What's Holding You Back from Living Your Intentions & Reaching Your Goals?
THE MAGIC SAUCE IN ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS & DREAMS
Are you tired of consistently not reaching your goals? Are you feeling shame, fear, and frustration because you’ve set goals in the past, worked really hard for a few months, then maybe fizzled out?
Are you TIRED of setting and never quite reaching your goals and YOUR DREAMS?
Fear, shame, expectation and self sabotage are all ways in which WE shortchange ourselves out of our own dreams. Yep, WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES.
But don’t fret, because you can totally give yourself the kick in the pants you need to GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.
THIS IS PART 2 OF A 4 PART SERIES ON THE MAGIC SAUCE IN ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS & DREAMS. Check out Part 1!
This series explores how to REALLY (LIKE FUH REAL!) conquer your goals. It takes a clear, honest and fresh approach to traditional goal setting. If you’re like most people, setting goals is fine and dandy, but the money is in the mastery, and I bet many of us fall short of accomplishing that list of goals. Each part of this series explores a fresh new perspective on achieving your goals.
In Part 1, we uncovered why it’s not enough to just set a goal. In comes our friend, INTENTION. Check out Part 1 to read more.
So, what’s holding you back from reaching your goals?
There are obvious external reasons why a goal may not be reached. Many of these reasons are out of our control, so why even bother focusing on those? What we can control is how WE play a role in the successful mastery of our goals and dreams.
We are also in control of how WE can easily get in our own way.
Getting Out of Your Own Way
The human mind is a powerful beast. It’s capable of so much, both constructive and destructive. Have you ever considered that much of the reason why you aren’t achieving your goals is between your own ears?
Fear. Shame. Expectation. Self Sabotage.
That’s what it looks like to get in your own way. If you’ve never approached goal setting in this way, it might seem inconsequential to consider these topics.
The truth is, these are the very reasons we aren’t actually scratching those goals off our list.
Maybe you’ve already read Part 1 on why setting intentions along with goals is part of the magic sauce. If you’ve had a chance to think or even write down your intentions AND marry those with your goals (YES! Please write it down!), you might be chomping at the bit to get to work implementing them.
Or maybe not.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed and anxious to begin. Maybe you’ve tried and failed so many times that you doubt yourself. Maybe you’ve lost faith in goal setting and you’re kinda like, “I think I’m just gonna wing it this year.”
That, friend, is you getting in your own way. So, what I’ll tell you next is my favorite, oh-so-helpful little saying: STOP DAT.
Today, we are going to explore fear and because it is typically our first roadblock in achieving our goals and dreams.
What is Fear?
Oooooh, this little four letter word can really trip you up. Fear is a POWERFUL little f*cker…. I mean, emotion. It is so complex, that we often don’t even realize when we are expressing it. Fear alerts us to the presence of danger, and it was critical in keeping our ancestors alive. It served a hugely important survival purpose.
Fear can be divided into two responses: biochemical and emotional.
The biochemical response is universal across all humans; whereas, the emotional response is incredibly unique to each individual. It’s this emotional response to fear that is responsible for blocking us from achieving our goals. It’s our self-limiting beliefs that tells us we are not enough. We won’t be successful.
Now, fear in the face of danger is very real. But, what we’re talking about today is the fear in the mind. The fear of PERCEIVED DANGER. Because our fear mechanism is so strong (it’s kept us safe for thousands and thousands of generations), it is an expert at creating imagined threats.
These fears are picked up along the way on our journey through life. Experience is a huge source of fear. Think about it: Remember being picked on as a kid? Maybe you didn’t have the “cool clothes.” Or you wore glasses and were henceforth called “four eyes.” Or, for whatever cruel reason, you wore glasses, had a 70s era “Farrah Fawcett” ‘do AND got your braces on all in the same year… no, this certainly did not happen to me.
These are the seeds of fear. This experience causes us to avoid such situations in the future, because we remember the pain that followed. That feedback, the embarrassment and shame, signals your fight or flight. Most of us to choose to use avoidance in the future as a protection mechanism.
We aren’t broken. This is what we were designed to do. Fear has kept us alive for many generations. The secret is in UNDERSTANDING your fear.
Oftentimes, this fear keeps us working jobs that are unfulfilling, keeping people in our circle who do not align with our true selves, or constantly using negative self talk. Fear keeps us from really going after what we truly desire because…. WHAT IF I FAIL?! What if I let them down? What if I’m ridiculed for trying?
Fear keeps us in the comfort zone.
