Do You Resist Setting Goals? Here’s Why (plus some tapping)

Does the thought of sitting down and planning goals cause you to feel stress or anxiety? There’s a reason for that. See, there is such a thing as “goal trauma”. I know, it sounds weird. But hang with me for a moment.

Goal trauma comes from setting a goal, having your heart set on it, only to watch it fall apart. You know what I mean. That “Please God make this work for me” feeling. It’s happened to me more times than I can count. Instead of celebrating your success all you feel is disillusionment, sadness, and that deep heart wrenching feeling of failure.

With experiences like this in your past it makes it hard to move forward. These traumas have left a scar.
Would you like to get past that? I have an exercise for you and some tapping to release the trauma.
Let’s get started:

Start by choosing a goal trauma story from your past. Close your eyes and imagine that event playing out in your mind, like you’re watching it on TV. If this story was a mini movie, what would its title? The title alone often reveals how powerfully this story affects you and how much you lost. Commonly I’ve heard titles like, “The Day I Lost Everything,” “Utter Failure,” or “The Year from Hell.”

Say the following phrases aloud while tapping on the Karate Chop point:

Even though I have this story and it’s a horror show I love and accept myself with compassion ’cause carrying this is heavy

Even though I have this story and it’s full of pain and judgment and sadness I totally honor myself I honor the weight I’ve been carrying in this story. No one’s honored me for this not even me. I’m open to loving and accepting myself with forgiveness and compassion.

Continue tapping through all the points using the following phrases:
Actually I can’t forgive myself
because this is really bad
and I really screwed up
I failed
big time
It’s kind of unforgivable
It was a nightmare
and it was so much worse.
Because I really did care
I really did want it
I tried to be open to miracles
tried to be at my best
I tried so hard
and I was destroyed
So much hurt
no one to blame but me.
I lost so much
and it still hurts
Utter failure
I see the story
It’s a really bad movie.
But I watch it
When I think about my goals
sometimes I watch this movie
it really kicks my butt
But right now
I’m just going to honor this
and honor the whole story.

Take a deep breath and blow it out. We’re going to do one more round.

Go back to the movie you had in your mind and notice if the intensity of it has come down. What’s different about it?

We’re going to do one more round of tapping.

Say the following phrases aloud while tapping on the Karate Chop point:

Even though I have this story and I’ve been ruthless about it I’m just gonna honor myself now. There was a lot going on I had to handle a lot and I took it all on without a lot of support I was doing the best I knew how

Even though part of me says, “No, I wasn’t,” I totally honor this old story. I was feeling a lot of pain, a lot of fear, maybe even terror. My programs and paradigms were running unconsciously. Given all that I actually survived it pretty well. I honor myself now. I’m open to the idea that I could be proud of how I handled it

Even though I have this old story and I would shout from the rooftops that there’s not an ounce of divinity in it I’m open to seeing the gift because I learned some important things.

Continue tapping through all the points using the following phrases:
All this sadness
I honor who I am
I honor who I was in this story
Nobody else did
so I do now
I had so much going on
I was really doing the best I knew how
Do I really need this judgment on top of that?
And I learned things in that event
It made me smarter
You bet it did!
It made me stronger
It gave me strength
because I survived it
I came through
I actually didn’t crumble forever
and I honor that
I deserve that
I’m open to seeing
the hero in this story
The hero was me.

Work with this and see if your attitude toward goals improves.



  1. Kim - October 16, 2014 10:46 pm

    Great reminder we need to acknowledge and move on. I think so often we don’t acknowledge what causes trauma in our life. Having a Goal Trauma is a major hurt for many people and if we don’t acknowledge it and honor our story/experience we can’t change our attitude and move on.

    • Lynn M Smith - October 17, 2014 8:12 am

      Thank you, Kim. I appreciate your kind words.

  2. Doree Weller - October 16, 2014 11:17 pm

    This was an interesting article, though I don’t know what the “karate chop point” is. It’s an interesting thought that resisting goal setting comes from goal trauma.

    • Lynn M Smith - October 17, 2014 8:14 am

      Sorry for the confusion, Doree. There is an article on my blog called “How to do Tapping” if you’d like more info.


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