Why Do Goals Fail

Author: Shyam Kalle   |   Date: 03 Jan 2017   |   Comment: 0 Share:   |     |     |  

Most people look for success in their careers, relationships, health, and finances. They work extremely hard, and struggle for a major part of their lives trying to make it work, and yet fail to meet their goals. Positive thinking and affirmations work only to a point, and yet people find a whole lot of problems and obstacles that come in their way of achieving what they want.

While their focus may be on achieving success, it is equally important to understand what it is that they are thinking or communicating to themselves. Is there a voice inside telling them that they can’t achieve it, or it’s difficult to achieve, or it’s impossible, etc? A very important and often neglected aspect is the human mind. People’s behaviours and actions are driven by what they hold in their mind, i.e. the person’s Identity (what do they need to become in their heart to be successful), their Beliefs (do they really believe they can achieve this), and Values (how important is this goal for them). It is like a soldier who has undergone all the military training required to get ready for war, but when he actually enters the war-front, he finds out that the Identity and Values that he holds, do not support the outcome that he has set out to achieve, which is, to kill the enemy.

So when people’s Identity and Values are not aligned with their outcome, then lack of commitment or motivation to achieve the goal, the fear of failure, procrastination, and the feeling of unworthiness of the end result, starts creeping in.

I remember a lady who came to me saying that she was facing several marital issues with her spouse, and she was in fact thinking of a separation. She felt that there was lack of compatibility between them for even the simplest of things. For instance, her husband and she did not agree on the style of living. She felt that since they both earned well, they should live a better lifestyle. Whenever they went out to a restaurant or a vacation, he was very particular about the cost, and preferred a simpler place, never wanted to do up the house fearing lot of expenses, and so on. On further questioning, I found that she came from an affluent background and lived well before marriage, whereas, her husband and in-laws came from a conservative and middle-class background. Here, very clearly there was a clash of Identity and Values between them. She carried an Identity of a person who always lived comfortably and her Values dictated that it was alright to do that now, whereas, her husband believed in simple living and (perhaps) saving enough money for the future.  So, the adjustment had to be done at this Identity level, but instead, it was being done ‘...only for the sake of the other person’, which meant that she did not really believe this to be true.

Similarly, a person, who decides to change his career, needs to decide the Identity that he would like to carry for himself for achieving his goal. What are the values and beliefs that he has – are these in line with his goal, if not, what does he need to do change those beliefs, etc.

Hence, instead of trying to focus on their goals first, if people first focussed on who they want to be, and what they need to think to be successful, then this would drive them to perform the tasks with greater commitment and velocity to take them forward towards their goal.

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