I used to identify as a “goal-getter”. I was ALL about the movement! It made me feel so powerful and in-control to work hard, surround myself with like-minded women, and chase my goals. What could be wrong with that? Below are 3 traps of the goal-getter mentality that you might find yourself falling into without even realizing it.
The comparison game
Comparison is basically inevitable in the goal-getter era. Social media makes it so easy to access everyone else’s highlight reel, and it can leave us feeling inferior. So many powerful and amazing women are doing incredible things on social media. Having that influence so easily accessible can be a huge source of motivation on most days! However, there will always be down days in which we don’t feel our best. On those days, our habitual social media scrolling can leave us feeling as if we are less than. Our goals and social presence are NOT more important than self-care. On the days when we’re not feeling particularly cheery or in-control, the last thing we need is to be checking up on Instagram or forcing ourselves to craft a blog post. Who cares what everyone else is doing? Take your bad day, find something that brings you true joy to snap out of it, and re-focus on what you’re doing that is amazing instead of focusing on what she’s doing.
“Comparisons make you feel superior or inferior. Neither serve a useful purpose.” -Jane Travis
the burnout is real
We all have days where we feel super overwhelmed and exhausted. It seems like it would be so easy to just check out on those days and focus on what we need to do to pick ourselves back up…that’s not normally what comes to mind if you’re goal-getting it up, though.
When I had first started cultivating an online presence, I felt as if everything could fall through the cracks except social media and the goals I was chasing. I would start to feel burnout, force myself to keep working away on my laptop because I just had to, and then I’d curl up on the couch with tears of frustration. The goal-getter trend makes it all too easy to start feeling as if the world will end if we don’t meet a certain deadline or have a certain number of people sign up for our newsletter. It’s great to be motivated, but in order to be truly productive, we must save time for rest and the things that make us happy. If you’re feeling unusually overwhelmed, it’s time to take an inventory of what’s going on in your mind and find ways to free yourself from your own expectations.
success becomes measured in a way that doesn’t matter
It truly doesn’t how many people like your Facebook post or follow you on Snapchat. Trust me, I know that it can start to feel like it does (I get so sucked into this at times), but those things don’t matter at all. I truly believe that our society has a warped view of success. The Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary lists a simple definition of success as follows:
the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame
the correct or desired result of an attempt
someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds
If we are to follow this definition of success, the journey can become all about what we can get, achieve, or be. I don’t want to downplay how awesome it feels to work hard for something and finally achieve it. However, that achievement is only possible because God says so. He has crafted us into everything that we are, enabled us with our work ethic and traits, and He is the one who ultimately paves our path. Try the following success definition on for size:
“Success is like yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou
If we can break out of the goal-getting mentality for just long enough to evaluate the “why” behind what we are doing, we can find a new (and freeing) definition of success that is unique to each one of us. Why are you chasing your particular goal? Do you feel as if God has led you to this place? Have you prayed about it? Who are you hoping to help, and what are you hoping to accomplish? Does this impact any of your other priorities negatively? How does your family feel about what you’re doing? How do you feel about what you’re doing? There is no set right or wrong answer to these questions. However, it’s time that we stop blindly chasing goals and start chasing after them God’s way. Should we have goals? Totally! I’ve got a bunch of my own! However, it’s time to spend less time trying to do it all, and instead spend more time trying to do all God is calling us to do.
**Not sure if you should quit or keep going with a certain goal/idea? Head over to the BHC Library and sign up for a FREE goal printable to find out!
Let’s chat! Have you ever gotten really overwhelmed while going after a goal? What helped you break free from that?