Episode 320 – The Importance Of A Growth Goal + How To Tell Whether It’s Working

Episode 320 - The Importance Of A Growth Goal + How To Tell Whether It's Working

In this episode I’m going to be talking about the importance of a Growth Goal and some of the signs it’s working to get you out of your own way in your business. If you’re a PGSDer, or you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you’ll be familiar with a concept that I teach called the Impossible Goal.

The Impossible Goal is a goal that is set above what is possible for yourself. And by setting a goal in that way, we’re asking ourselves to grow into the person that can achieve that goal – rather than setting a ‘realistic’ goal that our present day self could achieve.

This goal does wonders when it comes to taking your perfectionism work from an intellectual pursuit to a day-to-day practice. And from now on, we’re going to be calling it a Growth Goal. In this episode, I share why I’m changing the name and what’s normal to expect as you pursue your Growth Goal.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Why the Impossible Goal is now called the Growth Goal
  • How to tell if you’ve set your Growth Goal too high
  • The 5 stages of pursuing your Growth Goal and why each one is part of the process
  • Why it’s worth pursuing a Growth Goal even with the ups and downs

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Setting a Growth Goal is what turns your perfectionism work from an intellectual pursuit to a day-to-day practice. It also helps you make a lot more money! Today I’m sharing why I’m no longer calling it the Impossible Goal and what to expect along the way.


This episode is one that I have been planning to record for a while. And I’m really excited to be discussing this with you. So I’m going to be talking about the importance of a growth goal as well as some of the signs that it’s working, that it’s helping you to get out of your own way in your business. So what is a growth goal? If you’re a PGSDers, or if you have been listening to this podcast for quite a while, you’ll be familiar with a concept that I talked about called the impossible goal. So the impossible goal is a goal that is set above what you believe is possible for yourself. And by setting a goal in that way, we are then requiring and asking and encouraging ourselves to grow into the person who can achieve that goal, rather than doing what is typically taught around goal setting, which is to set a goal that your present day self could achieve.

These are realistic goals. So in PGSD, we set an impossible goal. And if you’re a PGSDer, don’t worry, you will be keeping your impossible goal, but we’re going to be calling it from now on the growth goal. And here’s why. So when I first learned about the impossible goal, that was from Brooke Castillo, so she is the host of The Life Coach School Podcast, which I have talked about ad nauseum. And in self coaching scholars, a program that she has. She introduced this idea of an impossible goal. And I believe from memory that she got that idea from a book that she had read that talked about setting impossible goals.

And the idea was, as she taught it, that you set a goal above what you believe is possible. And it’s a 12 month goal, and then you break it down into even quarters. And you go through this process of listing out all the fails that you are going to work towards throughout the quarter. And that’s going to add up to you achieving your goal because you’re trying a lot of things, you’re building your failure, tolerance and resilience. You’re putting yourself out there and all of that. So I started setting an impossible goal for myself, I think the first year was 2018. It’s pretty well documented as well, on this podcast. If you go back, especially to the early episodes, I talked a lot about my impossible goals. And it’s been a undercurrent of this entire podcast. So I started setting an impossible goal for my business each year in 2018. So I did one for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

And as I started working towards my impossible goal, especially that first year, I really learned a lot about myself and my perfectionist mindset and changes that needed to be made to the way I was approaching that goal for me to be able to continue pursuing it. So for example, in 2018, I halfway through the year was pretty convinced I needed to reduce my goal because there was no way I was getting to my goal of 500,000. And I was so demotivated by that, that, in my mind, the best solution would be to have the goal or actually I think even just change it to 100,000. And then I’d be motivated again, and then I’d be able to show up again. And I’m so glad that I was able to coach myself out of changing the goal. And that’s why in PGSD, we really coached you on keeping the goal the same, and instead focusing on changing yourself, and learning how to show up for yourself and generate that from within you rather than have it be external and coming from your goal. But for example, as well, I set that goal at 500,000. When I wasn’t really aware that that was too far in hindsight above what I believed was possible. And I’m going to talk about this a bit later on. But I thought that 100,000 was something I believed I could do. And 250,000 was something I believed I could do. And so 500,000 felt impossible. I had no idea how that would happen. When really I intellectually understood how to make $100,000. And I intellectually understood how to make $250,000. But that’s very different to believing that I’m the person who can achieve that.

Anyway, I learned a lot from having these big, impossible goals. And I’ve now achieved that first impossible goal. And I’ve learned so so much about myself through that process. I’m such a believer in this concept of setting a goal above what you believe is possible. A goal where you can’t yet see the how or you don’t yet believe you’re the kind of person who can do that. Maybe others around you can but you can’t. And just how it asks us to really step into and step up to what we are really capable of achieving instead of just saying, Okay, well I’m just going to do what’s realistic, because I want to feel good and I only feel good when I achieve my goals. So I’m going to have these little small goals, and then I’ll feel successful. And really what that does, like you listening to this podcast tells me you’re the kind of person who really wants to be challenge, who really wants to feel like they are up to something. And even though setting realistic goals for yourself might give you this kind of quick, fleeting feeling of success, deep down, you know that you’re capable of more, and that you’re not really testing the limits of that.

