On Goal Failure
I posted this on my Instagram recently....
...With this long (really long) caption below about failing forward in my goals and it resonated and I want to be in conversation and action about it way more.
So hi. I am a goal setter. And hello, I am a goal fail-er.
You know this.
I have a vision board literally sitting on my desk and one glued in my notebook. I have goals written and scratched out and celebrated and rejected and even forgotten then remembered. And that right there, are goals ALIVE.
I have been in deep inquiry the past few months about my own goal setting practice. Moreso because it started to feel stagnant and well, I was failing a lot. Questions like: How I set them and my own goal setting style. How I ask for help and really, how I fail and restore? How I want to teach them and coach them?
Recently I finished Gretchen Rubin's book 'The Four Tendencies', have you read it? A great read and it has an online quiz! Like a good student, I love a quiz! And yes, I just took the quiz again and got the same answer. My tendency is OBLIGER.
From Gretchen, "Obligers respond readily to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. In other words, they work hard not to let other people down, but they often let themselves down. Obligers may find it difficult to form a habit, because often we undertake habits for our own benefit, and Obligers do things more easily for others than for themselves.
For Obligers, the key to forming habits is to create external accountability."
Sound familiar? Take that quiz!
I won't lie to you, I was annoyed by my results. I wanted to be an UPHOLDER so bad. I mean, so bad!
And then, I softened into the reality and honestly, I softened into the truth of the matter. I love human contact, human connection, human accountability.
And my goal style really is best when shared out loud, when someone is watching me or cheering me on or checking in on me. It is true. And vulnerable. And emotional.
Sharing goals out loud is not for the faint of heart. It is real and raw and bold.
And yet, I started to think about what happens when I don't have that accountability, that check in partner or that boss giving me a promotion or feedback to be better and I realized when I fail goals, or when I miss a date I set for myself, I feel goal shame. And then, oh man, and then the stories start to follow about how I am not good enough, smart enough, making enough money or in the right time on Earth...
It is a weird vortex, that goal shame.
And as I shared on Instagram, I came to realize that failure is part of the process. Failure is part of the goals game. It is part of what made me reach for Gretchen's book, learn more about me and see that perhaps the failure is on purpose so I can lean, ask, speak and connect even more about my goals than I have been doing. Or try a new way.
I recently read in this amazing book (I know, another book, I am on a reading binge) on creativity called 'Wired to Create' by Scott Barry Kauffman and Carolyn Gregoire, that most creative people fail way more often than we think. Even though instagram might be tricking us not to believe that, it is the truth. The book hit a point for me when it said, and this is my understanding, that creators create, it is what they do. And they keep doing it, again and again until something sticks, rocks, works for them and the World. They don't just stop because they failed, they keep creating.
And I was like yes, duh. I have been wrapped up in this story that I have to have everything perfect or look like the perfect goal setter to even be a goal coach. A new limiting belief I have been dipping my toe in, eww. And my goals have felt, lame, small and well, forgotten.
And in reading that book and reading again and again that creators are going to create, I realized that goalers are going to goal. And they keep goaling because that is being alive, that is offering up our gifts and learning every single step of the way.
It is in that learning that putting ourselves out there and speaking our goals out loud that we create a bridge to allow others to join us, roots for us, be inspired to goal, too. This is the OBLIGER way.
And I am creating a program around literally this. I am calling it goalSPEAK and it is about speaking our goals out loud, celebrating failure, asking for accountability or support and learning, together.
It is in a 3 week beta phase and yes, you are invited to explore it until the full 6 month program is robust in 2019. We start this month and I would love to have you join at this amazing rate to get down and dirty with our goal practices. ALL THE DETAILS ARE HERE.
Let's learn our goal style, get in a practice of speaking our goals way out loud, fail forward and be bold, together.