Recently, I posted the following question on Facebook: “What holds you back from achieving your goals?”

Although I wasn’t surprised by the initial responses, I would like to share them with you as I believe there are lessons to be learned when we consider what keeps us from achieving the things we really want in life and business.

Response 1: “Other people’s negative energy… I try to not let it get to me but sometimes certain people have powerful effects on one’s life and choices.”

The people who surround us can have as much of an impact on our lives as we allow them to have – for better or for worse. Often it’s the people closest to us that hurt us the most. If someone close to you is holding you back from achieving your goals, it could be that they are jealous of what you are about to achieve. Achieve it anyway. Consider having a conversation with them to let them know that their negative energy is pulling you down. Express how important they are in your life, and that you need them to lift you up, not tear you down.

Response 2: “My own excuses. I can’t blame anyone for what I fail to prioritize…”

This one probably hits home for most of us. Often I can’t truly lay the blame on anyone but myself. The key to fighting your own lack of priorities is to have a deep understanding of WHY you want what you want. This begins with a clear Vision and a Life Plan. When the understanding of “why” is strong, the motivation to achieve is great.

Response 3: “Personal, and then again, myself.”

This one was intriguing because I know this person has battled a physical illness that, at times, makes everything in life a challenge. We all struggle with forces beyond our control – physical limitations, environment, the economy, the weather, etc. The reality is that we still must look at ourselves and how we respond to outside forces. Often, it is those very challenges that pave the avenue to success.

Response 4: “The world.”

This one wins the prize for the biggest reason described in the fewest words. We have all experienced the weight of the world at some point in our lives. Everyday life can distract us from a destiny of greatness. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day we are bombarded with something. I’ve seen a lot of bumper stickers with some variation of this statement… but the truth is Life Happens!

It is important that we set our sight toward the direction of our goals. You may have heard it said that, “It’s not the direction of the wind, but the set of you sails, that determine your course.” Let’s be victors, not victims. We must be the ones to take charge of our own lives, and sail on.

So, what holds you back now from achieving your goals?