Recently I was asked to present at an Ellevate Network meeting for the Los Angeles chapter. This community prioritizes authentic relationships and is built for women, so I was pumped to dig deep into four habits that can keep us from goal achievement.
As I share these roadblocks to success, take a moment to reflect and see if you relate to any of these habits.
Roadblock #1 – “I don’t have time.”
When faced with a new challenge or attempting to keep up the habits you need to achieve a goal, you might be tempted to say – “I don’t have time” – when things get tough. This is because we usually tell ourselves stories when we get intimidated. And those stories keep us from taking action.
By saying we don’t have the time, we give ourselves an excuse that can keep us from moving forward. I found myself doing this recently in my own business. I wanted to implement an email list to stay connected with clients and expand my reach. I took Jenna Kutcher‘s course on growing an email list, bought Flodesk and was still stuck making progress. After casually logging in a few times, I was overwhelmed and starting putting the task off farther and farther into the future, using the excuse that I simply didn’t have time. (spoiler alert – I had the time all along. It didn’t just magically appear. I had to work through what felt like a mountain of new learning and tasks!)
If you find yourself falling into this habit, there are two ways to pull yourself out. The first is to unpack the story you’re telling yourself. Do you really have zero time in your day or week to tackle the task? Or, are you prioritizing everything else to avoid facing the challenge?
The second solution is to book an appointment with yourself at the beginning of the day. You don’t have to schedule enough time to complete the task, simply book an hour and get started. Often, when we create space to take action, we build the confidence to keep going.
Once I booked time on my calendar to implement Flodesk into my business, I realized it wasn’t as difficult as I had made it out to be. By creating an appointment with myself (and keeping it), I was able to overcome the challenge and roll out a new system!
Roadblock # 2 – Women Don’t Like to Self-Promote
If you’re like most women, you don’t like to self-promote and you struggle to talk about your success. This can get in the way of your growth – both personally and in your business – which can keep you from achieving your goals.
If this is you, you’re not alone. In fact, research backs up just how common this habit is. According to Harvard Business Review, there is a “large gender gap in self-promotion.” Men rate their performance 33% higher than women who are performing equally – even when ranking themselves higher could be financially rewarding.
So, how do we get past it? The first solution is to get with a trusted friend or family member. A good friend can help you unpack your achievements and celebrate your wins, which builds confidence. Start by asking them to describe your strengths and accomplishments and be willing to receive what they say without downplaying any positive input.
Another solution to overcome this habit is to start an achievement log. Give yourself the grace to list successes, big and small, that you’ve accomplished personally and professionally. By doing this every day, you create a positive record that you can refer to and build the confidence to share these accomplishments. Start now by reflecting on one of your most memorable career accomplishments.
Roadblock #3 – Perfection.
Perfection is a particularly damaging habit because it makes us feel that we’re not good enough, no matter what we do (spoiler alert – perfection isn’t possible because we are human).
In an HP personnel review, and in “study after study,” according to The Atlantic, “underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back.“ Essentially, they found, “Women feel confident only when they are perfect.”
The first step to overcoming this roadblock is taking action – think less, act more. Give yourself space to create a draft or attempt something that you can edit or change later on.
Another helpful step is to reflect on what success looks like to you. All too often, we look at someone else’s highlight reel (the homes, cars, wardrobes we see on social media) without thinking about the life WE want, and we feel a huge disconnect between their success and the way we see our own life.
Stop reading everyone else’s page. It’s not your story and comparing your beginning to their end will never help you reach your goals.
Roadblock #4 – Fear.
Fear is false expectations appearing real. The good news is that most of what we fear isn’t real and we can avoid the paralysis it causes when we dig deep.
Ask yourself the following questions when fear has you frozen:
Are you afraid of failure?
Are you afraid of success?
As you identify what you fear, you can play with the fear by asking yourself the following questions. Identifying the real fear is critical in overcoming fear. It’s also helpful to flip the script and explore the positives that can come from working through fear. Comparing the worst that can happen and the best that can happen might be the inspiration you need to face your fear.
What is the worst that can happen?
What is so bad about that?
What is the best that can happen?
If you find yourself facing one or more of the four habits we covered today, you’re in good company. These are the most common roadblocks my clients encounter. Unchecked, they can derail us on our goal achievement journey. But with the right action, we can build new habits that help us overcome and keep us progressing.
Take some time to reflect on the roadblock that commonly experience and commit to implementing one or more of the solutions going forward. To learn more, tune into the podcast Elite Achievement where I break down additional goal achievement strategies and interview guests that share insight and inspiration.