So everyone in PGSD, we love testing the limits of what is possible for ourselves and doing that personal development work with our business being the vehicle, in order to grow into our next version of ourselves. And to do that in a way that helps us to enjoy the journey. It’s not from this place of I’m broken, and I need fixing. Truly personal development is not about fixing yourself, it’s about loving who you are, and changing because you want to. And so that’s the work we do inside PGSD. And after years of teaching the impossible goal of going through it myself through that experience, seeing how PGSD interact with the impossible goal, I really wanted to change the name of it, so that it was a reminder of what the goal is about.

Because what I’ve seen happen is that a lot of times, and I’ve done this myself, everything I talk about on this podcast. I have done myself, I’ve experienced it, I get it. And there’s nothing wrong with doing it. It’s when we set this impossible goal, this goal that we’ve intentionally set above what our present day self can achieve. But we then approach it as if it’s this normal, realistic goal, but bigger. And we really demand ourselves to have to start doing things perfectly, because the only way that we can achieve the goals if we do everything perfectly. There’s no room for error, because it’s such a big goal. And all of this kind of thing, that it then becomes easy to demonize the goal, to blame the goal, to say, well, this method of goal setting doesn’t work. And that this is why I’m feeling so stuck.

When really, the goal is design and I’m going to talk about this, I don’t want to talk about signs it’s working. The goal is designed to reveal to you the work that you can do on yourself and your perfectionism and your business. And so it is going to be uncomfortable, it is going to uncover things that you wouldn’t have noticed, if you had set yourself a realistic goal and you weren’t asking yourself to grow so much. But with it being called the impossible goal, not only had it quite developed from the concept that I learned from Brooke Castillo, so for example, when I’ve taught the impossible goal, and this has been developed through my experience, and I’m coaching hundreds of perfectionist through this process, that if you have a goal to say, for example, your goal is $100,000 over a 12 month period. And we make sure that you’re really specific with the dates. And it’s not just you know, by March, you know, the exact day for each quarterly milestone and the end goal. So when you break it down into your quarterly milestones, that are really just checkpoints along the way, just because you haven’t gotten to your first quarterly milestone or your second one doesn’t mean you can’t get all the way there.

But when we are as the way it was taught to me was you just take 100,000, you divide it by four, and that’s your quarterly milestone. So it’s 25,000 each quarter. But what that’s essentially doing, at least the way I’ve approached it, and I’m not saying that this way doesn’t work for others, but with my perfectionist mindset, it meant that I was immediately trying to become the version of me that I needed to be by the end of the year from day one. And what I found more helpful was to instead create this ladder for myself by having the quarterly milestones increase every quarter. So in PGSD, we review your quarterly, sorry, no, we do review the quarterly milestones, but we reviewed the whole goal and make sure that it’s really going to serve you and set you up for a lot of growth. And as well when we are doing that is we are helping you to be specific and to set yourself up for a successful year. And when you are setting that goal, we are helping you to make sure that you have taken the formula that we share in PGSD for doing these quarterly milestones. It’s not rocket science. So all it is is taking your goal and making it increase incrementally each quarter.

So very briefly, what you will do is you will take your overall goal and divide it by 10. That will be your first milestone. And then every quarter it will increase so that by the end of it every quarter adds up to your goal in total. So for example, if your goal is a million dollars, then your first milestone would be 100,000, then 200, 300, 400. In total, that adds up to a million dollars rather than doing $250,000 each quarter. So that’s one example of an adjustment I’ve made to that concept of the impossible goal, so that it actually gets your perfectionist mindset on your side, and doesn’t then put you into all or nothing mode.

So just seen, as I said, myself interacting with this process of the impossible goal, and PGSDers is interacting with it, I really wanted to change the name of it. So that really reminds you what this goal is about. And that is about growth. This isn’t about setting a goal that you’re definitely going to achieve. This isn’t about setting a goal that you’re going to achieve, without any setbacks, without any obstacles, without any disappointment, without any kind of negative emotion whatsoever. This is really about setting yourself up for growth. Growth as a person and growth in your business as well. Because those two things are really one the same. Not you and your business, they’re two separate things. But your growth and your business growth are going to be related.

So we want to have this goal be a tool for you to turn intellectual personal development work. So this is kind of when you listen to a lot of things, you reading books, doing programs and that kind of thing. And you can tell your friends and family a lot of different personal development concepts. But are you living them? The growth goal is what really helps you to put everything that you’ve learned about personal development and about business into practice. And it’s the first step in planning properly as a perfectionist. So when you’re planning properly as a perfectionist, you set your growth goal. And then you use power planning and clean rest, to pursue your growth goal. Working on what comes up as you do.

So that is why from now on, we are calling it, the growth goal. And I want to mention that the concept is really the same as before in terms of how I’ve been teaching it inside PGSD, and on this podcast, as well. That you are setting a goal above what you believe is possible for yourself. And what we really want to make sure we’re doing so that you get the level of the goal, correct. And it’s not to say there’s one number it needs to be, but within a range that’s really going to support your growth and be above your current self image, but not so far above it, that then it feels like it’s way too far away and really puts you into all or nothing thinking. So we want to have you thinking about with your growth goal, to identify where your belief is currently at.

And it’s gonna be a financial goal. It’s a business, we have financial goals. So when you have, say, for example, feel like okay, I want to make $100,000 in my business. Would you bet me or anyone else money, a decent amount of money that you will make $100,000 in the next 12 months? And if the answer is no, it might be that you intellectually understand that it is possible to make $100,000 that people like you have made $100,000. That you just need to follow these steps and then you make $100,000, but you don’t yet believe that you could do it. And so what we want to really identify is okay, what amounts would you bet on? Would you bet that you could make $1,000? Okay, would you bet that you could make $5,000? And you just keep going up and up until you get to the highest amount that you would be willing to bet on. You also by the way want to be going through this. And this is the first module in the PGSD process. You want to be going through this on a day when you’re not totally consumed by self doubt.

