I was at a small business owner’s planning session earlier this week where everyone set their goals for the next 90 days. At the end of the session we were encouraged to get out there and make it happen – to “Just Do It!”

Because of the context and time constraints, it wasn’t possible to undertake a key step in the goal setting process. As a result over the next 90 days some of my fellow small business owners might find themselves struggling to “Just Do It”.

So what was the missing step?

Let’s take a look at the goal setting process I guide my clients through.

    1. 1. Identify your desired future/outcome

– clarify how you want it to be

    1. 2. Understand your current reality

– stock take how it is now to identify the challenges and opportunities

    1. 3. Explore all the available options to achieving your desired future/outcome

– discover what’s possible

    1. 4. Explore and challenge your conscious, and subconscious, limitations

– remove the mental barriers, obstacles and roadblocks that may derail you

    1. 5. Plan and create the transition

– apply evidence based tools and techniques, develop simple, do-able strategies and commit to action

I’ve highlighted Step 4. This step doesn’t lend itself to completion in a group setting, as we all have our own unique set of mental barriers, obstacles and roadblocks. Exploring these issues is best done with the help of a coach and can take some time.

Here are some of the common subconscious limitations or obstacles that I’ve helped clients identify in relation to taking action towards their goals:

  • Limiting beliefs such as – “I’m not good enough,” “I’m a failure” “I’m not experienced enough”
  • A values conflict. If the goal we’ve selected is in conflict with one or more of our core values we will find it difficult and perhaps impossible to take meaningful action
  • Taking action may compromise one or more of our physical and/or emotional needs.
  • We have an irrational fear – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being judged
  • Low self esteem
  • Low self confidence
  • A lack of resources

Our beliefs, values, emotional needs and fears are held at a subconscious level. Operating outside of our awareness they are continuously influencing our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In fact it’s been estimated that 95% of our behaviour is driven subconsciously. Therefore if our beliefs, values and needs are not aligned with our goal(s) we are unlikely to “Just Do It”.

Yes, we can enlist our willpower to get the ball rolling but the amount of willpower we have each day is limited. Once it’s exhausted, the subconscious gets back behind the wheel, driving our behaviours and applying the brakes.

Also, when setting goals our subconscious limitations may keep us firmly within our comfort zone. We set easy goals that we’re comfortable with and know we can achieve. In the absence of challenging, stretch goals our growth and success is curtailed. This is reflected in the well known saying:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

In other words, if the subconscious brakes go on, you will continue doing exactly what you are currently doing and hence stop, or slow any significant, progress towards your goal.

So a key factor in actioning the challenge to “Just Do It” is the removal of any subconscious obstacles that keep us doing what we’ve always done.

Removing subconscious obstacles is an area in which I specialise. Using a combination of modern psychology and clinical hypnotherapy I help people change limiting beliefs, resolve values conflicts, meet unmet needs, and overcome irrational fears.

So if you’re struggling to “Just Do It” or are not satisfied with the progress you’re making towards one or more goals, I can help. Simply give me a call on 021 056 8389 or send me a message via the contact form on this website.

Right now I’m offering a limited number of free one hour anxiety mastery coaching consultations. Simply click here to read more about how you can take advantage of this opportunity.

Go well & have a wonderful week.


Tony Yuile is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Performance Coach based in Wellington, NZ where he specialises in helping people suffering from anxiety, stress, panic, phobias, trauma, depression and other anxiety related issues. Tony uses a range of techniques that may include coaching, clinical hypnotherapy, mindfulness, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and various psychotherapy approaches. If you are looking for 1:1 tailored support, contact Tony today to discuss what options might be available to you. If you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch.

This article contains the personal views and opinions of the author, which may change over time. It is intended to be for information only and does not constitute medical advice. For medical and health advice, always consult a qualified medical professional.