By Hall of Fame Speaker Connie Podesta
All right – don’t start sending me hate mail! Let me say first, if you are a goal setter and that is absolutely working for you – stop reading. This is not the post for you.
This post is for everyone out there who may feel a little – or a lot like I do. The ones who feel like setting goals can be constrictive. Restrictive. Binding. Limiting. Forced. Uncomfortable. A confidence-killer.
Hear me out. You might not know this, but for a lot of us, this whole goal setting thing is a sure-fire method for feeling locked in and limited. Why? Because everywhere you turn people are TOLD setting goals is what we HAVE to do if we are ever to succeed. “They” say, without goals we will be unfocused, under-committed, wandering around without direction and will never going to accomplish our dreams. Seriously? So, what are we supposed to believe? What we are hearing with our ears or what we know in our hearts and our heads to be true?
Here’s what made the light bulb go off for me (and maybe it will lead to your own ah-ha) …
When I was teaching at a university and getting my graduate degree, I believed (because of that whole ‘gotta have a goal’ thing) that my next natural career course move was to become an administrator. That’s what people just DID when they had taken the path of education that I had taken. Then, there I was, standing in a long line of people dressed very professionally and acting very serious to sign up for the administrative path. But…I was wholeheartedly unenthusiastic. and felt out of place. Not because I didn’t have the absolute utmost respect for administrators, but — because I just didn’t see ME in that position. It didn’t speak to ME! Then, I spotted another line of people who were dressed much less “corporate”, laughing, chatting, having full-on conversations in the line and I thought, “They looked and acted a lot like me.” And just like that, I switched lines. Turns out they were registering to learn how to be counselors and therapists and become experts at what makes people tick. I knew in a nanosecond that… these were my people.
I’m so glad I took a chance that day and decided that the “expected path” didn’t have to be my “enduring path”. And as a result of living in the moment and switching directions I’ve spent more than thirty years helping people figure out why they do what they do and say what they say and why others do the same — and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. If I had “stuck to my goals” and worried about being a quitter, I wouldn’t have ever discovered my PASSION!
What did I learn about setting goals? That for me and a lot of other people, they are limiting—based only on what you THINK you know about what’s available to you. I would have NEVER set a goal to become an international professional speaker because I DID NOT even know that job even existed. Most often, goals are based on what you think about yourself, which, by the way, isn’t so reliable. People almost always either underestimate or overestimate themselves. And that’s a killer when it comes to setting goals. Underestimate—and you’ll never push yourself to exceed your own expectations. Overestimate — and you’ll set yourself up for failure and/or disappointment. Neither of these will help you move forward in a healthy way.
My “goal” now – is to have no goals at all. Other than I want to be a good, healthy, compassionate person and take every day, every opportunity, every encounter for all the potential it holds. Rather than trying to control my future I let my future come to me. If it is…
- Helps me to serve others better
- Teaches me how to grow in a positive way
- Moves me to take positive action
- Propels my business
- Inspires my vision
- Creates more self-awareness
- Brings me joy
- Enriches my life and those around me
- or put your wishes for a better life here___________
Then, I’m in. I’ll switch lines for those things any day. To me, that’s what being on this side of the goal setting fence is all about. living in a mindful present rather than always reaching reaching, reaching, for a future goal.
Listen, I get business goals. Meeting productivity expectations, hitting deadlines, building foundations, motivating teams – all of it. So much so that I teach leaders how to move their team members to go above and beyond expectations, collaborate and create on entirely new levels, and cultivate relationships that last for the duration. I just do it without the sales pitch of goals, because when I do? Both the goal-setters and the non-goal-setters get the inspiration they need without feeling like something is wrong with the way they are thinking.
Got a team of people like that? A big, interesting, diverse group of individuals who could benefit from learning how they tick and what makes other tick as well? Call me – have I got a keynote for you!
Watch the video below for more…
You might also want to check out my series The Top 10 Things You Need to Quit to Become a Better You on YouTube.
Could your team members benefit from strategies that allow them to break out of limited belief systems and allow them to create transformational change in their lives and work? Give me a call! I’ve got just the right keynote topic for your next event.