How To Get People To Buy Into Your Goals (And Why They Doubt You)

When we were kids, our parents and teachers would tell us we can be anything we want to be when we grow up.

By the time we get to middle school, we start to get a glimpse of how the real world works.

Instead of being president, we settle for being a CEO of a huge company and making millions of dollars every year.

… And then in high school, we have to start getting ‘realistic’ because we’re getting ready for college.

… College comes around and we’re told to go with something ‘secure’ that pays well and to forget passion.

Little by little, our ambitions are cut down by those around who want to protect us so we become quiet dreamers and are too afraid to speak those dreams for fear that someone is going to tell you that you can’t do it because when we do share, we get frustrated and maybe even wonder if they’re right about us being too ambitious.

Now I’m not justifying their case but since we’re taking focused on taking complete ownership, we have to look at it from their side, understand them and then address how we’re going to pursue our dreams without their negative influence.

Here’s the deal…

Our family and friends try to get us to be realistic because they love us, want the best for us and they don’t want us to be disappointed when we don’t reach our goals. At least that’s what they say, right?

Here’s what it comes down to…

 

FEAR

Every fear that humans have comes from one of two places — the fear that we’re not good enough or the fear that we won’t be loved.

To make it worse, remember, we have 60,000-90,000 thoughts in a day and 95% of them are the same thoughts that we’ve had every single day so far. Now I’m not justifying their thought process, I just want you to understand their perspective.

They’re afraid that…

  • When you’re successful, you’re going to be different (and we don’t like change — it’s human nature).
  • When you’re successful, you won’t love them anymore.
  • When you’re successful, they won’t be good enough for you.

They say they’re doing it for us (and they probably genuinely believe that they’re doing it for you) but they’re actually doing it because they’re afraid that your relationship will be different.

Their limiting beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with you.

It is their own fear that holds them back from thinking big and they’re doing the best that they can to hold onto what they love — you — just the way that you are.

Does that mean that you should cut them off?

No.

If they’re someone in your life that you can’t get rid of (and I mean that in the most loving way possible), pay attention to how you’re communicating with them.

 

Start by watching your word choice…

If you’re using exclusive phrasing (words and phrases that don’t include them) like “my success”, “my future” or “when I’m successful”, you’re telling them that they won’t get to be part of your success.

You can’t expect them to be happy for you if they don’t get to be part your success.

Don’t just assume that they know that they will be part of it… You have to reassure them that you want them to be there with you and that you love them unconditionally. Make sure you’re including them in your plans and making it clear that they are part of it.

On the opposite side of that, the fastest way to lose their support and get them to resent your ambition is to the weight of it all on them. If and when you’re using phrasing like, “I do this for you”, you’re putting the blame on them for your hard work.

Even if you mean it as a compliment, you are giving them the responsibility of your exhaustion, your struggle and you are telling them that they are the reason that you aren’t present for them right now.

Before you get defensive… Remember, we’re focused on taking complete ownership. We can’t control how they feel or react. We can, however, try to understand where they’re coming from and we can control ourselves.

All of this applies if you can’t get rid of this someone in your life. If this is someone who doesn’t deserve to be in your life, the most graceful way to allow them to dismiss themselves from your life is to have a conversation that goes like this, “over the next 10 weeks, I’m really looking to make some drastic changes in my life like [be specific about the changes in your diet, prospecting, whatever]. Would you be wiling to join me?”

If they’re willing to join you, make sure that they don’t distract you if and when they slack off. If they aren’t willing to join you, then ask for their support with the approach of, “I completely understand… I just thought I would ask. Even still, it would mean the world to me if you’d support me through this journey. Here’s what you can expect… [tell them how it’s going to affect your time, mood, etc.]”

Even still, it would mean the world to me if you’d support me through this journey. Here’s what you can expect… [tell them how it’s going to affect your time, mood, etc.]”

If they can stay supportive throughout the process, you probably don’t need to get rid of them. If they can’t, remind them how important it is to you and that you’re not giving up. If they still don’t support you, they will likely exit your life and that’s perfectly ok.

Before you let them dismiss themselves, remember…

 

Remember that it’s your vision, not theirs.

We have 60,000-90,000 thoughts in a day.

Just because you mention your goals once or twice, doesn’t mean they’re going to be jumping over joy with your level of passion. Some people just don’t have vision or they are simply skeptics by nature.

They will only get on board when they see results. All of that is fine, you just need to remember that you’re not going to get these people’s support without results.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you, they just can’t see the vision without hard, tangible evidence that they can see.

Just because you mention your goals once or twice, doesn’t mean they’re going to be jumping over joy with your level of passion.

Some people just don’t have vision or they are simply skeptics by nature. They will only get on board when they see results.

All of that is fine, you just need to remember that you’re not going to get these people’s support without results.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you, they just can’t see the vision without hard, tangible evidence that they can see.

You can’t be mad at them for the inability to think big, you just have to communicate at their level… which brings us to the communication ladder (cue Law and Order Style *don-don*)

 

The Communication Ladder

A few weeks ago, I posted something on Instagram asking for people’s goals. Almost every single person commented with something super vague and general. Vague, airy-fairy definitions of success might sound pretty but they’re immeasurable.

If you can’t measure your success, how will you ever know that you’re successful?

There were two specific people who I asked to clarify and both of the people I was interacting with were hesitant to tell me what their goals are (even in private).

Firstly, if you can’t share your goals with other people (especially those that are supportive), that is the ultimate form of self-doubt.

You don’t need to share all of your goals with everyone but you do need to share them with people.

By sharing your goals, you create automatic accountability around your goals and you give them the opportunity to help you achieve them… and the worst thing you could possibly do is to belittle them by telling them they don’t get it or that they just don’t think big enough to understand.

That’s not going to get you the understanding and passion for your goals that you’re looking for.

No matter how much of a superhero that you think you are, you cannot and will not succeed at the level that you’re looking to succeed at if you can’t include people in your vision.

Here’s the caveat — you don’t need to tell everyone your entire vision.

The goal is to communicate with them at their level. When you do that, you’ll find that when you share your goals, they are more supportive of your goals and you will leave the conversation without being frustrated that they’re not “getting it” or they’re trying to break you down.

Want to know the secret?

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  • How to use the Communication Ladder to effectively share your goals with others at the right level  
  • Why you can’t succeed on your own
  • How to communicate your vision and goals as a leader 

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