Goal Invalidation (And How to Avoid It)

Hand Writing Goals Invalidation

Making goals and sticking to them is what drives personal progress. We all have dreams to become better at something, and many of us make the sacrifices to do just that. We love to share our goals with the people around us hoping for encouragement, but sometimes, we face goal invalidation instead.

What is goal invalidation, you ask? Well, I kind of just made that name up. But it’s a very real form of emotional bullying. To describe goal invalidation, we first need to know what invalidation is.

What is Invalidation?

Emotional invalidation is when someone dismisses another person’s beliefs, or rejects that it’s good judgement. Like gaslighting, this can make the person feel insignificant, ashamed, or full of self-doubt. They may end up questioning their feelings and possibly suffer emotionally because of it.

One form of invalidation seen commonly revolves around goal setting. Someone sharing their goals may face this when a family member or friend gives an unwanted and critical opinion. An example of this is someone learning a new language simply to broaden their horizons, and a friend tells them it will take a long time for little gain.

Weight Loss Invalidation Phrases

  • “I could never be like that, it’s too…”
  • “Come on, it’s just one. Eat it!”
  • “You’re fine the way you are!”

Goal invalidation can dampen the spirits of someone who dreams big. While not always meant to be negative, it can leave the recipient worrying that they have the wrong mindset. People may make these types of comments with good intentions, trying to be nice or even to compliment.

In reality, these comments are not supportive or useful. It provides no value to discourage someone from reaching their goals, unless their goals are going to hurt them in the long run. In that case, sitting them down and talking it through candidly is recommended.

Avoiding Words of Discouragement


Being supportive is imperative to helping your friends and family reach their goals. Offer encouragement, and try not to give unwanted advice. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Let them know they’re doing a great job. Regardless of how you feel, it’s a good thing to make goals and strive to achieve them.

You don’t have to agree or feel like their path is meant for you as well. Just simply be supportive and accepting. It’ll go a long way.

Thanks for reading everyone. If you’ve found any value in this post, please subscribe to my blog for future updates. Stay safe, and good luck with your goals!

-Ang

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