Goal Setting Can Be Dangerous

Published on October 3, 2010 by Dr Cathy

Almost everything you read about achievement talks about the power of setting goals. The experts will tell you how putting your goals on paper will put the energy in motion and move you forward. Writing goals is writing down your destination. You know what you want to move towards.

That's a positive, isn't it?

Setting yourself up for failure

Let's say you write down your list of goals. You get them in the suggested form: concrete, obtainable and with a date of completion. You even stick them on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror so you can continually remind yourself of them. You look at them everyday. The problem is you don't do anything about them. In fact, every time you look at them you feel a little less good about yourself. It's as if someone took a knife and cut a little piece of self-confidence away.

As time goes on your list of goals you so carefully wrote out prove to you what a failure you are.

This is the danger to goal setting. Achieving your goals can be more complicated than "Just do it."

You might have a belief that blocks you from moving forward with decisive action. If you don't remove this block, change your sabotaging belief, goal setting which is meant to help you is, instead the tool to reinforce your already fragile self-esteem.

Get behind the source of your inaction

If you have a deeply held belief that you will fail at anything you achieve, this exercise is useless. You could also have the belief that you will be punished or hurt if you succeed. The problem is not in what you want to achieve. The problem is the beliefs that keep you from moving forward in life… and these begin very early in your life.

Believing you are worthless interfere with any positive step you take. You have that whole "not deserving" of success infiltrating your every thought. Your belief is very much like a faulty set of computer code making your computer something

you don't want every time you boot up. Believing you are no good, or that you can't achieve anything, activates subconscious forces that almost guarantee that you will sabotage your positive efforts to achieve what you most want in life.

What you should really put on your list

If you want to quit the self-sabotage that has interfered with your life ever since you can remember, you need a new goal. What is it? Simple. "I will find my self-sabotaging beliefs and replace them with beliefs that support me in achieving my deepest desires by (insert date)." Putting this on your list, even if it is the only thing there, tells your subconscious mind what it now needs to work on.

There are two ways to discover where your self-sabotaging beliefs are. One is through your feelings and the other is through your actions. A little self-reflection is in order to be able to locate them. This, by the way, requires courage. If you find yourself reluctant to engage in the exercise below you need to know there is fear lurking below. (Hear me saying those words as if I'm in a haunted house attempting to scare you.) Fear is the source of all inaction. Some people say it's laziness, but there is fear beneath the laziness… unless you're depressed.

Here's a little writing exercise. Allow yourself about 30 minutes to complete it.

List all the fears you have of succeeding. I'll list a few people have. If they are some of yours, you can use them to get started.

Fears of succeeding

Will take too much time
My friends won't like it
What if I try and I don't…

Your turn.

It's much easier to face your fears when you know specifically what they are. Let me know how this works for you.


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