I’m sitting at the table across from a coaching client, and I ask them about the goals they have for this coaching session. Often I hear “I don’t know, or “I have no idea.” I can sympathise, because when I meet with my coach, I sometimes find myself thinking the same thing.
Why is it so hard to set a goal? Well, I think it boils down to the fact that it’s a risk-taking behaviour. Not the kind of extreme sports kind of risk where you can break a limb, but the more subtle, but equally powerful risk of breaking a promise.
If I articulate a goal, I make a promise to myself that I am going to work towards the goal. When I share it with someone else, they are going to ask me about it. What if I must then tell them that I have failed and been unable to achieve the goal? I disappoint the other person, and, more importantly, I disappoint myself. It’s a risky business. I risk being a failure and failure is painful.
So sometimes it’s easier to do nothing than to work towards a goal.
But…what if I adopt the mindset that I am unable to achieve the goal “yet”? That way I am still able take the necessary steps to work towards the goal. Or I might decide to give myself permission to redefine the goal and start afresh.
Either way, I am back on the road to success!