We all have those days, where we feel like we can’t do anything, nothing is possible. Why do I even bother? I have those days too. So I want you to not wait for it to be the best day we feel so motivated. But to just sit down and do this on a day where you’re like, okay, yes, I have fear. Yes, I have self doubt. But also I can access my highest self who really knows what’s possible for me and to do it from that place. So you’re assessing okay, what would I bet that I can achieve? And then we just want to turn the dial up on that a little bit which what I mean by that is just increase it a bit more.

So say for example, if you would bet that you could make $20,000. Then just play around with okay if it was $25,000 or 30,000? Again, it’s going to be a range, there’s no perfect answer, and you’re going to grow. Regardless, it’s so important that you do set your impossible goal that you do post it in your persistence log with the hashtag goal review, and that you practice being decided about that and doing the work to commit to your growth goal. Because it is very easy to get caught up on this and to keep going back and forth about should this be my goal? Is this the right number? Is this actually going to work for me and that kind of perfectionist thinking. So the growth really begins from the moment you start setting your growth goal, because it is going to bring up different kinds of perfectionist thinking that you have had, for example, setting vague goals, setting 20 goals at one setting, no goals at all. That’s all going to be brought up. And it’s very common to feel a lot of resistance around setting a very clear and specific goal that is going to grow you.

So just know that that’s normal to have that resistance there and post about it in your persistence log anyway, and commit to that goal anyway. It’s better to do the work and get coaching on being committed to your goal, than going back and forth of oh, maybe I should lower my goal. Maybe my goal should be around something else. So if you’re in PGSD, your goal is around your business, knowing that how you do one thing is how you do everything. Your goal is a financial goal, not because money is the only thing that matters, but because it’s going to be such a great way to bring up the growth that needs to happen for you. And it’s an incredible way to allow your ideas about yourself and your business to evolve over a 12 month period, because when we get very attached to have been a certain number of followers, or subscribers, or any other metric, this often happens when we’re trying to avoid it being about money. And we’re thinking, well, if I had this many followers, I’d make X amount of money. But I don’t want to have the goal about the money. Because we have some money mindset work to do. So I’m going to make it about the followers. But we really want to have the goal be around the money, because that really gives you the opportunity to figure out what the how looks like instead of it being well, I need to sign this many clients into this service that I have, or I need to sell this many units of this product that I have which is priced at this.

We don’t want to have that in your growth goal. And in the first module, I go through exactly how to set that goal and what that looks like. We really wanted to be just focused on the revenue, so that you can grow and evolve and figure out exactly what that’s going to look like. Because especially if you’ve never made that amount of money before, it is going to look different to how you thought it would. So we create a hypothesis about it. We set outcomes for each quarter. And we use power planning and clean rest to pursue those outcomes. And do the power hour, little tweaks, weekly review and constantly iterate. So our weekly plans do need to be realistic, we can actually do them in over planning, we’re not under planning, we keeping them workable.

And it’s probably going to look quite different. Especially you can go so much in a year. So your hypothesis as to how to achieve your goal is probably not going to be correct. But you need to have a hypothesis and to try at it and to give it a go. Because that is how you figure out how to get to your goal. So as I was saying the main point of this part is to say that the concept is the same. So if you’re a PGSDer, you’re going to be keeping your goal the same and we’re just now going to be calling it, a growth goal. And as I said, it’s the first step in planning properly as a perfectionist. So in PGSD, the process. The PGSD process. That we go through that gets you out of your own way, is planning properly as a perfectionist, following through 80% of the time, resting without guilt, and then repeating that.

Knowing that procrastination isn’t a problem. We’re not aiming for zero procrastination. What we’re aiming for, is following through with our plans for clean rest. And our plans for our needle movers, 80% of the time. And with doing little tweaks to keep our plans workable. We’re doing our weekly review to really learn about ourselves, to learn how and when we work best to be able to notice self sabotage, notice ourselves getting in our own way. That’s part of it, that’s a sign it’s working, so that we can then get out of our own way.

So I wanted to mention as well and I think this is a very important point for other perfectionist to hear is that I’m not going to be re-recording the modules for the PGSD process just to say the words Growth Goal instead of impossible goal. And I mentioned this because when I first started thinking about changing the name for the impossible goal, which I would say was about a year ago now that I really started thinking about like, what else could we call this? And how could this be an even more powerful tool? I believe so much in the power of language. And the way that we frame things has a big impact on the experience we have.

So I’ve been thinking about this for a while. And initially, I was like, Well, I’ve already recorded the PGSD process modules. And they’re working for people. And so does it make sense for me to spend all this time re recording them and all of that. And it took me a minute to realize that we could start calling it the Growth Goal, without me needing to rerecord everything. That it’s also okay, if you’re a PGSDers, and you keep calling it the impossible goal, you forget to call it the growth goal, that’s all good. We’re talking about the same thing. But I’m not going to be re recording the PGSD process modules just to make that change. And I share that because maybe there’s something in your product in your service. In your program, whatever kind of business you have in your offering, that you’ve been wanting to change, but you haven’t because you don’t want to do your work to incorporate the minor change that it might be, for example. Changing the name of the impossible goal to the growth goal is a significant change. But it’s minor in the sense that it’s just changing the name of something. And maybe you have been as well thinking that if I update something, then that’s invalidating my past ideas. That invalidating the past iteration of my product, or the artwork that I used to sell, or the process that I used to teach.

