Why Some People Give Up on Their Goals

Updated on January 7, 2018
Craypoe profile image

Bob Craypoe (also known as R. L. Crepeau) is a musician, writer, webmaster, 3D artist, and creator of the Punksters comic strip series.

I am sure that most people know someone who has said that he or she was going to do something big with their lives but didn’t. They always talk about these big goals that they have that they never reach. And they never reach those goals because they simply give up on pursuing them. I know I’ve met my share of those sort of people. The people who give up on their goals.

So why do some people give up on their goals? I can give you a few reasons why. Understanding that may cause some of you people who have goals of your own to see where the various pitfalls are. Hopefully, with that knowledge, you may be able to make the necessary corrections in your life so that you won’t be among those who have given up.

Their Goals Are Constantly Changing

No goal is reachable if you don’t try long enough. Some people will change their goals more often than they change their socks. That’s usually because they really don’t know what they want out of life. So they may go through various phases where they have one goal and then something that seems more appealing or more interesting will come along and that will be their new goal.

The first thing you need to do is do some serious self-analysis as to what you think your purpose in life is or what it should be. I look at it from the perspective that we all have certain gifts or talents that we are born with. A certain natural ability to do certain things. I think our purpose in life is to use those various talents and abilities that come natural to us. That is your calling.

Part of that self-analysis is assessing what your talents and abilities are and how you may use them to pursue success in life. Then once you discover what those things are, you need to develop them. But it all, at first, comes down to analyzing yourself in a detailed and honest way.

They Are Easily Discouraged

Some people give up because they are easily discouraged. They may hit a couple of bumps in the road and just decide to immediately quit. Some may be discouraged by people. There are so many people out there that are negative and they will tell you to just give up and do what everybody else is doing. Just go to that nine to five job, put in your day and go home and relax for the evening. After all, most people think that is just the normal thing to do.

In reality, some of the most happy people in the world are those who had various dreams and goals and pursued them until they attained their goals. They didn’t allow the negativity of others to rub off on them. When other people tell them that they are wasting their time, they don’t listen. Sure, maybe some people will give you some helpful advice and that should be considered. But there are some people who may be your friends that secretly would prefer to see you give up on your dreams simply because they don’t want to see you do better than them. It’s a jealousy thing. However, a true friend should be happy for you if you are successful, not jealous.

They Don’t Know What They Are Doing

There are certain goals people pursue that they probably should know more about. If you want to pursue starting your own business in a certain industry, you need to be knowledgeable in that area. Look, a brain surgeon just doesn’t say one day that he wants to work on people’s brains. He goes to college and gets educated in medicine. It takes years to become a qualified doctor. Even more to become a specialist. You have to know what you are doing.

So even if you may have a certain gift or natural ability, you still have to develop it and that usually involves the acquisition of knowledge. It requires some studying, reading, practicing and so forth. You have to know what you are doing. There is no getting around that.

They Lack Focus

Some people seriously lack the focus they need to reach goals. Short attention spans are a serious detriment to someone who says that they want to pursue a specific goal. You have to have focus and you have to stay focused. This means that you have to watch yourself closely to ensure that you are still on track.

It’s good, every now and then, to stop and assess where you are at in your pursuit of your goals. You may want to assess as to whether or not you have remained focused. It’s okay if you deviate from the plan every now and then, as long as you catch it and make the necessary corrections in order to get back on track. Hey, everyone gets lost every now and then and everyone loses focus now and then. You just have to recognize it when you do lose focus and then make the effort to get back on track.

They Are Impatient

We live in an age where almost everything is instant. We go through a drive-through to get a meal if we don’t feel like making one at home. If we do make a meal at home, we may want to use the microwave because it is quicker than a conventional oven. Yet some people will still think that those things don’t happen fast enough. Well, the same is true regarding our goals. One thing that often discourages people is that things don’t seem to move fast enough for their liking.

Pursuing goals takes a certain amount of determination. You fall down, you get up, you fall down and you get up again. There are going to be disappointments and setbacks in life. But, like the old saying goes, it’s not about how many times you fall down, it’s about how many times you get back up. But getting back up and trying again requires that you spend more time pursuing your goals. And, in reality, some people just don’t want to put in the time.

