Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 1, 2010

Why It’s Important to Know Who You’re Sharing your Goals with

©2009 by guest blogger, Ellesse Chow of the Goal Setting College

What’s wrong with sharing your audacious goals with your closest friends and family? Aren’t they supposed to be happy for you now that you’ve managed to convince yourself to step out of your comfort zone to pursue something you’ve always wanted to? What harm can they do to someone whom they say they love and trust?

Theoretically, it seems logical. But what happened over the course of the years made me acknowledge that not everyone will support your goals. It actually hurts when the initial realization sets in. Here’s why you should be cautious:

(1) Your Faith Can Easily Waver When You’re Just Starting Out

When I first shared with a friend that I wanted to quit my job to start up a business venture, I was chided for not setting a loftier goal than just becoming “financially free”. I was told that my target was easily achievable since my expenses were low enough to be covered by any potential passive income. I was advised that I should set a higher goal to be the next millionaire in my country.

What she said and the way she conveyed it seemed mincing but I soon became aware it wasn’t her words that were intimidating. It was my own insecurity. Even though my mind wanted to take the leap of faith, my heart wasn’t ready at that time.

When you’re just starting out on your goals, you may face the same situation as I used to. That’s the stage where you’re out there gathering “proof” that what you’ve been harbouring is something achievable. The danger of sharing your dreams prematurely – especially with people whom you think are natural skeptics – will only shake the pagoda of faith that you’re trying to build at that moment in time.

In my case, I could’ve been so affected by my friend’s advice that I give it all up. After all, it’s so much easier to just leave the dream aside, thinking that it isn’t lofty enough than to just jump onto the wagon and see what comes along.

(2) Not All People Are At The Same Level of Awareness As You Are

During a friend’s wedding reception last Sunday, I was seated together with some old University mates. One’s a director in an offshore bank, who had just given birth to a baby boy. Another’s a newly married personal financial consultant in an international bank while the third’s a finance manager of a global property developer. All 3 of them were happily chatting about their life. How they were faring. Their plans for the years ahead. Etc etc.

For a while, I kind of felt I was the odd one out. I couldn’t contribute to what they were discussing. Life in the cubicle farm, marriage and having kids are nice ideas. But they’re so distant from me at the moment that the thought of them could be likened to a bald man deciding on the type of hair shampoo he’s going to use. How much do I know about marriage or having children that I could bring myself to comment on their plans?

Likewise, I didn’t tell them much about what I was doing online. Sharing with those powerful corporate achievers that I quit my job to pursue a long time dream sounds like a crazy idea. After all, how much do they know about blogging or internet marketing to comment on my endeavours? I’m really not sure.

No one’s right or wrong here. We’re all influenced by the things we see and experience which in turn affect our choices to move up or down the awareness scale. The altitude we’re at eventually determine the opportunities and ideas we get exposed to. When someone of a different playing field is not able to provide the kind of support that you would like them to, it’s not because he didn’t want to. But rather because the scope of his existing vision and capacity didn’t warrant him to do so.

That’s why it’s often recommended to seek that someone from your mastermind group or your niche community. Someone who’s able to garner the type of help you’ll want from your goals. Someone who’ll hold you accountable for what you’ve committed to. Since both of you’re on a similar launch pad, it’ll be easier for him to do the job. Because he knows what it means to go through what you’re going through.

However, if you don’t mind a little controversy and want to put your ideas to the challenge, feel free to share them with all your friends. But bear in mind that you’re all different and review your responses in a constructive way. Look at what’s meaningful and disregard those that are meant to put you down. Be prepared for a heart thumping ride though!

(3) Sadly, Some People Actually Want You To Fail

I know I’ve been talking about this type of people in many of my articles. The question is, are there really such friends who literally want to see you fail? Or are they just a fragment of my own imagination?

Seriously, much as you may not want to admit it, they’re for real. These people start out seemingly very supportive of what you’re doing. They’ll ask about the status of your project every time you meet up. Their eagerness to know so much about what you’re doing surprises you at times but you tend to brush it off as a display of their concern for you as a friend.

In reality, it may not be what it seems to be. They can be asking just to satisfy their curiosity if you’re doing much better than them as a result of your conscious decision. If you’ve failed, it’ll just stroke their ego to know that they were right about you and your project since the beginning. If you’ve succeed, they’ll try to find out from you what you’re doing that’s working and use that as a basis to question their own choices in life.

I can’t remember the number of times I’ve been cornered in that situation. At least 3 friends have asked me “So, when are you going to find a job?” last month. And the moment I saw their shocked faces when I told them I’m still sticking with my project, I knew they’ve never expected me to succeed.

