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No matter what it is you’re trying to do in life, it’s pretty much a guarantee that it’ll take a ton of hard work, focus, and commitment. Nothing worth doing comes easy, and you’re going to have to be prepared to overcome any number of obstacles in your path as you pursue your goals and dreams. This is something that we’re all told pretty often, but it can still be frustrating and discouraging when we stumble and seem to lose progress. Sometimes it can feel like we’re not getting anywhere at all, and that can prevent us from moving forward. Not all obstacles are created equal, however, and there are some common pitfalls that you can learn to avoid as you’re pursuing your dreams. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make, and how you can avoid them yourself.

Don’t Expect Immediate Results

This is a really easy trap to fall into, especially when you’re first getting started. It’s natural to get caught up in the excitement of your goals and dreams and start expecting to see results right away. However, that’s a mistake, and it can actually make things more difficult for yourself. The truth is, nothing important happens overnight. Most of your goals are going to take a lot of time and effort to achieve, so if you set up expectations of fast results early on, it can be discouraging when those results fail to materialize. Instead, just settle in for the long haul and focus on each step you’re making along the way. Just because you haven’t achieved everything immediately doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen eventually!

Don’t Get Discouraged

This is probably the most important tip in this whole article, so pay close attention. Inevitably, you’re going to stumble at some point along your path. In fact, it’s going to happen more than once. You’re going to whiff on opportunities, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to let things slip by sometimes. That’s just how it is. The important thing is not to let those failures discourage you from your goals. Remember that everybody goes through the same thing, and just because you messed up this one thing doesn’t mean that everything else is ruined. There will be other opportunities, other chances for you to reach your goals, but only as long as you’re still out there actively trying. The only way to completely kill your chances of achieving your goals is to quit, any other misstep is nothing but a temporary setback.

Ignore Everyone Else

With the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever to find yourself comparing your life to the lives of your friends and co-workers. This is a trap! Getting caught up in what other people are doing is only going to distract and discourage you from continuing along the path that you’ve set for yourself. Remember, life isn’t a race! Just because someone else seems to be ahead of you, that doesn’t mean that you’re not right where you’re supposed to be. Everyone is at different points in their own personal journey, and the only person you can control is yourself. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the snapshots of people’s lives that you see on social media aren’t necessarily accurate! You’re only getting the good parts, and missing out on all the challenges that other people deal with every day. There’s always going to be somebody out there who’s ahead of you, so the best thing for you to do is just shut it all out and focus on your own path.

Avoid Procrastination

This is a good tip for your whole life, not just achieving your goals. You don’t have to rush or hurry, but you should make sure that you’re actually out there working every day and not just sitting back and letting your life go by. Even if something is hard, it’s always better to just go out and get it over with instead of just sitting there and putting it off. Procrastination can be deadly, and it’s a very easy trap to fall into. It’s alright to spend time relaxing or taking breaks, but time that’s been wasted can never be recovered. Try not to let too much of it pass you by.

Visualize Your Goals

It might seem a little silly, but visualization exercises are actually one of the best things that most people don’t know about. There are two main purposes behind visualization as a tool to help you achieve your goals. The first is that it helps you stay focused. This might sound obvious, but it’s important to stay in touch with what exactly it is that you want out of life. Focus on your goals, keep them at the forefront of your thoughts, and it’ll keep you focused and working towards the right things. The other big reason to try visualizing things is that it helps you keep your thoughts organized. If you’re visualizing and thinking through every step of your journey, it allows your brain to work through some of the issues and obstacles in your path. Think of it as a kind of simulation. By working things over and over in your head, you’re actually figuring out the kinks.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help

When you’re focused on achieving your goals, the main voice that you should be listening to is your own. But sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you need a little help, and that’s perfectly normal. When you’re struggling, try seeking out someone whose thoughts you put a lot of stock in. That can be a parent, friend, family member, teacher, or you could even find some effective motivational speakers to listen to. Remember that you don’t have to do it alone, and even the greats had a ton of help along the way.

Achieving something great is always going to be a long, arduous process, and it’s definitely not going to be easy. But with these tips in your back pocket, you have all the tools you need to succeed.


  • Michelle has a masters in human psychology and a diploma in biology. She is actively involved in writing about the health and lifestyle issues faced by people. She has been helping people in building a healthier lifestyle and has been working with non-profit organizations for almost a decade.