Goal setting and achieving goals is already tough enough as it is. It’s essential that we take active steps to make sure we don’t make it any more difficult than it needs to be. Falling into common pitfalls is easy. We do it all the time. We either set too many goals that are difficult, or we do small things that are derailing our progress more than we think.
So, what am I talking about here? Well, for today’s posts we are going to cover the common mistake people make by telling anyone and everyone they can about their goals and how it can destroy them and kill them before your goals ever have a chance to begin and flourish. Telling people your goals is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when goal setting. Most individuals don’t understand why this is such a bad idea.
Scientist, however, do have some reasons why this happens that we will share with you today.
Well, the good news is that we are going to cover precisely why this is a problem and the science-backed reasons that flaunting your goals to others is a sure-fire way to reach failure instead of success. Let’s get started and see what science and the experts have to say about the topic.
What About Accountability? Doesn’t That Matter Anymore?
Well, simply put. No. It doesn’t. Not in the sense that you may think at least. Many people believe that this is the reason you must tell your friends, family and even the gas station clerk about your goals. It doesn’t hold you anymore accountable by doing this and it’s a false sense of accountability in most circumstances. It makes you feel like you are already accomplishing a task or goal when you aren’t really do anything.
This is dangerous. You see, telling everyone that you are going to do something makes you feel like you have already somehow completed something, and your brain tends to follow these thoughts and believe it too. It removes the action from the process and gives you a false sense of fake accomplishment when you haven’t really done anything at all. Not even a little.
Now that we know that telling everyone about your goals doesn’t add any value towards your goals, let’s talk about 13 more reasons why sharing your goals is never a good idea.
Here we go.
Reason #1- You Feel You Have Already Won the Battle
Sharing your goals always feels good, and it can become somewhat addicting. We get into this state of mind where just the act of speaking about what we are going to do is almost like we have already begun working or completed some of the necessary steps towards reaching our goals.
We haven’t. All we have done is to give someone the chance to find negatives or holes in our dreams and aspirations. Having this happen too early in the process can send your brain into a frenzy, and you can begin to believe all the negativity around you. This is not how you want things to go.
Action First. Always.
Start acting before the show and tell. Get some plans into place and get something done before taking that big leap of faith in trusting others to reinforce you positively. Often, positive reinforcement doesn’t come knocking on the door as often as you may think, and you may be surprised at the reactions you get from the people you love and trust the most.
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows with dreams and goals.
For now, let’s keep your goals on the down-low until you really have something to tell everyone.
Reason #2- The Motivation Will Be Taken from Under You
This depends what motivates you and what your real reason why is, telling people your goals may prematurely take this motivation away. For starters, informing people of goals can sometimes feel almost like a “high” or euphoric feeling.
However, we all know the feeling. We are expecting one response, and we get the complete opposite. This can be utterly demoralizing in the beginning stages. We always discuss how it’s important not to let other negative thoughts slip into our mind. If you hear them too often, you will start to believe them.
Our Tricky Brain, Playing Games with Us Again
Your brain Is designed to protect you, and if it feels that you are in danger or could experience pain, emotional distress or any other form of hurt, it will try and convince you that what you are doing is not the best idea.
Your brain protecting you, in theory, is fine, but you must ensure that’s what it is really happening. You never know how good something could turn out until you step up to the ledge and take the jump.
If you tell everyone your goals before beginning them, you risk the chance of never even making it to the ledge which ultimately strips you of the opportunity and ability to ever find out what could have been if you would have just pushed through the pain and given it a shot.
Reason #3- Sharing Your Goals Causes You to Peak to Early
This somewhat ties into reason number 2. The “high” and addictive state that sharing your goals can create. This causes you to reach a peak very early in the process. Maybe you are given some positive reinforcement or patted on the back and told that you are going to do great. This high feeling and sense of early accomplishment are setting you up for disaster.
Now, instead of preparing for the fight, you’re already believing that you are genius, and this is all going to go as planned. The second you hit that first roadblock is going to cause some significant issues for you and make it tough for you to maintain belief in the system and process. This isn’t what you want during step 1.
Hunt Failures. Don’t Run from them. Run Towards Them.
In step 1 with goal setting, you just want some much-needed drive and energy to help you seek failure and begin hunting it down. You don’t want to think it’s not coming for you because trust me it is. It always is. Keep your goals to yourself that you don’t risk anything during the initial phases towards setting goals and ultimately achieving success.
Reason #4- Talking Is Always Easier Than Taking Massive Action
Talk is cheap and it always has been. That’s never changed and has always been a common belief amongst successful people. Action will always speak louder than words. That’s never changed and never will. Let’s refer to the human brain and how it works.
We already discussed how the human brain is designed to protect us….
The Path of Least Resistance? Or the Path of Most Failures?
Now, what’s easier? Talking about your goals with everyone you know and building a fake business in your mind or getting off your rear end and doing something about it? Which one do you think your brain will want you to do more often?
