All too often I have seen people in situations where they walk away from a goal at the first sign of adversity or challenge. The goal may have been a big one that was considered by others as lofty or far from reach. For example, a goal of becoming the best golfer in the world, or a goal of becoming a billionaire. However, the goal could also have been something that many others have already achieved, such as running a marathon, earning a six-figure salary, or learning a second language.
But why do so many people give up on their goals even when they are within reach?
In most cases, I would argue, it is because of fear. The fear of failure. Some people are just hoping for an excuse to quit. Others let setbacks or challenges increase their fear to the point where the pain of potential failure outweighs the pain (the hard work) of achieving the goal in the first place. This is a common tale. Too common, and unfortunate.
But what exactly are these people afraid of? Is it the goal itself that scares them? Is it what other people will say (the naysayers) if they do not achieve it? The fact is most goals people set are achievable, but yet so many give up.
The problem in my view is not the goals. Most people do not set “scary” goals. Instead the focus should be shifted to the PLAN to get there. If your plan scares you, so will your goal. But great planning is the antidote of fear. If you are afraid of failing to achieve any goal you have set, you do not have the right plan.
So how do you put together the right plan?
Find others who have achieved the same thing and use their experience to build or enhance your plan. Think through what might happen along the way, and be prepared in advance to react when you reach a roadblock. Find mentors, coaches or others who can increase your focus on the plan you already have in place. Then work your plan. Refine it. Work it again. The chances of achieving your goals with little fear of failing will increase dramatically.