And I think it’s so important that we are really focused on allowing ourselves to iterate, allowing ourselves to be learning and growing in public. And that if we figure out a better way to deliver a service, to deliver a result, to deliver a product, that we allow ourselves to do that and to understand that we’re not making our past selves wrong. So many, like hundreds and hundreds of people have blown their minds with what they could achieve by using the impossible goal and having it being called the impossible goal. And that’s amazing. And now, there’s an even better way to do it. And so I’m guiding my people to do it that way, and teaching them how instead of saying, Well, I’ve always called it impossible to change it now, then, am I saying that my past self is wrong, and that I need to go out and find all these people who have now impossible goals, and they might not hear this episode, and to let them know, hey, it’s called a Growth Goal now. And here’s what’s changed and whatever.

Like, it’s so important to know, like, that was exactly what it needed to be. And it was in service. And this is too. So if you have been withholding an iteration, to really give yourself permission to do that. I give you permission, but the biggest permission you need is your own. And I was actually just recording a little bonus q&a episode for the PGSD private podcast. And I was talking about this that I just bought a peloton. Well, it’s technically on a free trial, but I said to save for getting the free trial, and I’m gonna love it. I love spinning. And I love doing classes. And I’m already someone who works out consistently.

So if we get it for the trial, and it’s in our home, I’m going to be keeping it. So anyway, we got the peloton. It’s fantastic. And just using the like going through the experience of doing a class and all the things that they have considered in that experience that really make it like, I found it so much more motivating that an in person spin class. I’ve done like hundreds of the Les Mills RPM classes, and I’m very familiar with what difference between classes that are. And they’ve just been so thoughtful and I’m sure there are many iterations to come. But they have really done the work to iterate it like just me experiencing a peloton class for the first time. I could tell this isn’t how it started. That this is many years and many, many, many iterations down the track.

And I’m so grateful that they weren’t like, oh, well, we can’t change what we’re doing because then the people who started with us are going to realize that we think that we could have done it better. And so we just have to double down on doing it the way we started it, they’d been willing to iterate. And as a new user, I have just experienced only the iterated version, this is something we need to remember as well, often we get so focused on the OG followers and subscribers and customers. But to just remember, there’s so many people you’re going to be helping that haven’t yet experienced anything to do with your work. And they’re going to just experience that iterative version. And we need to be focused on our best customers, our best clients, and also those that we haven’t even met yet, instead of thinking about what will our past customers and clients think of us for making a change, we want to think about serving our people and those that we haven’t even met yet and thinking about how can we really create such an incredible experience that, like, with me, with this peloton, I could feel how many iterations that were, and that made me have such an incredible experience, instead of feeling like, oh, this is so clunky.

And I’m sure the first many iterations there were things that didn’t work, there were things that weren’t amazing about it. And again, this isn’t to say there aren’t things that aren’t great about it currently. But we really want to be in this mindset of iteration. And having a growth goal is really going to help you do that in the way that a realistic goal won’t. So with all that to say, I won’t be re-recording the PGSD process modules, they might get re-recorded at some point. But it won’t be for me to say the words Growth Goal, instead of impossible goal, but we will now be referring to it as the Growth Goal inside PGSD. But it’s okay, if you forget to call it that. It’s all good.

So I want to talk about some of the signs that your growth goal is working. I’ve been reading a lot of entries in PGSDers persistence logs recently, and just noticing how when people are sharing their weekly reviews, and they share what’s working, what’s not working, what to do differently, and all of that kind of thing. And I love how our PGSDer is a lot of them have developed their own prompts and things like that, that really helped them reflect on the week and grow so so so much. But I noticed that a lot of times what people put in there, what isn’t working section, are actually signs that it is working. And they aren’t aware that this is part of the process.

And so I just wanted to talk about some of the signs it’s working, and also the five stages of pursuing your growth goal, which is in lesson 1.4. If you want more detail on this in PGSD, but there are five stages. And all of these are part of it working. And this is really important to remember. Because if you are pursuing your growth goal, as in, you set yourself up to shed your past self and become a new version of you. It’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be painful at times, it’s going to be incredible at times and exciting at times and mind blowing at times, but also scary, those kinds of things, too. And so we need to really normalize the ups and downs of the journey, instead of thinking, Okay, well, this is a goal that’s a bit bigger than a normal goal, but I still need to achieve it and be perfect in order to achieve it. And any little blip in the road is a sign that it’s not working, then I’m not good enough and all of that.

So here are the five stages. The first is the new goal high. So this is well kind of like the beginning of the year, the new year high. It’s where, in this instance, your goal feels impossible, but you’re full of hope and optimism and there’s no evidence yet that you can’t achieve it. And when you’re in this phase, you really want to focus on capitalizing on that feeling without expecting the new goal high to continue. So yes, if you’re motivated, you’re welcome to use that motivation. But, we don’t want to be then getting in the mindset that we should feel this way all the time. Because when we’re in that mindset, then we beat ourselves up for having a normal experience. That does not help us get out of our own way. I really want to help you normalize, that there are going to be ups and downs. And that for example, when you have your growth goal and your power planning and you’re taking clean rest, that you are going to come up with the best hypothesis you can about how to get to your goal, to do it in a way that’s in alignment with your values. It’s in alignment with your lifestyle that you want to have.