Well, I can tell you that it’s talking about the goals instead of performing any of them. It’s much less scary and not a big deal for us to build and seek positive reinforcement from those around us.
There’s much less chance that you end up getting hurt in that process and if for whatever reason, someone shoots your goal down at this stage, you tend to believe that they are correct, so your brain begins to interact with you in a particular manner to begin convincing you to run instead of attack.
It starts convincing you and giving you these silent messages that it’s okay to move onto to the next idea or business opportunity and that your first idea, was indeed, not going to work.
The problem with this way of thinking it’s false and your brain is just playing tricks on you. Did you know that most people fail or give up just before something fantastic happens? If you didn’t know this, I could promise you that it’s real and it’s the way it goes.
Don’t be faked out convinced that talking about your goals is as good as actually doing something. Action first. You will have plenty of time to talk about it when your work is done. For now, it’s time to grind and nothing else.
Reason #5- It Can Become Addicting as Hell
I’ll admit. I’m a victim of this as well and nobody reading this is perfect and will openly admit the same thing. Or at least I hope you would. Talking about your goals can become addicting very quickly. It feels like you are already wearing the suit and tie and living in a fantasy world was a success is already taking place.
This holds especially true if you have been getting lots of positive reinforcement throughout discussions with others by sharing your goals.
Example 1 On the Addiction
Let’s assume your inform your friends about a new mobile app you are developing. Awesome. I commend you for the vision, and I hope it pans out. The problem you run into is what if all your friends think it’s fantastic too. They start commending the idea, and you guys have some pizza and beer over the fact that you think this is going to be the next Uber or Instagram.
Hell, some people even start spending money thinking they are going to be dominating in their niche before taking any action at all. This isn’t only risky to your mind but also risky to your finances. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t become addicted to that feeling of a pat on your back and being told a job well done every day.
You don’t need any positive reinforcement except the results that your hard work and grinding produce for you. Trust me.
When you overcome failure or a robust set of unfortunate circumstances and have a breakthrough, you will suddenly stop calling friends and realize that everything you need is right inside of your mind. What you need is not coming out of all your friends and family’s mouths. Get after it first and get addicted to results and pats on the back later.
Reason #6- You Create People Watching You, but It’s Short-Lived
People watching is not as good as you think. Also, the people watching are not watching as closely as you probably think. When you aim for the accountability side of the puzzle, you are considering in your mind that you prefer someone to be keeping tabs on progress because this can force you to perform better or make you feel more of a sense of urgency.
Don’t Give People More Credit Than They Deserve
The problem with this is that you are giving people way too much credit. They don’t care as much as you think. They may watch from the sidelines for a few weeks or even a month. They may ask questions about the progress the next few times you see them, but at the end of the day, they will stop caring and go back to their lives.
That’s how the world is so seeking false positive reinforcement and seeking someone else watching and keeping tabs never turns out the way you want it. What it does, however, is it creates a short-lived sense that your goals matter to others and when you realize that they don’t is when it can be tough to keep any form of motivation going for very long.
Reason #7- What About Accountability? Is It 100% Dead?
We talked about this in the introduction of this post. It doesn’t work the way you believe it does. Refer to the opening and the previous example in reason #6. People aren’t going to keep tight tabs on you. If you fail, it doesn’t impact them unless it’s family or a business partner.
If you succeed, it also doesn’t impact them. In fact, many would argue that your success could just create jealousy and other toxic environments to be a part of when you are trying to stay on the road towards success. Accountability can be good but only when it’s implemented in the correct ways.
For now, you need to be held accountable to yourself and nobody else and start formulating and detailing the plan until something starts to happen.
Later, you can worry about the rest and hire yourself a business coach if you need that level of accountability in life to get anything done.
Reason #8- Invest in Yourself First and Then Others Will Follow
Developing good habits is tough and telling others doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, telling people about your ideas and habits usually robs some of the motivation. Instead of talking about your new diet plan, just do it.
It can change the script to people just mentioning that you have lost weight. You force people to become believers at this point and instead of robbing yourself of motivation, and a premature sense of something is completed.
Develop good habits and let them form. People will notice over time what’s happening, and it will allow you to keep motivation and not be robbed early in the process. Instead of telling everyone to try this phrase instead.
“You guys can wait and see. I’m making changes but Let’s Wait and See.”
Reason #9- Your Only Driving Force Should Be Results Driven Facts. Not False Praise
This is my favorite reason on this list to discuss because I believe it entirely with no doubts at all. Your driving force and motivation should be nothing more than the results your actions are creating. It should not be the phone call from your dad encouraging you, and it shouldn’t be your wife telling you that everything will be okay and that your ideas are okay.
It should be you and you only. That’s the only thing that matters. Find a way to track your results and make sure that those trackable results are the only thing that you are focused on. Everyone else will fall in line, and the results will create the greatness and motivation behind your actions and efforts toward reaching your goals. If you use this approach, you will begin seeing results much faster.
