Not getting results can be hugely frustrating.
And if you've ever set yourself a big goal, a goal for which you alone are responsible, and not something that has been assigned to you by someone else, you might have experienced the frustration of not getting results.
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur or a creator of any kind, you know especially what I'm talking about.
You start your venture full of hopes, pumped with motivation until you hit a plateau pretty fast and see that it's not as easy as you thought it would be.
Now, don't get me wrong, not everything has to feel horrible and like you have to work yourself to death for ten years until you get any kind of results, but if you want to make progress and, at some point, getting the results you want, you need to follow a set of unwritten rules.
So, here are 14 reasons why you're not getting results and what to do about it.
Let's dive in, shall we?
1. You give up because you expect fast results
I'm all for getting fast results. Getting results fast is essential to get momentum and stay on course. In fact, lasting results happen through the small actions you take regularly and the small satisfying rewards you get along the way.
But if we're talking about big goals, it's a little bit more complicated than that.
Getting fast results depends on your current situation (emotionally, financially, socially, etc.), your level of experience, your skills and knowledge, and a whole bunch of other factors that come into place.
We all hear about those "overnight-successes" which can be inspiring (if it's true) but could mislead you into thinking that it's a standard.
Mostly people who became famous in their field "overnight" had several failed ventures before, hours and hours of work and dedication they put into something until something worked.
When you see what seems to be "fast results", what you don't see is the hidden part of the iceberg.
You don't see what they've done before, you don't know what their connections are, you don't know if they had money to get help and market themselves, you don't know their backgrounds, you don't know their starting point, and you don't know what they've tried before that failed until it clicked.
For example, if you have a big budget and you know a ton of people in your field, it's going to be way faster to get recognition and get paid for what you do, than if nobody knows who you are and you have 0 experience. But even here, it's not a guarantee. If your work isn't good enough, it's not going to work.
What to do about it
The take-away here is, that you stop thinking that getting results fast is the norm.
Once you've detached yourself from that expectation, things are going to feel way smoother than before.
Ironically, the moment where you stop setting yourself under pressure (the wrong kind of pressure - the comparison pressure) you're going to get results faster because you'll have taken away your attention from an expectation that is blocking you.
2. You seek immediate gratification instead of enjoying the process
Okay, that's a big one.
If you're obsessed with a goal - which I totally get - you must also learn to stop seeking immediate gratification instead of enjoying the process.
This reason why you're not getting results is similar to the first one. It all has something to do with "false" expectations and impatience, but it also has to do with choosing the right path for you.
Now, truth be told, until you haven't tried something out, you won't know if it's the right path for you or not. But if you choose something for the wrong reasons, you're not going to last long or be unhappy as hell once you've reached your goal.
So, what do I mean by "wrong reasons"? Not that I think that there are truly right or wrong reasons universally, but there are right or wrong reasons for you.
To give you a concrete example, if you do something only for the money (and nothing wrong with wanting to earn money!!!) but you absolutely don't enjoy the process, it's going to be very hard to get you going. Yes, you might achieve what you've set yourself to, but the question is:
At what price?
If you set yourself a goal but hate the process, you're going to seek immediate gratification all the time.
Immediate gratification could be anything from eating junk food to spending your time talking about what extraordinary things you're going to do instead of doing them, reading and collecting information that makes you feel good instead of producing and creating, cleaning your apartment during the hours you planned to do deep work, changing your approach every 2 weeks looking for fast ways to reach your goal, instead of doing the work.
What to do about it
Remember that life is short, and you should choose for yourself something that resonates and makes you happy. Will you feel motivated every second of the day? Maybe not. But if you're satisfied up to 70-80 percent of the time with what you do and what you're aiming for, you're probably in a much better place than a majority of people.
3. You're not structured enough
If you're changing ideas and tactics every 2 weeks, and let everybody else hijack your plans you need to pay attention to what I'm going to tell you!
