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7 Impossible Goals You Need To Stop Going After

7 Impossible Goals You Need To Stop Going After

Setting goals is a critical aspect of both short and long-term success. Goals help propel you forward, keeping you focused and on track. Goals can also transform unconquerable mountains into passable hills. These are the seemingly “impossible” goals worthy of pursuing. While difficult to achieve, these incredible endeavors stretch you, bring out your best and force you to find new opportunities and resources.

However, some goals are not labeled impossible goals just because they are really, really hard. They are labeled impossible because they actually cannot be achieved. Save yourself the heartache and kick these energy suckers to the curb. Here are 7 impossible goals you need to stop pursuing:

1. Aiming to Please Everyone and Avoiding Conflict

Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” He was right. Life is comprised of duality, but aiming to please everyone and avoiding conflict is an impossible pursuit. At some point you are going to ruffle some feathers. Not everyone is going to want to do business with you. There will be some who turn their noses at your crusade. That’s okay.

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Whatever the circumstances, one of two things will likely happen: 1) those not of the same mindset or interested will simply leave you to do your good work, uninterrupted or 2) those who do not immediately leave will be challenged by you and perhaps come away with a different point of view. Be open to different perspectives, without being rattled.

2. Never Experiencing Failure

In John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward, he says, “Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” What a great way to look at failure! Failure ends many good endeavors because it’s perceived as an indicator of worthiness and most of us cannot endure the pain. We cannot conceive of failing greatly and having to try all over again. Failure is going to happen. It’s inevitable. The sooner you face, accept and utilize it, the faster you will achieve success.

3. Achieving Success Without Making Any Mistakes

Where failure represents a possible end result, mistakes occur as a part of the process. I’m of the belief that there are no mistakes. There are choices, and those choices have consequences. We only consider a choice a mistake if we don’t like the consequence. If the consequence is favorable, we don’t consider the choice a mistake.

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So do we really make mistakes or do we merely learn from the consequences we face? Either way, it’s the little stumbles that make us stronger. If you’ve made a choice and the consequences are not favorable, learn from the lessons and apply them as you continue your journey to greater success.

4. Being in Love All of the Time

All relationships are cyclical. The stages include getting to know each other, infatuation, passion, intimacy, compassion and back to getting to know each other all over again. The passion that comes with feeling and being in love is the most celebrated stage. This is when the sparks fly! Unfortunately, no relationship can sustain that level of intensity indefinitely. Hopefully those strong emotions resurface cyclically, but having an expectation of always experiencing romantic fiery love will leave you assuming something is wrong when you’re not feeling it.

All stages of relationships are important to grow closer and fall more deeply in love. Acknowledge where you are in your relationship and enjoy it!

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5. Being the Best in Every Area of Your Life

Diluting your energy, focus and resources trying to master or perfect several areas is a quick path to mediocrity. Just as we can’t be all things to all people, we can’t be perfect in every area of our lives. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We can collaborate with others to fill in our gaps, and our strengths can be invaluable to others.

Identify your strengths and your priorities and put your energy there. I have a friend whose favorite acronym is FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success. It’s brilliant and has led him to be an expert in a very specific area and he has capitalized on that.

6. Never Having to Ask for Help

Why is asking for help so difficult? It is because we perceive it as a sign of weakness? Does it make us seem needy or incompetent? Whatever it is, thinking you can go it alone will leave you struggling far longer than is necessary. This is an unproductive and highly stressful way to live. There is going to come a time when you are in dire need of help. Accept that reality and don’t be afraid to reach out to others when some assistance is needed. To build this muscle, start by asking for small favors. “Do you have a piece of gum?”

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7. Staying Young Forever

Bette Davis said it best: “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Age is a state of mind and youthfulness will lend a quality of life that will serve you as grow older. Extreme practices to maintain an appearance of youth are futile. You can’t stay young forever, at least not where the hands of time are concerned. Play for as long as you can play, but don’t try to defeat aging. Embrace it and live your life.

There is something to appreciate at every stage; what do like about your current age?

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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