And sorry boo, but nothing really badass happens there. Your dreams are certainly not realized, and there is not potential for growth. The comfort zone isn’t bad, but it surely isn’t great either. You COULD BE operating in a zone that’s SO. MUCH. MORE.
If you’ve set some intentions and goals and you find yourself worrying over all the ways it could go wrong instead of all the positive possibilities, that’s fear.
Ok, so you recognize that fear may be playing a part in you not achieving your goals, but how do you STOP DAT?
Fear is an ingrained, biomechanical and emotional response, so we cannot escape it. But we can certainly begin thinking DIFFERENTLY to question those fears and begin shifting our response away from FLIGHT and into ACTION.
Quit hitting pause on what you really want out of life because of fear.
Leaning Into Fear
Leaning into fear is where we open ourselves up for growth. Leaning into fear means becoming vulnerable, and evolution tells us being vulnerable puts us at risk. The problem is, we tend to use so many emotional shields to save us from the potential risk from vulnerability, and we end up cold, unwilling to change, fearful and stuck in our ways.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”
- Brene’ Brown
It’s going to take a little vulnerability on your part to move past fear. But once you see how fear holds you back from achieving what you truly desire, why wouldn’t you take a chance?
You can retrain your thought patterns and begin to question your fears by first identifying and recognizing where fear shows up in your life. Then, you must lean into uncertainty. Using positive words of affirmation isn’t just b.s. either…. it actually fires up portions of your brain OVER TIME that allow you to move past that FLIGHT or escape mode.
Here’s how you can start identifying your fears:
Take five minutes in a quiet space. Set your intention to dig deep. Get out a sheet of paper or your journal and start with this exercise.
Fear: “I have this goal to lose 50lbs this year, but I’ve tried and failed for years to lose this weight. I’ll never actually lose it. I just wish I could.”
Step 1: Ask yourself why you believe this to be true. Is it REALLY true that you CANNOT lose the weight. Like, your body physiologically will not let go of the weight? If it 100% is not true, then why do you believe it to be so?
Step 2: Disprove your fear by recalling a time you WERE successful. My fear is not 100% true, but I’ve failed so many times that I’m afraid to believe in myself anymore. I tried losing 50lbs last year, and I failed to do it, just like years past. BUT, I did manage to lose 15lbs. It took so long and I knew I wouldn’t reach my goal in time, so I just gave up and ended up gaining 25lbs.
Step 3: Give yourself credit for the successes you’ve had, big or small. I did manage to lose 15lbs. It wasn’t the 50 that I was hoping, but maybe had I kept going, I would’ve eventually reached my goal.
Step 4: Ask yourself what’s the worst case scenario if you give fear the finger and go for it anyway. I’m afraid I won’t hit 50lbs this year. I’m afraid I’ll be really depressed and discouraged if I don’t succeed yet AGAIN.
Step 5: Ask yourself what’s worse: the fear of the unknown or the fear of staying the same. I’m worried I’ll get really discouraged if I don’t lose those 50lbs this year. I’m also really uncomfortable at this weight. And to be honest, I’m already discouraged as it is. What do I have to lose? (maybe those 50lbs and that self-limiting belief that you can’t do this…maybe!)
These are not hard and fast rules, but what I hope you recognize is the pattern here. We identify the fear and with each question we dig deeper. Each new question peels back the layers to uncover what’s UNDERNEATH the fear. What is the root case?
Here are some questions to ponder:
What is your fear?
Why do you believe it to be true?
Is it 100%, without a doubt, true?
Is there a time I was successful in the face of fear or in a situation similar, not matter how big or small?
What is the worst case scenario?
What feels more uncomfortable: staying the same or reaching for change?
What would my life look like if I stopped giving this fear so much power?
So we uncovered another little addition to the secret sauce in achieving your goals and dreams: uncovering fear and facing it with vulnerability. It seems a bit counterintuitive to approach your fears with vulnerability. But what about your shield - the armor that you feel protects you?!
Oh, you mean your self limiting beliefs, your shame, your guilt, your expectations and self sabotage? Those shields are false notions of safety. They don’t keep you safe at all. At best, they keep you the same. At worst (and more often than not), they tear you down.
Vulnerability in the face of fear is ingredient #2 in our beautiful alchemy for reaching your goals and dreams. Go back to Part 1 for ingredient #1.
Stay tuned next week for more of the magic sauce as we dig into ACTIONABLE STEPS in putting your intentions and goals into action IN THE FACE OF FEAR.