Reason #10- Negative Feedback Could Kill the Momentum Way to Early
Negative influences have always been a dream and goal killer since the beginning of the time. We believe what we hear, and we become who we hang around the most. You need to surround yourself with positive influences and people who have common dreams and beliefs as you.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean to rush out the door or jump on the phone to tell them about every goal. Even your best influencers can find ways to poke holes in your goals, theories, and results that you ultimately achieve. If you stay positive and remain close with these individuals, that’s perfectly fine.
In the meantime, keep those goals to yourself until you reach a point that your actions are in line with your words that way when do mention them to others you already have full belief that they are solid beliefs and goals and that you can achieve them no matter what others have to say about your path or efforts. You won’t be disappointed about taking this approach.
Reason #11- Seeing the Competition or Being Informed of Competition Can Be Scary as Hell
This is a huge problem with sharing your goals. In some areas of goals setting, it’s important to understand what you’re up against and how hard the fight may be. In some scenarios however it’s better just to fight and keep moving forward and forget the rest. If you get to lost in the competition and the small details, you may get timid and shy away from the challenge altogether.
News flash people. Competition with anything in life is never going away. No matter what you plan on doing there will always be something or someone chasing you toward the same dreams and aspirations. Ignoring the people on your trail is the best way to keep the focus on the right things toward achieving success.
Competition dwelling can be a quick guaranteed way for you to give up or become fixated and obsessed with finding shortcuts in the system. There are no shortcuts when you are chasing anything that’s worthwhile. The sooner you learn this and accept it, the sooner you can start moving in the correct direction toward achieving something you can be proud of.
Don’t worry about the competition and just keep pushing forward with your vision and dreams. You will get further, and then you may have ever expected, and the results could be much more multiplied than you may think.
Reason #12- You and Your Family Deserve Success and For You to Stay on Track
You and your family deserve for you to do everything humanly possible not to let your dreams get knocked off track. You must protect them and not give up. Teach your children that hard work will eventually work. I don’t think that this is a statement that fails often.
Anything that gives your goals and dreams the chance at faltering needs to be avoided at all cost, and since science clearly backs up the facts that revealing your intentions to others is never a good idea, I’d highly recommend trying a different approach and keeping them as close to you for as long as possible.
You should never be fighting for anyone else outside yourself. Sure, sometimes it’s important to fight for your family’s wellbeing and future, but at the end of the day, you need to be happy. Nobody else. Whatever that takes, and whatever your vision may be, you need to execute daily and put in daily work to reach the point where you wake up excited and not dreading your day.
Reason #13- The Negative Impact of Social Media and Goal Setting
Most of this post has only been geared toward the negative impacts of telling friends, families, and others about your goals but we also know the people who do it differently. Maybe it is through Instagram or Facebook, but it’s more of a public announcement of what these people are about to do.
How many of these news feeds updates do you changing in the coming weeks, months, years? Not many. Have you ever taken the time to consider why they aren’t updating any progress, or why you never actually notice any results coming from these individuals?
Well, it’s for two primary reasons.
Reason #1- We Don’t Care to Check Back In
This goes back to some of the previous statements that we made about people don’t tend to check in or hold you accountable for very long. We get sidetracked and moved back into more important things that need to be accomplished. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s normal, and we all have our own lives to live.
So, what was the entire point of ever making that post in the first place? Now you have already experienced the highs and all the hearts and best wishes on Facebook, and as soon as everyone’s news feed updates, no one cares anymore, and you already feel like you have accomplished something when in reality, you really haven’t.
Reason #2- You Never Actually Follow Through with Your Post and Get Anything Done
This could be the second reason why we never see the updates or anyone moving into the correct direction. You have already done a big task and publicly announced that you are going to do something. You feel like your job is done.
Maybe you even got some negative comments on Facebook, and that’s what derailed the idea entirely from ever beginning. This is the dangers you run into when you publicly announce anything and allow the poison to seep into the brain.
Stay off social media, delete the social accounts and focus on you, your goals and the things in life that are beneficial for you in the long term. It’s the only way to grow and will prove to create much more results for a long time for you.
Putting It All Together, Keep Your Goals to Yourself to Achieve More Success
Look, am I saying accountability is a bad thing when setting goals? Absolutely not, but not in the sense that you need to scream to the world what you are trying to accomplish. The false sense of a task completed and the potential for someone to question your abilities is too risky in the beginning to go around blabbing your goals to everyone you meet. Just don’t do it. It won’t be worth it.
When you first create a goal, the 2 most significant factors that can take you to success is a reason why and massive action. Don’t let your brain trick you into sharing your plans and feeling like something has already been completed.
We say it in another blog post all the time that dreams are just dreams if you don’t put action behind them. That doesn’t change by telling your friends and family about your goals and how you are going to achieve them. Keep your goals a secret for now and start implanting your plan and start acting today.
What’s your experience with goal setting? Do you share your goals with anyone and if you do, what have been the results? Did it help? Did it make your goals fault? Be sure to drop a comment below.