Can fear be an asset when goal setting?
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
I speak a lot about goals and the relationship between those and our internal motivations. Do we find ourselves motivated and then go after goals, or do we find a goal worthy of our pursuit which then awakens the motivation, I believe, lies in all of us? What holds us back and what propels us forward? In other posts I outline the fundamental steps: Chose a goal worthy of your effort; create a plan; believe (truly believe) in the plan; belief will lead to discipline; discipline will ensure success.
All that said, I also firmly believe that for those stages to extend their roots deep enough and far reaching enough to hold you in place when the inevitable head winds start to blow, you need to make your goal(s) PUBLIC. Now that doesn't mean you need to take out an advertisement in the local paper or host a giant goal-launching party, but you need to share your goal with someone. Sometimes, the more the better! Social media can be a great mechanism for sharing. It doesn't need to be a tool to boost anyones ego, but it is an amazing tool to hold yourself to account.
A goal kept to yourself is a secret. A secret you can ignore, a goal you can pretend you never set, a plan you don't need to stick with, an easing in the belief of the value of your efforts toward that chosen end. When only you know the risk of doing versus the risk of not doing, it can all simply fade away and nobody is the wiser, and you, no more the better.
What stops people from making a goal public? Sometimes, quite simply FEAR. Fear of being judged, fear of being compared, fear of set-backs, fear of failure. That same fear, however, is what also keeps us honouring our personal commitment when we do make a goal public. Those very same fears that drive our instincts to keep our passions hidden exist for those of us who put our ambitions out there. We are afraid. What if we don't follow through? What do I say when people ask how it's going? What if we don't succeed. In deed what if....?
Once we realize the most courageous amongst us, who get up everyday confident in their public declarations are as every bit afraid of failure as those who don't, we have to then wonder what do we have to lose?
In 2021, don't let fear stop you. Let it motivate you.