Why You’re Not Where You Want to Be: 9 Reasons

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I remember it like it was yesterday. I was asked to speak to a group of young people at my church. Back then, I was really nervous about speaking in public – still am, actually. As I walked to the front of the room, I accidentally let out a loud fart. I ignored the gasps and giggles, and awkwardly apologized and proceeded as if nothing had happened. But inside I was angry at myself and mortified that everyone was laughing at me, and I felt super embarrassed. From then on, I avoided public speaking because I was scared something even worse would happen.

We’ve all had moments that make us want to disappear. But what’s even worse is when one bad experience from the past makes us afraid of future events. We are scared to take chances or risks because we worry things won’t go well.

Dealing with deep-seated beliefs, fears, and behaviors is tough. When you struggle in one part of your life, it spills over into other areas of your life, and affects everything else. The patterns of failure are the same, and the negative thoughts and actions that hold you back in one area will probably hold you back in others too.

And instead of facing challenges head-on, most of us avoid big opportunities in life. We come up with ways to dodge the pressure and discomfort that come with chasing our dreams.

Can You Overcome Fear?

Yes, but it won’t be easy because this usually means you need to first identify the common strategies for reluctance you’ve developed over time, after which you can then build a pattern and find a solution. For example, you could be a chronic procrastinator, or you might be someone who makes excuses for why you can’t do something, or maybe you’re just really good at distracting yourself with Netflix binges and Instagram scrolling. 

Whatever your go-to strategy is, it’s time to give it up. Set your sights on new heights and take a chance that could turn out to be the greatest decision you’ve ever made. Life is too short to spend it hiding under the covers.

Here are 10 common strategies for reluctance, starting with the shallow end and progressing to deeper issues. Read on.


You’re Afraid Your Goals aren’t Achievable

How many times have you talked yourself out of trying something because you didn’t believe you could do it? Like that time you considered signing up for a marathon but decided against it because you didn’t think you could run more than a mile without passing out. Or that time you were offered a promotion but turned it down because you didn’t believe you were qualified.

But what if you had believed in yourself just a little bit more? What if you had thought,

 “Hey, I might not be able to run a marathon now, but with some training and effort, who knows what I can achieve?” Or, “Maybe I don’t have all the qualifications for this promotion, but I believe in my ability to learn and grow in this role.”

Who knows what kind of success you could have achieved?


You’re Indifferent 

Pouring your heart into your dreams and plans can feel like laying your heart bare on a plate and inviting everyone to take a bite and critique it. What if they don’t like it? What if they laugh at you? 

Ever felt that “meh” feeling about everything? Not passionate about anything, just coasting through life?

Or maybe you’re overthinking the outcomes rather than enjoying the journey.

But it could also be something deeper called apathy, a chronic indifference. You know you should care about something, but you just can’t find the energy or enthusiasm to do anything about it. In this case, you may need to get professional help, and lean on supportive family or friends.

And the worst part? It’s probably because you’re scared. Scared of failing, scared of not measuring up, scared of judgment. But if you never care, you’ll miss out on life’s ups and downs. You’ll just be stuck in neutral, watching everyone else zip past.

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Sure, caring has its risks. You might stumble. You might get hurt. But you might also soar. You might discover something that truly ignites your passion and gives you purpose.

Speaking of feeling stuck in a “meh” kind of rut, maybe it’s time to dig deeper. Are you afraid to disappoint your family? Worried about what others will say if you fail? Not sure where to begin? 

When you start to tackle these underlying fears and doubts, you might realize you’re more passionate than you think.  And who knows? You might just find the motivation you need to finally start winning. 

Another thing to note: While at times it’s intentional, maybe you do this to protect yourself. Other times, there could also be a sign of a medical issue or a lack of certain vitamins. You might want to share this with your doctor.


You Blame Others Instead of Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Pointing fingers at others for your failures might give you a temporary sense of relief, but it won’t get you anywhere in the long run.

The truth is, life can [and will] throw some unexpected curveballs our way. Like that one time I accidentally left my phone in the closet and missed an important call. But at the end of the day, it was my own fault for being so absent-minded and forgetful.

Taking responsibility for your life and actions is important and a big part of growing up.

It’s easy to blame outside factors when things go wrong, but blaming others won’t help you fix your problems. You can’t  fix a broken car by yelling at the mechanic. Sure, it might feel good at the moment, but it won’t actually fix anything.

Instead of placing blame elsewhere, take a good, hard look at yourself and ask, “What could I have done differently?”

Maybe you didn’t get that job because you didn’t prepare enough for the interview. Maybe your relationship failed because you didn’t communicate enough. Or maybe you’re feeling unsatisfied with your life because you haven’t taken the necessary steps to pursue your goals.

Make no mistake, I’m not saying you should go about blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong either, but when you start being mindful of your own role in a situation, you gain the power to take action and make things better. Now that’s empowering, really.


You Don’t Listen to Advice Because You Prefer Arguing Instead

Some people believe that being consistent means sticking to the same routine all over again, like following a strict diet to shed some pounds. But sometimes this approach doesn’t apply to other aspects of life, such as growing a new business. Sometimes, relying solely on your own knowledge and sticking to the same strategy just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes all it takes is to be open to exploring new ideas and know when it’s time to take advice from others – but that’s where many people struggle.

It’s a good thing to have confidence in your own ability, but if you’re more interested in being right all the time you’re limiting your potential for growth, and in the process shooting yourself in the foot. 

Just think about it – if you’re so invested in proving yourself right all the time, then how are you ever going to learn anything new?

Success often involves trial and error, it’s hard to accept criticism, especially when you’re already feeling insecure about your abilities. But the smarter you are, the harder it is to justify or see through your own [biases]. At the end of the day, if you’re unwilling to seek advice or try something new, you might as well keep holding yourself back. Why not put your debating skills on hold, and just listen?

