You’ve probably heard many times that you shouldn’t tell anyone your goals – at least not specifically – if you really want to make things happen and succeed eventually. It’s the same thing as when you’re applying for a job; you don’t tell anyone about the details because they won’t really help you to ease the process anyway.
But before you do that, consider these.
Here are two things can happen if you tell people your goals:
1. Everyone congratulates you and you feel so good – perhaps, too good – about yourself.
If you are going to publicly announce your goals and let your friends know about your big goals, expect congratulations and a temporary increase of happy hormones in your brain. This would trick your brain thinking that you’ve actually pursued the goal… even if you haven’t even done it.
Maybe you’ll do it…
one day eventually.
Somehow, that day hasn’t come because you’ve already had that boost you needed without even creating.
Basically, those people who publicly announce their goals spent less time pursuing the goal than those who keep their goals to themselves. In other words, they let their actions speak louder than words – as cliche as that is.
“They argued that important goals like pursuing a career path involve a commitment to an identity goal. Identity goals are goals that ultimately influence a person’s concept of who they are.” – Art Markman, Psychology Today.
I’ve done this so many times in the past and told my goals to people whose reaction I know would boost my confidence level.
It went downhill after that
especially because I was too confident that it would work in the end. But it didn’t. So, I’ve had to waste time to pick myself up for months.
2. On the other hand, pessimists would question every single thing making you feel less than you actually are.
There’s a difference between people who criticize to merely judge and people who criticize to help you improve.
Here, I’m talking about the former.
Some people in your life would try dig deep into the “how, what, where and why” you do them without even trying to understand in the first place. No matter how much you try to reason with them, they won’t understand.
I’ve shared my plan to somebody who I thought would understand but regretted it afterwards because they didn’t. After that, I started questioning everything too, thinking that I might be delusional. Their opinions matter so much to me because they’re somebody close.
Sometimes, you need to recognize that someone close to you might not be the best people to tell too, especially when they’ve never done anything close to what you’re doing.
It’s not their fault that they don’t understand.
They’re just trying to give you a reality check so you wouldn’t have to suffer in a long run.
“But I feel lonely on this journey… I need to vent out. I need to share this with somebody!”
I get it. We need someone to encourage us and guide us from making the same mistakes.
One of the solutions to this is to seek the in-between road between the two extremes above.
Find someone who you can trust to support you but also someone would give you accountability as well as realistic and practical advice when you need it.
Better yet, if you’re working with a team, those are the only people who need to know your goals and plans.
Also, find like-minded people. That can be a in a form of a community or someone close to you like your family or friends who are only going through the same struggles.
Don’t spend your time comparing yourself with people who are doing something completely different from what you’re pursuing as that would only be mentally and emotionally exhausting.
Even if you enjoy working alone, you will eventually need some help.
I, for one, love working alone and I don’t mind being lost in my own world while creating. But that also comes with consequences of making errors and mistakes when I could be doing so much better.
Also, I’d have to spend time researching – sometimes, too much that I couldn’t stop – when I could’ve learned from somebody who has been in the field that I am interested in.
There’s no harm in asking for help from the right people and invest a considerable amount of money in courses and classes.
I’ve realized that the ultimate end result of the two extremes above – by telling your goals to the wrong people – is the same.
When I told the wrong people about my goals, it didn’t work out for me because I expected an external source of change when I actually needed to work on my intrinsic values as well as what I can realistically do now.
In a way, I needed someone else’s approval for a sense of security so that what I’ll create won’t go to waste.
Nowadays, if I ever feel that way again, I would reflect on the “why” behind my goals rather than focusing so much on the tangible end results.
It was only when I started creating that I spent less time telling people what I do.
I don’t even mind people asking me questions like
“Where do you work now?”
anymore or questions that I know won’t help me to improve. Noises exist, but it’s your choice to either let them consume you or find a way to change it.
Yes, I admit that some days can be so ‘meh’ that I just don’t feel like doing or creating. And that’s okay.
I’ve also spent months dealing with my insecurities and doubts. And that’s okay too. Eventually, you will get somewhere as long as you don’t stop.
The important to thing to remember is to set some boundaries when sharing our goals to other people especially when they’ve become our identity.
When we create solely to satisfy our need of other people’s approval… that’s when we’ll need to check the “why” of our goals. When I caught myself wanting to share my goals to certain people, I’d ask myself whether that’ll help me in any way or it is just a means to boost my ego.
I’ve learned this the hard way by getting rejections…
But I’ve managed to pull through by realising that it’s not like people reject me; people reject my work or my credentials. It’s still difficult because you are essentially what you do.
But at least, it is a reminder that you’re always a work-in-progress. Some things are just not meant for you and that there are so many opportunities out there for each and everyone of us. Overtime, you’ll grow a thick skin with all these rejections and would treat it as an opportunity to grow rather than a barrier to move forward.
Then you’ll also start recognizing your priorities and all that.
Here’s one last thing I’d like to remind myself and you: Don’t focus on achieving a perfect result.
Just enjoy your creative process