Are You Too Afraid or Jaded to Dream or Set Goals?

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“This Goal Setting lark doesn’t work!”

I’ve noticed this weird phenomenon amongst a pocket of people that have been in the personal development industry for a while.

I have noticed it in those that have sat through dozens of workshops on ‘Goal Setting’ to achieve your dreams.  Those that have listened to countless hours of rhetoric on ‘focusing on what you want’ and ‘manifesting your desires’ into reality.  Those who have tried in vain to get their vision board to come to life having carefully selected and strategically placed all of those wonderful pictures and images.  Those who, despite their best efforts some to come up blank when it comes to creating what they want.

Too scared, fearful or downright p’ed off to to dream!

The phenomenon is that they are becoming unwilling to dream or too jaded and knocked to put the time and effort into goal setting.  It is as though all hope has been drained from their veins and sucked out of them.  Many might try, at least on the face of it, to remain upbeat, chipper, and positive, but the inner will, the desire, the drive, the motivation, the physical and mental energy, is slowly but surely seeping and ebbing away with each new failure or disappointment.

Stress and Money

The thought of investing yet more time or money can weigh heavily . . . . .

I wrote an article for a magazine back in 2009 entitled: Why Goal Setting Doesn’t Work.  Now I was of course being a bit tongue in cheek about the subject, however there was definitely truth at the foundation and idea behind the article.

I noticed that the very thing  that made goal setting work successfully was then, in a seeming bizarre universal joke, the very same thing that eventually got in the way.  For some, as success with achieving goals increased, so too did the level of expectation, and with it a sense of possible entitlement.  If goals were not achieved and dreams were not fulfilled in the way they had been specified, there was shock and often a crashing sense of disappointment, as though the universe had pulled the rug from underneath you.

“Try harder.  Focus more!”

OK so you try again, but this time with more focused energy, thought, and determination.  Still nothing.  Well hang on there a minute buddy you think: Do you know who I am?  Have you seen the amount of work that I’ve put in and the training that I’ve done?

OK, time to study those LOA books and really get serious about the task in hand.  This approach however seems to stifle the energy required to have those goals and dreams come to fruition.

After a run of ‘bad luck’ and disappointing results you secretly start to wonder if you’ve lost your touch.  Is it even worth trying?  You notice the stress and anxiety creeping in as you think about your goals or share them with others.

If you find yourself on yet another workshop where you are asked to write down your goals and dreams, you might join in the excitement of the group as they get carried away with dreaming a big dream, but secretly, as you write out your universal wish list if feels hallow, even shallow and unattainable, and as though the whole thing is just a big waste of time, setting yourself up for yet another big series of disappointments.

Overcoming the spiral of despair . . . . .

So what to do if you find yourself getting sucked into such a spiral of despair?

  • First, stop and breathe and acknowledge the truth of where you are in this moment.
  • Step away from it all; be that for 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks, or even 5 months, you choose.
  • While you are stepping away from whatever you are choosing, examine the root of your disappointment and really pinpoint what is at the heart of it all.

A number of things might come to mind.  These are the ones that have been most popular amongst the clients that have come to see me who had reached the end of the line and were thinking of throwing in the personal development towel:

  1. Fear that it will never really happen for you and its all just pipe dreams and wishful thinking.
  2. Anger or frustration that nothing seems to be working out the way you’d hoped for or planned.
  3. Shame or guilt that after trying so hard for so long you’ve still got nothing to show for all of the time, effort, and possibly even money invested.
  4. Sadness and worry that despite your best efforts it seems that you were destined for a life of mediocrity and struggle.

It may be that none of the above resonates with you, in which case ponder on it further and see what else comes to mind.

When you have identified what ‘the thing’ is for you, disconnect yourself from it and clear it.

I won’t got into how to do that in this Blog because the seekers amongst you will already have a vast array of skills, processes and modalities up your sleeve, so whip one of them out and get cracking.

My personal favourites over the past 14 years are Time Line Therapy, Hypnosis, Hawaiian Huna (what people might know as Ho’oponopono), and Access Consciousness.  Also, if I get a sense that it runs deeper than than just present day emotions, I tend to also explore Past Life Regression and genealogical and ancestral patterns.

Start with a clean slate and ‘fresh water’

The 'TranceFormation' Ripple Effect

The ‘TranceFormation’ Ripple Effect

Identifying and clearing the old beliefs and emotions around it allows you to start with a clean slate.  Otherwise, it’s a bit like trying to wash your dishes in muddy water and wondering why they’re not coming out clean.  When you clean up and resolve whatever is at the heart of this issue for you, it’s as though you create a whole new vibration, and what I’ve always called ‘The Ripple Effect’ (the above has been my logo since first becoming a Coach for that very reason).

A big piece is also around the energy and tension of choosing, creating and generating what you’re going for.  Getting this right once you have cleared the emotions is key, otherwise you fall straight back into the trap of strangling and stifling your efforts before they have even begun to take root.

You will know when you’ve hit the nail on the head because you will think about what I tend to call Intention Setting (rather than Goal Setting) and the thought comes with a sense of excitement and possibilities rather than a feeling of disappointment and dread.

Being that space of expanded possibilities is where those miracles can then really start to happen.

Happy creating!

Marilyn Devonish



Marilyn Devonish is a Certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnosis, and Time Line Therapy, PhotoReading ‘Intuitive Reading’ Instructor, and Life & Executive Coach.  She is a also a Certified Practitioner of Huna, EFT, EmoTrance, Positive EFT, DNA Theta Healing, Reiki, Access Bars, and Access Consciousness.  She is also a Certified Soul Plan Reader, Doreen Virtue Angel Card Tarot Reader, and Future Life Progression Consultant.  Her alchemic blend approach to client resolution also includes OTH (Opening The Heart), Quantum Touch, Energetic NLP, and Past Life Regression.

Marilyn started her personal and spiritual development journey back in the year 2000 and has been an avid explorer of the subject ever since.  She is currently writing a book on the key reasons why personal development doesn’t work, and what you can do to change and reverse that.



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About the Author:

Marilyn Devonish has been described as the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, a dash of Doreen Virtue, and the trio from Charmed all rolled into one. I (Marilyn Devonish) have admit that was too big of a statement for me to own, but I equally admit that I do like the sound of it and it did make me smile. Marilyn Devonish - Herself since Year 2000.


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