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EBS 01. How To Get People To Buy Into Your Goals

When we are 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.

Ready to start putting this into action? I have a whole workbook to help you learn how to communicate more effectively with the people in your life. It’s totally free and you can download it here 😉

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.

Here’s the thing… Everyone’s capacity for thinking big is different. None of them are wrong, they’re just different.

Treat your conversations and relationships like rungs on a ladder. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top, just like you would climb a ladder.

Activities

Some people can only handle the monotonous day-to-day activities.

These people can handle (or are only interested in) your weekly plans, low level goals (like finishing a project) and specific activities. These are simple tasks that can be achieved within a designated calendar time frame (a few hours or even a few days).

They don’t deserve to know (or care to know) anything beyond ‘right now’.

Manageable Goals

Next, you’ll have some people who can handle goals that take a few weeks or months to accomplish.

These are people who can handle your projects that can take up to 6 months to accomplish. These are low-risk projects that lead to predictable success. These are people like your significant other, coworkers and other people in your life that you’re likely in frequent communication with.

Stretch Goals

These are goals that you probably don’t know how you’ll achieve but they’re big enough that you’re passionate about them and they can make a massive impact. You can achieve these within your lifetime and they might even make you a little comfortable to talk about (quick tip: the more you talk about them, the easier they become to talk about and the more you’ll believe in them).

You know those random conversations that you have that fill your soul and make you excited about all of the possibilities the world has to offer?

You’re probably talking about your stretch goals.

These are giant goals like building the largest young professionals organization in the world (which is mine), reforming the education system or creating equality for the homeless.

Vision

Lastly, there are the few conversations that we have where we peel back the layers of our soul, allow ourselves to be open, vulnerable and intimate with the inner most parts of ourselves and we talk about our vision.

If our stretch goals are the what, our vision is the why.

These are the inner most thoughts that we generally don’t think about unless we’re prompted to. Our vision is what we want to be remembered for and the things that we want people to say that we stood for at our funeral and long after we’re gone.

Most people have absolutely no clue what their vision is, so you can’t expect to talk about your vision with any ol’ Joe Shmoe and expect them to get excited about it with you.

While a vision doesn’t have to be complicated, the level of thinking required to think of the impact that you will make overwhelms most people.

Related: Develop Your Vision

The Responsibility of Leadership

As a leader, your responsibility is to push the people that you’re communicating with to the next level on their ladder and you can do that very simply by asking great questions that force them to think big. A simple formula to follow is the FROG, which I’ve outlined for you in this post.

Instead of word-vomitting and throwing your goals on other people, be genuinely interested in their goals. Learn what’s important to them and why it’s important.

When you focus on learning about their ladder, you can see where they currently stand. Meet them there!

Don’t talk to them from the top rung if they’re on the bottom. Talk to them on the bottom and help them get to the next rung where you can share that new journey together.

Not to be confused…

While you should communicate your goals from the bottom up, you should be setting goals from top down. When you set them from the top down, you will lead your life with a whole lot more purpose.

I’ve also prepared a workbook to help you learn about where you stand on the ladder and how to communicate it with those around you.

Share Your Goals

June 13, 2017
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© 2017 Alexa Rosario. All Rights Reserved