The Goal Striving Paradox

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You need a 7 Day BrainwashI remember when I was doing a lot of work as an independent consultant, when I first started I was starving for business. I wanted to get clients and close deals SO badly that my prospects could feel it. I’m sure you’ve been in the presence of a pushy sales rep and you would agree you felt immediately repelled from that person.

It happens in the dating world all the time when you see someone who is desperate to find a partner or long term relationship. The new “prospect” immediately feels the neediness from this person and it often turns them off once and for all.

Going back to my consulting example, As I changed my approach and took the “take it or leave it” attitude where I literally separated myself from caring whether I got the deal or not, business started to flow. In fact, the less I cared about landing the deal, the easier it was to close.

This is what I call the goal striving paradox. The more you want something, the more it feels like a real need for your life. And the more you need it, the more you focus on its absence… or a sense of lack. A perpetual state of striving is really what it is.

In many cases, you may actually start feeling terrible about the goal because your happiness is now contingent on you achieving this thing… and the longer it takes, the more concerned you become.

The trick for brining your goals into reality is to remove this “striving” factor.

Instead of setting a goal with the “if… then” mentality of “If I achieve this thing… then I’ll be happy”. You set your goals from a place of detachment. If you reach the goal, great. And if not, that’s cool too.

I’m not saying you remove your desire to improve the results in your life. What I am saying is that you set your goals, and then you focus on your goals daily from the perspective of already being happy, appreciative and content with where you are today.

This is quite easy to do. Look at your life right now and take note of all the good things you have going on. It could be your happy family, supportive friends, the recent recovery from illness of a loved one, the healthy meals you are able to eat on a daily basis, your own health.

You might also want to make a list of all of your previous accomplishments. What are some things you have already achieved that you can dwell on and feel awesome about.

Staying in that zone, you can then work passionately towards your new goals. Instead of needing this goal like a pushy sales rep needs your deal, you simply focus on your new goal… It will arrive in due time to reinforce the feeling of success that you have already created in your own mind.

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