Most goals are hard. There’s a high degree of difficulty, and therefore a high risk of failure. And I never want to show up in front of friends, family, coworkers or (gulp) my boss as a failure.
But I am risking it all now.
My current goal is a biggie—it’s losing the equivalent of a gold brick in weight. I’m doing it the old-fashioned way: no pills, no programs, no prepackaged meals or bars … just good, old-fashioned counting calories, eating real food and literally walking my butt off. And it’s working.
But unless you live under a rock, you know that anyone who has tried to lose weight has failed (often more than once). So don’t you think I’m a bit crazy to admit that I’m doing something hard, something I’m likely to fail at, to everyone (including you, dear reader)?
But I’ve decided that this is exactly what I need to be successful. If I hide my efforts, it gives me the motivation-sapping opportunity to make excuses. To slack off. To quit. And that would most certainly make me a failure.
So, instead, I’m telling the world. Telling my marathon-running boss, my pageant-winning coworker, my REI-model coworker, my gloriously-skinny-after-two-kids cousin, even friends who will probably judge me for holding onto the equivalent of a spare tire’s worth of weight after each of my own two kids.
Oh, man. If I fail at this, I am in trouble.
But I would argue that getting to a goal requires a declaration that is exactly this big and bold. It means you’ve sailed away from safe harbors, played “all in” for a final hand, and cut down the safety net. Win or lose, you’re 100% committed.
You’ve put your reputation on the line.
That’s what I mean by daring yourself into success.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson
This blog is generally about business, and I would argue that this same principle applies in the work world. Either go big, or go home. When we make big promises, set big goals, raise the bar higher than expected, we give ourselves something to strive for and something for others to admire and reward.
The way most people approach goals in business is this: either they make their goals fuzzy (measuring success or failure through their own preferred filter, and then only after the fact), or they avoid goal-setting entirely.
They prefer a fait accompli (from French, “an accomplished fact; something that has already occurred; a done deal”). But there’s no risk in that. No failure to reach goals that were never set. And I believe the bigger the risk, the bigger the goal, the bigger the potential reward.
So whether your goal is personal or at work, whether it’s life-changing or game-changing, I encourage you to make the declaration. Set the bar high, and tell the world. When you put your reputation on the line for something you’re striving for, you’re saying to yourself, “I triple-dog-dare-you to do it!”
I’ll take that dare.
What are you daring to do? I dare you to leave a comment about it… (-: