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The 6 Reasons You're Not Getting What You Want

Change Jason A Hunt

I had just turned 16.  I had a desperate crush on a girl named Joni for the last 18 months.  I've watched her, I've seen her with friends, I knew she didn't have a boyfriend and I probably believed that she was out of my league.  Nonetheless, after a few weeks of tremendous mental debate, I had finally garnered up the courage to call her and ask her out. 

Mind you, this was before cell phones.  Being that my family was a little behind the times, this call was to be made on a rotary phone.  I stuck my finger in the first number's hole and twisted it around.  The second, third, and continued to the seventh.  My heart was pounding, I was breathing so hard, and two beads of sweat started to dribble down my forehead.  It started to ring.  I couldn't take it.  Instantly, I slammed the receiver down and hung up.  Whew.  I started to breathe normally again.  I wiped away the sweat, but then thought "Jason, you're such a loser.  Just pick up the phone and ask her out." 

It took a few minutes for me to gain back the courage, but I did.  I dialed all seven digits.  It started to ring.  Yet again, I panicked and quickly hung up before she could answer.  Oh, boy.  I'm such a coward.  This should not be that hard to do!  After five minutes of negative self-talk, I picked up the receiver and repeated the process, committed to having the conversation.  This time I let the first full ring happen, then the second, and halfway through the third I heard a voice.  "Hello?"  It was her.   I knew it.  I could tell from her voice.  My hand started to shake violently, I tried to utter something from my mouth but it didn’t come out.  In complete shock, I could only do one thing.  I hung up and never again did I try to contact Joni.

What this example shows is a time when something really great could have happened, except it didn't.  I could have had an exciting date.  Heck, it may have even turned into a memorable relationship.  But it didn’t.  To this day I will never know what may have happened between Joni and me because I allowed the growthblock of overthinking get in my way.  You see, I kept wondering what she would say, and then what I would say, and I got to thinking that she'll probably just say no, so I stopped.  I couldn't move forward.  My growth was blocked. 

growthblocks jason a hunt

Turns out, most people stop doing the very things that will get them what they want out of life because of a growthblock.  Do you?  Do you not take action because you're scared?  Are you waiting around for the right time to start?  Are you overthinking it all?  My guess is, yes, you are and I can say that because we all are.  In fact, as my mentor Ed Mylett says, "The #1 thing that stops you from getting what you want is DELAY."  That is, we don't take action that will lead to growth. 

 In the work that I do with thousands across America, I've found that there are 6 growthblocks that get in the way of people accomplishing their goals.

Anxiety - "I'm too afraid"

Capability- "I don't know how"

Timing - "I'm waiting for the right time"

Inspiration - "I don't have the desire"

Overthinking - "I don't have all the details figured out"

Negativity - "I don't think it will work"

Allow me to briefly describe each.


Anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease that happens due to an unknown or uncertain outcome.  In short, it's fear of the unknown. When my daughter Ande was 4 years old, she was afraid of dogs.  So much so that sometimes she would hesitate to go to the park because there might be a dog there.  Anxiety stops us in our tracks.  It causes things like an increased heart rate, upset stomach, and a cloudy mind and it stops us from taking action! Anxiety is often fueled by questions - Will I fail? Will I look foolish? What will others say or think? Will this overextend me? Will I have to give up security for the unknown? Will it hurt? Will I be able to handle the success?


Do you ever feel like you're an imposter?  Your immediate response to this is probably "no," but think about it for a minute.  Have you been called upon as an expert, put into a leadership role, or been asked for advice when you wonder why they chose you?  If we are honest with ourselves, we probably have encountered "imposter syndrome" numerous times.  We've probably questioned, "Why me?" and have thought "Am I good enough?"  These are the exact thoughts and questions that lead us to doubt our capability of doing something great.  We look at a challenging task, we are given a chance to take a risk and we back away thinking that we simply don't have the skills or know-how to be successful. 


This one is tricky.  You know what you need to do and you know how to do it and you plan on doing it…just not right now.  That is, instead of taking acting you think "It's simply not the right time.  I'm going to do it, but not now.  I'll do it tomorrow," or the next day, or the day, month, year, decade after that.  Procrastination is a sly enemy.  He sends to our mind very valid justifications and excuses, convincing us that action is needed, but the timing is not right.  So, he persuades us to sit on it, and sit, and sit until it is too late.  Let's wait until the timing is right is one of the greatest lies ever told.   


