Struggling to get results? 5 reasons you fail to take action

Dec 3, 2020

Ever felt like you’re all talk — and no action?!

As we close out the year, I’ve noticed a lot of individuals talking about the goals they’re yet to reach. Or strategies they still need to put in place. The common theme is people are struggling to take action and get the results they’re after.

Taking action sounds simple. But it’s not easy!

I see this all the time in the work I do with my 1:1 private coaching clients.

There are two parts to creating the results you desire. The first is insight or the learning which occurs in a coaching session — clarity on goals, wants and actions. The second is implementation or putting these insights into action.

When you’re not achieving the outcomes you want, your instinct is to ask — what do I need to do about this?

But what you’re doing (or not doing) isn’t the issue. You see, the reason you’re not creating momentum in your business is internal. It begins with your mind.

Finding it tough to take action?

Read on to discover five main roadblocks which keep entrepreneurs stuck in inaction.

You’ll walk away with clarity on the exact mindset shifts you need to take to ensure your success. All so you can take massive action, get more done and create the big results you desire!


One of the biggest blocks to action is the fear of failure. The purpose of fear is to keep us safe and support our survival. As humans our brains have evolved to avoid fear and discomfort.

From a neuroscience perspective, external threats trigger the fear response within the amygdala. This part of your brain releases stress hormones into the body. And activates the fight or flight response.

In modern times, fear shows up any time you’re about to make a big change or step outside your comfort zone. But it also stops you taking risks to avoid failing. And holds you back from creating the business and life you want.

At some stage growing up you learnt failure was bad. Yet by only making choices guaranteeing success, you limit yourself to playing small. Making mistakes and getting uncomfortable is how you learn and grow.

From the moment you’re born, you learn by taking action and failing. As you learnt to walk, you took a few steps, fell down, got back up and tried again. You can never be a failure, regardless of whether you succeed or fail.

Ready to move through this? Embrace the fear, prepare to fail — and take action anyway!


Imposter syndrome and worrying about what people think holds you back from action. Like fear, it occurs in response to a perceived threat. It’s a survival function, designed to protect you from being exposed as a fraud.

Common amongst high-achievers, it’s caused by a deep fear of not being good enough. Or feeling like a failure — regardless how experienced and successful you are. The fear of judgement, rejection or criticism stops you putting yourself out there.

Imposter syndrome often shows up when you’re starting something new. You begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. And your shrinking confidence stops you taking action or showing up in a meaningful way.

As your self-doubt grows, the more you believe you’re incapable. You might tell yourself you don’t have anything interesting, unique or important to say. That your previous success was a fluke and there’s no way you can ever repeat it.

These negative thoughts and limiting beliefs keep you stuck — and out of action.

Here’s the thing. False thoughts and ‘fraudy feelings’ will always be there. But you get to choose what to believe — and how to respond to them.

Don’t wait until you feel confident to put yourself out there. Courage comes from inspired action. Taking the first step will get you unstuck and as you do, your confidence will grow.


One reason you’re not taking action and implementing, is a lack of boundaries or the inability to say no. People pleasing stems from the need to feel appreciated, liked or validated. Or the false belief it’s selfish to put your needs ahead of everyone else.

You fail to set boundaries or say yes because you think you ‘should’ or ‘have to’. Not because you want to. This means you struggle to say no, accept every request for your time or agree to do things to keep others happy.

This pulls you away from the goals and projects that are most important to you. It also creates distractions and limits the time you have to spend on the things which matter. And stops you taking action towards what you want.

Remember, for everything you’re saying yes to, you’re saying no to something else. How you choose to spend your time is within your complete control!


Another thing holding you back from taking action can be a lack of focus or trying to ‘do it all’. You’re busy but not productive. And are working ‘hard’ but aren’t getting the results you’re after.

Stress, panic and fear cause this type of reactive behaviour. You could be pushing yourself to reach someone else’s version of success. Whilst spending all your time on the things you think you ‘should’ do — rather than taking action on what you want.

Or, you’re an overachiever, who’s always striving to do more — and better. This leads to overwhelm, exhaustion and procrastination. You’re lacking motivation (especially after this year) and are struggling to take action.

So what’s the answer? Get clear on your goals, know the outcome you want and focus on ONE task at a time!


Perfectionism is another struggle which can stop you in your tracks. Believing you must achieve more and more, you set unrealistic goals. Then put yourself under immense pressure to reach them.

You also set unrelenting high standards for yourself. And become so overwhelmed by the size of the tasks in front of you, procrastination holds you back. Taking action becomes a battle and you give yourself far too much time to complete things.

But guess what? Perfection doesn’t exist!

By striving to be perfect and giving yourself unlimited time to complete things — they never get done. Then, you’re even further away from reaching your goals.

Instead, make your goals realistic and achievable. Put a time-limit on tasks and projects. The end result may not be up to your own high standards — but it will get done!

So there you have it — the biggest mindset blockers stopping you reaching the level of success you long for. These insights have helped my clients and I move into action and create the results we’re after. I hope they support you too!

Want help to take action on your professional goals + create the business results you desire?

Book your free initial 30 minute consult HERE to get started!

Stacey Back is a Career Strategist, Leadership Coach + Founder of Profile Careers. She helps high-achievers at a career crossroads find the work that lights them up, increase their income, impact and create a career + life on their terms. Stacey works virtually with individuals and organisations based across the globe.