7 Brutally Honest Reasons You're Not Reaching Your Goals

Photo by Adeolu Eletu from Unsplash

It’s laughable to think people can be too proud to admit their faults especially when there’s no one else to share the blame with. But when it’s something worthy of praise, we’re the first ones to claim the credit. In this world, what we severely lack is a sense of accountability. Instead of holding ourselves responsible for the consequences of our actions, we blame it on people, the system, or even on our zodiac signs.

It’s typical for humans to think they are entitled to greatness but dismiss the notion of working harder than everyone else to get there. We all yearn for the result but not the process. That’s the mistake most people usually get stuck on, and it’s one of the main reasons they don’t reach their goals. The moment you step foot into your twenties, you start pondering on your strengths and thinking about what you want to make out of this life.

This introspection, however, is not a peaceful process. Even when they have no place to intrude, people will want to put their nose in your business. The next thing you know, you’re vulnerable to the external pressures of society that include fighting a battle you can’t win. You want to find your path, preferably a road less taken, so whatever happens, vultures won’t be there to undermine your success and make you feel worse about your frustrations.

When you finally decide to act on your dreams, you try your best to follow the right steps. You heed advice from people you trust, doing exactly what they say. But  months have passed, yet you’re still in the same place as before. You’re still fixing the same problems. You’re still meeting the same people. Long story short, you don’t feel a significant change in your life. You don’t feel like you’re closer to where you’re headed.

So, you take a breath and ponder on your actions. You think very carefully about the recent happenings in your life to check whether you cheated on the process. There must be a reason you’re not reaching your goals yet. There must be something you’ve done wrong; otherwise, you would’ve accomplished at least a quarter of your entire goal, right?



Many of us insist that a lot of us don’t attain our goals because of poor goal-setting, attitude, and habit. While that may be true, it’s not simply the planning stage that determines the likelihood of getting the desired result. Other critical stages such as transitioning and executing objectives are pivotal to guarantee success. Goal-setting is a significant foundation to fulfilling your life’s aspirations.

If you do not narrow down your goals and specify them according to four important areas in your life (wealth, relationships, health, self-fulfillment, or happiness), then you wouldn’t be able to measure how long it takes to achieve your dream and the necessary actions it takes to get there. 




Normally, when you have your goal in mind, your inner critic shows up and gives you a long list of why you can’t achieve it. When you’re vision is too far into the future and all you see is the big, impossible picture, you get anxious about the obstacles you need to face to get there. When you think about all the work you have to do and imagine the amount of workload that will be on your plate, it can be pretty overwhelming.

If all you associate with your goal is the inevitability of stress, anxiety, and a seemingly no work-life balance, you get discouraged by the thought of discomfort which may or may not happen. Due to the fear made up inside your head, you’re depriving yourself of a life filled with endless chances for individual growth. Remember that it always seems impossible at first when you’re looking at it from below, but every step you take will take you closer to your dream.

It’s necessary to break down your big goal into small, doable goals daily so you can focus your time and energy on perfecting one goal at a time. You won’t feel too anxious about the future because you have it all under control in the present. Be very careful to not lose sight of the picture because you will fail to realize the purpose why you want to achieve it and to whom you’re doing this.

You will lose track of the meaning of your hard work and sacrifice. Don’t let it get to this point. If you discipline yourself to be consistent with your attitude in fulfilling your daily goals while keeping in mind your purpose, you will be driven by pure, inner motivation and not just the reward that will come with it. 







The problem with people who are way too ambitious is they can’t back up their dreams with execution. This type of people is fail to translate ideas to actions. They keep running with their mouths but not the same energy is given into doing what their mind is saying. If you have a dream, it’s important to humbly accept that there will be adversities along the journey, and the only way to move forward is to act, not to talk. It’s the same logic when you keep yourself busy doing things that do not directly affect to your goal.

One example is spending your entire time revamping your website design and tweaking minor color changes when what you should be doing is writing and promoting more content. Putting in the real work means knowing which activity is more important than the other. It is the ability to distinguish which task should be dedicated with more intelligence, time, and energy to. When you put in the work, you spend your time wisely focusing on the areas of your goal that need the most attention. 




It’s normal to feel scared and doubtful about your capabilities at first. Confidence takes time to build. It’s imperative you learn how to set a boundary as to how deep your doubts are digging. Remember that the only thing standing between you and your dream is your inability to see your worth. If you’re not strong enough to see the good in the criticism, you will be left with nothing but all the reasons you shouldn’t achieve your goal.

People will always have something to say, and their opinions can raise doubts in your head. Make it a habit to absorb the lesson from all the criticism you get and shrug off the mean parts that are irrelevant to your growth. You need to learn how to take criticism well by being open to it but not too stuck on it.
Don’t let the doubt get to you especially when it comes from others.

They don’t see the whole picture of your life, so reducing the value of your life to a particular angle is wrong and unfair. You don’t achieve your goals while carrying the baggage of other people’s one-sided opinions. If you allow yourself to be consumed with doubt, every step forward will make you feel like you’re in the wrong direction. Everything would seem meaningless because you have failed to see the purpose of why you’re trying. 




