Updated: Nov 1, 2021
The 7 Barriers to Change
Today we’ll be going through the 7 barriers to Change that get in the way of your goals. This was gone over in a workshop course that we ran, and if you find the information helpful, we highly recommend joining us for future workshops. If you haven’t yet, please check out our previous blogs that go through the 3 Question Mantra, Identifying your goals using that method, as well as the difference between aspirational and accountable goal setting. There is supplemental video content that this information was pulled from, that you can find here.
What are the 7 Barriers we commonly see get in the way of our goals and meaningful change? Lack of Information, Goal Setting, Lack of Motivation, Higher value given to other goals, Lack of Resources or external support, Medical or Psychological behaviors, and a Lack of Confidence.
We will outline each of these below:
1. Lack of Information
Do you have the information necessary to create the change that you’re trying to create? To provide an example, Jeff spent months trying to lose 10 pounds. He was working out really hard and pushing himself to reach his goal. He would work out intensely for long periods of time and would get frustrated when he would step on the scale and have no results. It wasn’t until he met a fitness specialist that they informed him that working out at that intensity would release cortisol(the stress hormone) which would cause his body to store fat instead of burning it. In this instance he didn’t have the information he needed to achieve his goal and because of that lack of information, he was unknowingly working against himself. This is something you might see in your own goals for change, if you go into your goals without the proper context or potentially approach your goal from the wrong angle. This can be avoided by doing research to find out what has worked for others that share similar goals, or in seeking advice from professionals well versed in coaching with various specializations.
2. Goal Setting
This was covered in our last blog, Aspirational vs. Accountable goal setting. The key to Goal setting is recognizing the difference between Aspirational and Accountable goal setting and how they interact with your self image. If you set accountable goals, with clear and succinct steps that align with your self image, you are more likely to succeed in your goals. To get a more thorough understanding of this concept check out our previous blog.
3. Lack of Motivation
This can mean and be caused by many different things. Whether you’re not willing or able to make sacrifices necessary for change, or you are just putting your motivation elsewhere leaving little room for your current goal, lack of motivation can keep you from taking the steps necessary in achieving your goals. In one of our previous blogs we went through the process of bringing consciousness to our actions, to ensure they better align with our goals. It’s important to bring consciousness to your actions, and that may help you identify what is getting between you and your motivation. Lack of motivation is something that will have to be addressed on a daily basis, when you check in with yourself and how you are feeling. If you are not feeling motivated one day, keep checking in and hopefully in bringing consciousness to that feeling, you’ll be able to push past it and reach that motivation a different day.
4. Higher value for other goals
This might take place when you have another goal that is more important to you, and that conflicts with your current goal. For example, if Chris has a goal of meditating more often, but also has a goal of spending quality time with friends and family, one of those goals might hold a higher value for Chris. It doesn’t mean the goal isn’t important to Chris, it just means that there is a goal that is prioritized over another. A way to avoid this is to make sure the time you dedicate to a goal doesn’t conflict with another goal. If you are always scheduling a meditation at the same time as happy hour, and you know you’re likely going to choose happy hour over meditation, then you’re creating a conflict between your goal for meditation and your goal for quality time with friends and family. It’s a subconscious way of sabotaging yourself, or giving yourself an out. This is also where goal setting in line with your self image is important. If you schedule the meditation at a more convenient time or a time that isn’t commonly used for socializing you’re more likely to find success. This could also translate by adding more balance to your decision making when it comes to aligning with your goals.
5. Lack of Resources or External Support
If you don’t have the resources or external support to reach a goal, there may be systemic barriers to your success. This can manifest within your life in different ways, whether it be external support from friends and family to help you reach your goal, or through seeking out resources that meet financial or physical needs. For example, if you have the goal of working out a few times a week, but you have financial difficulties that make a gym membership impossible, it may be necessary to find other methods of working out that allow you to use the resources within your home; or assessing your financial spending to better align with your goal of fitness. This could also manifest in having other responsibilities that require time or external support to manage, like for example: having someone to watch your children while you workout. Ultimately, these things are systemic issues. This may mean you need to put energy towards finding resources and external support before you’re able to pursue a goal. It also provides you with the opportunity to take stock of your resources and people in your life, and evaluate those relationships.
6. Medical or Psychological behaviors
Medical or Psychological behaviors as a barrier to change mainly just require you shift the approach to your goal setting. This ties back to creating goals that align with your self image. Acknowledging areas where you need accommodations or a change in method is necessary so you don’t force yourself into burnout by pushing yourself to use methods that aren’t supportive or considerate to your needs.
7. Lack of Confidence
Lack of confidence can become a barrier in a few different ways. In our video presentation we saw an example of perfectionism being a confidence barrier that kept one of our participants from taking the first step towards achieving their goal. There are emotions of insecurity or fear of failure that influence our confidence when pursuing tasks. This is something that you’ll need to accommodate for, and work around in figuring out your methods for approaching your goals.
To get a more throughout overview of these concepts, please watch our video recap of this workshop here, and sign up for our upcoming workshops here.