Does this sound familiar?
You set a brand-new goal and are super excited about it.
You map out what you want to do, and what it will take to get you there. You plan the timetable and give yourself a deadline to accomplish your goal. Everything seems to be going so well…
Then it happens. That little knot in the pit of your stomach. The tightness in your chest. The voice in your head that says, regardless of what you’ve done to prepare, you’ll fall short.
Before long, your enthusiasm has evaporated and that project is long-forgotten, just like many of the goals that have come before it. Maybe you’re just not good at goal-setting…
What’s Really Happening
If that story sounds like you, you’re not alone. Most of us have fallen victim to this pattern at some point. We miss the mark once, then again. Before long, we start to believe that we just aren’t good at setting and achieving goals.
We chalk it up to a lack of self-discipline or willpower, but that’s usually not the full story.
More often than not, what you’re really missing in this scenario is confidence. The confidence that you can succeed. The belief that you can overcome setbacks. The determination that comes with knowing you can ultimately get where you want to go.
In its place is self-doubt, which kills your enthusiasm and paralyzes your progress. You struggle to take action toward what you want because you have bought in to the myth that you are never going to get there anyway. The more you struggle, the less you accomplish. The cycle becomes self-perpetuating.
How to Get Beyond It
To rebuild your confidence and get beyond the pattern of falling short of your goals, the first step is to change up the story in your head.
Start by remembering times when you succeeded in the past. Remind yourself that you are the same person who accomplished those things. You have all the same skills and resources at your disposal, and you can use them to get where you want to go.
Spend some time reflecting on what it was like to hit the target previously.
How did it feel?
What resources did you rely on to get you there?
What routines and habits did you implement to help you?
How did you handle the setbacks you faced?
The answers to these questions not only serve to remind you that you are more than just your failures, they also provide you a roadmap for success moving forward.
Use what has worked for you in the past to propel you forward. Take actions that are consistent with how you’ve achieved in the past.
And don’t forget all the things that indirectly contributed to your success like taking good care of yourself or leaning on your support network. Often, these are vital ingredients that get overlooked.
As you move forward, remember to measure your progress. How far have you come since you started? What wins have you had along the way? It’s important to keep the goal in sight, but forgetting how far you’ve come along the way is a recipe for discouragement.
Setting and achieving goals is a skill most of us want to improve. If you’ve found yourself struggling with a pattern of falling short in the past, take a look at your confidence. It may be the missing ingredient you need to unlock your success.
I’d love to hear from you…
Does lackluster confidence resonate as a reason you’ve fallen short of your goals?
What tricks do you use to keep your confidence and enthusiasm high as you work for what you want?