Failure is a crucial part of the journey, and you can never run away from it. There are many types of failure, but every single one of them can teach you more about life than success ever will. When you fail, it can be a signal that indicates you have done something wrong. It can be a redirection in disguise or an omen implying you have ignored an important calling. It can also be a time when you experience a once-in-a-lifetime awakening, a time when you immerse yourself in a soul-searching adventure.

Most times, failures don’t feel flattering or motivating at all. They make you feel unaccomplished and stupid for not being meticulous enough to recognize lapses.
Failures make you vulnerable to fear of not being good enough. Failures can obliterate your self-esteem. They can break off relationships and create wrong ones. They are scattered in the ups and downs of life, and there’s no other way to become successful but to go through a series of never-ending failures. If you don’t know how to endure failure or see the beauty in it, you will never move on to the next step, let alone finish the whole race. 




You’re not always going to have an active, supportive audience who will be there to cheer you on. Your friends won’t always be there to attend your recognition ceremonies. Your ideas won’t always be praised by others. In most of your life’s journey, you will have to go through it alone. No one is there to help you or feed your ego when you’ve lost all motivation (at least not anyone you’re comfortable with). There will be people in your life that you won’t necessarily like, but you don’t have a choice but to deal with them.

In the real world, you don’t get to choose the people you want to hang out with. You can’t keep relying on the approval and praises of others to keep going. Your self-confidence must come from inside you. When you tie someone else’s opinion to your abilities, you will always hold their word above yours. Your ability to do wonderful things is limited to the inability of others to see how skilled and intelligent you are. 




When you give up too easily, that means from the conception of your goal-setting, you have already engraved in your mind that giving up is an option. It reflects how little your faith is in yourself and how timid your self-esteem is. This means that there have been underlying reasons that made you want to give up even before you started. These reasons are fears and negativity that have built up and stuck at the back of your mind.

Should you encounter any struggle at all, it triggers the
bucket load of apprehension inside you, and to keep that from hemorrhaging out of you, you would rather give up and not be there to witness the mess.
The truth is, you haven’t confronted yourself about the hard questions which challenge your conscience and reasoning. You haven’t talked to yourself, let alone understand your interests, strengths, fears. Your self-awareness is poor, and the unwillingness to be naked to the inner parts of you is not helping at all.

You can never see success in anything you do unless you fix the problems inside you. This also causes why you’re so in a hurry to see progress when you haven’t done enough work. Your impatience is what keeps you in the position where if you don’t do it perfectly in a relatively short amount of time, then it’s better not to do it all. 




Your environment is essential to your well-being, self-identity, and decision-making attitude. What you surround yourself with is crucial to determine your chances of reaching your goals. Make sure that you can make active, consensual decisions in your environment. Be with people who respect your choice, listen to your reasons, and take care of your interests. If you surround yourself with people with mediocre mindsets, you will become mediocre in your life choices.

If you surround yourself with toxic, unsupportive people, it is easier and quicker for you to lose hope in your dreams. If you surround yourself with the same kind of people for so long, you might get too comfortable and not want to take risks. Whatever happens in your environment can influence you to follow their ideologies and patterns of behavior. Choose wisely the group of people you want to be around because they can either make or break you, and your goals are what they cost. 




No dream is attained without sacrifice. Your unwillingness to sacrifice some habits or activities that you’re used to doing reflects how long you’ve been limited in your comfort zone. It can also reflect your ego; refusing to pick one from the other and insisting you can strike a balance without compromise. Your goals require you to give up temporary pleasures to make room for more work into the equation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t sleep or take a break occasionally.

This is a matter of discipline; setting boundaries between rest and work must be clear and followed. You can’t do everything at the same time, and that is why it’s an important skill to manage your time and workload effectively. Let go of the habits that allow you to procrastinate and make you more unmotivated like sleeping late to browse on your phone. We need to sacrifice what is less important so we can straighten out our priorities without damaging our health. 



When we fail to reach our goals, it’s easy to blame something else beyond our control but we fail to realize that it’s absolutely within our control.
Success isn’t as elusive and impossible as you think. If you do the necessary actions to get there, no matter how difficult, success will come to you. Sometimes, what we need is a slap in the face to get a glimpse of how unapologetic reality is.

If only more people realize that reaching our goals isn’t as easy as how movies portray it, they would gain deeper respect for those who have started from the bottom and rose from there. If you truly want to make your dreams a reality, you need to be driven by grit and purpose. To immerse yourself in this special inner calling, you need to experience mistakes and walk in the wrong lanes at times. You need to allow yourself to commit faults so you will know how to get yourself out of that situation on your own. 



“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”

Napoleon Hill

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

4 thoughts on “7 Brutally Honest Reasons You're Not Reaching Your Goals

  1. This was such a great read and totally true! I think that we always try to give someone else blame because we don't want to hold ourselves accountable for it and have been guilty of doing it too. As you said waiting for someone's approval other than your own and not putting in the work can be detrimental.


  2. Hello Monique. I'm a Adem. I have read by loving your writing. Thank you very much for the sharing. We need to determine the target and exceed obstacles to achieve determined goals.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: