How Moving Goalposts Sabotages your Progress

Moving goalposts is like running a marathon with an ever-shifting finish line. You put in all the hard work, you sweat and bleed, but just when you think you’re getting close, the line moves again. It’s enough to drive anyone mad. In my experience, this phenomenon is not limited to any particular domain – it can happen in love, work, and all the spaces in between. Perhaps the most frustrating part of it all is that it seems to happen without rhyme or reason. But then again, what in life truly makes sense? All we can do is keep moving forward, keep trying our best, and hope that someday the goalposts will stay put.

From a logical perspective, this behavior is considered a type of fallacy called the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. This happens when someone modifies the definition of a term or concept to exclude certain cases that do not fit their argument. In the case of moving the goalposts, the original criterion for success is modified after the fact, making it impossible for someone to succeed based on the initial expectations.

Moving the goalposts can be unfair and can damage trust and communication in relationships, or hinder progress in academic or professional settings. It’s important to establish clear and specific goals, communicate them effectively, and avoid changing them arbitrarily to avoid negative effects on others.

Here are some ways that moving goalposts can sabotage your progress:

It makes it hard to measure progress:

When the criteria for success keeps changing, it can be difficult to measure progress accurately. It becomes challenging to know whether you are on track or not, which can lead to frustration and demotivation.

It erodes confidence:

Moving goalposts can lead to a sense of never being good enough. When you feel like you can never meet the expectations set for you, it can be demoralizing, and you may begin to question your abilities.

It leads to burnout:

If you keep working towards a goal that keeps moving, it can be exhausting. The constant sense of striving and never achieving can lead to burnout, which can be detrimental to your overall well-being.

It decreases motivation:

Moving goalposts can be demotivating. If you feel like you can never reach the finish line, why bother trying? This lack of motivation can lead to procrastination and a sense of apathy towards your goals.

It can damage relationships:

If you are constantly moving goalposts in a team environment, it can damage relationships with colleagues. It can be frustrating for others to keep up with the changes and may lead to resentment.

Moving goal posts can sometimes be a bit frustrating. It’s like trying to hit a moving target, and just when you think you’ve got it, the target moves again! It can be demotivating and make it challenging to achieve your goals. This can happen in different areas of life, like in personal relationships or academic or professional settings.

If you find yourself moving the goalposts or engaging in other behaviors that sabotage your progress, there are steps you can take to break the cycle and get back on track. Here are some tips:

Set realistic goals:

One of the main reasons people sabotage their progress is because they set unrealistic goals. When you set goals that are too difficult or unattainable, it’s easy to become discouraged and give up. Instead, set achievable goals that challenge you but are also realistic.

Hold yourself accountable:

Take responsibility for your own progress and hold yourself accountable. Don’t blame external factors or other people for your lack of progress. Instead, focus on what you can control and take action to move forward.

Practice self-compassion:

It’s easy to become self-critical and beat yourself up when you fall short of your goals. However, this can be counterproductive and demotivating. Instead, practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself when you make mistakes or encounter obstacles.

Get support:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from others. This can include friends, family, colleagues, or a coach or mentor. Having someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of can be incredibly helpful in keeping you motivated and on track.

Celebrate your successes:

It’s important to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. This can help you stay motivated and feel good about your progress, which can in turn fuel further success.

Remember, progress is not always a straight line and setbacks are a normal part of the process. By taking a positive and proactive approach to your goals, you can overcome obstacles and achieve success.

What is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and tips to apply it in your life

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors to improve mental health and well-being. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

One of the great things about CBT is that it empowers people to take control of their own mental health. By learning techniques to identify and challenge negative thought patterns, individuals can develop a greater sense of self-awareness and make positive changes in their lives.

Another important aspect of CBT is that it is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy. This means that clients work with their therapist to set specific, achievable goals and develop a plan to reach them. This can be incredibly helpful in providing a sense of direction and purpose during a challenging time.

Overall, CBT is an evidence-based treatment that has helped countless individuals improve their mental health and quality of life. If you’re struggling with negative thoughts or behaviors, I highly encourage you to consider working with a trained CBT therapist. It could be the first step towards a happier, healthier you!

Here are some CBT mental health practices that you can do daily:

1. Identify and challenge negative thoughts:

Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day, and when you notice a negative thought, challenge it by asking yourself if it’s really true, if there’s evidence to support it, and if there’s a more positive or realistic way to think about the situation.

2. Practice gratitude:

Take time each day to reflect on things that you’re grateful for. This can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones and improve your mood.

3. Set achievable goals:

Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable steps. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and make progress towards your goals.

4. Use positive self-talk:

Be kind and encouraging to yourself and use positive self-talk to counteract negative thoughts. For example, instead of saying “I’m a failure,” say “I’m doing the best I can, and I’ll keep working towards my goals.”

5. Practice relaxation techniques:

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization can help reduce stress and anxiety.

6. Engage in enjoyable activities:

Make time for activities that you enjoy, such as hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or exercise. Engaging in enjoyable activities can boost your mood and improve your overall well-being.

7. Challenge avoidance behaviors:

If you find yourself avoiding certain situations or activities due to fear or anxiety, challenge yourself to gradually face those fears and participate in those activities. This can help reduce anxiety over time and improve your confidence.

Remember, practicing CBT techniques daily takes time and effort, but it can lead to significant improvements in your mental health and overall well-being. If you’re struggling to implement these practices on your own, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional who can guide you through the process.

One great example of this is Bloom. I have personally used this and applied the techniques to soothe myself during a difficult time in my life. Let me tell you some things about Bloom.

The Bloom app is a mobile app that offers a personalized and convenient way to practice CBT, which is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative patterns of thinking and behavior. With the Bloom app, you can learn CBT techniques and apply them to your daily life to improve your mental well-being.

The app offers a variety of features, including interactive exercises, journaling prompts, and audio sessions, all designed to help you manage your thoughts and emotions. The exercises are based on proven CBT techniques, such as cognitive restructuring and behavioral activation, and are tailored to your specific needs and goals.

One of the great things about the Bloom app is that it offers a way to practice CBT on the go. You can use the app whenever and wherever you need it, whether that’s on your morning commute, during your lunch break, or before bed. The app also tracks your progress over time, so you can see how you’re improving and adjust your goals accordingly.

Another benefit of the Bloom app is that it’s user-friendly and intuitive. The exercises are easy to understand and can be completed in just a few minutes, making it easy to incorporate CBT into your daily routine. Plus, the app offers a supportive and encouraging community of users who can offer tips, advice, and support along the way.

Bloom app is definitely worth checking out!

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