If you want to get anywhere, you need a minimum of organization and structure for your work. And, of course, everybody is different. And if you have a lot of creative juice, I get you! Having a lot of ideas can be overwhelming and it can also feel frustrating to let go of ideas in order to focus on a few things for a while.
That also means, letting go of advice you pick from other people, even experts. There are many ways to get things done, and you should make a decision which way you're going to use - at least for a while - to get you to where you want.
If you have 20 ideas per minute you need to channel your energy into a structured plan. I'm not saying you should go against your creative nature and micro-manage everything but a decent amount of structure and organization are not going to restrain you, there're going to give you freedom and release.
What to do about it
Start small. Start committing to one or two methods to progress towards your goal and leave yourself room for looking left and right, once you've done what you intended before you do anything else.
There isn't any lack of information on how to reach your goal, but you have to commit to something, at least for a while, until you can see if it works for you or not.
4. You don't do your homework
Expecting to master anything if you don't even take the time to learn your craft and know what's important to know isn't going to get you anywhere either.
The internet is a wonderful source of information. Your library or book shop at the corner also are. But if you pick up valuable advice and go pick up the next advice without following through or assimilating the first advice, don't expect to be successful.
Doing your homework, aka knowing and mastering the basics of your craft and what you are up to out there (for example if you're an entrepreneur) takes time in the beginning, but if you do it well, it's going to make you faster in the long run.
If you don't take the time to do your homework, you're going to run in circles and work through the same information over and over again, instead of getting results.
What to do about it
Practice mindfulness. If you're taking a course or reading a book or a blog post, take the time to assimilate what you've learned (if it's relevant and interesting) and put it into practice as fast as possible to solidify your knowledge and grow your skills, instead of picking the next shiny object.
Exceptions are when you're looking for specific information and don't need to read or watch everything.
But the point is here to learn how to do things well and with your full concentration. If you don't, you'll end up doing the same task at least twice or worse, running in circles for months or years, because you didn't take the time to assimilate the information and master your craft in the first place.
5. You're not consistent and committed
What will bring you success, in the long run, is consistency and commitment. Consistency in mastering your craft. Consistency in putting your work out there. Consistency in the goals you pursue. And it all comes down to commitment.
Yes, consistency isn't very attractive nor sexy. And if you're multi-passionate, you know what I'm talking about.
But frankly, if you aren't consistent, you can't wonder if nothing substantial happens.
Now, how can you be more consistent, even if you don't like this word?
What to do about it
So, let's make a reality check: If you've never run before, you wouldn't expect to be ready for a marathon overnight. So, it's the same with everything else, and consistency as well.
If you've never been consistent in your life, it's not going to happen overnight.
Instead, think of taking baby steps.
Instead of committing to an amount of work you know you can't possibly achieve, commit to your goal with a few hours per week. Even 2 hours, if you're not used to be consistent, will feel like huge progress.
In addition, you could limit your commitment in time, in order to acclimate. For example, work on one goal for 90 days (short enough to avoid freaking out about it, long enough to see results) and see what happens.
6. You're not focused
Focus is a skill you must acquire.
I don't care if you're creative, you like to "go with the flow", or you have ADHD, you must train this ability.
There are 2 levels of focus:
- While you're doing a task: Reading, writing, watching a course, listening to an audio training, drawing, preparing a proposal, making a business plan, etc.
- And wich tasks you're focusing on: The tasks that are going to move the needle the most in order to catapult you towards your goal.
If you have no focus, everything can distract you from your goal.
The dog barking, the mailman, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, TikTok, the last webinar or challenge that will give you "the solution", the last shiny object, advice (even if it's good!), someone else's agenda, you name it.
YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO STAY FOCUSED. Even if you weren't "born that way."
What to do about it
As I said above, once you've chosen what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, stick to it for 90 days.
Especially if you tend o be very susceptible to advice (good or bad), commit to follow through for 90 days for once in your life.
7. You expect someone else to solve your problem
When we're stuck in a situation we tend to seek answers outside of ourselves and to look for shortcuts.
