Do you have a goal that you want to pursue and you’re finding it difficult to take that first step toward making this goal a reality? What is holding you back? What has stopped you from taking those first steps to success? Here are a few of the common obstacles that hold us back from taking action toward our goals:

Feeling overwhelmed

Remember the Lao Tzu quote, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ No matter how large or how small the endeavor, you still must begin with a single action. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Simply take the first step.

Fear of ___________. (Fill in the blank)

It could be any number of things. Failure, humiliation, loss. Odds are, the fear that you’re experiencing is far worse than the actual reality, if whatever you’re afraid of did actually happen. Most of the time, the fear that’s holding you back is not that big of a deal. The potential discomfort you’d experience is nothing compared to the elation you’d experience from achieving your goal.

Unwilling to leave your comfort zone

This is just a nicer way of saying you’re being too lazy to reach your goals. You must accept that achieving anything of significance requires work and dedication. Log out of Facebook, quit texting and hop off the couch and make your dreams happen.

Comparing yourself with others

Your objectives should simply be tied to reaching your own potential. Don’t worry about other people and what they’ve done unless it fuels you to work harder and do more. Otherwise focus on being the best version of you.

Thinking things must be perfect

Waiting until the situation is perfect is a direct route to inaction because the situation will never be perfect. No matter how well prepared you are, there will always be something unexpected that can try to derail you, so don’t let the need for perfection stand in your way.

Doing more research

This is just another way of saying, “You’re too lazy to do the real work.” Things don’t have to be perfect to get started, so the need for endless research before taking action is completely unfounded.

Not feeling ‘worthy’ enough

Not believing that you have enough education, knowledge, skill or experience can stop you before you get started, but the truth is that you can’t gain experience without ‘doing’ and you can’t develop your skill without practice. Most every expert I know felt this way at one point and still proceeded to take action. So should you.

If you’re like me, the seven obstacles listed above have stood between my action or inaction; they are all just obstacles designed to separate the successful from the average. The bottom line is this: no matter what your goal is, the best time to start is now.

No matter the goal, success is a process and it requires overcoming limiting beliefs and taking action.

Maybe your goal is to finally start your business. Perhaps it’s to launch a virtual second location online.

Maybe your goal is to get to $500,000 in business revenue or $100,000 in personal income.

The key isn’t so much what the goal is, but how you act on it. Once you’ve set your goal, you will set yourself up for greater success if you spend more time thinking about your first steps rather than simply focusing on the big picture.

To get to your goal, there are a lot of steps in between and many of those steps might not be as exciting to think about as your ideal destination. Here are a few examples of first steps that will help you start making real progress toward actualizing your goals:

If you want to launch a product, consider setting a filming date and hiring a videographer.

If you want to grow your business by 100 clients this year, start by adding two next week.

If you want to take 100 days off next year, start by scheduling a vacation or at least a long weekend.

If you want to go from a personal income of $40,000/year to $100,000/year, commit to adding $500 in monthly income over the next 90 days.

These actions might seem rather small and insignificant – but to get the momentum you need to succeed they are a great way to start. Success isn’t a big leap, it’s the combination of hundreds or even thousands of little steps in succession. But most people don’t recognize this, so they look for the magic bullet. While this isn’t good news if you’re looking for immediate gratification, it’s great news if you’re willing to start stepping because you understand that the magic is in the process and the process begins with that first step.

And don’t think that you’re stuck taking what you may feel are baby steps for long. Once you’ve achieved these first small goals, start to increase them. Before you know it, you’ve put a series of steps together and you’re well on your way to achieving your big goal. Before you can run, you need to walk. The most important thing you can do to make your goals a reality is taking that first step.