Performance Goals or Mastery Goals?!

Jun 21, 2020

Should you pursue performance goals or mastery goals? So, you want to join the top one percent in your field. You want to build your brand and make more impact. What kind of goal should you pursue? In the science of positive psychology and the field of coaching, we have to types of goals:

1- Number ONE: Performance goals. They are all about being good and performing well. For example, you take an exam, and you want to get an A, or you're a business owner, and you want to hit a certain sales target.

2- But the SECOND type of goals are called mastery goals. They are all about getting better improving performance. For example, you take an exam and you get a B -, and then you plan to get a B + next time; or you miss your sales target this month, and you plan to hit your sales target the next month or improve your performance. So, the science of positive psychology tells us that if you're engaging with a difficult long game time consuming goal definitely go with the second type of goal.

Why? Three reasons!

1- Number ONE: The second type of goal is all about improving performance. So, if you try the first time, and you fail then it doesn't matter because it's all about improving performance. You won't get depressed. You won't get sad. It’s all about improving performance, and you only try to get better over time.

2- Number TWO: You will enjoy the journey towards your goal better if you go with the second type of goals because the journey is interesting; you're just learning stuff; you're asking for help; you're learning the lessons and getting better along the way. But on the other hand, if you're just obsessed with performance, it's black or white. You either get there or not, and it's just stressful.

3- And number THREE: Science has shown us that people with the second type of goals get less depressed. Yes! Everybody gets sad when they fail, whether they are type one people or type two people. But people who have the second type of goals get less depressed and go into major depression less than their counterparts.

So, my question to you is: "Think about your goal right now. Do you tend to view your goals through the type one lenses, or the type two lenses? Are you trying to prove to yourself and other people that you're good, that your performance is really good, or are you thinking about it as a get-better goal improving your performance along the way?


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