In 2010, Derek Sivers participated in a TED Conference. His speech lasted just three minutes and in it, he encouraged people to not share their goals with their friends, family, co-workers, or anyone around them. Derek backed up his reasoning with several scientific studies (listen to his presentation here).
In his speech, Derek says, “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that’s called a social reality. The mind is kind of tricked into feeling it’s already done. Then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.”
Derek goes on to point out how talking about an important life change or goal can make you less likely to succeed. But those aren’t the only reasons you may want to keep your latest ambition a secret from everyone else. Here are three more reasons you should consider keeping mum:
Talking about a Goal Destroys Your Stamina
How many times have you told someone else you were going to do something hard? Maybe you told a co-worker that you’re planning on losing 50 pounds. Perhaps you told a family member that you were going to get out of debt this year.
You may think doing this pumps you up and makes you more likely to accomplish your goals. But talking about doing something hard can actually drain your energy. You start to come up with all the reasons you won’t achieve it. You might tell yourself, “Well, I just can’t say ‘no’ to sugar. I don’t mind debt that much and I don’t want to change my standard of living.”
Sharing a Goal Can Discourage You
You’re really going to do it. This will be the year that you quit the factory job you hate so much and start your work at home business. Then you make the mistake of sharing a goal with someone else.
The problem is the other person is negative and quickly points out all of the reasons you’re bound to fail. They may say unsupportive things like, “You don’t have a degree. You don’t have the time. Where are you going to get the money?”
Within a few minutes, you start feeling discouraged. You’d felt so energized and were determined to act on your motivation earlier. But now, you’re filled with self-doubt and negativity.
Telling Others about Your Goal Can Damage Your Reputation
You’re always the one in your circle of friends with the big dreams. You love sharing your visions and ideas with other people. After all, your new goal is going to work out spectacularly.
The only problem is your goals change frequently. You’re always pursuing something new and you rarely see a goal through to completion. While being a dreamer has its advantages, if you don’t pair your goals with follow-through, you can end up damaging your reputation. People will describe you as flaky and no one will trust your word.
Before you tell a friend or family member about your next goal, consider carefully if you should do that. You may accomplish this dream and become more successful if you keep it to yourself rather than sharing it with someone else.