Shhh… Quit Telling People Your Goals!

Don’t Talk…Do!

For most of us, having a new goal or dream is exciting, even if the work it takes to reach the goal, isn’t. Sharing that hope with friends, family or co-workers is commonly known as accountability. But, what if telling others about your goals really wasn’t helping you? What if telling other people actually caused you to miss your goals again and again?

During a TED talk, Derek Sivers noted that psychological studies have proven that when we tell someone our goal, and they acknowledge it, we are less likely to do the work that is necessary to accomplish the goal.  Our brain mistakes the talking… for doing.  Basically, we get gratification because we get acknowledged for “writing the book” or “making our weight loss goal” before we actually do the work. That gratification tricks our brain into feeling that the goal has already been accomplished. 

If you are a dieter, you know the routine. You lose 5lbs towards your 50lb goal. Someone notices and says “you look great”. You reward, reward, reward and reward yourself for it. Soon you gain the 5lbs back and toss the weight-loss plan.

The satisfaction we experience when someone validates our goals can remove the motivation to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

On the other side of that, you may tell someone your dream and  they don’t validate you, or they remind you of other times you’ve failed. That can also feed those pesky doubts in your mind.  Remember that other people, even those who love you, have doubts in themselves that they can knowingly or unknowingly transfer to you.  Be wise in who you share your goals with.  Find other people who have common goals, or who are also self-motivated in their own journey.  You can get boosts of confidence, energy and resources!

What keeps you from getting your goals done? No confidence that you can do it? No connections with the right people to help you get it done? No clue about what you should be doing?

My FREE Audio HOW TO DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT helps you get past those stumbling blocks and on a path to living a life you love.

    Share your comments and insights below!  -MJ