Of course, you should get help or seek advice if it's necessary, but don't mistake getting help with getting shortcuts and not doing the work.
Shortcuts are great if they really are shortcuts, but be aware that: Nobody will solve your problem for you.
Yes, you can seek advice from experts, and even outsource a few things (if you can afford it) but in the end, nobody can solve your problems for you.
People can guide you, share their expertise, but you'll still have to find your answers, do the work, and solve your problems.
The sooner you accept that the faster you'll come forward, and the most you can get out of the services and products you buy from experts, as well as value great advice that's already at the tip of your fingers - and that includes the free stuff you can find on the internet.
What to do about it
The sooner you'll take responsibility for yourself and your results, the faster and happier you'll become.
Don't worry you are way more powerful than you think and you all have it in you.
8. You prefer making excuses and avoid taking action you're scared of
I get it.
We all find ourselves in the "excuses limbo" from time to time, but the thing is, if you focus too much on the reasons why something isn't achievable, you need to find out, what's behind it.
Most people stop themselves from doing something for two reasons:
- They are afraid
- They don't want it bad enough in the first place
Now, being afraid is totally normal. In fact, thinking that you should never be scared is expecting the wrong thing.
Of course, when you start developing a muscle, things that scared you once, won't be as scary after doing the thing you were afraid of a few times. But if you grow and make progress, you'll always come to a point that is scary for you. Being scared of something can be a sign that you should do exactly that thing.
Now, that's good news because, at least, you know you're on the right path.
But there is a fear that I think isn't good for you if you don't confront yourself with it, and that's the fear of finding out, you didn't want something in the first place.
Now, why is it worse? It could be liberating, couldn't it?
Liberating for sure, but if you have the tendency to make plans all the time and never follow through, it might be because you like to spend time in the realm of dreams, instead of confronting yourself with reality.
Become bulletproof and free yourself from limiting beliefs as an entrepreneur.
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Let me explain:
If you never take action towards a goal you set for yourself, you don't risk to find out, if it was the right thing in the first place, how your chances are, or how much work it's going to take.
You're never going to find out if you have what it takes (that can be trained by the way), and you'll never have to commit to anything.
Dreaming is essential! It's our nature as human beings to dream about a bright future and a necessity to get new ideas, being fueled and motivated, and therefore to come forward.
But real growth comes from confronting yourself with your limitations first.
Aka, having a good look in the mirror. But don't understand me wrong here. I'm not saying that you can't overcome your limitations. But if you want to, you have to confront yourself with them first.
Dreaming of writing a bestseller, if you never write and read (except in that case you should maybe ask yourself why you want it), isn't a problem, as long as you confront yourself with it, and do the necessary work to get better. Daydreaming and doing nothing about it for years becomes one.
What to do about it
Pick one small task that would move you towards your goal and do it within 48 hours.
The criteria here is to take something that is simple and short to accomplish (like a phone call) but scares you and will move the needle the most.
That way, you'll teach yourself to also do the things that scare you and get used to it, step by step.
9. You underestimate the work of others, overestimate yours, and don't pay attention to details
This one is going to hurt but going to do you well in the long run.
Again here, you might be not detail-oriented by nature but I want you to do a small reflection exercise to understand what I'm talking about.
I see too many people who judge the work of others very harshly but expect from others to be treated more kindly themselves when they put their work out there.
Let me explain what I mean by that:
If you expect excellence from the people you admire and follow, but wonder if your work isn't well-received after having done it "half-assed", you might want to change your perception.
I am all for putting "half-assed" work out there because it's better than doing nothing. For once, because it will keep momentum and also because the more you'll produce the better you'll get.
Perfectionism is a plague that makes many people suffer and prevent them from sharing their gifts and making money out of it.
That said, if you don't develop self-awareness and start paying attention to details (what separates mediocre from great work), you can't wonder if you don't get results "competing" with people who do.
What to do about it
Start paying attention to details and noticing what makes others so successful.
