Next time you are dying to tell your best friend about your new goal, don't. Turns out that research is showing that yapping about your dreams is a sure way to kill em. Studies since the 1920's have consistently found that telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen.
Derek Silvers' shares his short and insightful research on Ted Talk and it's worth watching if you have been floundering with a pet project.
According to social psychologists talking about our goals tricks the mind into thinking that we have already completed them--it's a feel good reaction that satisfies the brain and makes us less likely to want to do the work. Kurt Lewin, who is touted as the creator of social psychology, called this phenomena, substitution. According to Silvers, Wera Mahler's studies in 1933, showed that when a goal is acknowledged by others, they feel real in the mind. In the 1980's Peter Gollwitzer performed and wrote about human action and reaction. Or rather, non action.
So much for visions boards and sharing it to the world right? No at all. Silvers says there is a right way to talk about your goal without sending the feel good signals. He recommends the following:
--when you do dream share, incorporate the steps necessary for your goal
this sends clear messages to your brain (and your friends) that you still must get to work.
Say for example that you want to write a book and you want to share that personal dream with your best friend. You can tell her, "I have to spend three hours a day writing and researching the book idea, and have completed outlines by the end of summer if I want to get it done by the end of the year."
Meeting anything--whether its training for a marathon or writing a book--requires a dream, a plan and steps to carry out the plan, steps that are small and repeated but steps that will get you to the end of your rainbow.
The next time you are tempted to share what you are working on, don't. Instead of sharing, you want to show. This gives a whole new meaning to talk is cheap right?