Setting Goals: Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Goals: Overcoming the Fear of FailureAs many of my regular readers know, I am part of a Monthly Goals series with some other fabulous bloggers. Each month we post our goals for the next month. This series has not been as easy as I had hoped. Each month we expose ourselves, what we have accomplished, what we didn’t and how we are going to adjust for the next month. Being part of a group helps keep each of us accountable and reduces the fear of failure some.

I am going to be very honest here. I am not going to sugar coat things. You see, every time I have to write these post I get a little sick to my stomach. I start to make excuses why I can’t get to the writing portion of the post. I procrastinate and I avoid looking at my goals from the month before. In January, I had the same problem. I was scared to write the post and tell you that I had not DONE everything on MY LIST.

Each month, as I prepare for the posts, I ask my readers on my Facebook Page about their goals. Are they a goal setter? If so, how do they set them? If not, what keeps them from making them? Each month, I get an overwhelming response from people saying that they would never set goals. They admit that they do not do well with failure, and therefore stay away from goals.

It made me wonder…

Does not achieving my goals mean I am a “Failure”?

You see, the reason I avoid these posts is because I can visualize my goals in my head. I know I have not completed everything on my list. I am suddenly overcome with a fear of failure.

How many things can I check off?

What did I do?

What did I even get accomplished?

 How do we gauge Success or Failure?

February Goals CompletionLooking at my goals from February, I am overcome with a sense of failure. I mean, look at all those X’s. In January, I wrote about how to achieve your goals by setting SMART goals. You can see why I feel like a hypocrite writing to you each month, unable to accomplish my goals each month.

Then, I shift my eyes a tad to the right, a tad to the left and I start to notice that some things did get accomplished. Some thing were done. I start to change the way I view my “failures” and begin to see “success”. Honestly, it probably is just because I need to pick myself up. It is probably because I want to feel successful. Whatever the reason… I think its an important step in setting goals and overcoming the fear of failure.

I’ve started to change the way I gauge success and failure. It isn’t black and white. It isn’t cut and dry. To me, its a mindset.

If Goals Aren’t About Success/Failure, What Are They About?

 To me, it is becoming more and more clear why I am drawn to goals. I am starting to realize that goals are a starting point for me. They are actually small in the grand scheme of things. However, they are what give me direction in my family, my relationships with others and my professional life.

Although, I hate to see all of the little X’s each month and I am embarrassed to report that I didn’t DO all the things I said I was going to DO… I see growth. Setting goals gives me a purpose. It allows me to open up to others, find support and push my self to try to achieve things I am fearful of trying on my own.

So even though I might not be successful, I will continue to set goals. I will continue to report back each month and let you know how they are going.

Setting Goals With Failure As an Option

I present to you my goals for March. They are not much different than February. For a couple of the goals, I have made them more specific, in hopes that they will be more attainable. I have changed and tweaked a few in hopes to be better this month. The truth is, I have no clue what March will bring. I don’t know if I will be able to accomplish these things, but I am going to attempt them and attempt to overcome my fear of “failure”.

Goals March

My hope is that you will leave comments, ideas, and share your goals as well.  Every month I will be post at the end of the month, along with my co-host. Visit their pages, read their goals, and tell us yours.

Together we can achieve what we desire!

monthly goals linky at mama smiles

Co-hosted by

Mama Smiles – Joyful Parenting
3 Dinosaurs
B-Inspired Mama
Happily Ever Mom
Kids Yoga Stories
Lemon Lime Adventures
Powerful Mothering
Smiling Like Sunshine
The Educators’ Spin On It
The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email in the sidebar. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

* Image Credit (edited): by Victor1558 on Flickr

15 thoughts on “Setting Goals: Overcoming the Fear of Failure”

  1. I had a moment of clarity this evening thinking about goals in sports – not even the best athletes expect to make every goal/basket they attempt… Your March goals sound great!

  2. It’s a very honest post. My goal post is coming tomorrow, but I chose to focus on highlights. I didn’t write about the fact that things didn’t get done here, because I spent way too much time online. Like you are struggling with yelling, I am struggling with my Internet addiction, and I don’t know how to stop! I doubt that online support group for that will work 🙂

    1. I had to laugh out loud at your comment. I might have an online addiction too, and I find that the less I unplug, the more agitated I get. So I might join you in the offline support group. 🙂

  3. jeanette k

    Hi Dayna. I’m new to your website, but am enjoying what you post. 🙂 While I empathize with your fear of sharing what you see as failure, I even more applaud your courage to share with others. It sure does allow the rest of us to be human too, and that’s a good kind of connection. We’re all just striving to set goals and improve. I think I’m in good company here! Thanks!

    1. This made me tear up. Thank you so much! This is one of the kindest things I have read in some time. I love knowing that you are finding connections here. I hope to continue to provide good company.

  4. lovely goals for the new month! I like how you detailed them more to make them more achievable.

    I just bought a bunch of new storage containers last week to reorganize the clutter.

    1. Thank you so much. I am determined like you to organize the basement. The rest of the house is pretty good because I made a point to de-clutter and minimize but then I just put the excess in the basement. 🙂

  5. I love how instead of doing away with the handwritten note goal, you modified it to make it more attainable. I also love your alone time with your children goal, that’s something I need to work on too!

    1. Thank you for your support. It is hard for me to admit I am not getting it all done, but I am looking forward to making modifications along the way.

  6. Awesome post, Dayna. I totally agree, I don’t normally post about such intimate topics, so this series has been confronting for me too. Glad to hear that I’m not the only one! It will so cool to see how we all grow together after these 12 months together. It’s probably the teacher inside of us that wants to be our best, as we do for our students and own children. You’re an inspiration!

    1. You are too kind. Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement. You know you are probably right about the teacher in us. It can be a strength and weakness at the same time. I look forward to following along this year. It is super helpful to do these post each month, and they have turned into something I didn’t think they would be when I started.

  7. I think that goals are about giving your best in effort to reach your long term goals. So you did not make it this month. Next month is a new month. Did you do at least one task? I think you did so that means you did something. I print off my list and every time I do one of them I check it off, then at the end of the month I reward myself with a book I want to read and bubble bath, that my other half has to watch the kids. Keep at it. I was not great with my laundry last month, but working on it again. I will until I am doing it all the time without thinking.

  8. Love your points here! Getting some goals accomplished is better than not setting and trying to reach any! It’s still progress. That’s what I have to tell the perfectionist in me. 😉 I tend to not want to try unless I KNOW I can achieve to perfection. I am learning to try to focus on growth more than the end point.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree that is very hard to want to try something if you don’t KNOW there will be perfection, but I think its worth the risk. Thank you for reading. I hope you will continue to follow along.

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