And there will be a lot of things that don’t work. Because you’ve never achieved their goal before, because you’re doing new things. And so it’s not as though having this growth goal and using power planning means that everything you do is going to instantly succeed. And it’s so beautiful that it doesn’t. I love that it doesn’t as much if there’s still a part of me that wants it to work that way. This is when our work is revealed to us. And this is when we get to do the work that there is to do so that we can have a more fulfilling, more impactful, more profitable business, when we are really understanding that there are ups and downs, successes and failures, and we don’t just intellectually get it because we all know, failure leads to success, blah, blah, blah.

But when we’re really living, that it is okay to fail. Because that’s not a reflection of me as a person in my love ability. This is how we think when we don’t have a lot of clean rest. And we feel like we are the business, that any failure is a reflection of whether or not we’re good enough. So of course, there’s this call panic and this call stress because we have to get to the goal, to try and believe that we’re lovable, and worthy. And all of those different things. We know perfectionism is a strategy to avoid shame. And we can really use the growth goal as a way to try and amplify that in the sense that we’re like, Okay, well, if I could just achieve this goal, then I can believe I’m good enough. And then I can celebrate it. I was actually in that q&a episode just answering a question from one of our PGSDer, who achieved her first milestone in her impossible goal of making $30,000. She had a launch her first launch, she made $30,000.

And she was just going through the experience of like, but I still feel like I can’t celebrate it. Because what if people don’t like it, and, and all of that. And so no matter what experience you’re having, with your growth goal, it is going to be revealing work for you to do and you’re going to be making more money, and you’re going to be enjoying your business more like all these things can be true at the same time. You’re just going to be more engaged with your business, with yourself, with your life, then when you just have these little realistic goals that you always succeed at, but then there not really that challenging or fulfilling. So you kind of forget about them anyway.

Like we really want to have you in an experience where you can recognize the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows, the seasons, the different stages, and also that you might achieve a milestone and it’s a bit of an anticlimax, where you might not achieve your milestone and feel incredibly proud of yourself, which is what we want to be doing. We want to be practicing celebrating ourselves all the way to our goal, because we’re not going to celebrate achieving it. If we don’t celebrate ourselves all the way there. We want to be celebrating ourselves for the effort for trying, for being courageous, for being resourceful. Those are the things we want to praise ourselves for, because that’s what gets us in the growth mindset, which is what gets our perfectionist mindset on our side and gets us out of our own way.

So with all that said, we don’t want to be expecting this new goal high to continue. And that’s the equivalent of expecting that how you feel in January, is how you’re going to feel for the entire year. If you expect that you’re going to beat yourself up, you’re going to have a shitty 11 month experience. And then repeat the same thing next year. Instead, we want to really like let it be okay that we’re in that new goal high. Capitalize on it, but not think this is how it should be. Because that’s just one side of it.

The next stage, some PGSDers skipped this stage, but a lot don’t. And so it’s important to talk about it, it’s ghosting your goal. So your growth goals is gonna bring some things to your attention that you might not want to see, you might not really want to be aware of how much you’ve been procrastinating, or things like that. So when you are ghosting your goal, you’re no longer on track to achieving your goal. So maybe you have started working towards it. And it’s not happening the way you want to. So you’re feeling a bit deflated. And you’re kind of like letting yourself forget about your goal.

So maybe, for example, in PGSD if you’re on a coaching call, and you’re asked what your goal is, you’re like, wait, let me get up the numbers. I need to try and remember what they are, that’s a sign. If you have stopped updating your persistence log and going into the forum, that’s a sign. This is all normal. This is all normal. I want to underline that this is normal. This is not a sign that you can achieve your goal. This is not a sign that it doesn’t work. This is not a sign that you’re never gonna get out of your own way. This is a sign that you are becoming fully engaged with yourself and your business and your life. So in this stage, you want to focus on having self compassion your handbrake is on. That’s okay. That’s what we’re here to do.

Everyone has perfectionism handbrake, and we’re just learning how to release it and feel safe with it off. It’s a normal part of the process. And doing daily thought downloads and self coaching and getting coached on what’s coming up for you around your goal is going to get you through to the next stage, which isn’t going to sound appealing. It’s the dip. And I saw, I think this is in the forum, one of the new PGSDers mentioned that they now know what the dip is. And when they heard me talking on the podcast, they thought I was talking about like dip and crackers or whatever, which is so funny. Anyway, the dip, we call it the dip, because it’s when you’re between motivation and results. So your motivation has waned, and you haven’t yet got results.

So if you imagine like on a graph, on the left hand side, it’s going to start way up high, and then it dips down. And then on the right hand side, the line ends up really high. I hope this has been clear. But it ends up high because you’re getting results. But in the middle, you have no motivation and no results. So this is how to tell you in the dip, you have stopped ghosting your goal, but things aren’t going great by your measure. You’re not motivated, it doesn’t look like it’s working, you’re thinking of downgrading your goal or starting to refresh to try and feel more motivated.