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You are Not Where You Want to be Because You Get Easily Distracted 

I’ll be honest, I used to be totally hooked on social media too. Who isn’t, right?

It’s scary when you think about how much time we waste scrolling through our feeds, checking out random posts, and catching up on the latest gossip. Sure, it’s entertaining, but does it really add any value to our lives? Not really.

If you’re constantly getting sucked into the black hole of social media and other distractions, you’re never going to get anything done. I mean, it’s fine to take a break and have a good laugh at some memes, but if you’re spending hours glued to your screen, you’re just spinning your wheels.

And it’s not just social media – there are tons of other things that can distract us from our goals, like games, gossip, or politics. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good game as much as the next person, but if you’re spending more time gaming than working towards your goals, [something’s gotta give].

Solution? Find some balance. Take breaks when you need to, but don’t let yourself get sucked in for hours on end. Set some goals and stick to them, even if it means putting your phone away for a bit.

We get stressed out a lot from what we don’t do, but when you focus on your goals instead of letting distractions rule your life, you’ll start to see progress and move closer to achieving what you want. Trust me, it’s worth it. 


You’re Not Humble

Every now and then, you might–sometimes–feel the urge to overstate your accomplishments or pretend to know everything, especially when you’re just trying to make a name for yourself. But it’s a risky move that can quickly rub people the wrong way. 

Nobody likes a know-it-all or someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else.

Instead of pretending, learn to seek out opportunities and grow. The most successful people I’ve come across are the ones who constantly strive to expand their knowledge base.

They’re not afraid to admit when they don’t know something, they downplay their success and what they know, and they’re always eager to learn from others. But the difference is, They may not boast about their success, but their actions speak volumes. Humility is a sign of maturity and class. And a secret to success.

But what if you’re pretending because you don’t want people to look down on you? It’s okay to seek help sometimes, people are not going to look down on you if you need help because no one knows it all. In fact you might be surprised how ready people are to help you, only if you would just ask.


You’re Scared to Be Different

Staying safe in the crowd might save you from falling, but it also means you’ll never truly fly. It’s time to embrace what makes you unique, or else you’ll be stuck in a cycle of average.

Let’s say you’re contemplating leaving your job to pursue a career in stand-up comedy or pursue a business idea that’s been on your mind for ages. So, you gather your courage and share your plans with your friends – and instead of support, you’re met with skepticism:

“Are you sure about this? You’re giving up a stable income and benefits for that?”

Some of them might genuinely worry about you, but really, others are just uncomfortable with the idea of you taking a risk to follow your passion while they’re stuck in their comfortable but unfulfilling jobs.

What holds a lot of people back is because they feel they can’t even chase after our dreams without getting side-eyed by everyone around them. They won’t support my goals and aspirations!

Following the herd is easy. It requires no creativity or bravery. But standing out from the crowd? That takes guts. It means being okay with people giving you weird looks and not caring about what anyone else thinks.

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The truth hurts but some people don’t want you to succeed, because it highlights their lack of effort or courage to make changes in their own lives.

Self-reliance is a threat to the status quo. It’s scary to break away from the pack and carve your own path, but it’s necessary if you want to achieve your goals.

Don’t let the naysayers hold you back, because their fear is not your problem.

If you’re not willing to be the odd one out or stand out, you’ll have accept life as it is. But you’ll blend in with the rest, never reaching your full potential. And if anyone tells you to be “realistic” or get a “normal job,” you can smile and say, “I’d rather be a wolf than a sheep.”


You Give Up Easily 

You’re not where you want to be because you’re not consistent.

Consistency is key [I’m sure you’ve heard too many times], but it’s also one of the hardest things to do, even for successful people. You have to keep going even if you’re not seeing any results yet.

For example if you’re trying to stick to a weight loss diet, you start off all motivated and pumped up, because of the results promised. But after sometime, you start getting tired of waiting to see any tangible result, cravings and setbacks creep in, and all of a sudden, you’re knee-deep in a pizza binge, feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom.

Achieving anything worthwhile requires effort – and lots of it. Just think about Thomas Edison. It took him over a thousand attempts to invent the lightbulb. If he could keep going despite all those setbacks, you can certainly finish that novel, master that skill, or launch that business and make waves.

If you keep writing, even when it feels like every word you write weighs a ton, you’re already on the path to success.

Don’t give up, even when it feels like you’re swimming against the current or making no progress at all. Every effort counts, and as long as you’re giving it your all, you’re making strides forward.


You Think You Don’t Deserve What You Want in Life

And that force is the belief that you don’t deserve what you want.

Ever had that nagging feeling that whispers, “Who are you to deserve all this?” “You’re not good enough.” “You don’t deserve to be here” “you are a fraud” It’s a dark cloud following you around, raining on your parade no matter how hard you try to shake it off.

Imposter syndrome, they call it. Even the most successful people battle it. It’s that inner voice questioning your worth, labeling you a fraud, and attributing your success to luck.

It’s a tough one to shake. And boy, does it mess with your head. You start second-guessing yourself, doubting every decision, and before you know it, you’re ready to throw in the towel on your dreams. It feels like trying to get rid of a stubborn stain on your favorite shirt. 

But you’re not alone, and you can beat it. It takes some self-reflection, a lot of kindness toward yourself, and maybe a chat with someone you trust or a therapist. Also knowing that no one is perfect, practicing positive self-talk. And knowing, life isn’t all about being perfect, it’s about being human. We all make mistakes, and we all have doubts, and that’s okay.

The next time that voice starts whispering in your ear just tells it to shut up and keep going. Because you deserve to be there, you deserve to enjoy your life, and you deserve to be happy.

And anyone who tells you otherwise can go take a long walk off a short pier.

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