The Real Reason For Setting Goals: How To Change What Failure Means To You

Apr 29, 2023

An Inspiring Perspective on Failure

Thought of the week:

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford

In this week's Dose, I talk about the misconception of failure.

Earlier this week, Giannis Antetokounmpo (NBA champion and 2x league MVP) was asked if he thought this season was a failure after his Milwaukee Buck's were eliminated from the playoffs.

His response was incredible...

He asks the reporter if he gets a job promotion every year, and when he doesn't, is that year a failure?

No of course not.

Giannis explains that every year you work towards a goal, to take care of your family, provide a house for them, or take care of your parents.

So is it a failure if you don't hit the target?

"It's the wrong question. There's no failure in sports."

I loved this because he reminds us WHY we have goals in the first place.

And it's not to achieve them.

Which means missing one goal isn't a failure.

Is missing quota a failure?
Is not closing that client a failure?
Is not getting a promotion a failure?
Is missing one day of your new habit a failure?

Western society has conditioned us to prioritize achievement, accolades, and accumulation.

But it's filled us with comparison & unhappiness.

Let's dive into WHY we even have targets in the first place.

I spoke with my good friend and great coach, Jubal, about the intention behind setting goals.

What he said to me was amazing...

We don't set goals for the sake of achieving them. We set goals for the sake of challenging ourselves with something that is HARD.

Something that will take focused effort.

And to move toward them, we MUST evolve, adapt and grow.

In the process of hunting our goals, we develop new skills.

We learn about ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses, and the beliefs that hold us back.

We learn if our new actions are working or not.

We learn if this is even the right goal to be pursuing or not.

The intention behind the goal is to give us a direction and put us in action.

To help us LEARN & GROW.

That's it.

Success isn't achieving goals.

Failure isn't missing goals.

What I love about Giannis' response is that he has clearly put an immense amount of thought into this topic.

He knows what's most important to HIM.

He's worked on his values and his beliefs to create a definition of success that focuses on what's IN his control.

Not on the outcome.

This is where we get off course.

When something doesn't go our way, when we miss the mark, or when we hit an obstacle, we internalize that as failure.

That we're pieces of shit, that we're not worthy, that we KNEW we'd never be able to succeed.

My client had an amazing comment this week:

"So this whole personal growth thing is kinda just about changing our beliefs isn't it?"


The secret to mental well-being and creating the life you want for yourself comes down to ONE thing.


And your willingness to work on & change your perspective.

How your perspective on "failure" can make or break you ever starting.

The fear of failure exists because of our perception of what it means about us.

But what if we didn't allow it to be negative?

What if it became a positive?

If we valued being IN the arena more than protecting our ego and playing it safe in the stands?

What if it was never about reaching an outcome in the first place?

And only about how much we grow and learn about ourselves along the way?

I've learned the hardest part about changing our life is learning to be OK when things get shitty.

When we try a new habit and miss 3 days in a row.

When we want to eat healthy, but eat ice cream for 14 days straight.

When we want to get stronger, but skip the gym.

Are we going to give in to that and allow the feeling of "failure" to keep us stuck?

Is failure having a cheat day, skipping the gym, staying up late, losing a sale, missing quota, or getting dumped?

Or is failure not even trying?

To me, failure is sitting on the sidelines.

Never giving yourself a chance to see what you're made of.

Never putting in the work to learn, grow, and evolve.

It's regretting that you never pulled the trigger on something you ALWAYS wanted to do.

It's not missing your target, it's never picking up the damn bow.

How can we work on it?

Redefine It:

Write it down. Pen to paper. Tell yourself what failure means to you moving forward.

It means you're actually trying and doing something about your dreams.

It means you're in the arena and off of the sidelines.

But find what it means to you by getting thoughts to paper.

Writing anything down clarifies and solidifies our ideas.

Embrace It:

When you change what failure means TO YOU, you embrace it, learn from it, and use it for GROWTH instead of discouragement.

Your critic wants to berate you when you miss the mark, it wants you to feel like shit so you stop trying and come back to the cozy couch.

But life isn't lived on the couch.

Get off the couch and INTO the arena.


Tim 🖤


Client Spotlight:

Had an amazing win from one of my guys this week.

After some adjustments to his sleep routine, hydration, and nutrition, he sent me this text only 3 weeks in.


2 ways I can help when you're ready:
👉 Try my free guide: 7 Days To Better Mental Health
👉 Book your free 1:1 Coaching consult

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