Setting goals is more than just saying you want to do something. There is some thought and planning that needs to take place to make a goal a “real” thing and not just some pie in the sky dream.
This keeps a lot of people from setting goals and achieving them. There are a lot of reasons people stop at the verbalization of a dream. A few are:
Disbelief That Your Goals are Achievable
Disbelief comes in many forms, but boils down to not believing that your dream can come true. This usually shows up when people tell you “You’re crazy” or “That’ll never happen”. They shower you with all the reasons why they think it will never happen. When this happens enough times, and from a young age, we start to believe what they say.
It’s hard to break out of the box that was put around us because we’ve been conditioned to stay within it for so long. Whenever we’ve poked a toe out before, it was smashed hard and hurt for a long time. That pain stays with us and reminds us “It’s dangerous out there!”
But just like the elephant who was trained to stay by using a really heavy chain when it was young and is now just standing there with the lightest of ropes on its ankle, we have grown bigger and stronger than the walls that hold us or the ropes that bind us. It just takes some courage to test the waters.
Shame of Making Mistakes/Looking Bad
Shame shows up when we don’t think we’ve done our best. When we make mistakes and think we shouldn’t have. Again, this can come from outside sources that say, “you’re better than that” or “That’s so clunky, can’t you do any better?” or “You should be ashamed of yourself for doing/thinking/acting like that!”
Shame shows up when we break from our societal norms and those around us don’t like it and try to put us back in the box. When you find “your tribe” those things you’ve been shamed for will be praised and lauded as your most wonderful aspect. You’ll be encouraged to lean into your “weirdness” whatever it may be.
That doesn’t mean that one should shove their weirdness into other’s faces, but it does mean that weirdness has a safe place to come out and play. Chances are you still have to deal with the family, friends, and co-workers who look at you side-eyed. So, you’ll still have to dance within (or on the line of) the boundaries around them.
Setting Goals in Spite of Fear
Fear happens when we’ve tried, or watched someone else try, and something bad happened because of it. When you’re young, this bad thing could be as simple as a sharp “NO!” or as bad as ending up in the hospital to even death.
Fear is a good thing. It’s your body’s reaction to something unsafe. A wild animal with sharp teeth. A long, sharp drop off a cliff. Fear is there to protect you and keep you safe. The thing is that what is scary as a toddler or young child, shouldn’t necessarily be scary as an adult. But there are things that get embedded in our young psyche and are reiterated as we grow, never allowing us to realize that we have a larger capacity to deal with that scary thing, or that scary thing really isn’t that dangerous after all.
You have grown as an adult, and you have many more experiences than you did when you were younger. You can look at things from different perspectives and see the opportunity in things that were just too “dangerous” and “scary” before. But you have to realize that you’re bigger, stronger, and more capable than you used to be, and you CAN walk through the fear to the rainbow and sunshine on the other side.
Taking Stock when Setting Goals
When you sit down to write your goal down, bringing it out of the ether and into its first stage of reality, take stock of all that you have accomplished, all that you have overcome. Notice where you have grown and what you want to cultivate. You are more powerful than you know and more capable than you imagine.
Looking back and remembering your journey to this point will give you the ever-needed pat on the back and motivation that you can do extraordinary things in your life. One way is to look at both the negative and positive consequences of the actions you’ve taken so far.
And if you want to really get the juices flowing, shine a light on the negative and positive consequences of what you want to do, and you’ll find those pesky obstacles that keep tripping you up! Just download the free Negative and Positive Consequences worksheet to get started. This is more than just a Pros and Cons list, it really delves into looking at why you DO things and why you DON’T do things. Find where your tipping point to action really is!