Goal Achievement: Understanding Self-Doubt and Fear

Did you know that not believing in ourselves and fearing success or failure can be obstacles to achieving our goals? It’s true that sometimes we can be our own worst enemies in blocking ourselves from getting the things we truly want. We let self-doubt and fear stand between us and our dreams.

In this blog, we will discuss how to overcome the lack of self-belief and fear of success or failure.

Believing in your own abilities is an enormous challenge. Especially with setting and achieving goals.

Think about it; if you truly believed you could reach your goal, you would have already achieved it! (Well, unless your goal is something completely new, but most of the time, we set the same goals repeatedly before we actually succeed.)

Lack of Self-Belief

How do you know if you lack self-belief? The key sign is that you hesitate to take risks. You hold back from doing things you really want to do, or you keep putting off the steps to reach your goals.

To achieve any goal, you first need to believe in yourself. It’s more than just hoping or wishing; it’s having a strong and unwavering belief in your ability to overcome challenges, stay committed, and do whatever it takes to succeed.

But how do you develop this belief?

Well, most of us aren’t born with unshakable confidence; we have to build it. Ironically, the best way to build self-belief is to TAKE ACTION. The more you do something, the more confident you become in it, right?

It’s like anything else in life. Remember the first time you drove a car? You were probably nervous. Or that first speech you gave, standing there with sweaty palms?

It’s a natural response when our minds sense a potential threat. But if you keep pushing through that fear, it eventually fades away. Why? Because you condition yourself to realize that there’s truly nothing to be afraid of.


You may find it helpful to recite some powerful affirmations like these:

  • “I’ll never know for sure if I can do this until I try.”
  • “I’m willing to believe that I can handle this challenge.”
  • “I’m nervous, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
  • “I grow in confidence with every step I take!”
  • “With enough practice, everything becomes easy.”

Another helpful practice is to take a few minutes each day to think about past achievements. Recall activities that once made you nervous, but you’ve now mastered. Relive those old fears and feel proud of your ability to conquer them. Remind yourself that you can do the same with your current goals.

Ask Yourself

  • Do I believe I can achieve these goals? If not, what aspects of myself do I doubt?
  • What are the reasons or experiences that have led to my lack of self-belief in achieving these goals?
  • How have my doubts about myself and my abilities hindered my progress toward achieving these goals in the past?
  • What evidence do I have to challenge these self-doubts and show that I can achieve success?
  • Do I need to learn anything specific to feel more confident about reaching these goals?
  • What challenges might come up while achieving these goals, and how can I be ready for them?
  • How do I stop self-doubt from taking over?
  • How do I turn failures into learning opportunities?

Obstacle #4 Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is a big reason many people feel stuck in life. They set ambitious goals but end up procrastinating and holding themselves back. Sometimes, this fear isn’t obvious, as our minds can trick us in convincing ways!

Believing in your own abilities is an enormous challenge. Especially with setting and achieving goals.

Mind Tricks

Let’s say you want to get in shape to hike the Inca Trail (been there, done that). At first, you’re doing great, sticking to your workouts and healthy eating. But suddenly, you face tempting situations. You skip a few workouts and then eat a few unhealthy meals. You wonder why you did that and get frustrated because it interferes with your travel plan.

But if you dig deep and examine what’s really happening, you’ll likely discover hidden fears.
The key is to recognize these fears and face them head-on.


Achieving goals isn’t a onetime deal and sometimes it’s not always success or failure. The only real failure is giving up entirely!

If you slip up on your hiking plan, it doesn’t automatically mean failure. You get to decide if you’ve failed or not. Instead of rigidly defining success and failure, take things one step at a time. Approach each day and each moment with positive choices, and celebrate the progress you make.

Ask Yourself

  • Is my fear of failure keeping me from going after what I really want?
  • What are the underlying reasons for my fear of failure?
  • How have these reasons influenced my past decisions and actions?
  • What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t achieve these goals, and how likely is it?
  • When I experienced failure in the past, how did I handle it? What can I learn from those experiences?
  • Am I setting realistic expectations for myself and my journey towards achieving these goals?
  • How can I adjust my expectations to ease my fear of failure?
  • What support systems and resources do I have in place to help me cope with potential failures and setbacks?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Embrace the journey, and as long as you keep trying, you’re not failing. Keep making those positive choices, and you’ll enjoy the progress along the way. Fear of failure can’t hold you back when you believe in yourself and take things one step at a time!

Obstacle #5 Fear of Success

Did you know that there’s another fear called the “fear of success”? It might sound strange because it’s the opposite of the fear of failure, but they’re actually quite similar. Both fears share one common belief: that you won’t be able to handle what happens after reaching your goal.


For instance, imagine you set a fitness goal to run a marathon. You train diligently, and you’re making progress. But deep down, you might fear what will happen if you actually run the marathon.

Achieving success as a marathon runner could mean more training and fitness upkeep. Maybe you fear the pressure of performing well in future races. Or perhaps you worry that your friends and family will expect you to take part in every race and make running your entire life. These fears are all about what happens after achieving your fitness goal. But the good news is, you can overcome this fear by preparing yourself mentally.


Take some time to identify your specific fears and come up with coping strategies for each.

For example:

Fear: If I become a successful marathon runner, I’ll have to commit too much time to training and might lose balance in other areas of my life.

Strategy: I will make a practical training schedule and set boundaries to balance my fitness goals with other important things in life.

Fear: People will expect me to take part in every race once they know I’m a marathon runner.
Strategy: I’ll communicate my boundaries and clarify that while I enjoy running, I won’t be able to take part in every event, and that’s okay.

Ask Yourself

  • What are the reasons behind my fear of success?
  • What am I afraid might happen if I succeed?
  • Has my fear of success stopped me from going all-in on these goals?
  • Do I stress about success attracting unwanted attention or pressure from others?
  • How can I cope with these expectations?
  • How do I stop those negative thoughts when I think about reaching my goals?

You’ll feel more confident in achieving your goals with coping strategies that address your fears. And remember, many of the things you fear might not even happen! So stay positive, enjoy your fitness journey, and embrace the progress you make along the way.

Last Words on Self-Doubt and Fear

In conclusion, achieving our goals is an empowering journey filled with obstacles like self-doubt, fear of success, and fear of failure. However, by recognizing and addressing these challenges head-on, we unlock the potential for tremendous growth and transformation.

Remember, success is not a destination, but a continuous process of self-discovery and progress. Embrace the lessons learned along the way and celebrate every step forward, no matter how small.

Take Care


Feature Image by Adrian from Pixabay.


Obstacles to Goal Achievement

Missed any segments series? You can catch up here:


Obstacles #1 & #2

Obstacles #3 to #5

Obstacles #6 to #8

Obstacles #9 & #10

Obstacle #11 to 13


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