17 Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

Ever wondered why some people fail to meet their goals and objectives they’ve perfectly planned out for themselves? Here’s 17 reasons that could

make people not be able to reach their planned out goals in life.

17 Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

According to Winston Churchill, “ Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” But if you have the courage and still take the same steps you’ve always been taking, you’ll keep arriving at the same results that you’ve always been, failure!

So, why not retrace your steps, look back and check to see where you’re not getting it right? If not, these are the 17 reasons why people fail to reach their goals.

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17. They are not specific

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

Most people suffer this problem of not being sure, specific about what they want to achieve. Not being specific or having a specific goal you want to reach is one of the reasons people fail. You hear people talk about vague wishes like they want to be happy or rich and successful when they are asked what they want to achieve in their lives.

That’s is good, to be rich, happy and successful is not a bad idea, but how will you do that? What people fail to see is that vague goals will produce vague results, and it will surely affect your strategy.

So, if you do not have a specific goal or goals, you cannot create the ideal plan to reach them. Therefore, always try to ensure that your goals are as specific as possible first.

16. They Have Doubts

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

Doubt destroys the goals before you can even begin with them. A lot of People struggle with the belief that they have the ability to achieve their goals, they set a goal and the first thing they consider are all the things that could wrong, rather than clinging on all the ones that could go right. You hear them saying “What if’s”…What if I fail? What if it goes south and I can’t bounce back?… When you doubt yourself on your goals before you even try, you will never be able to maximize your full potential to reach for what you want.

Look at this way, if you sell a product, but you are a skeptic that your product can’t perform, will you go all out to promote or advertise it? Certainly not! Think about it, if Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, etc., never believed in their products or services, they would never have pushed to see it through and guess what? We wouldn’t be having the likes of Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, etc..as we have them today.

So, you have to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

15. They are not working for it

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals


This very reason is most common in a lot of people who end up failing to reach their goals. You hear talk about big dreams, talking about how they are going to be rich, be famous one day, change the world, they talk about achieving their goals but are not doing anything about it. This is where procrastination is absolute.

They continue to see a future tomorrow that they are not working for today! What you must understand is that results don’t come without action, because only actions produce results. Watching motivational shows on tv’s and reading motivational quotes will fetch nothing if you don’t get up, get out, and get something! Decide today, to take one action to move forward, no matter how small.

14. Their goals are not motivating

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

Ask yourself this question, do your goals motivate you to want to achieve them? Are you excited about what you have set out to achieve? This is one important aspect of succeeding most people don’t pay much attention to, and in the end, they fail. According to Tony Robbins who once said, “People are not lazy.

They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” If your goals aren’t inspiring to you, you will sometimes find it difficult to take action or work on them. To make sure your goals are motivating or inspiring to you, you need to associate it with some strong and emotional reason why you need to achieve them. That reason thus becomes the driving force that fuels your motivation.

13. Lack of Commitment

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

One thing is to be motivated, be inspired about something, another is to commit your all to make it work. Lack of commitment is what kills the dream of most people, but for successful people, they are 100% committed towards their dreams and their goals. You must be ready to do whatever it takes to reach your dream.

The difference between a successful person and someone who is not is that the successful person is always ready to do what must be done, even when they have every excuse not to, but the unsuccessful person will do what is convenient at their own time. Because most people feel they are alright and don’t feel anything when they fail to reach their goals, they are like “Well, that didn’t go as planned” and just move on, this is why most people fail to reach their goals.

So, in other to beat your limitations, you have to raise the bar so that reaching your goals becomes your ultimate priority. Because, if you make something a ‘Must’, you will do whatever it takes to reach it.

12. Lack of Focus

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

See, let me tell you something about being focused! You can come up with a lot of dreams, ideas, plans, and strategies, but if you don’t identify which is the most important and focus on building that one first, you will just have a lot of work on your hand and end up achieving none.

You’ll struggle with success if you choose to become ‘Jack of all trades’, because even he, was a master of none. It is always best to have one completed goal rather than a hundred failed ones. Mastering your craft is one of the remarkable traits of successful people, and it helps them produce remarkable results.

