Bold Goals

Bold goals. The sub-4-minute mile. An end to apartheid. A man walking on the moon. All of these were once just an idea that someone believed they could make real, a goal to achieve. They may have started small, and they ended up as bold goals that shaped our world.

It Can’t Be Done

“Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.” – Robert A. Heinlein

How many times have you shared a bold goal you had with someone, and their immediate response was all the reasons why it couldn’t be done, or how much work it would take. ‘Why would you want to do that?’ might even have been a question you were asked. If you’re anything like me, those kind of people are simply extra motivation for me to achieve that bold goal.

If we spent all our time listening to the people who tell us why something can’t be done, or shouldn’t be attempted, many of the things we take for granted in our daily lives wouldn’t exist. Remember to keep the opinions of others in perspective as you chase your own bold goals.

What is a Bold Goal?

It’s important to step outside of our comfort zones and really reach from time to time, and that’s where bold goals are born. I define a bold goal as one that is something that whispers in the back of your mind sometimes, and when you think about it, it can elicit a reaction in the body. Perhaps your muscles tense a little, or you inhale just a bit, maybe your saboteur chimes in with something like, ‘Are you crazy? You can’t do that!’

I set a bold goal two years ago. I decided that I was going to be selected to deliver a TEDx talk by the end of 2014. The very first time I spoke that goal out loud to my coach, I immediately wanted to suck the words back in…part of me (my saboteur) marveled at my audaciousness and arrogance. And truth be told, it excited me a whole lot more to put it out there into the universe. Every time I mentioned the goal to someone, it was a little easier to state, until the words were coming out of my mouth so matter-of-factly that it was a foregone conclusion that it would happen. Fast forward, and on October 15, 2014, I received notice that I’d been selected to give a TEDx talk!

Clarifying a Bold Goal

Needless to say I was on cloud nine. I continued to refine my talk and prepared for my trip out to New York for the event. And then, two weeks before the event, I received an email from the organizer that because my talk addressed a social issue instead of a business one, they were pulling me from the speaker list.

I won’t recount the words that came from me upon that news, and I admit I had a pity party for myself for a couple hours. Then I realized; I had achieved my bold goal. The bold goal was to be selected to give a TEDx talk. I had achieved that. It still didn’t take the sting out of things, however I used it as fuel for the new goal of delivering a TEDx talk!

Your Own Bold Goal

One important thing I want to tell you; bold goals are not a contest. It’s not about comparing your bold goals to someone else’s. Read that last sentence again. What might be a huge reach for you might not be for someone else, and vice versa, so remember that. It can be easy to get discouraged if you start playing the comparison game.

I encourage you to set and achieve your own bold goals, and have three guidelines to help you along the way.

Dream Bigger: A bold goal begins with really stretching. You’ve likely been reading this and already been thinking about something. Follow that thought…if it scares you a little, my guess is that you’re close to a bold goal. Don’t back away from that, dive in deeper.

Design a Support Structure: This will depend upon what helps keep you moving towards that bold goal. If you need cheerleaders, surround yourself with people that do so for you. If the naysayers fuel you, then remember their words to keep you inspired. Create what will best serve you in your endeavor.

Drive for the Finish Line: Keep your eye on where you want to go and keep pushing to get there. Know that there may be setbacks and detours; that’s life. By maintaining focus, you substantially increase your chances of success. It will be hard work, and the reward will be worth it.

I would love to hear about your bold goal experiences. If you want to talk about creating bold goals, or if I can be a part of your support structure as you pursue your own bold goal, let me know. I always love helping others achieve what people say can’t be done!

“I love those who yearn for the impossible.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe