The Power of Silence: Why Keeping Your Goals Secret May Be Your Key to Success

pexels-magdalena-krekels-1248132 (1)

Connect and share on social

In the realm of personal and professional development, the debate between sharing your goals with others versus keeping them to yourself has been long-standing. Brett Ingram, an entrepreneur and product innovator, delves into this polarizing topic, exploring the psychology and effectiveness of goal setting. This exploration aims to shed light on whether vocalizing your ambitions can genuinely catalyze your path to success or if silence holds the key to unlocking your potential.

Understanding Goal Setting

Goal setting transcends mere wishful thinking; it’s about crystallizing your aspirations into tangible, achievable objectives. It involves not just dreaming about what you want to accomplish but setting clear, quantifiable targets with deadlines. This process transforms vague desires into actionable plans, marking the difference between aimless yearning and strategic pursuit.

The Dichotomy of Goal Sharing

When it comes to broadcasting your goals, opinions are deeply divided. Some argue that sharing your goals creates a sense of accountability and support, pushing you toward achievement. Others, however, contend that keeping your ambitions close to your chest enhances your focus and determination, free from external judgment or expectation.

The Case for Sharing Goals

The argument in favor of sharing goals hinges on the belief that external validation and accountability can spur action. By declaring your intentions, you not only commit to yourself but also to those around you, creating a social obligation to pursue your goals. This approach is thought to harness the power of social support and encouragement, providing motivation and advice when the going gets tough.

The Argument for Secrecy

Conversely, the case for secrecy is rooted in psychological research suggesting that the act of sharing goals might actually diminish the likelihood of achieving them. The rationale is that vocalizing your ambitions can prematurely give you a sense of accomplishment, reducing the drive to turn these goals into reality. This perspective emphasizes internal motivation and self-reliance, advocating for a more introspective and personal journey toward goal fulfillment.

Evidence from Research

Studies on goal setting reveal mixed results, underscoring the complexity of human motivation and behavior. For instance, research highlighted by Ingram indicates that people who document their goals and keep them forefront in their minds are significantly more successful than those who do not. Yet, the efficacy of sharing those goals remains contested, with studies and anecdotes suggesting both positive and negative outcomes.

One pivotal study mentioned by Ingram found that undergraduates who shared their goals with someone they respected were more likely to achieve them, compared to those who shared their goals with someone viewed as less successful or didn’t share them at all. This finding suggests that the impact of sharing goals may be contingent upon the perceived status or respect for the individual with whom the goal is shared.

The Psychological Underpinnings

The psychology behind why keeping goals secret might be beneficial is multifaceted. Sharing goals can lead to premature gratification, creating a false sense of progress that undermines actual effort. Furthermore, the pressure of public expectation can be paralyzing, fostering fear of failure and public embarrassment. Keeping goals private, on the other hand, allows for a focused, internal drive, free from external pressures and distractions.

Finding Your Path

Ultimately, whether to share your goals or keep them secret is a deeply personal decision, influenced by your personality, motivational triggers, and the nature of your goals. It may be beneficial to share your goals with mentors or individuals whose opinions you value highly, as their support and guidance can be invaluable. However, for many, the path to achievement may be best navigated in silence, relying on self-motivation and the satisfaction of personal accomplishment.


Goal setting is an undeniably powerful tool in achieving success, but the journey towards realizing those goals is highly individualized. The debate between sharing versus concealing your goals underscores the complexity of human psychology and the varied pathways to success. Whether you choose to share your dreams with the world or pursue them in solitude, the key is to understand what motivates you and to harness that energy towards achieving your aspirations. In the quest for success, knowing yourself may just be the most critical goal of all.

watch this episode on the optYOUmize YouTube channel: optYOUmize podcast Youtube

want more traffic, leads, and sales from your website without any extra promotion? Meet PROHMOS

Related Posts