"But dad, I just don't want to."  If I had a nickel for every time I've heard this statement from one of my four kids, I could pay for their college.  Of these six reasons for not taking action, this is the king of them all.  We know what to do, we know that we should be taking action now, heck, we can even see the benefits of doing so, but we are waiting for that kick in the pants to get moving.  It is like we are standing on the corner waiting for the motivation bus to come, pick us up, and get us moving.  Well, I've got news for you folks.  That bus ain't coming!  My kids won't ever feel inspired to take out the trash, do the dishes, and fold the laundry, just like I'll never feel inspired to pay my taxes.  We need to stop waiting for the bus and take action. 


Overthinking is a close cousin to timing.  While timing is focused on when to take action, overthinking is focused on the how.  We determine that we are going to have that hard conversation with Jane about being late.  We will act as soon as we are ready.  First, we need to dig into her files and look at her previous history.  We probably need to observe her tardiness a few more times.  We'll need to talk to HR to make sure we say everything we are supposed to say.  We will script out all the talking points.  While doing so, we'll think of all of the different responses that she may give.  We may even do a little research on what she might say.  Then we'll come up with responses to every possible excuse imaginable.  But we want her to feel good too.   So, we'll take some more time to think about 3-5 positive comments that we could make about her.  We struggle with this a bit and determine to talk to her coworkers to get a few ideas.  We also think it might be wise to have her take a strengths test.  Then we can have something concrete to speak to, which might make the conversation go easier.  Oh, and we certainly wouldn't want to have a hard conversation without providing her resources.  Therefore, we dive into a search for some online courses, a handout, or we create some bullet points on what she could do to get better.  Whew…I think we're ready.  Oh wait, we need to….and I think you are getting the point.  Our brains can get into hyperdrive on all of the minutiae and we get so consumed that we delay or even don't have the conversation because we are thinking about it too hard. 


Negativity is a sneaky roadblock to action.  It's not an excuse, it has nothing to do with anxiety, and it can be done without overthinking.  Negativity is wondering if it even matters.  Say we do take action, say we do have that hard conversation with Jane, say we do decide to address the elephant in the room.  Will it even matter?  Will it make a difference at all?  What if we garner up all our courage and move forward but, in the end, there's no positive result?  Is it worth it?  My answer, of course, is a resounding yes.  Yes, because we never know. 

Only by breaking through each of these six roadblocks can we start to manifest what we can become and accomplish in this world.  The longer it takes you to take action (notice how the six growthblocks spell the world "ACTION") the longer it will take to have a positive impact.  It's as simple as that.   

take action jason a hunt

Call it the growth zone, the discomfort zone, the challenge zone, or what have you.  Taking action requires you to leave this zone and come face to face with your fears, your hesitations, and the unknown.  Taking action means that you are willing to make mistakes, recognizing that mistakes are proof that you are making an effort.  So, don't fret over being perfect in your leadership.  Stop allowing growthblocks to stop you from doing what you know is right.  Allow yourself to take more action and when you do, you'll start seeing results.  You'll be happier.  You'll be more confident.  You'll be closer to your goals.  You'll be in a position to make a bigger impact. 

Take Action


Carl Jung says, "Until we make the unconscious conscious it will rule our lives and we will call it fate."  Sometimes we justify not taking action and say to ourselves, "All things happen for a reason."  Yes, that is true and some things don't happen because you didn't. 


John Maxwell says, "The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it."  That's so true.  So, do as Mel Robbins says and the moment you have an instinct to act, physically get up and move within five seconds.  If you don't, your brain will grab onto one of the growthstoppers. 


Take a close look at these six growthstoppers.  Recognize when they come up in your life.  Make the unconscious conscious and then deliberately tell that growthstopper to go back to where he came from, get off your duff, and take action.  Start that gym membership, pick up the phone for the cold call, have the hard conversation with your employee, or set up a meeting and extend grace to the person you're struggling with.  We all have so many ways that we could be making a bigger difference in our lives and others if only we take action. 

It's time to start moving!

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