Watch out! Goal Sabotage: The 7 Words that Block Your Dreams
It’s easy to blame others for getting in the way of our success. But in 2011, how about we take responsibility of our goals and our outcomes? As we are creating our vision boards and writing down our goals (have you done this yet?), check your language and your self talk. Are you the one saying “no” to your dreams and to yourself? Are you coming up with excuses of why you can’t succeed this year?
Looking in the mirror can be painful but when it comes to goal-setting and goal-getting it’s the only way to keep things real. Why aren’t you as successful as you believe you should be? Why does full success elude you? Perhaps you begin but don’t commit. Perhaps you try but get sidetracked. Perhaps you go through the motions but lack belief. Of course, it’s not enough to create the vision, we must initiate consistent action as well.
“The vision must be followed by venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps– we must step up the stairs.” –Vance Havner
Sometimes we don’t see the success of action as a two-sided coin—on the one hand we must initiate action, and on the other, we must remove barricades. Some are placed by others while others are placed by our own volition, even if not consciously intended.
Here are the 7 words I revisit at the beginning of each year to ensure that I am fully invested in my own goals and am not quietly sabotaging them:
(1) No: Such a small word but like an ant, powerful for its size. It’s arguably one of the most powerful words in the English dictionary. Definitive by nature, it requires no other explanation for what it means. When planning and taking action on our goals, it’s the enemy of progress and the dasher of dreams. While we must say no to some things to say yes to others, saying no to our own dreams not only shuts out possibilities, it kills something within us.
(2) Can’t: This word is a mind-trick. “Can’t” is the little voice inside our heads that tells us what we are not able to do. It’s our own private Gremlin. Even if we’ve never tried it or attempted to do this thing this particular way before, “can’t” has already decided the outcome. Tacking on a simple apostrophe and that one little letter “t” to the end takes this word from emphatic and positive to pathetic and negative. How can we make progress if we’ve already told ourselves it can’t be done?
(3) Won’t: Won’t is our inner child throwing the proverbial tantrum. “Won’t” is bratty and uppity, immature and insistent in getting its way. With folded arms, nose up in the air, and a smug look, “won’t” will easily cut off its nose to spite its face. Of course, in our own stubborn stupor, we deny ourselves the ability to achieve our dreams.
(4) Never: “Never” is infinite permanence. “Never” robs us of our power of choice for the future. What feels impossible today is assumed to be insurmountable in the future despite changes in circumstance, wisdom, and guts. “Never” tells us that we shouldn’t even try because nothing will we do will make us successful goal-getters.
(5) Maybe: This word is just plain wishy-washy. It means nothing. Neither gutsy enough to say yes or direct enough to say no, “maybe” provides little hope for progress when there has been no definitive commitment. Will I try? Maybe. Will I give up? Maybe. You know what happens when we stand in the middle of the street. Our dreams get squashed.
(6) If: This tiny word is full of it. Projection, that is. “If” blames others when things don’t go its way. “If” takes the onus off of itself and lays it like a monkey on someone else’s back. It has the power of negating everything said before it with just one small insertion. It whines and begs for someone else to do the work or just simply, make it happen.
(7) Someday: While this word seems genteel enough, the reality is, it ‘s a snake-oil salesman. It wants to sell you a bill of goods. “Someday” is procrastination in action-there is no commitment, no follow-through, and no progress. “Someday” might trick someone into believing that a day of reckoning will come when it has no real intention. There is no power in someday until someday becomes today.
Many say that actions speak louder than words- but these words defy the rule. They, in themselves, rob people of the action necessary to achieve their goals and realize their potential. It’s time to say “yes,” “can,” “will,” and “now” to your hopes and aspirations. It’s time to go the extra mile. Take charge and you will surely see progress and success in 2011. Make this year…the year of achieving your dreams!