Slay Those Goals! 7 Biggest Obstacles Holding You Back and How To Overcome Them

With all this talk about resolutions and goals for 2018, I think it’s a good time to reflect on goal setting, and what holds us back from achieving our goals most often. Some days I feel like a total boss, achieving everything I desire and aspire to be for the day. Other days, I sink into oblivion where my creative niche runs circles above my head, stuck in the fog of indecision and nothing fruitful comes of it. Nevertheless, I’ve narrowed the list down to 7 of the biggest obstacles that get in the way of achieving goals. In this article, I’ll offer some solid advice for overcoming these obstacles.

Without further ado, let’s discuss 7 of the biggest obstacles that are holding you back from achieving your goals or dreams.

    1.   The Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is a familiar place. It’s your safe place. It’s a place where you’re confident just enough to achieve your minimum, but nothing more. We didn’t go through the hell of detox and sobriety to spend our lives barely scraping by did we? The comfort zone is welcoming, but not satisfying. We’re sober, not boring. We still are adrenaline seeking beings.  If you’re anything like me, the thrill of pushing myself past my comfort zone is enough to help me take that first step out of it. Once you’ve taken that first step and you’re uncomfortable, the fear and anxiety may kick in.

    2.   Fear and Anxiety

Fear sucks. I’d really like to punch it in it’s stupid face most days. Fear will always hold you back from what you are pursuing. Whether it’s a career goal, a financial goal, a fitness goal, it doesn’t matter. Fear is capable of robbing us of our dreams. Taking an honest inventory of your fears, listing realistic vs. non realistic fears, then coming up with a solution for each helps tremendously.


Anxiety on the other hand, is another beast. A lot of addicts and alcoholics struggle with Co-Occuring Disorders, for more on Co-Occuring Disorders, see The Baggage of Co-Occuring Disorders here. Something else that holds me back personally, is social anxiety. Chronic fear of public situations and “stranger danger” often keeps my feet stuck in the cement. For more on how I’m overcoming that fear, see Social Anxiety: How Do I Stop Being A Damn Ostrich?.

    3.   Impulsive and Obsessive Tendencies

Those of us in recovery struggle with the “addict personality.” This personality includes obsessive thinking. While using, the substance is the obsession. Take that away and it doesn’t automatically resolve the obsessive thinking pattern. Often times, the obsession is just projected in another manner. If you find yourself unable to take action because something else has completely consumed your mind, or maybe even a meticulous detail of the goal has consumed your mind, you are most likely stuck in a obsessive thought pattern. Obsessive tendencies require the help of a professional. Often times they are linked to mood disorder, major depressive disorder, etc.

The “addict personality” also includes impulsive tendencies. It’s often these impulsions that get us addicted in the first place. I admit it. I’m a completely compulsive person by nature. I made a lot of destructive decisions based on what felt good at the time. If you tend to leap before you look, you might struggle with impulse control. For more help with impulsive behavior, check an article I wrote, Which Came First, the Alcoholism or the Impulsive Behavior? here.


    4.   Overcommittments 

Whoever has seen the movie “Bad Moms”, understands the problem with modern parenting and overcommitting ourselves. As a parent, I have taken a hard stance on how many activities my kids are allowed to participate in at once, and how much time I dedicate to things outside the home. Family life balance is essential in achieving your goals. Other ways we overcommit ourselves is through our codependent nature, our inability to say no often times leaves little room for ourselves. Keeping an eye on our codependent tendencies will help. Trust me.

    5.   Passion 

Often times, our biggest problem is our lack of passion. Do your goals align with your passions? Your gifts, talents, and abilities already exist. The key is finding them and aligning them with your passion. If you’re not passionate about your goal, chances are, you won’t use your strengths to achieve it, and the goal either slowly or quickly fade away.

    6.   Confidence

Per Google, Confidence is “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something, a firm trust.” I don’t know about you, but when I began recovery, trust was a foreign word in my emotional dictionary. I didn’t trust myself, and I certainly didn’t trust others. Believing in yourself is a process. It takes time. What holds us back from achieving the life we desire, is often times our own lack of self-confidence.


Every person in recovery is a complete bad ass capable of doing what they desire. This is evidenced by the tremendous amount of courage it takes to change yourself. Own it!

7.   Unity in Your Support System

Unity can hold you back from achieving your goals and dreams. I know it’s been paralyzing for me before too. Often times, our support systems are not exactly on the same page when it comes to change. The key here is to remember that this isn’t always personal. It’s because if the goal directly affects them, then they have to overcome all these obstacles to your change. Sometimes it is personal. Sometimes our support systems have seen us fail and watched us go through devastating circumstances as a result. The secret to getting a support system on board with your goal or dream is to communicate. Good, healthy, solid communication will help unite you in achieving what you set out to achieve. Together we are better!


I’ve listed 7 of the biggest obstacles that hold you back from achieving your goals. With any luck, they resonated with you and you will find yourself slaying those goals this year as a result. Want to share your goals or have an obstacle I didn’t list you’d like to work through? Comment below and I’d love to chat!

Stay sober my friends!




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