I do a lot of talking about goals on this blog, which in a strange way is rather ironic. If you had asked me 2 years ago about goals the mere sound of the word would’ve caused me to go in the opposite direction. Goals brought up a feeling of deadlines and the possibility of failure. Neither of which sounded overly pleasurable to me. What if I don’t make this deadline? Do I want that hanging over my head? What if the deadline comes and I fall short? What if I fail? Sound familiar? I actually found myself fearing goals. If I never set a goal I could never fail. One problem with this. I am also a procrastinator. I never realized that part of my reasoning for not setting goals was that it would force me to take action which I was uncomfortable doing. Then I heard a couple of phrases that changed the way I view goals altogether. Funny thing is they were not about goals or goal setting. They were about the one thing I feared the most – failure. Who wants to fail? You look foolish, people think less of you, it may discourage you from trying new things. That is what I thought. Then I heard the phrase “the key to success is massive failure” I couldn’t comprehend that Until I listened to one of my favorite motivational speakers, Tony Robbins. How can failure lead to success? Well in my own world I notice my fear of failure was actually keeping me from trying new things. If I never tried, I could never fail. Then I had to question my definition of the word failure. In essence to me it meant not achieving a certain end you had set out to accomplish. Now it may mean something slightly different to you, but in general I think we are close here. I realized by fearing failure I had not tried, therefore I had not accomplished much of anything. It was keeping me from learning and growing. I also had to ask myself the tough question “what happens when I do fail to reach my goal? What happens when I fail?” Again I thought of Edison and his quote about having to try 10,000 different materials to find one that worked as a filament in a light bulb. When someone asked him how he could keep going after failing so many times. he responded “I didn’t fail, I just discovered 10,000 ways that didn’t work” I always read that and thought I am not sure if after 100 times of trying something I would keep going…maybe even after 50 or 25 depending on the situation. Yet look what having a deadline does to most of us. As a deadline draws nearer our action intensifies, we begin to try anything and everything to get this accomplished. Have you ever done this? maybe the night before an exam? Even if we fall a little short we walk away with more knowledge and a far better chance of succeeding next time. An example from my personal life is as follows. Let’s say i set a certain amount of my book I would like to sell in a month. As the end of the month grows closer I will try many different methods to get my book in the hands of as many people as I can. Some may work, some may not. Now if the end of the month comes and i am short of my number should I feel terrible? Like a letdown? No! I sold more books than if I had no goal at all. Than if I had been afraid to try and afraid to fail. I also will have learned some new marketing tools and some that may be a waste of time and money. All because I wasn’t afraid to fail. Think of your own life. What are you fearing doing? What may you learn if you embrace that possibility of failing? Why are goals so damn important anyway? That is what we will look at tomorrow!