Why It’s Important To Know Who You’re Sharing Your Goals With
When I first came across that piece of advice from most of the self improvement books I read, I seriously thought they were exaggerating. In fact, I thought it was unhealthy. What’s wrong with sharing your audacious goals with your closest friends and family? Aren’t they supposed to be happy for you now that you’ve managed to convince yourself to step out of your comfort zone to pursue something you’ve always wanted to? What harm can they do to someone whom they say they love and trust?
Theoretically, it seems logical. But what happened over the course of the years made me acknowledge that such advice can be true. So true that it actually hurts when the initial realization sets in. Here’s why :
(1) Your Faith Can Easily Waver When You’re Just Starting Out
When I first shared with a friend that I wanted to quit my job to start up a business venture, I was chided for not setting a loftier goal than just becoming “financially free”. I was told that my target was easily achievable since my expenses were low enough to be covered by any potential passive income. I was advised that I should set a higher goal to be the next millionaire in my country. What she said and the way she conveyed it seemed mincing but I soon became aware it wasn’t her words that were intimidating. It was my own insecurity. Even though my mind wanted to take the leap of faith, my heart wasn’t ready at that time.
When you’re just starting out on your goals, you may face the same situation as I used to. That’s the stage where you’re out there gathering “proof” that what you’ve been harbouring is something achievable. The danger of sharing your dreams prematurely – especially with people whom you think are natural skeptics – will only shake the pagoda of faith that you’re trying to build at that moment in time.
In my case, I could’ve been so affected by my friend’s advice that I give it all up. After all, it’s so much easier to just leave the dream aside, thinking that it isn’t lofty enough than to just jump onto the wagon and see what comes along.
(2) Not All People Are At The Same Level of Awareness As You Are
During a friend’s wedding reception last Sunday, I was seated together with some old University mates. One’s a director in an offshore bank, who had just given birth to a baby boy. Another’s a newly married personal financial consultant in an international bank while the third’s a finance manager of a global property developer. All 3 of them were happily chatting about their life. How they were faring. Their plans for the years ahead. Etc etc.
For a while, I kind of felt I was the odd one out. I couldn’t contribute to what they were discussing. Life in the cubicle farm, marriage and having kids are nice ideas. But they’re so distant from me at the moment that the thought of them could be likened to a bald man deciding on the type of hair shampoo he’s going to use. How much do I know about marriage or having children that I could bring myself to comment on their plans?
Likewise, I didn’t tell them much about what I was doing online. Sharing with those powerful corporate achievers that I quit my job to pursue a long time dream sounds like a crazy idea. After all, how much do they know about blogging or internet marketing to comment on my endeavours? I’m really not sure.
No one’s right or wrong here. We’re all influenced by the things we see and experience which in turn affect our choices to move up or down the awareness scale. The altitude we’re at eventually determine the opportunities and ideas we get exposed to. When someone of a different playing field is not able to provide the kind of support that you would like them to, it’s not because he didn’t want to. But rather because the scope of his existing vision and capacity didn’t warrant him to do so.
That’s why it’s often recommended to seek that someone from your mastermind group or your niche community. Someone who’s able to garner the type of help you’ll want from your goals. Someone who’ll hold you accountable for what you’ve committed to. Since both of you’re on a similar launch pad, it’ll be easier for him to do the job. Because he knows what it means to go through what you’re going through.
However, if you don’t mind a little controversy and want to put your ideas to the challenge, feel free to share them with all your friends. But bear in mind that you’re all different and review your responses in a constructive way. Look at what’s meaningful and disregard those that are meant to put you down. Be prepared for a heart thumping ride though!
(3) Sadly, Some People Actually Want You To Fail
I know I’ve been talking about this type of people in many of my articles. The question is, are there really such friends who literally want to see you fail? Or are they just a fragment of my own imagination?
Seriously, much as you may not want to admit it, they’re for real. These people start out seemingly very supportive of what you’re doing. They’ll ask about the status of your project every time you meet up. Their eagerness to know so much about what you’re doing surprises you at times but you tend to brush it off as a display of their concern for you as a friend.
In reality, it may not be what it seems to be. They can be asking just to satisfy their curiosity if you’re doing much better than them as a result of your conscious decision. If you’ve failed, it’ll just stroke their ego to know that they were right about you and your project since the beginning. If you’ve succeed, they’ll try to find out from you what you’re doing that’s working and use that as a basis to question their own choices in life.
I can’t remember the number of times I’ve been cornered in that situation. At least 3 friends have asked me “So, when are you going to find a job?” last month. And the moment I saw their shocked faces when I told them I’m still sticking with my project, I knew they’ve never expected me to succeed.
At the end of the day, it seriously don’t matter whether they’re right or wrong about you. What’s important is, you’ve already taken the first step to work towards your goals and dreams. That, in itself is a achievement and don’t let anyone’s words lead you into thinking that you’re not worthy.