So I’m not going to go through all the things to do in this situation. We talk about them in PGSD. So if you are a PGSDer, go to lesson 1.4. But this is a normal part of the process, being in the dip. It’s right before everything falls into place. Like we all go through the dip, you can’t avoid the dip, you can maybe avoid ghosting your goal, you can’t avoid the dip. That’s part of it. And I love to think of the dip as if you’re decluttering a room, for example. And actually, this is so relevant, because we’re still decorating our house and all of that. So when you are reorganizing things, which is what we’re doing in PGSD, we are reorganizing our brains and the way we approach our life. And it’s going to be like feel clean, but it’s not ideal. But it’s kind of like everything’s organized and comfortable, familiar, whatever. And then it’s going to go through this kind of messy period before it then comes out in a different way. Like before, it’s this metamorphosis. And even with the house, this was so evident with like, we started with the house that you could live in and was comfortable and all of those things, then we had a full house renovation done.

And it was chaos, it was like everything was stripped back, it looked like it could never be livable again, like it just went to like dust everywhere and pipes and steel and all these workers around and just a lot going on for months and months and months. And then right now I am sitting in a beautiful, completed painted, comfortable house, it is a very rainy day today. It’s protecting me from the rain. And that wasn’t possible during it, there are parts with this is the house that didn’t have a roof. And it had to go through that period to get to this. And if we were so attached to it not getting messy and not being in the messy middle, we wouldn’t have been able to experience being in a significantly up leveled version of this hasn’t seemed when you’re decluttering a room or you’re going through that, that you kind of like take everything out of the closet.

I mean, there’s all these different methods for doing this kind of thing. But let’s say for example, you do want you take everything out, and everything kind of gets messy, and then you reorganize it and then you end up with this up leveled situation. But you have to be willing to go through that messy middle. And you have to expect that that’s part of the process. If you’re going to do a renovation and it gets to the part where they’ve demolished walls. And there’s shit everywhere. And you’re like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, this is meant to be a house. Like I just wanted to go straight from being the old house, the new house, like no, no, let’s just go back like we want to. And the beautiful thing with the renovation, you can’t go back like it’s as much work to go back as it is to go forward. So it kind of forces you to get comfortable with that messy middle. And really having faith that it’s all going to come together and that you’re going to have the resourcefulness along the way, which is what we’re doing with this growth goal. But we need to be willing to go through that messy middle. And that’s a big part of it.

But what comes after that is the its working phase. And this is something that a lot of times we don’t even let ourselves engage with because we get so comfortable in the dip as much as we hate it. It kind of feels bizarre to us that it could actually be working, that we could actually be achieving our goal. So just be a little onto yourself with that as well. You might think, yeah, I’m in the dip. Maybe you’re actually in the it’s working phase and you’re just in denial.

Anyway, how to tell if you’re in it, things finally feel like that working. You are feeling good and making progress. Your perfectionism HandBrake is easier to release and coming on less often. Meaning that things like procrastination, burnout, overwhelm all or nothing thinking fear of judgment. When you notice those things in your weekly review, you’re able to move past them more easily. And those things are coming up less often. So in that phase, we want to focus on upgrading your self image. So this is in the latter part of the PGSD process, who work on self image, normalizing success, continuing to power plan and get clean rest. so if you don’t do the work on your self image, to intentionally upgrade it, you’re going to self sabotage, because it doesn’t feel normal for you to be someone who consistently follows through with their plans and is consistently achieving results.

So the PGSD, for example, who achieved her first quarterly milestone and blew her own mind with that, it’s so important for her to begin doing this work of upgrading her self-image, and really seeing that as something that it’s normal for her to make plans, follow through with them, have it worked out. Otherwise, that’s when we really start dragging our feet procrastinating, because we’re so comfortable with that, that feels so familiar to us. And be on the lookout for upper limit problems.

So the final phase is upper limit problems. So this is a concept created by Gay Hendricks it’s discussed in the book, The Big Leap, how to tell if you’re in it, you are sabotaging your progress. And as I said, this is a phase, it’s not like, oh, maybe this will happen. It’s gonna happen. It’s part of growth. So as much as we want to work on our self image and do all of that, we need to still expect that our brains gonna freak the fuck out when we start doing amazing things, and try and put a damper on it. And it’s okay that our brain is doing that. So how to tell if you’re in it, you’re sabotaging your progress. You’re getting overwhelmed letting yourself get overwhelmed, creating, overwhelmed by over complicating, over editing, over everything, procrastinating, burning out, creating drama, doubting your goal. I’ve talked about the addiction to feeling behind recently on the podcast. And that is something that we do to kind of keep ourselves feeling comfortable and feeling safe. So that kind of stuff might come up. And then when that does, that’s another little alarm bell little, not even an alarm bell, it’s not alarming, it’s normal. It’s a little reminder, to work on your self image, self trust, self confidence, there all in the third phase of the PGSD process. And to continue to power plan and clean rest and work towards your growth goal.

So within all of that, within all those different phases, which are all normal, are all part of it. There will be so many times that you find yourself doing something the past you knew to do but was never actually doing. For example, maybe it’s posting consistently. You will find yourself having conversations with friends and family, about your business that you weren’t capable of having before. Because of the self doubt that you have like all of these phases, the growth goal together with power planning and clean rest. It impacts every area of your life and your business. But it really does impact your business, the amount of money you’re making, the amount of people you’re helping. The amount of enjoyment you have, because this isn’t like the growth goal isn’t about, okay, here’s this amount of money you’re gonna make. And let’s do it at any expense. And it doesn’t matter if you burnout. It doesn’t matter if you never see your family. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing things that you don’t agree with ethically or morally. We’re just getting to the goal. No, no, we are achieving this goal in alignment with our values, in alignment with our lifestyle goals that we have. And knowing that there’s going to be ups and downs, there’s going to be different phases that we go through. And that’s all normal.

