How your brain can cheat on you and what you should do instead
Goals are very personal to everyone and often are associated by what lies deeply inside the heart of someone. The burning desire for a promotion , or perhaps completing to write a book or may be to just start meditating or finish a university degree to may be starting to teach as a college professor?
Well , you might wonder then what happens to the statement “sharing is caring” or that sharing goals is actually powerful” and can help you achieve it?
The thing is , in the age of social upward comparison and the impatience of wanting to be as successful as someone whom we secretely admire, causes frustration when we cannot just get fast enough there.
The result of the self induced frustration creates a sense of urgency . You constantly try to be somehow acknowledged and validated. You might think that sharing it with more people will hold you more accountable to reach your goals faster.
So, what happens is that you might be tempted to start sharing your plans or goals openly with your social network online and offline. You might think since you have shared it with so many people , you would now definitely be able to achieve that goal quicker and faster.
Stop! Your brain is cheating you!
What actually happens when you tell it to more people is that you may receive a premature praise which translates to your brain as a “reward” token. Simply, this praise of something that you have not even achieved yet stimulates the reward and pleasure centre in your brain that releases the hormone Dopamine. It is that very same hormone that creates pleasure and satisfaction.
Your brain then makes you perceive that as if the task is already accomplished or done and you start losing focus to wanting to complete the task. So think again before making public announcements of your intentions!
Too much praise can set you up for failure
Have you ever experienced that when you reveal your intentions publically that you get that ” Wow, I am impressed because you must be really smart to do that ” kind of response? Well the problem with this kind of praise is that it associates your inherent qualities that come within you naturally.
But the moment you fail in achieving your announced goal, the failure is not seen as big as the anticipated fear of perception from others about you as a person. This makes us want to give up and not follow through with our goals.
Being judged causes demotivation and the urge to give up
Now , often it happens that you might have shared your goals with people who, instead of motivating you, started giving you a list of why it is a bad idea for you to follow through. They might even have counted all the problems that will stand in your way of reaching your goals or that you should not simply pursue your dream goal because others have already done it . Pretty judgy and it sucks right? And because, we are seeking attention and validation when we share our goals , the opposite makes us feel worse about ourself and demotivates us from pursuing it any further.
Sharing a goal should only be with a trusted person
It is advisable that you should share your goal with someone you really trust such as a friend. Someone that can really hold you accountable.
Although it is good to have an accountability partner, a paper by the American Psychological Association mentions the following:
“It asserts that the effect of accountability depends on a complex host of moderators, including the cause of a given bias, the type of accountability, and the decision maker’s knowledge of formal decision rules.”Source
It is important that your accountability partner is not just a friend that you trust , but that you also see as someone who is successful in achieving a similar goal as well as is in the position to offer you solid and constructive feedback.
What is the Take Away?
#1.If you really want to follow through your goals, do not go out and publically share it, especially not on Social Media. Instead , have someone as an accountability partner, that you really trust . Someone that you have faith in, that they will actually push you through and motivate you to realize your goals.
#2.Do not let your brain fool you that you cannot achieve it.
#3.If you fail , do not give up failure is nothing more then learning. For greatness lies within you !
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Till next time , stay safe and much happiness!