• John Panepinto

6 Modern Day Challenges That Hold You Back From Getting What You Want Out of Life

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

modern day challenges

It’s easy to forget just how lucky we are to be alive, let alone, alive in this era of complete abundance of opportunities. The fact that you are reading this right now is a massive privilege.

Despite that, in today's world - people love to make excuses, complain, and blame other people for 'holding them back' from going out there and getting what they want out of life.

There is a lot more opportunity out there for you than you think, and the excuses you tell yourself as to ‘why’ you aren’t on the pathway to achieving your biggest goals, living your best possible life, and maximizing your potential should be minimized.

Today we’re diving into the 6 biggest modern day challenges that hold you back from getting what you want out of life

This is article is meant for you to look deep within and see where these obstacles may be holding you back in your own life.

At the end of the article I am going to be sharing a great source you can use to overcome each of these and truly unlock your potential for good.

The Six Deadly Challenges:

The six challenges that hold people back from getting what they want out of life are as follows:

1. Seeking External Validation

2. Victim's Mentality

3. Lack of Patience & Discipline

4. Entitlement

5. Lack of Direction

6. Having a Fixed Mindset

These are widespread, and often-times we are predisposed to them without us even knowing.

They may come from the situation you were born into, your environment, your upbringing, the people you spend the most time with, and a handful of other factors that are initially out of your hands, or that you aren’t conscious of.

Though it may not be you who put yourself in the hole, there is only one person who can get you out of it – you.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these.

Challenge #1 – Seeking External Validation

external validation phone addiction

This is when you are focusing on gaining the approval of others, more than you are focusing on gaining the approval of yourself.

Instead of finding your own inner voice, and becoming in touch with your own goals and what is truly important to you – you let external influences cloud your thoughts, focus, and energy.

This is extremely common nowadays with social media and being ‘plugged in’ all the time.

Living for others also creates a need for external validation – having a need for others to validate you, rather than validating yourself and generating your state from within.

- This is doing things to please others, rather than doing things to please yourself.

- This is doing things to get others’ approval, rather than approving of yourself.

- This is also caring more about what others think about you, than what you think about yourself.


  • Excessive time spent on Social Media

  • Making decisions to please others, at your own expense

  • Not having a back-bone

  • Not being in touch with your own inner voice and what is important to you

Why This is Dangerous:

When you live for others, you’ll never truly hit your mark of doing the things that are best for you. You’ll miss out on doing the things that truly satisfy you, and you’ll never reach the goals that you desire deep down.

Over-time this will lead you into doing something that you aren’t passionate about, and you will also have a bigger hole to dig yourself out of later on as time goes by – if you decide to make the shift towards pursuing your purpose later on.

Challenge #2 – Victim's Mentality

victims mentality

Limiting beliefs or a ‘victim’s mentality’ is when you mentally limit yourself, and feel as if you aren’t worthy or capable of achieving certain goals or dreams of yours. It is also when you want others to 'feel sorry' for you.

You may feel as if the world and other people are out to get you, or want to keep you down. Or that you were just 'dealt a bad hand' in life.

You may also feel that others are ‘lucky’ or ‘cheated’ their way to the success they have, and that you are either ‘unlucky’ or purposely ‘held down’.

This comes from a scarcity mindset (rather than abundance mindset), and it believes that other people’s success is at your expense and that there is a limited amount of success to go around (not true).

Limiting beliefs and ‘victim’s mentality’ also means that when things get hard, you make excuses, complain and don’t take action.


  • Making excuses

  • Blaming others

  • Excessive Complaining

  • Wanting others to feel sorry for you

  • Negative self-talk

Why This Is Dangerous:

The limiting beliefs / ‘victim’s mentality’ challenge has the potential to keep you stuck in the mud for a long time, and feel okay with it.

If you don’t believe you are worthy of your own goals or think they are possible in the first place, you are sure as hell never going to achieve them.

Belief is the starting point – it is a must.

Not only that, but you cannot be a victim with your own goals, you must be a conqueror. These are two completely different mindsets.

Over time, the victim mentality ensures that your goals become ‘pipe dreams’ that slip away from you as the window of opportunity vanishes as time passes.

The conqueror mentality says ‘why wait’, and starts taking action now to turn those goals into living realities - conquering all obstacles that arise along the way.

Over time, this mindset and the action that comes with it - compounds into real results & real success.

Challenge #3 – Lack of Patience and Discipline

patience and discipline

This is when you give in to short-term pleasures, at the expense of long term rewards.

Not having patience means you make short-sighted decisions and don’t give enough respect to the bigger picture. In turn, without patience, you won’t have a clear understanding of how things play out in the long run.

Not having discipline means you give in to temptations when they arise (many of which will be of benefit in the short run, but an expense in the long run). Discipline will keep you on your course. Without it, you won’t be able to stay on course long enough to truly see any results.


· Lack of Patience – Picking $100 today, instead of picking $1000 next week.

· Lack of Discipline -- Letting temptations and external distractions stop you from doing the things you know you need to do (e.g. going to a party instead of studying for a test)

Why This Is Dangerous:

Without patience, you won’t make decisions that benefit you in the long run. In making decisions that only benefit you in the short-term, you’ll lose out on great progress and opportunities to get ahead in the long run.

Discipline ties into this – it takes discipline to do the things that don’t benefit you right now, but will benefit you later.

Do the easy things now, and you will have a hard life later (having to play ‘catch-up’).

Do the hard things now, and you will have an easy life later!

Challenge #4 – Entitlement

entitlement gary vaynerchuk

Entitlement is expecting things to be given to you, or to be handed to you.

