Self Development
What Happens When You Fail To Achieve Your Goals?

by Ashok Grover
There is nothing wrong in failing. It happens with everyone some time or the other; but starting with this thinking amounts to “planning to fail”. In the long run, the issue is not that of failing; but what do you do after that! Here is a concise guide to help you face the reality and move ahead...
What happens when you fail to achieve your goals? It could be that:
  • You start avoiding setting big goals because you don’t want to fail. You start talking of being practical and the need to set achievable goals.
  • You get upset and demotivated. You start losing faith in yourself. You start feeling that you are a failure.
  • You switch over to “why” mode and analyze what went wrong? What could have been done to avoid failure? What changes you must make in your planning or action process, so that your goals remain meaningful and challenging AND you really achieve them! 
Which of the above options do you choose? Of course, there is nothing wrong in failing. It happens with everyone some time or the other; but you cannot start on this premise. If you start with this thinking, that amounts to “planning to fail”. 

So the focus has to remain to succeed – success with a feeling of achievement, success that is not an ordinary one! Therefore, if you understand your weaknesses, there can always be some concrete plan to pull you forward.

Big targets are always going to be scary. It is natural to feel uneasy and apprehensive about them. They certainly go beyond the obvious or what you can achieve with what you already know and do. Big stretch targets force you to think out of the box. Obviously, extraordinary results cannot be achieved with ordinary actions.

It goes without saying that you have to move outside of your comfort zone while chasing big targets. So, in fact, it is the fear of unknown over there that scares you!

For some people, the failure of falling short of a big target means embarrassment, frustration, loss of face, loss of respect, disappointment and reinforcement of an already low self-esteem. Big enough reasons to avoid those big targets - big enough reasons to look for "achievable targets" and to justify why targets should be “achievable”.

However, safe and achievable targets don't stretch you and as such, you end up achieving much less than what you can! You don’t feel the need to think smarter, or choose more wisely or act more deliberately. Taking the easy route, you neither explore new approaches nor look beyond your current knowledge. Definitely not enough to have that adventurous feeling of fulfillment!

It is also true however, that unrealistically high targets without backing of real action plans can never motivate you to perform. Striking a fine balance between the stark reality of the present and aligning your thoughts, choices and actions towards a BIG destination in the future, is the key.

Get motivation from the distance you have travelled to inspire yourself to bridge the gap you have fallen short of. Motivation to achieve and will to succeed are the pre-requisites in this journey. The real success will come through creative thinking, meticulous planning and real hard work. So think BIG, plan BIG, achieve BIG for BIGGER happiness and supreme feeling of satisfaction.

Ashok Grover, Founder CEO of Ashok Grover Consulting is an expert in people assessment and focused executive / leadership coaching. He is also Director at Skillscape, a company with a vision of Value Creation by enhancing people and organizational competencies.

His last assignment was with the JBM Group as Corporate Chief Human Resource Officer. He has four decades of experience in operations, materials, information technology and people development with Parle Group, Mohan Meakins Group, Hawkins Cookers Limited and JBM Group.