July 2

The 3 Biggest Lies About Goal Achievement


Achieving goals is often seen as the pinnacle of success and happiness. Yet, many of us have been led astray by myths that shape our pursuit of these goals. Let’s dive into three of the biggest lies we’ve been told about goal achievement and uncover the truths that can truly set us free to pursue our dreams with clarity and confidence.

One of the most pervasive lies we’ve grown up believing is that life will be significantly better once we achieve our goals. Whether it’s landing that promotion, signing new clients or entering a new relationship, we’ve been conditioned to think that happiness and fulfillment lie somewhere in the future, waiting for us on the other side of our achievements.

This belief stems from the notion that ‘over there’ is better than ‘over here’. We tell ourselves that once we reach our goals, everything will be amazing. However, the reality is quite different. Life, no matter where we are, is always a mix of good and bad. Achieving goals doesn’t magically change this balance. Instead, it’s essential to recognise that our current state, with all its imperfections, is as valuable as any future state we aspire to reach.

Closely tied to the first lie is the belief that achieving a goal will make us happy. Happiness, joy, excitement and accomplishment are all emotions we crave, but they don’t stem directly from our achievements. Instead, these emotions arise from our thoughts about the events in our lives.

When we get a promotion or reach a significant milestone, we often think, ‘I did it! I’m so great’, and it’s these thoughts that generate feelings of pride and accomplishment, not the achievement itself. The empowering truth here is that we can create these positive emotions right now, regardless of our current circumstances. By cultivating the right mindset and thoughts, we can feel proud, accomplished and happy today—not just when we hit our targets.

goal achievement

The final lie is the idea that we must achieve our goals to become the person we want to be. This belief suggests that success and personal growth are outcomes of our achievements. However, the truth is that we need to become the person who can achieve our goals before we can actually reach them.

This process involves shifting our self-image and mindset to align with the person we aspire to be. For instance, if you want to quit smoking, you must first see yourself as a non-smoker. Similarly, if you aim to sell a large number of products or lead a successful business, you need to envision yourself as that successful entrepreneur. Until we adopt the identity and mindset of the person capable of achieving our goals, those goals will remain out of reach.

One of my favorite resources on this topic is the book ‘Psycho-Cybernetics‘ by Maxwell Maltz. As a plastic surgeon, Maltz observed that changing a person’s appearance often didn’t change their self-image or what they thought about themselves. He found that true transformation occurred when individuals altered their internal self-concept, not just their external appearance. This book is a fantastic resource if you want to dive deeper into the power of self-image and mindset.

The lies that it’s better over there, achieving a goal will make you happy, and you have to achieve the goal to become the person you want to be, can hold us back. By debunking these lies, we free ourselves to find happiness and fulfillment in the present and cultivate the mindset needed to achieve our goals.

Start by observing your current self-concept – which basically means your thoughts about yourself. What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your ability to achieve your goals? These reflections will give you insights into how you view yourself and where you might need to make changes. Understanding that consistent action is crucial for progress can also help in reshaping your self-concept.

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  • Oh my goodness! I am loving these inspiring reminders. For example, that I can be happy right now, if I tell myself good things about my life or about who I am. Thank you! I just paused and said some wonderful things to myself. I am so grateful.

  • Thank you, Stacey, for this insightful post! As a big goal-setter myself, I love seeing what I have planned out and working towards it. Your myth-busting is spot on, especially the idea that achieving a goal will make you happy. I used to believe this, but I’ve learned that true happiness comes from appreciating the journey and the growth it brings. Your advice on transforming our self-concept is empowering. Looking forward to implementing these ideas and continuing my path of personal growth! Keep inspiring us!

  • Excellent post on the lies of goal achievement! Achieving the goal doesn’t always make us the person we want to be. Well written. Thank you!

  • I once saw a movie. A girl who thought (and had been treated as such) she was invisible, uniportant, ugly,… signed up for a show in which she got a free makeover. She went through an amazing transformation and looked incredible. People celebrated her and wanted to be with her, hire her, make money off her. However, just as you say, inside, she still felt the same. Also she realized how fake people are. They didn’t all of a sudden “love” her, they just wanted to be associated with her. She hated it and wanted the surgeries undone…

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