Setting up goals gives me a stressy feeling, especially if it seems I won’t reach my goals. How to overcome this feeling?

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Anna Hill , CPA, Co Founder | Accounting We Will Go Industry Expert · Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

What you’re experiencing is called ‘Goal Shame’.

Goal Shame is when you set a goal and the voices in your head and other people’s voices have a lot to say about those goals, and not everything said is supportive.

Shame can feel like there is something wrong with us as a person, and when we are asking something more of ourselves when setting goals, that inside shame voice can speak up. Or, outside voices of shame can speak up, sometimes from those closest to us!

Why does this happen?

Goal shame voices are normal; it’s that primitive cave brain that says, “Oh, don’t risk failure, you’ll (die, starve, be kicked out of the cave.)”

Goal shame from an outside voice may sound like, “You’ll never see a million dollars in your life.” (Someone actually told me their parent said that to them!) Or, “Do you really want to work THAT hard?”

These limiting beliefs can keep us safe, but they are also limiting and a detriment to earning what we deserve.

When you hear these voices, allow them. Make room for them and acknowledge – they are NORMAL. But they must also pass. Do not apologize, justify, or make an excuse.

A justification sounds like telling ourselves or someone else, “Well, I am setting this goal because my family needs me to (save money for college, pay for a roof over their head, pay off debt…)”

Instead of justifying, I encourage you to stand behind your goal. Do not justify, explain it away, ask for permission, or feel sheepish or shameful in any way! It’s no one’s business why you are setting this goal, and it’s also perfectly acceptable to set a goal for no reason other than to make money. With money comes abundance and gratitude, which gives you more power in the world to serve your purpose.

Do not give others, or your primitive brain, power over your future!

Also, as you work towards your goals, you will have failures. This is a normal part of the process, and if you meet your goals without missteps, they are not goals with any reach or substance. I only caution you to be careful about what power you assign to those failures. Learning is in the resilience and recovery, not in perfection, so when you have a failure, see it as what it is – the gift to recover and gain resiliency, not as a bad decision.

I encourage to set goals – and practice listening to the goal shame, acknowledging it for what it is, and then move past it. Do NOT give that shame from your own voice or others any power over your future!

Anna Hill is the founder of Accounting We Will Go, a firm that provides accounting and bookkeeping services along with training for Amazon sellers.