Thus, identify your most important result-yielding goals and focus on achieving it first, before moving to another.

11. Unfavourable Environmental Influences During Childhood

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

There’s this old belief that a person’s environment plays a huge part in determining a person’s future. Family background, poor parenting, rough neighborhoods, corrupt society, and other vices, etc. These factors may seem as though they can only affect a person when he/she, but will not if the person relocates. True! But most times, psychological trauma sticks in the mind of most people whose environment may have had an integral part of their growth.

You may hear this before “You can take the boy out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the boy”. What this means is that most people fail due to the environment they grew up in. Although negative environmental factors do not entirely affect everyone, it does let these circumstances dictate their future. It’s not a death sentence, because something can be done about it.

10. Procrastination

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

Procrastination is a major dream killer. “I will do it tomorrow” “Maybe I’ll start next week, let me just take this time out to observe” so says the man that never got anything done. Procrastination is very deadly because it makes a person believe that they can still do something about nothing, while they waste the little time that they have.

Everybody has a dream, but I’ve come to realize is that most people rather than few always find a reason to procrastinate rather than take action. They prefer to wait for when they’re “Ready” or the “Perfect Time”.

There is no perfect time, or time to get ready, the world is a jungle, you should always be ready, always be prepared for any opportunity because of you’re not, even if an opportunity comes knocking at your door you may not be able to see it! Stop Procrastinating!! Time goes by, but they’ve gone nowhere.

9. Negative Personality

Reasons Why People Fail to Reach Their Goals

A negative mind will reveal itself through a negative attitude. People who always seem to complain about things but never try to change them! When you always think of the negative things, it will do nothing other than bringing you a negative life.

Here’s another disadvantage of a negative personality, it doesn’t just fail, it will make you lazy, which will make you find a reason not to do anything about your failure. One should always try to change their mindset from negative to positive at all times.

Try to see the advantage in every disadvantage. Because a negative personality will lead you straight into quick failure if you don’t convince yourself otherwise.

8. They don’t plan

As pointed out earlier, one of the reasons people fail is because they are not specific about what they want. But what if you know what you want, what next? Do you just sit back and wait for it to come to you? Even if you go out to get what you want, would you do that without planning on how to go about it? Certainly not.

But most people fail to do so and continue with vague intentions. Mind you, vague intentions are always open to interpretation. A lot of people just like to dwell in the success of their dreams without being mindful of their reality and planning rightly to achieve that dream. An improvised living will deliver unexpected results. But, when you plan, you have a better chance to succeed in anything you set your mind to.

It increases your chances of success but also increases your chances of failure when you fail to. Remember, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, and that sums it up right!

7. Fear

‘Fear kills faster than death itself’ so they say. Fear must be cold because it freezes people, that is true! But is fear? Fear is simply a strong uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion that is caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.

Deers are famous for freezing right before a car hits them, that is fear killing them before the car did. Freezing in tough and challenging situations isn’t a smart strategy in life. People who fear challenge and find an excuse not to try are always the first to fail.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. Face your fears, head on and you’ll find success right behind them. Because, overcoming fear is a success in itself, and it opens doors to more. Always remember to confront your fears, because “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

6. They give too many excuses

Excuses are next to procrastination. People complain about everything when they are convinced they can’t do them. You hear people say the economy is bad, things are tough, or the competition is too high that’s because all they see are excuses not to do anything.

Yes, the economy is bad, and things are tough, the competition is high, so what about it? You can’t change everything or solve all the problems in the world, but what you can do is to accept what is, and then come up with a better strategy to cope with it. Excuses only give room for more excuses, thus limiting you from moving forward. Unsuccessful People fail because they make excuses for why they are incapable of handling their responsibilities and challenges.

Always remember that successful people work hard and keep moving forward, while unsuccessful people always look for excuses or something to blame for their failures.

5. They don’t know how to handle failure

Have you ever been excited about something from the start and midway it crashes or goes bad, maybe a business or a car, or a new job? How you handle it shows a lot about your emotional strength, and that is really important if you must succeed in anything in life.

