Does fear, anxiety or worry ever get the better of your plans? You know those moments, when you unexpectedly find yourself cleaning the house, hiding on the couch or distracted by 101 other things, none of which your diary suggests you’re meant to be doing right now. All of us suffer occasionally by letting our best intentions be hijacked by fear.

Common self-sabotages

  • Fear of success.
  • Fear of failure.
  • Beliefs such as ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘There isn’t enough to go around’.
  • Beliefs such as ‘I’m independent – I don’t need help’.
  • Beliefs such as ‘I don’t deserve it’.

If your fears are holding you back from following through on your purpose, vision and hopes, it is time to recognise that these beliefs are simply stories we tell ourselves. Your brain is a sense-making machine and one of the ways it puts the pieces of your life together is by constantly creating stories about why things are happening and what might happen next. Sometimes these stories are accurate, but much of the time they’re not.

When fear is putting you in life’s passenger seat, it is time to ask: ‘Is there any other explanation for what’s unfolding?’

Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, suggests that when fear or unhappiness is holding us back, we need to do what she calls ‘The Work’. It’s a powerful tool that I’ve found gives excellent results. Take a look at her website,, and apply it to your fears.

Are you ready for the obstacles?

When you created your hope map, you discovered the importance of planning for obstacles if you want to reach your goals. Common obstacles to wellbeing and success are:

  • Not enough time.
  • Not enough money.
  • Don’t like exercise.
  • It’s too hard.
  • The timing’s not right.
  • I wouldn’t know where to start.
  • I travel too much.
  • I don’t know the right people.
  • My family and friends would laugh.
  • I’m no good at that.
  • I’m too tired.
  • If I succeed, people will expect me to keep it up.

To ensure these obstacles don’t hold you back, challenge yourself to find small changes that make the outcomes you want possible.

(Extract taken from The Life Plan, by Shannah Kennedy. Head over to to order your copy or get in touch with Shannah here to find out about executive coaching options.)