Why do Goals Fail

Why do Goals Fail

Most people look for success in their careers, relationships, health, and finances. They work extremely hard, and struggle for a major part of their lives trying to make it work. They develop the necessary skills and competencies, set up the infrastructure and purchase the machinery and tools that are required, but inspite of all this, many of them fail to meet their goals. Positive thinking and affirmations are good and work only to a point, and yet people find a whole lot of ‘problems’ and ‘obstacles’ that come in their way of achieving what they want. Have you ever wondered why?

There are two aspects to a person’s being – the Outer Being, which includes the external behavior, the skills that you need, and the tools and the environment which is obviously very important. This is the visible aspect of the personality.

And then, there is the Inner Being, which includes your thoughts and emotions that create the beliefs that you hold inside, so for instance, do you really believe that you can achieve that goal? What is it that you are thinking or communicating to yourself? Is there a voice inside you that is telling you that you can’t achieve it, or it’s difficult to achieve, or it’s impossible? Your behaviour and actions are driven by your Beliefs (do you really believe you can achieve the goal?), your Values (how important is this goal for you?), and your Identity (what do you need to become in your heart to be successful?). It is like a soldier who has undergone all the military training required to get ready for war, but when he actually enters the war-front, he finds out that the Identity and Values that he holds, do not support the outcome that he has set out to achieve, which is, to kill the enemy.

I remember a lady who came to me saying that she was facing marital issues with her spouse. She was desperately trying to save the marriage which was her ultimate goal. She felt that there was lack of compatibility between her and her husband for even the simplest of things. For instance, her husband and she did not agree on the style of living. She felt that since they both earned well, they should live a better lifestyle. Whenever they went out to a restaurant or a vacation, he was very particular about the cost, and preferred a simpler place, never wanted to do up the house fearing more expenses, and so on. On further questioning, I found that she came from an affluent background and lived well before marriage, whereas, her husband and in-laws came from a conservative and middle-class background. Here, very clearly there was a clash of Identity and Values between them. She carried an Identity of a person who always lived comfortably and her Values dictated that it was alright to do that now, whereas, her husband believed in simple living and (perhaps) saving enough money for the future. So, the adjustment had to be done at this Identity level and Values level, but instead, it was being done ‘…only for the sake of the other person’, which meant that she did not really believe this to be true.

Similarly, a person, who decides to change her career, needs to decide the Identity that she would like to carry for herself for achieving her goal. What are the values and beliefs that she has – are these in line with her goal, if not, what does she need to do change those beliefs?

The way you think determines the choices that you make, and drives your behaviour and action which has the ultimate impact on your goals. So when people’s Identity, Beliefs and Values are not aligned with their outcome, then there is a general lack of purpose and motivation towards the goal, and the fear of failure, procrastination, and sometimes even the feeling of unworthiness sets it. Hence, it is so very important to focus on the Inner being to drive you to perform the tasks with greater commitment and velocity towards your goals.

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