They are Lazy

Now, it is a cliche that people don’t manage to do much with their lives because they are lazy or lack ambition. Personally, I think it is more likely as a result of other things rather than laziness. However, there are some people who really are lazy. I’ve met them in my life. Many lazy people don’t really even have goals. I guess they are the most severe cases. Others my have goals but in reality they are just all talk when it comes down to actually pursuing them. They are simply too lazy to want to make the effort.

Laziness is hard to defeat. It is really hard to take a lazy person and do a whole hell of a lot with them. It really comes down to being able to motivate them into action. However, the best form of motivation is self-motivation just as the greatest form of discipline is self-discipline. It all has to come from within, and if it doesn’t, then there is not much you can do to help that person. In fact, that type of person often expects too much help from others in the pursuit of their goals. If they even have goals.

Fear of Leaving Their Comfort Zone

Now that I’ve discussed laziness and how I don’t think it is the most common reason for people giving up on their goals, I want to mention what I think really is the most common reason people quit. I call it fear of leaving their comfort zone. We all have a comfort zone. In order to grow as people or to advance in life, we often have to leave that comfort zone. That means that we occasionally have to try something new that we may not feel comfortable doing at first.

I also believe that fear of leaving one’s comfort zone is probably the most common reason self-help books don’t work for a lot of people. You see, most of the suggestions offered in self-help books involve some form of leaving your comfort zone and, in the end, people are so overcome by that fear that they really don’t do what is suggested in the books. They will only do what they are comfortable with and then pass on the rest.

When outlining your goals, you should really look at those things that you will need to do that involve leaving your comfort zone. When you itemize the various things you need to do in some form of a list, you will notice that there are some things you will feel more comfortable doing than others. Some people will often try to do some sort of work-around regarding the things they dread. In the end, they will often come to realize that there is really not too many work-arounds for a lot of things and that there is no substitute for actually doing them.

Sometimes, whenever possible, it’s best to do the things that force you to leave your comfort zone first. Then everything else is a breeze by comparison. Or if there is a specific order that things must be done in, just knock those things out, one after the other, until they are all done. Just psych yourself up to go down that big to-do list, knocking each task out, regardless as to whether or not they involve leaving your comfort zone.

The thing is that there are usually a good number of things that will force you to leave your comfort zone when pursuing your various goals. If everything was easy for everybody, then everyone would be a millionaire.

Fear of Failure

Some people handle failure better than others. However, successful people seem to handle it better than most. We often are able to learn from our failures and we could apply what we learn from them in ways that will enable future success. I can honestly attest to the fact that a good number of my failures taught me lessons that enabled later successes. Sure, I was disappointed by those failures but now that I look back at them, I think the lessons learned were worth the disappointments.

I am not saying that anyone should go into a situation blind. Of course you would want to do everything you could in order to avoid failure. Definitely prepare yourself for whatever venture you want to undertake. Learn what you need to learn, consult with others if need be and do whatever prep work you need to do in order to minimize the likelihood of failure. Besides, it’s not always the things we foresee that cause us to failure. Many times it is the things we didn’t foresee that gets us in the end. you reduce the likelihood of that just by learning more and going into the situation well informed.

If you are someone who constantly fails for one reason or another, seriously analyze each and every one of those failures. There may be some habits that you may need to break. I have found that one of the main reasons some people don’t make any real progress in life is simply because they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I think everyone is guilty of that to some extent. It’s just that some people are more guilty of that than others.

That’s It

I am sure that there are plenty more reasons for people giving up on their goals. I just thought I’d outline a few in this article. I believe that a person having clearly defined goals is much more likely to actually take the various courses of action needed to advance things along. All they have to do is stick to those goals and not give up.

© 2018 Bob Craypoe


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    • John Wolfgang profile image

      John Wolfgang 

      2 years ago from Europe

      Great article that gives an excellent insight into the mind of so many. Small steps produce big results.


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