Making something looking simple and flawless so that you think "you could have done it" mostly stands on top of long hours of work and dedication; even with talent.
Otherwise, you'd have already done it, wouldn't you? 😉
10. You're not aware of how you spend your time
Time management problems aren't time-related, they are priority-related.
So, if you think you don't have time to do what you should do in order to reach your goals, then you don't know how to set priorities or your goal isn't a priority in the first place.
Even if you have kids, you can find the time to do things that are important to you. If you don't have a newborn at home that demands all your attention, and quite frankly, who keeps you awake at night (sleep deprivation isn't the best place to start something), you can carve some times for yourself to achieve tasks that will move the needle the most towards your goal.
I get every objection you might have: A demanding job, children, or any kind of other "obligations", but if you're really honest with yourself, you would find some time if you wanted to. Even it's absolutely not possible - in case you have a lot to do with your children right now - remember that it's a phase. You're not going to have toddlers at home for the rest of your life.
In most cases, having children or a demanding job is a choice. Nobody forces you to take a demanding job. You do it because you want it or because you want to keep a certain material standard in your life. Which is totally understandable. But again here, it's a question of priorities.
One very possible thing that keeps you from working on your goal, is that you're distracted by stuff that doesn't matter.
You prefer scrolling through Instagram or Facebook before doing the deep work. You spend 30 min texting back and forth to a friend. You spend too much time in your mailbox. Whatever the reason might be, I AM A 100% SURE that you're wasting time somewhere and you don't even notice or you totally underestimate it.
What to do about it
Do yourself a favor, and protocol what you do all day long (very briefly) at the end of the day for at least 3 days.
I promise you, if you think you don't have time, you'll be astonished about how you "waste" it.
Then, take a deep breath and give yourself a break. It's not about judging yourself, it's about finding solutions that will satisfy you and set you free in the long run. Of course, you're not a robot and you can't optimize (and understandably maybe don't want to) everything.
But listen to me when I say this: What might sound dull and like a constraint (using your time effectively), is going to give you freedom in the end.
If you're laser-focused, you might achieve within 4-6 hours what you would have normally done within 8 hours or more! So, it means more freedom in the end.
11. You overestimate or underestimate your goal
It's quite simple to understand.
If you overestimate what needs to be done, it will feel like if you had to climb Mount Everest and what you're going to do in the end is this: Nothing.
If you underestimate what needs to be done, you're going to be disappointed because it's not working fast enough, is costing you way more work than you expected, and in the end, you'll give up.
Okay, but "How to estimate the right amount of time and work for this?" you might rightfully ask.
The short answer is: You don't.
If you don't have the experience beforehand, you can't really know. Of course, you can orient yourself towards what experts advise but you don't know how much time you'll need to accomplish something yourself. You could need more time, especially if you're a beginner, but you could also need less time. Writing a book can take months or even years, but it also can be done in less than a month. It depends on the topic of your book, your experience, and the time you have to dedicate yourself to the task.
You'll have to figure it out along the way and reevaluate what you do regularly.
And let me remind you that we're talking about big goals here, not reaching a short- or mid-term goal, which can be, to a certain extent, planed.
What to do about it
You can do your research beforehand and try to think about everything that could be done, but as unsatisfying as it might sound, even if you're well prepared, you'll have to figure it out along the way and let go of your expectations regarding the goal.
To be more precise, you'll need to detach yourself from it and focus on the daily tasks towards it instead, otherwise, you're might be stopped by overwhelm or disappointment.
12. You lack flexibility
I know I told you to focus on your priorities before, but if you persist on doing the same thing for too long and you don't get any results, you might want to change your tactic. Of course, I get that it depends on what you've undertaken.
But in any case, changing your tactic, implies that you've tried consistently long enough, and also done the homework in order to give yourself the best possible chances to make it happen.
So, if you have a blog, for example, and you write one post after the other, and you wonder why you don't get any reaction, it might be because not enough people see it.
