I love goals! I love goal setting, goal brain-storming, and goal achieving. It is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world to cross off a major goal from your list of ambitions. There are so many different types of goals ranging from physical goals to career goals. In addition to different types of goals, I would argue that there are two goal categories: goals we tell others, and goals we keep to ourselves. Knowing what types of goals are best kept to yourself is key to achieving them, because believe it or not, our peers and loved ones can derail our dreams if we let them.
Goals to Shout to the World:
More often than not our goals are ones that we should be shouting to the world. These are goals that are commonly held by many people, are highly esteemed by the public, or can be achieved by a majority of people. Goals such as: losing weight, dressing with better style, being a high school teacher (doctor, fireman, lawyer, surgeon…), earning a doctorate degree, owning a big house, trying out for the soccer team or the city musical. These goals, and goals similar to them, are ones we want to tell our friends, family, and peers about. Why? So that they can help us and hold us accountable to what we’ve said.
The key to knowing if you should make your goals public is if they are nonthreatening. If you look at the goals I listed earlier, anyone from any background can go after those goals themselves. It even makes us draw closer to others if we share a common goals such as working out together. So if your goals are common, have been achieved by a majority of the population, or uphold a society ideal, then share those with others! You will find people wanting to help and support you through these goals.
Goals to Keep to Yourself
While it might seem a little odd, there are some goals that we should keep to ourselves. These are goals I like to call “far and few between” goals. These are goals that might last a lifetime, seem far-fetched, uncommon, and the key word, are threatening to others. These are goals such as: being a millionaire by 25, being a CEO of my billion dollar corporation, having 700,000 followers, owning a sports team, driving a Lamborghini, opening a theme park, or wanting to buy three summer houses in the Bahamas. You can probably tell that these goals are bigger, brighter, and uncommon.
Now I want to be clear on one thing—you should have these goals! It doesn’t matter how big, far-fetched, uncommon, hard, or daunting they seem—go for it! Just be careful who you share these goals with. People, wonderful as they are, can subconsciously seek to destroy your chances for success. They might try to fill you with doubt by saying something like, “Oh…that sounds…cool.” Or make you question your ability with comments like, “Really? I don’t think you know how hard that is.”
Comments like these, attitudes of doubt, or even envy are NOT going to help you shoot for your dreams. People sure don’t mean to dash apart your ambitions or derail your success but they might do so because they feel threatened that if you achieve that goal it will make them look bad, or tarnish their success. So share them with only your closest friends, your spouse, your parents, or anyone who can catch the vision of your dream to make it into a reality.
While goal setting is a huge part of engineering a successful life, knowing who to share those goals with is vital. So pull out your list of goals today. Check what you’ve been working on (we’re half way through the year already). See if there are some goals you need to be telling more people about, or goals that you need to keep locked in your heart. And no matter what—keep working, striving, and pushing towards those goals.