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When Your Goals Seem Far Away

All of us have goals.  Many of us have (mostly) clear goals that we’ve written down, with a plan that we think will get us there.  But, we often distrust our own decision making, particularly when we come to a fork in the road and it’s not clear which way will lead us towards what we want.  Will I chose the correct fork?  Or will I make a terrible decision that will lead me far away from where I want to be?

Decision making doesn’t need to be this stressful.  Putting aside your self doubt, you can learn to trust what you already have, and know that you already have everything you need.

When I have a goal that seems daunting and I’m not sure how to get there, I take it one step at a time, and I keep two things in mind:

  • You can only act on things that you have already thought of.  If you can’t think to do it, then you can’t take action.
  • You can only act with the resources you already have.

When I ask myself what is the next step I need to take to reach this goal, I don’t worry about steps I can’t think of.  I don’t worry about what I might be missing, because what I miss is of no use to me.  I trust what I already have and I know that my next action must come from my thoughts.

Even if the thought is “I will ask advice from So-and-So” and they give me some helpful ideas on what action to take, the action (asking advice) came from my thoughts.  Don’t worry about all the things you can’t think of – take action on what you can.

Likewise, I can’t act with resources that I don’t have.  So, my thoughts, the relationships I have with other people, my skills and abilities, actual physical resources I might have (equipment, space, etc.) – these are all things that I can use to take action towards my goals.  But, if I don’t have it now, then I can’t use it to take my next step.

What this means is no matter how big your goal is, your next step has to come from things you have around you right now.  The next step of your goal is always in reach, which means that ultimately your goal is in reach. (Although, how much time it will take you don’t know.)  The farther you go towards your goal, the broader your knowledge and resources will be (assuming you are learning along the way!), and you will be able to take more skilled actions as you go along.

Don’t worry about the things you don’t have, focus on what you do have and figure out a way to use those things in the best possible way.  You already have what you need.

What do you do when your goals seem daunting?  How do you keep putting one foot in front of the other?  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.  🙂

Published inPersonal Growth


  1. Hi Amanda,

    “You already have what you need” is great wisdom. So many people tell me “If only I struck the lottery I could…” when they already can do something based on what they have. Well written post!

    Daphne’s last blog post..A Letter from My Older Self

  2. This post is really inspiring. I LOVE the quote you used at the top — so true! When I feel like my goals are overwhelming, I remind myself of what I’ve already accomplished. I try to break down a big goal into smaller pieces to make it more manageable. And, most importantly, I surround myself with people who love and support me and who believe that I can achieve whatever goal I set my mind too. Great post! Thanks!

    Positively Present’s last blog post..the ABC’s of loving yourself

  3. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Daphne – And if you are waiting for the lottery you will be waiting a long time! Better to act with what you have now.

    Hi Positively Present – Yes, thinking back on what you’ve already done and accomplished is a good tip. If you are worried about not succeeding, just look at where you have succeeded in the past, and it won’t seem so far fetched that you might succeed!

  4. Hi Amanda,

    We live in a world that does not have a lot of interest in whether or not we achieve our dreams. There is a sort of tug of war between our dreams and the realities of life. We simply need to keep our dreams alive and flexible, open to the possibilities in front of us.

    There will never be a shortage of forks in our road and many of us have taken the wrong one at times. Somehow there is usually a path leading back to the right one. We just have to let go and trust that all the answers are inside us.

    I always love reading your insightful posts.


    Roger’s last blog post..Letting Go of Control

  5. A useful attitude. It is so easy to procastinate when you don’t know the possible best way to do something.

    Really the best way is to pick a direction and go for it. Because aqs you head along the path that is where you will the information you need to do things better.

    I put off learning japanese for a long time because of all the negative information about how difficult it is to teach yourself and how much classes suck. I couldn’t decide so I started classes and I now I know how to teach myself.

  6. Amanda

    If I’m really, disturbingly honest with myself, my approach to daunting goals is to stick my head in the sand and pretend I didn’t see them. Uugh!

    Doesn’t sound very appealing does it. Step1 Remove head from sand …

    Ian | Quantum Learning’s last blog post..Falling in love does not make you telepathic

  7. Hi Amanda,
    This reminds me of a saying – “If you come to a fork in the road, take it” – which says to me, that there will be times when we have decisions to make on which way to go towards our goal. And we can get stuck in trying to decide which way to go. The best thing we can do is make an informed decision and choose a way. And then give our full effort down that path. The truth is that there doesn’t have to be just one way to reach our goal – and that can be comforting, knowing that what might work for me is different than for you if you were doing something similar – but we both can still get there….

    Lance’s last blog post..Pull Off The Labels

  8. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Roger – “Somehow there is usually a path leading back to the right one. ” Yes, I think you’re right. Choosing the wrong fork is almost always reversible. Maybe that’s something to add to this conversation – even if you make a “wrong” choice, there is always a way to get back to where you need to be. Thanks for your ideas.

    Hi Jarrod – I like your attitude about this – pick a way and go for it! Like Roger and I were discussing above, there is always a way to get back to where you need to be if you should choose the “wrong” way.

    Hi Ian – Haha, yeah, that can happen sometimes, and if it does, I like your first step in approaching that problem!

    Hi Lance – “The truth is that there doesn’t have to be just one way to reach our goal…” This is a great point and in some ways you are also saying what others have said – just choose and go! You’re right, there isn’t just one way to go, we just have to do the best we can with what we have at the time.

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