The Dark Side of Goal Setting

By on September 30, 2015

Everybody needs goals in their life. Goals are what powers our ambitions and what fuel are dreams. They are the only thing we have closest to complete success. Setting up goals and striving hard to achieve them is considered proactive and wise by most. It is thought of as something a responsible man would do. Yet, believe it or not, there is a dark side to it.

So what damage can goal setting bring to your life? There is a simple rule for this methodology and this specific rule needs to be followed at all times to stay on the safe side. This ‘rule’ basically says NEVER BURNOUT. Yes, you guessed it. While we see a balanced mind and a healthy life on one side of the matter, on the other we see stress, concern and complete burnout. This side is basically called the Dark Side of Goal Setting.

Obsessing over a new PR can do significant damage to you. How? You see, the damage dealt, is to your brain. The mind gets clogged up with so many tasks needing fulfillment that it reaches a pint of breaking apart. Being ‘Perfectionist’ is becoming common now and is usually found in young people with high ambitions. To tell you the truth, most people who end up creating goals for them to achieve, fall apart at the very start because of the stress of living up to the task.

Recent studies over students proved how ‘Perfectionistic Concerns’ lived up to their reputation. Almost all the students were found stressed out and anxious of their future because of the fear that they might not be able to accomplish their targets and goals. It showed how the major doubts that build up inside us regarding the top standards set for us, causes us to be overtaken by worry, tension and anxiety. It also displayed how all of this affected their performances. Students with concerns about perfection were adversely affected and their performances were deterred.

However, most of these perfection goals lead us to push ourselves and reach standards which we wouldn’t have thought of before. It can help us achieve things which we were not previously capable of. So how do we know that perfectionism is helping us and not destroying us? How do we determine where that line starts and whether or not we are crossing it?

Simply put, you have to change the way you think. Think for yourself and forget about competition. If you start stressing on what other people are achieving than you will burn yourself. Just focus on what you can do and set milestones accordingly.

Most of all, stop punishing yourself for setbacks and failures. Believing in yourself is the most integral part of this achievement. Change your view of failure and regard it as important as success. Yes, it is just as important. Failing will teach you better than any teacher. Think of them as valuable opportunities; gateways leading to your ultimate goal; this way you will reach a point of maturity and wisdom, where all your goals are within your capabilities