And if in those moments of doubt, of deflation, of discouragement, of disheartenment, of apathy, disinterest. If we can really just stay connected to like I don’t have to feel excited about this goal every day. I don’t have to feel in total belief of myself every day. But I’m going to keep working towards this and instead of changing the goal or having drama about the goal, or having drama about the power planning process or clean rest. And it’s topic like our brain wants to create drama about stuff, especially if we haven’t got much of a life beyond the business, it’s going to want to be dramatic. So that’s okay, just assign a little more clean rest is definitely going to help you. But we really want to just stay committed to the goal as we said it. Committed to using power planning, it’s okay if you have a week where you didn’t do it, or a month where you didn’t do it, to just act as if you have been doing it consistently and keep showing up anyway. That is the work and that is where the growth happens. And when we do that, it is actually incredible how even though in the experience of the day to day, we might not be feeling as though we are kicking goals and having all these wins that we are and a few other things I wanted to mention in terms of it working is so many that the different phases and things that we go through, they’re all assigned, it’s working, if you’re in the dip, it’s working, if you’re ghosting your goal, it’s working.

If you’re trying something new that you don’t know how to do, and it’s you feel like such a beginner and like you completely in over your head, it’s working. If you achieve your milestone, and then you’re like, oh, there’s a little less exciting than I thought a little bit anticlimactic. It’s working. And that doesn’t mean, okay, well, if I’m going to feel shit the whole time, why even bother? It’s not that you’re not going to feel shit the whole time.

And part of the growth goal is retraining our brain to not be so focused on how things aren’t working and to instead get into a mode of celebration and really celebrating were in the dip and celebrating all these different aspects of it. Celebrating ourselves for the effort and the courage, and the audacity and the bravery and all of those different things. And knowing that as well, if you set a little piddly realistic goal, and there’s a time and a place for a realistic goal, may I add, we want to have a growth goal in your business. And in other areas of your life, you’re going to have goals ideally, that a process or effort based, you’re going to have goals that you might need to go a little bit to achieve. But it’s not a whole lot. Knowing that the growth that happens from your growth goal is going to flow over into other areas of your life. But if you’re trying to do a big growth goal in every area, it’s going to be too much for your brain, and your brains just gonna want to retreat to what it knows.

So we want to do this in one area. Again, knowing that how we do one thing is how we do everything and that this work in your business, your business been such an incredible tool for this is going to flow over. So that is a time and a place for a realistic goal. But may I just point out that when we are pursuing realistic goals, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies either. And I was actually thinking about this the other night. So I’ve been in the habit lately of really making sure that in the evening, I’m setting myself up for a successful morning. And that was something that having a newborn and figuring all that out that I kind of have not been really focused on. And recently I really through my weekly reviews and reflection got present to how much better I feel about myself and about the day when I just take a moment, the night before to clean the kitchen, wipe down the counter. I make my smoothie the night before. I’ve just started doing this actually that I make my morning smoothie, I blend it up, I put it in the fridge and then in the morning, I just read blend it for like two seconds. And then it’s ready to drink. I put the laundry on and I set the time so that it’ll start at like 5 am or whatever.

And basically any other little bits and pieces I get out my clothes for the next day. And it’s so tedious and I never want to do it. And I really just want to hang out on the couch. Watch Billions or Station 19 or Grey’s Anatomy or whatever we’re watching and go to bed. I’m tired. I have a very small child. I have things going on. We all do. I don’t want to spend this time in the evening getting prepped for the next day. But what I realized as I was wiping down the kitchen bench the other day was that I can either feel the pain of this in the evening or in the morning. So yes, it’s tedious to spend sometimes it can take an hour to clean up the kitchen, like put Liddy’s toys back to where they belong. And do the smoothie, do the laundry, all of that stuff. Put any laundry away like just really getting things reset. It’s tedious. I don’t want to do it.

But if I don’t do it, it’s not like cool. I get to avoid this now and there’s no consequence it means the next morning. And I really thrive when I have a morning routine. That’s just, there’s no decision making involved I just kind of like, get up do the things that serve me. And for me at the moment that means I get up I feed Lydia, I might read a book for a bit. I hang out with Steve, play with Lydia for a bit like that kind of thing. Go for a walk if it’s not a workday. And if I and this is why I started doing it again at night. It was taking me so long to pack the pram for a walk. Like it would take me half an hour to like gather all the things that’s the other thing I do I pack the pram as in, I get like cotton’s lead, and my hat and sunnies and all the bits and pieces fill up my water bottle. Get Lydia’s pacifier, like different things like that. And things can just end up all over the house.

So I was finding that to get myself going in the morning, it took me so long than making a smoothie or something half the time I was in having one. Because I couldn’t be bothered, even though it only takes a few seconds, like oh no, I have Lydia and it’s harder when she’s up and whatever. So I was experiencing the pain of that in the morning. And just realizing that well, I’m going to have to do the tedious thing at some point. And it’s as tedious as it is to do in the evening when I’m tired. It’s much easier to do in the evening when I’m tired. But Lydia is asleep. And I do have the time and space to do it. And I can put on a podcast and get it done. And I’m not in a rush to get anywhere. I’m not behind. And if I’m doing in the morning, like yes, I got to just go to bed and kind of flop on the couch and whatever. But then in the morning, the consequence of that is really high. And it got to high that I was like enough, enough enough.