Too often when people fail in their job, their business, or even when they fail to win a video game match up, they let their emotions drain them of their self worth and ability to bounce back. They become so weak, they feel no need to try anymore. When they try business and see no result, they don’t hesitate to change and venture into a new one, switching business from one to another because they don’t know how to handle their failures.

They lack the determination to go on. The same goes for goals. Many people will change their goals, their plan when they face difficulties or are not getting any result, so they give up and go on to chase the next big thing. People need to understand that failure is not the end of success but are feedbacks, lessons to show you the right path to success.

4. They Listen to the Naysayers

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More often than not, people on the verge of breakthroughs always receive the biggest of criticisms. They are told of how much their chances of failures are rather than show how much they can succeed.

Most people fail not because they can’t do what have in mind, the dream they have, or the goals they’ve set up, but because they pay much attention to those who discourage them than they pay to themselves. People will always have something negative to say about a person’s idea, creativity, or opinion.

If you continue to allow their opinion to dictate your actions, you will end up giving up without even trying. Avoid the naysayers, you want to know why? Because they will always have something negative to say. You don’t need all those negative vibes around you else you will fail.

3. Failures Surround themselves with Failures

They say you become what you mix yourself around with most of the time. An old adage says “You are the average of the fifth person you spend your time with” and that is so true. If you mingle a lot with people who have no dreams, no ambitions or intent or whatsoever, you will eventually throw away your dreams and your goals just to try and fit in where you are meant to stand out.

When you fail to meet your goals, you don’t feel any different because you keep telling yourself “it’s alright, everyone is the same”. On the other hand, if you always fix yourself in the midst of other successful people who always engage in positive conversations, talking about their dreams and goals, you find yourself becoming inspired by their talk and in no time you realize you are on your way to becoming like them.

This is why you have to be very careful who you chose to invest your time in. If you want to fly like the eagle, stop messing around with ducks. If you want to want to develop your skills in tennis, play with those better than you. I remember one time, this friend of mine would always come to my house so we could play FIFA together and I’ll always beat him.

So, he went and start playing with my brother, who is better than me at FIFA, when am not around. And in no time, when he comes to play with me again, I began to experience difficulty beating him like I used to easily.

2. They focus on the result instead of the progress

Focus is essentially vital for anyone to succeed in anything. But sometimes, people get lost in their focus, and they concentrate on the results rather than the process. It is a very common mistake people make when it comes to achieving their goals.

A blogger who sets up a goal to get a thousand subscribers at the end of the first month will feel like a failure when he did not hit the target by the end of the month. But, what should be more important is the progress he may have made thus far, maybe he got 800, or 500. That’s something and should count. Success just doesn’t fall from the sky or becomes attained because you structured your plan well enough for it.

This is why most people fail. They feel because their achievement didn’t meet their set-out goal, they are a failure. TWhat actually will make anyone achieve their goal is the progress and not the result, because, without the progress, there will be no result.

1. They Give up Way Too Soon

Let me guess, everyone’s favorite motivational quote right? Don’t give up! But how many are actually doing it? I mean, not giving up. So many people have failed today, in their business, their jobs, their families, even in life because they gave up too soon. Sometimes it’s good to give up, but not after trying. And even if you try and still fail, try again! Because you never can tell when, or how your breakthrough will come.

Like Michael Jordan said “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” People just chose to give up on their goals and dreams of finding ways and improving their strategies to get what they want.

Remember, failures give up and then complain, transferring the blame for their failures to someone or something else rather than accepting the responsibility. But successful people always try again, and again, and again till they finally get it right. And they don’t stop their, at it “Right”, they still continue to improve and develop themselves despite achieving their goals and dream.

Reaching your goals, living your dreams and achieve success in life are not something easy. It takes a lot of hard work and you must be willing to go through the hard times without giving up.

Finally, I leave you with this popular but mind-opening quote from Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Do not stop because you failed, or are failing, continue to try and be better because every day gives you a new opportunity to be better than you were yesterday.

Leave us a comment in the comment section if you have encountered or still encountering any of the above list reasons why people fail. And if you like what you just read, please don’t forget to share this article with friends and family.

About the author

David Samuel

David Samuel is the Senior Writer for Porumba. He is a writer, Economist and loves research.

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