If you've followed what's going on online in the past few years, you might know, that getting traffic, isn't as easy as it was (not that it was that easy before!) a few years ago.
Organic traffic is more and more difficult to get and you need to be more and more strategical about it now, as you had to be, even 6 years ago. Or you need to plan a budget for ads. Or reach out to influencers. Or get on the nerve of all the people you know in order to get some feedback and support. Or all of the above.
It could also be because it's not good enough yet, or because people aren't interested in your topic. Or because it's way too niche. But in any case, if you see something isn't working after a long enough period (depending on your goal), you need to change something.
What to do about it
Don't be afraid of change. If you've tried something long enough and it's not working, it doesn't mean that you have to give up right away (except if you want to), but it certainly means that you need to change something.
If you've done everything that needs to be done (your homework) and stayed consistent for long enough, you might show some flexibility and change your tactic or seek help.
13. You hang out with and listen to the wrong people
I can't emphasize enough on this one: You need to be very strict about who you listen to, and who you hang out with.
See, discipline and willpower will get you so far. If you're constantly surrounded by negative people, people who don't believe that you can do it, or that it's possible, people who let their fears dictate their lives, and who criticize people who march to a different drummer, you're going to last for so long, and then you're going to give up.
Besides, you should also pay attention to who listen to - the influencers in your field - in order to keep momentum. There are people out there who are anti-motivators. They get you scared or pretend that if you don't listen to them or do what they do, you're going to fail. Even if it might come from the right place (wanting to help people), everybody is different. What will make you successful with something might look completely different from what makes someone else successful.
What to do about it
Try to avoid the nay-sayers as often as you can. If you can't avoid them because they're colleagues or whatever, make them understand that you're not the right person one can address complaints to. If the nay-sayers run in the family then you'll have to have a serious talk about it.
If they still don't want to understand, then you'll have to make a decision. Can you see them less? Do you want to see them at all? It's up to you because you're the one who's going to live with the consequences, but try to reduce the input or change the subject as often as you can.
The magic word is boundaries.
Generally, if you're upset about someone not respecting your boundaries it's because you haven't set them in the first place.
As for the people who influence you in your field. I'd advise sticking to what makes you think about things differently, energizes you, and help you make progress, not to what makes you feel depleted and guilty.
Also, different times need different leaders. You'll have times where you'll need to hear different messages. And hearing the wrong message too soon could also block you from making progress. Pay attention to that.
14. You don't believe in yourself or that it's going to work
And last, but certainly not least: You don't believe in yourself and you don't believe it's going to work.
This is actually probably the root cause of all your struggles.
You don't think you're capable of doing it, of following through, and of developing the necessary skills and discipline to make it happen.
Now, let me tell you something: You're wrong.
I don't know where you are, what your situation is, or what you want to achieve but in most cases, you can.
And if you can't you'll learn it!
Now, how can you believe in yourself or that it's going to work?
What to do about it
If you have very little faith in yourself and your options, feeling confident or having (almost) no doubts isn't going to happen overnight. It's going to be a lot of mindset work, trial and error, and taking action.
However, it doesn't have to take years either. In fact, the more you confront yourself with things that scare the sh*t out of you, the faster you'll gain confidence and believe in yourself.
Your takeaway is...
Don't expect to become a millionaire or the next Picasso overnight but don't expect not to either.
Overnight success - or let say very fast success - might happen, I don't want to argue against it. But it becomes problematic when it makes you think you're a loser or give up because it didn't work after 3-6 months.
I'm all for the path of least resistance and feeling ease while you do something but you'll still have to do something. And...
You can't expect extraordinary results if you do ordinary things.
It might be the quality of your work, or doing scary things that move the needle fast often enough, or ideally both, but it has to be something out of the ordinary, or at least, your ordinary.
If you want to learn how to clarify and master your emotions, release your blocks, find your courage and take action in your business, we can work 1:1 together. Click here to see what I can do for you.
Much love and courage,