How Goal-Setting Can Lead to Stress And Anxiety

Goals can create stress and anxiety. I know it because oftentimes the minute I decide to set a goal my happy mood takes a deep dive. My energy tends to shift from me feeling content, and jovial to unfulfilled and sometimes, annoyed that I am now living in lack, wanting to achieve something, and feeling impatient that it hasn’t happened yet.  

My mind tends to shift in a negative way when I set a goal. I begin living in the future, I’ll spend days worrying about the future. I’ll stress about how I am going to achieve that goal so I can have a better life in the future. But the truth is the future doesn’t exist, it’s all an illusion until that future moment becomes the present moment. All that exists is the present moment, which is right here, right now and this is where the control lies. 

Goal setting had afflicted my soul, and I was oblivious to it, until now. It became obvious that I had relinquished my power to this goal, a figment of my imagination. And I had intentionally put myself in this depressive state by setting limitations on myself. Essentially, I had taken myself out of my true nature of abundance and unlimited power.

I realized I had not been living in the present where happiness ultimately lies. I was smothering over things that hadn’t happened, worrying if they would happen and praying that I could make them happen very very soon. Gratitude didn’t exist in me at this point, resentment for my current circumstances seem to be the prevailing sentiment.

For some people, goals are perfect, and they work, but for a select few, goals don’t work. We are all unique beings, and one solution doesn’t necessarily fit all of us.

For me, I do need a direction, an intention, and a course of action, that is, a plan to lead me in the general direction of that intention. However, that plan doesn’t have to be super complex, and most important the timeline for achievement shouldn’t be strict, but flexible, and loose. 

And If I remove the timeframe altogether, I feel very little, if any pressure at all. Some people may say, “well, without a deadline wouldn’t that leave room for procrastination?” And I’d say yes, however, in my case I might procrastinate even if a deadline is set. 

Several factors can influence my tendency to procrastinate. One factor that could cause me to stall is feeling overwhelmed by the workload to be done. On many occasions, I’ve missed deadlines because the stress became too intense. The second factor could be paralysis by analysis, thinking about everything that could go wrong, and creating more strategies to avoid it instead of doing the work. 

I now choose to take the path of least resistance, a phrase I learned from Ester Hicks one of the authors of the books “Ask and It is Given,” I now choose to live in flow with life. I’ll put in my efforts but surrender to the will of the Creator who works to bring everything’s about in perfect timing. 

Don’t get me wrong sometimes there are pending deadlines for things we might be involved in or situations where we are collaborating with others. I am strictly talking about deadlines for those big dreams we have for ourselves that can seem like light years away but we wish we could live them now.

The more I think about it. I’ve achieved more in life by just setting open intentions and working towards them when I feel good. 

I believe that our moods can be an indicator of the course we should take in life. When I am feeling a bit lazy my body is telling me something that I should pay attention to, perhaps I need rest or an emotional tune-up with a program like my “Grateful Heart” Gratitude Program to shift my energy, or maybe its divine intervention. 

And when I am feeling excited my body is also telling me something, and most times, it’s an indicator that I should take some positive action. 

Unless you’re bent on being a big business tycoon who never sleeps, life doesn’t have to be so stressful, we can live in flow and tune into our subtle energies to guide us while surrendering the results to a power greater than ourselves that knows all. 

Sometimes the things that we want may even come to us faster than we could have ever imagined. And sometimes, we have to mature for the things we want, and so, it may take a bit longer than we may expect for it to show up. This brings up a case for expectations, that I will discuss in a future post.

So my suggestion is to set an intention, know that it’s possible because we are powerful beings. Dream about it, lay out some steps to get there, and when you are feeling good, act on it. 

Life shouldn’t be about rushing, it should be a joy ride. I remember this says “It’s not about the destination, but the journey in getting there, that matters most.” It’s about the person you become, the transformation that you make, the good people you meet along the way.

Everything takes time, only the Creator knows for sure how much time. So why should we worry ourselves by setting limits when we are essentially unlimited beings. Just do what you can do in the moments as they come. Surrender the results and timing to the inner workings of the Creator. Work with nature, not against it, and appreciate the good moments that you have every day. Live with a grateful heart.

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