This is often from a deeper, sub-conscious level, and it arises from being overly-reliant on others to provide for you, rather than providing for yourself. In other words, you become used to always getting what you want or having things handed to you.

Someone who grew up without any parents or siblings and has had to find their own way to survive and provide for themselves will find themselves to be far less entitled, than someone who grew up with an upbringing where everything is given to them or provided to them on a silver platter.

This isn’t your fault, it often arises from your upbringing or the situation you were born into – but no one else is going to get rid of this belief of entitlement, but you.

It is your responsibility to put yourself in a position to where you drown out all entitlement.


· Expecting that things should be given to you, even if you don’t put the work in for them

· Assuming that you don’t have to work as hard as everyone else, because of X (entitled belief)

Why This Is Dangerous:

Entitlement is dangerous to you achieving your goals because it stops you from having the guts, grit and courage you need to make things happen.

Instead, you wait for things to come to you or be given to you – which isn’t how the real world works. You must have to go out, and get what you want – with no excuses or expectations.

How entitlement plays out over time is that you stay where you are comfortable, and never venture out beyond the boundaries of where things are given to you.

Your biggest goals and the things that will truly ‘satisfy your soul’ are when you venture out beyond your comfort zone and pursue your purpose and soul goals. You must scrap entitlement, go out and get what you want.

Challenge #5 – Lack of Direction

lack of direction

Lack of direction - this is when you feel lost, empty, or a lack of purpose.

This is often tied to depression.

Depression is wildly complex, and I don't do it justice in even attempting to over simplify it.

To illustrate this - think about doing something that is completely pointless to you – now imagine having to do that over and over again, day over day.

That is how depression may feel.

On the flip side - imagine you discover something that really excites you and gives you meaning and direction in life (like finding your purpose & setting goals).

All of a sudden, that hopelessness turns into faith & belief, you become excited, and find real purpose in what you are doing and it makes you want to get moving.

That is the exact transition that can be made when you find your true purpose, and start pursuing your most meaningful goals.

To get out of this rut - you must be willing to find direction in your life, set goals, and find what ‘lights your fire’.


  • Feeling lost, or a lack of enthusiasm/excitement

  • Having an ‘itch’ for more in life

Why This Is Dangerous:

Finding your purpose, and soul goals to strive towards, brings with it one of the best cures to depression – direction.

Depression and lack of direction is dangerous to you achieving your goals because when you are depressed, you don’t feel like working, building, or putting much effort into really anything.

As you know, there are no short-cuts – your goals will need you to be passionate, excited, and ready to work hard towards them with consistency (which will be natural by-products when you find your way).

Letting depression and lack of direction stretch out for long periods of time will rob you of valuable time and opportunities; both of which are fleeting.

Challenge #6 – Having a Fixed Mindset

growth mindset vs fixed mindset

A fixed mindset is when you are not open-minded. It is the opposite of a growth mindset.

Not being open-minded is when you are not willing to learn from others. It is a stubbornness that prevents growth.

Your goals and the things that you are striving towards will require you to learn and draw inspiration from others, in order for you to grow and improve.

It is a rapidly changing world out there, and you must be open-minded enough to learn, adapt, adjust and improve your way to achieving your goals.


This can come in many forms:

  • Not being willing to ask questions

  • Not being willing to try new things, or put yourself in new situations

  • Not being willing to step out of your comfort zone

At the root of it, is an unwillingness to listen and learn from others.

Why This Is Dangerous:

This is dangerous to you achieving your goals because learning and growth is a lot like the ‘gas’ to your car, on your road towards your goals. Without learning or growth, you aren’t going anywhere – you’re going to stay exactly where you are, and may even regress as times pass you by.

How this plays out over time is you will quickly be humbled by the changing times and new standards required – in turn, you will be forced to become more open-minded if you want to learn and grow.

The sooner you adopt an open-minded and ‘curious’ mindset, the more ahead you’ll be able to get! Open that mind ASAP and be willing to learn and improve from others.

Overcoming The 6 Obstacles - Unlocking Your Potential:

So now ask yourself – which of these do you struggle with?

Whichever of these that you do struggle with, you must begin to conquer that challenge – in doing so, you find far better results than you ever have, on the other side.

If you are able to conquer these six deadly challenges, you will be putting yourself (from a mental aspect) in best position to begin - achieving your biggest goals, living your best possible life, and maximizing your potential.

This is not an overnight transition – but what matters most is that you’ve begun the process.

This is exactly why I created my eBook: 8 Steps To Achieving Your Biggest Goals in Life - A Proven Blueprint To Maximize Your Potential & Minimize Regret in Life.

It is dedicated to helping you overcome each and every one of these challenges simultaneously, while also putting you in position to maximize your potential and minimize regret in ALL major areas of your life.

After fixing most of my problems (or at least improving them drastically), I’ve come to realize that the only way that I was able to create lasting change was through adopting key mindsets, beliefs, habits, and routines such as:

  • Being the cause, not the effect

  • Becoming the master of my own mindset

  • Drowning out the external noise

  • Unlocking constant improvement & upward spirals (step 6)

  • Unlocking true discipline with a powerful method (step 7)

  • Adopting the proven & powerful blueprint used by the top 1% of achievers

  • ... and much, much more.

Once you do conquer these six challenges, on the other-side you will find greatness and a whole new world of abundance, success, and fulfillment – that is just waiting for you.

I hope that you guys enjoyed the article, and remember: nothing will change unless YOU make a change. So get to it, because this is your life, and it’s ending one second at a time.

Now go get after it!