goal at a time. Define the goal to be realistic, measurable, specific and timelined. Ask yourself, what is the “one thing”, the "one goal", if I focus on 100% that would radically change my life?" Then target on that goal and put all of your energy on that one goal for 90 days and you will see much greater success.

Success Can Be Yours

Dividing your energy between multiple goals is a formula for failure

Dividing your energy between multiple goals is a formula for failure

Performance Poll

What else might be blocking you?

So what else can I do? Don't be afraid to ask for help. Many fail because he or she attempts to do too many goals at one time.

Life coaching could be an answer. Seek out and hire a life coach, personal coach or executive coach to help you create an action plan to accomplish your goals. With a certified, trained, objective and skillful second eye, like a life coach, which can assist you in cleaning up all the defeating core beliefs, make a solid action plan to unblock yourself and achieve your goals as well as be a support or a cheerleader along the way. Coaching can open your mind to a new path for a better future.

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Seek out and hire a life coach, personal coach or executive coach to help you create an action plan to accomplish your goal. With a certified, trained, objective and skillful second eye, a life coach can assist you in cleaning up all the defeating core beliefs and make a solid action plan to unblock yourself and achieve your goal as well as be a support or a cheerleader along the way. Coaching can open your mind to a new path for a better future.

Is there something I can do on my own?

Yes, I have developed a self-help web-based program called The Making a Positive Change 30 Day Challenge which is an online personal improvement program that will walk you through step by step to change your identity, find out what is blocking you and help you create whole new personal philosophy.

Using this life coaching method in an easy-to-use web-based system that is designed to help you focus, give you direction and will guide you through a step-by-step process of recognizing your blocks and teach you how to become successful. For more information on this product visit my website.


Is it my past?

There may be another reason you feel blocked. It might be the result of an event from your past that is driving your present behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and reactions. No one gives enough credit to their past and how it affects his or her life today. I mention this because of a lot of people I coach who are having trouble today when they find out that today's problems are the result of past traumatic situations he or she experienced growing up.

Many say, “I am an adult and I should not be affected by what happened to me in my past. I worked through that.” Well, you can't outrun your past. It always catches up with you.

Core beliefs can cause self-sabotaging thinking so that you fail at your goals

Let’s look at how your past experiences may be a barrier today. The human brain is a very sophisticated recording device. It begins recording even before birth. A person does not remember everything that their brain has recorded and stored. Most of the recording called memories are logged into the long-term memory bank.

Now, here is the secret that most of us do not know. With every event, a human experience forms a core belief. A core belief is a belief or personal message that a person forms about themselves related to that life event. Connected to every core belief is an emotion for that event.

For example; if a child runs home after a successful accomplishment (education, social or sports), excited to tell their mother or father. After telling the parent, he or she sees disappointment in the parent’s eyes or gets a negative response like “you could have done better” or “that’s all”, a core belief forms like “I am not good enough” or "I am stupid" along with a painful an attached emotion of disappointment. The child suppresses the hurtful experience, ignores the defeating belief and does not make closure with the emotional pain. But the recording (memory) and beliefs are still alive and active in his or her subconscious mind.

Going further, the child then grows up and in a job where a promotion opportunity comes up. He or she never applies. Why? Because the situation is a trigger, an old rooted core belief surfaces from his or her subconscious into the conscious mind saying -“You do not deserve a promotion" or "you're not good enough”. Positive change or success at that point is blocked, no action is taken, and the opportunity is missed. Throughout the whole experience, the person is unaware of the effects his or her old core beliefs have had on the situation.

My past doesn't affect my ability to achieve my goals

The next excuse I hear is "my past events don't affect me now; it happened so long ago” or “doesn't affect me now”. Those statements are far from the truth. Memory cannot be unrecorded. The root cause or in this case the core belief can be changed or shifted to a positive belief. Also, the associated emotion that was not dealt with back then can be diminished and brought to closure. Once the core belief is shifted and closure is made with the painful emotion, the brain no longer uses that event, belief or painful emotion as a barrier to success.

The root cause or in this case the core belief can be changed or shifted to a positive belief, therefore, changing how one believes, thinks and feels about past situations. Also, the associated emotion that was not dealt with back then can be diminished and brought to closure. Once the core beliefs are shifted and closure is attained with the associated painful emotion, the brain will no longer use events, beliefs or painful emotions as a barrier to success.

© 2010 Bill Tollefson


Bill Tollefson (author) from Southwest Florida on February 01, 2018:

Dear May Norton,

Thank you very much for your comments and revealing possible solutions. Maybe you need to look at your strength and successes, not make yourself feel better about failures. Keep practicing positive.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 01, 2018:

I can read what some call narrative fallacy which I am guilty of using many times to make myself feel better about my failure. It would have been better if I looked at it and see where the error is or the intervention point is, then, practice more or learn more.

Bill Tollefson (author) from Southwest Florida on September 30, 2011:

tigerblue72 - You are welcome. Very few people understand how much power old core beliefs have over our thoughts, behavior and feelings today. Thanks for your comments and disclosures. Glad you gained from this HUB. Keep improving your life.

tigerblue72 from Southern Illinois on September 29, 2011:

I seem to be living in the past, according to your hub. I can't seem to get it out of my head "It is your fault" "You caused this to happen to Yourself" I have for many years, in dealing with everyday life it is not easy to set any goals when you have those words "stuck" in your head. I have accomplished many goals in my life little as they may seem to me, I have done them, Yes Very GUILTY of setting too many goals at one time, and will try to set one at a time. Thank You

Bill Tollefson (author) from Southwest Florida on June 15, 2011:

Wysley - I hope that this article and others will help inform others to the importance of the devastating effects of negative core beliefs to on'es life. I am glad you became more mindful from this article. Thank you.

wysley on June 15, 2011:

Thank you so much for such insightful and encouraging words. The goal setting information helped explained why a person may struggle reaching their goals, including being influenced by past limiting messages and/or core beliefs that hinder forward movement in the present day, or denial of their effects. Having a supportive life coach, such as yourself, has meant the world of difference. Thank you!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 01, 2010:

Wonderful hub with concrete suggestions. I agree that looking back to the past is helpful to the extent that it helps us shift our core beliefs. It often does take the support of another to help us see what's holding us back, but the payoff in greater life satisfaction and the ability to move forward can be tremendous.

Bill Tollefson (author) from Southwest Florida on October 31, 2010:

Hey Donna

Thanks for the comment. Maybe it is not your attitude the changes daily but rather it is a different belief that you are responding to mentally. I noticed a root belief in your comment - "some people have it better". Your mind might be interpreting this belief as "some people have it better than me". This could be a disempowering belief you carry in your emotional mind might be holding you back. Understand that there is no one that is better than you!

Linda S on October 31, 2010:

I think this is so true for my past has and I working now to change it. I have been guity of having way too many goals.Thanks Dr Bill

Donna S on October 31, 2010:

Hi Dr. Bill,

I was wondering after reading your anything really in our hands? All we can do is the best we can, because I still struggle on a daily basis, only my attitude is different. Some people just have it better, I guess, but the thing is to never give up. I wish you the best as always. Just taking one day at a time.

Donna S.

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