At the end of the day, it seriously doesn’t matter whether they’re right or wrong about you. What’s important is, you’ve already taken the first step to work towards your goals and dreams. That, in itself is a achievement and don’t let anyone’s words lead you into thinking that you’re not worthy.

More helpful posts at the Goal Setting College:

About the Source: The website notes that Goal Setting College is designed to help anyone who is interested in Goal Setting, Motivation and Success. Much of the content at Goal Setting College is written by Ellesse Chow, a self professed personal development enthusiast, living in Sunny tropical island, Singapore. An accountant by training, her breakthrough came in 2002, when she chanced upon Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. She embarked on a personal development revolution, from which she tried to reinvent herself through reading about Goal Setting, Motivation and Success. Goal Setting College is an avenue where she shares her learning and experiences in the hope of helping people with similar aspirations. She has since quit her job to devote to several online business ventures as well as managing Goal Setting College and can be contacted here.


  1. Those are amazing finds, Donna! Thanks. I’ve entered Goal Setting College and hope to become an honor graduate. Great stuff here.

    • You’ll make the dean’s list, CJ, with your many lists of things to do while the Sun is in XXX on your blog, Auntie Moon! Here’s hoping for a good 2010 for you. Donna

  2. Thanks, Donna! I thought it was just me who thought about what you’ve written today.

    I created a blog today to list my 2010 household projects and track it daily (ala “Julie & Julia”). After I set it up and then showed it to my husband, we decided to make it private for some of the very reasons you noted.

    Since the projects are household related (transiting Pluto is going through my 4th house) I made the blog accessable only to me and my husband (saturn is going through his 4th house). This will take care of being accountable while maintaining privacy. – Maureen

    • HI, Maureen, There’s a post somewhere in the Pluto-Saturn preparedness kit about clearing out clutter to achieve closure. Sounds like you and your husband might find it useful.

      Nesting is one important project now when being out in the world is so stressful. It can make us happier and more secure. Thanks for the reminder that Saturn will reach my 4th house, too, while it’s in Libra. I will be moving house at some point this year, and it’s time to get back to the project that occupied much of my time a few months back–paring back my belongings so the smaller new apartment will be more manageable. Donna

  3. Like Maureen, Pluto is transiting my fourth house and I too am keeping track of my housing-related goals for 2010 on my private blog. I debated in my head all day whether I should make it public or keep it private. Good points by Ellesse and I have decided to just keep it between me, myself, and I even though I’m very excited about what I want to accomplish this year. Thanks Donna for that great & timely post!

    • Hi, Maureen, Enaja, I’m glad this post gave you the support to keep those goals private if that’s what helps you. In the end, you are answerable to no one but yourself about the ways you are moved to improve your life. Donna

  4. Provocative and timely post for me. I’m on the final draft of novel I’ve been tinkering with for about 2 years. Only a handful of friends know about it. From my research, being a self-supporting novelist is harder now than ever so I don’t talk about it much. It’s a huge midlife dream for me, so I keep on, keeping on. I have noticed the more I commit to my dream, little miracles have been happening. A unusually busy editor friend of mine made time to review my novel at a reduced fee, an acquaintance of his, a sought after literary agent agreed to read the first chapter and gave me excellent suggestions. So, please keep your fingers crossed for me!

    • How exciting, Kelli! I believe that if we can harness the power of the Pluto-Saturn transit, we can break through some very tough old barriers–I call that aspect the strength of diamonds.

      One thing that amped up my manifestation mojo in the past year or so was the consistent and conscious power of gratitude. The more I counted my blessings on an almost daily basis, and MEANT the gratitude with all my heart, the more blessings I had to count. Donna

  5. Nice! This post has a Plutonian flavour, Donna!
    A moderate Plutonian flavour!

    • Yes, just a tinge of Pluto…but we all have a Pluto and need it for healthy self-preservation, especially just now. When I visited Ellesse’s Goal-Setting College, what impressed me about her was such a heart-felt desire to help others achieve their goals, even as she continues to work on her own. Donna

  6. Creatativity must be thick in the air for 2010.
    I’ve got Chiron in Aqr/8th house natally opposed three of my five LEO stellium planets in 2H/3H.
    My biggest thing is trying to do everything on my own – to my own detriment.

    What was missing from my goals was the inclusion of others. So I took a breath and got bold – I asked two of my ‘online friends’ to witness my building of my website for novice fiction writers. I promised to deliver 10 files a day or face them with the fail. We even set a project end date of mid Jan. so no backing down.
    Since the 28th Dec. I’ve met my daily goal with no problem. And may finish ahead of schedule.

    Once you see the single thing hampering you it seems like all roads open for you to choose from.
    Thanks so much for this post, Donna. Like the others, it seems to have hit me at just the right time.
    Soon that ‘Website’ field under Leave A Response will be used by me too.

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