5 Impossible Goals You Should Stop Going After

What is an impossible goal? An impossible goal is just what it sounds like: a goal that can’t be accomplished by a human being.

Now I know that you’re not used to hearing something like that on a personal growth blog. You’re used to hearing things like, “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it,” and “There’s nothing you can’t do when you set your mind to it.”

Parted SeasThat’s all well and good for the majority of the goals we set. However, the truth is that there are some things that you and I actually CAN’T do.

I often tell my coaching clients that if you continue to go after these impossible goals, you will not only waste your time, money, and effort, you will invariably end up feeling frustrated—not because you didn’t try hard enough, but because you’re going after something you shouldn’t have been going after in the first place.

Here are 5 impossible goals you should stop going after immediately…

Impossible Goal #1. “I have to make everyone happy.”

The truth is that you CANNOT make everyone else happy. In fact, technically, you can’t “make” ANYONE else happy. Why is that? Because each of us is ultimately responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness.

This impossible goal comes into play a lot in our personal relationships. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who, no matter what you do for them, no matter how much you give and give and give, they’re still never happy? I can hear some of you saying, “Noah, have you been following me around!?”

Of course, you and I can influence otherpeople’s happiness. But ultimately, you can’t make anyone else happy.

Impossible Goal #2. “I have to be perfect and never make a mistake.”

Yeah, that’s the key to success, all right: be perfect and never make a mistake. Notice how perfect all the highly successful people are. Of course THEY’VE never made a mistake in their LIVES. I hope you are seeing the humor here!

Impossible Goal #3: “I have to never fail. Everything I do has to succeed.”

This goes along with Impossible Goal #2, believing that you need to be perfect in order to be successful. One of the ironies of these two impossible goals is that what you are really trying to do is to eliminate the fear of criticism.

Two of the most debilitating fears we have are the fear of failure and the fear of criticism. How many times have you stopped yourself from trying something new because of thoughts like, “What will THEY say if I try this?” or “What if I try and fail?”

Imagine how your life would change if you stopped being afraid of failure and stopped being worried about what other people think or say about you. That’s what can happen when you let go of this impossible goal.

Impossible Goal #4: “I have to sell 100% of my prospects.”

Are you kidding me? Even if you were to stand on the street corner and start handing out $20 bills, there would STILL be people who wouldn’t take what you’re offering.

And by the way, I wouldn’t recommend doing this; unless, of course, you come over to my house. :)

Impossible Goal #5: “I have to reach all of my goals before I’m 30/40/50/60, etc.”

This is ironic, because we’ve often heard that “a goal is a dream with a deadline”. So we’ve been brainwashed into setting time-centered goals.

However, there’s another truth about life that we don’t often hear and don’t like to admit: Almost everything tends to take twice as long as you think it’s going to take.

That’s why so many people who set a goal for themselves of, for example, retiring by the age of 40 are beating themselves up because they missed that deadline.

We need to realize that most of our time-centered deadlines are actually made up out of thin air. There’s no real magic behind the ages of 30, 40, 50, etc. other than that they are divisible by the number 10.

My point here is for you to stop beating yourself up if you’ve set any of these time-centered goals and have not reached them yet.

If you are feeling that something is “off” about the direction of your life, stop going after these impossible goals and start going after the things that actually make you happy.

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About Noah St John

Noah St. John is famous for inventing AFFORMATIONS® and helping busy people accelerate income, boost self-confidence, and make success AUTOMATIC. His sought-after advice is known as the “secret sauce” to creating breakthrough performance. He also appears frequently in the news worldwide, including CNN, ABC, NBC, The Hallmark Channel, Forbes.com and The Huffington Post.

Get the first 2 chapters FREE of Noah’s latest bestseller, AFFORMATIONS®: The Miracle of Positive Self-Talk at www.NoahStJohn.com


  1. Would anyone really set themselves such goals?
    They almost seem so unattainable and, more to the point, undesirable that I can’t imagine many people would set out to achieve them.
    Of course, people have these as mindsets and you’re correct in trying to adjust such a mindset but I can’t see why you mention them as goals.
    The last one raises an important point though. Sometimes we don’t advance as quickly as we’d like but the worst thing is to beat yourself up about it.

  2. It should be said that you can do it, but with the practical perspective.

  3. Real motivational post. When you will start the contract the happiness of other, you have to pay its cost but still it is not possible other to be happy. Yes, you are human being, you can do real help who need you help as charity.

  4. Hey Noah,
    Good post there. I really like the first one. I totally agree with that. You can’t make anyone else happy apart from yourself. I often tried to make everyone around me happy, until I started to realize that I need to take responsibilty of my own life and happiness. The funny thing is that if you try to make everyone happy – it is actually reverse the process. If you are happy you’ll make people automatically happy. Thanks for your post.

  5. Hi Noah,
    I agree with you that making it difficult for ourselves by
    beating ourselves up is counterproductive to our goals.
    I guess our vision has to manifest according to the strength of
    our belief,the intensity of our desire,and the constant glare of our attention.
    Our attention is the magic wand that materializes our desire.of course this doesn’t excuse us of the effort required.
    When focus revolves around all those things we like , regard, appreciate and cherish,they are bound to manifest.


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