08/20/2014 05:33 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2014

What's Stopping You From Reaching Your Goals? You've Been Given the Wrong Tool

Astronaut Images via Getty Images

Imagine that you wanted to drive a nail into a wall. Do you think you could do it? Sure you could; if you had the right tool. Now let's say: Because I like you, I believe in you and I really want you to succeed, I went out and, with great expense and careful thought, bought you a brand new, shiny red...chainsaw. And I tell you to go ahead and drive that nail into the wall.

"Okaaaaaaay," you're thinking to yourself. "He's successful, so I guess he must know what he's doing." And you start hacking away with your chainsaw, trying to drive the nail into the wall. A little while later, I come back to check on your progress.

How's it going? I ask.

"Ummm, not so good," you reply, trying to hide the big gashes you just made in the wall.

"What's the matter," I ask. You mumble something about how you're having a tough time and struggling. So I exhort you and try to inspire you to get that nail into the wall. I start giving you lots of "helpful" advice, like... "Set your goals! Visualize it! Believe in yourself! Work smarter, not harder! You can do it!"

How's it going now? Pretty much the same result! Notice that I am being "nice." After all, I'm your nail-driving-manager. I'm believing in you and telling you things that aren't wrong. But, even after all of my wonderful advice, you're STILL not getting that nail into the wall.

"OK, tell you what,"I say. "You can have any chainsaw you want!"

Then I point you to a whole rack of chainsaws: green ones, blue ones, big ones, small ones, "Pick any chainsaw you want!"

So you reluctantly try the green one because, well, maybe that one will work. Then the blue one... The big one... The small one... What happens? Same result.

But how are you FEELING right now? Are you motivated, excited, and pumped up, to drive nails into walls? Um, not exactly. You're probably saying to yourself something like, "I'm never gonna get this stupid nail into the wall!"

And even if you do somehow manage to drive ONE nail into the wall, how much time, effort and energy did it take? Aren't you feeling frustrated, angry, resentful, annoyed, irritated, exasperated, overwhelmed and stressed out right now? In fact, you probably want to do as little of this driving-nails-into-walls business as you possibly can.

If that's the case, wouldn't your ACTIONS look like this?
  • You complain to everyone about how tough it is to drive nails into walls.
  • You badmouth me, your nail-driving manager, behind my back.
  • You make practically any excuse to AVOID driving nails into walls.
  • You may take it out on your kids or your spouse when you get home, because you're so stressed out from the pressures at work.
  • Your mental and emotional health is suffering.
  • You look for ways to "veg out" like watching TV or surfing the Internet, just to relieve the stress of trying to drive nails into walls.
  • And you're always looking for someplace else, someplace better to work, because "work" is so incredibly unfulfilling for you.

How many times have you seen the equivalent of what I've just described in your life, career or company? When I ask that question in my seminars or mastermind groups, nearly every hand in the room goes up. Why? Because almost every one of us has gone through this scenario, having the talent, desire, and motivation to "drive nails into walls" (succeed and reach our goals)... But all we have been given was one chainsaw after another.

Take Action Challenge: Stop trying to drive nails into walls using a chainsaw. Realize that YOU are not wrong. You just haven't been given the right tool for the job.

Noah St. John is famous for inventing Afformations and helping busy entrepreneurs to accelerate income, boost self-confidence, and make success automatic.

His sought-after advice has been called the "secret sauce" for creating breakthrough performance.

Get Noah's new video training series How to Boost Income and Self-Confidence Using Power Habits® FREE at .