Conventional wisdom tells us that one of the best ways to increase your chances of achieving a goal is to broadcast your intention to the world—don’t keep it a secret! The idea is that once you go public, your friends will keep you accountable or, at the very least, your fear of losing face will drive you toward success.
Turns out announcing it to the world may be the worst thing in the world you could do.
Here’s how it works: You decide you’re going to do something, you work up the courage and you tell everyone your intention. You get positive feedback, you feel brave, strong, and confident. Just saying it out loud makes you believe you can do it, makes it seem that much closer to reality.
What’s wrong with that? Everything.
Psychologists call that positive feeling you experienced a “social reality,” which simply means your brain gets the same emotional boost from talking about your goal as it does from actually accomplishing it. Ideally you shouldn’t feel that kind of satisfaction until you’ve achieved your dream, but because you’ve already slaked your need for satisfaction, you’re less motivated to bring the dream to actual fruition.
Leap Task #11: Decide and write down who you are going to tell about your dream.
Especially in the beginning, you should tell just a few people—people you know will support you and keep you accountable. Plan to tell them in a way that doesn’t give you any satisfaction—concentrate on how difficult it will be and how you’ll need their help to see it through to completion.
How did you determine who made the list of people you would tell?