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Using Goal Setting to overcome fear

fearIf you have a fear of failure, you might be uncomfortable setting goals but goals help us define where we want to go in life. Without goals, we have no sure destination. There are a lot of great goal setting approaches out there. Check out some of the more recent literature on setting those goals. I recommend a system based on the book “Immunity to Change” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. Their approach helps you discover those ways of seeing the world that they call “Big Assumptions” that may be limiting us and holding us back from being consistently successful in obtaining our goals. Many experts also recommend visualization as a powerful tool for goal setting. Imagining how life will be after you’ve reached your goal is a great motivator to keep you moving forward. What does success look like to you? Now…how do I get there?

Start by setting a few small goals. These should be goals that are slightly, but not overwhelmingly, challenging. Think of these goals as “early wins” that are designed to help boost your confidence. For example, if you’ve been too afraid to talk to the head of lending at your local community bank then make that your first goal. Stop by and introduce yourself. Take the pressure off for any particular outcome. Make the goal specific to that act of stopping by and having a conversation.

Try to make your goals tiny steps on the route to much bigger goals. Don’t focus on the end picture; instead put energy and effort toward accomplishing the next step. That’s where those action plans that your trainers and mentors gave you come in handy.

Taking one small step at a time will help build your confidence, keep you moving forward, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed with visions of your final goal.

So I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes that help me stay on the path for success even when my fear of failure tries to hold me back….

“Failure is success in progress”
— Albert Einstein

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.”
–Samuel Smiles

“Just Keep Swimming”
–Dory from “Finding Nemo”


6 responses to “Using Goal Setting to overcome fear

  1. lisafriesen February 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Thank you! So needed this. Lisa

  2. S. Sridharan February 21, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for your email. You are giving a different picture about Goal Setting. People want to dream Big and set one’s Goal Big, because, if one sets small goals and achieve them, his mind
    will be satisfied with that and he will not move further. Hence, it is always better to set Big Goals
    for reaching.


    S. Sridharan
    Chennai, INDIA.

  3. raq701 February 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Thank You I need it to read that. I never wrote a list of what goals I need to work on. I will start doing that from now on.

  4. Godfrey Kiyemba March 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this masterful article

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