But the point of this is with the growth goal, and with realistic goals, that with both of them, there’s going to be ups and downs. There are definitely ups and downs with realistic goals, especially when we set a realistic goal. And we don’t achieve it. But we think we should like is this whole thing. And there is always going to be these ups and downs. And this kind of like Brooke Castillo talks about it as being 50-50. And I find that so helpful, because it just helps me remove judgment that I have when I’m having a challenging experience. And if we add the story on top that we shouldn’t be feeling that way. And we should always be feeling motivated, or we should always be feeling productive, then it just, it stops us from actually being fully engaged with ourselves and our business and actually showing up and doing the things that we want to do.

So there’s going to be ups and downs with your growth goal, there’s gonna be ups and downs with any other thing that you do. So why not grow? Why not see what you’re capable of? Why not see what it looks like to be out of your own way and to be showing up courageously and to be actually doing the hard, scary things that you know, are going to fulfill you so much like I from my experience know that the most fulfilling thing is to do something challenging, alongside others. And that’s why PGSD we have our community and you get to meet everyone in the forum and through the coaching calls and everything that you are pursuing something challenging, in good company.

And that when we aren’t allowing ourselves to be okay with feeling disappointed at times, or discouraged at times, and doing everything we can to avoid that and to avoid shame and all these different things, then we don’t feel fulfilled, even if we are achieving our goals. And we’re living a life where we’re hiding. We’re kind of just being a shell of ourselves. And I know I felt like this for a long time, especially when I was a uni student. And then when I started working full time in accounting that I just felt like there’s got to be more than this for me. Like there has to be more than this for me. This isn’t like it’s challenging, but not for the right reasons. It’s challenging because I was way out of my zone of genius with accounting. I could do it but I definitely wasn’t someone who excelled at it. And it just like I enjoyed working alongside other people. And being in an office environment like I’m not someone who hated the nine to five life. Like there were definitely perks and I worked with great people like all of that kind of thing. But I just knew like this. I don’t feel like fully challenge in a way where I’m excited about the challenge and I’m engaged with it and I can really feel it’s like me flexing the muscles that I want to flex. And I hope that makes sense. But this growth goal is really the answer to that. And it’s so important that when you have your growth goal, you’re recognizing that any of those stages I’ve mentioned, the new goal high, ghosting your goal, the dip, it’s working, upper limit problems are all signs that you’re on track. That you are getting out of your own way.

And it’s challenging because it can feel like in the day to day, one step forward, two steps back, that you might have more awareness around procrastination, more awareness around how much you’re putting on your plate, and how it’s not actually possible to do it and that kind of thing. But that is like self awareness is the process of it. And so there is going to be this period where you have more self awareness, but you’re still doing the things. And so it feels frustrating, because you’re like why I should know better. Being in this mindset of I should know better, is not helpful. And I know we all like to go there, especially when we know that we’re smart. And we can learn a lot. And we know things that we think well, I should know better than to be struggling with this. I should know better than to need coaching on this. I should know better. We don’t want to say that. We’re stopping saying that right now.

Instead, what we’re doing is focusing on showing up the best we can and with the PGSD process, it’s planning properly as a perfectionist not perfectly as a perfectionist, planning properly. So planning in a way with a growth goal and with power planning and clean rest. That gets your perfectionist mindset on your side, and helps you to get out of your own way. Rather than turning on your all or nothing mindset and making you overwhelmed. We are doing the work to set you up. So that it’s as easy as possible to follow through with your plans and get out of your own way.

Then you follow through with your plans 80% of the time. That’s the focus again, zero procrastination is not the aim. So we’re doing the power hour, we’re doing the little tweaks, we’re doing the weekly review. And if you want to know more about that, obviously I teach that in depth in detail inside PGSD. By the way, you can join the PGSD, waitlist. Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. The link will be in the show notes that we are opening again in April 2022. So get your name on that list if you’re not already.

But I did a Planning series on the podcast that goes into all of what it looks like to plan properly as a perfectionist. So that starts at episode 307. So I highly recommend revisiting or visiting that if you’ve already listened to it, listen again, see what else you uncover. And then we have clean rest when you’re resting without guilt. And then you’re repeating the whole thing. That is a process for getting out of your own way. That is a process for achieving your growth goal. That is a process for really seeing and uncovering who you are, what you’re capable of. And really getting that satisfaction and freedom that I think almost all of us started business to have. And that when we let our perfectionism handbrake be on and stay on. And we’re not doing this work that it feels like your business is the worst boss you’ve ever had, and you resent it and you’re bitter about it.

And it’s normal to have any feelings along the way as well when you have a growth goal. It’s all part of it. You need to have awareness around it to be able to untangle that work and to get out of your own way and do those things. But all of this is a process to really have you loving yourself as cliche as that sounds, but trusting yourself. Trusting that you can put on the calendar and fucking do it. Trusting yourself, you can set a goal and pursue it all the way there even if it means learning new things, even if it means having challenging conversations, even if it means being scared while you’re doing things.

So this is all in your highest service of you getting out of your own way, making the full contribution that you’re here to make. And yeah, this is just a PSA as well that it’s now the growth goal that we were calling it inside PGSD. And while the concept remains the same, I hope that by changing the name to Growth Goal, that when you are in the dip, when you are feeling like it’s not working, the name itself, can this remind you of, Oh yeah, that’s because this is about growth. And growth requires discomfort. Like when you’re at the gym, and you’re all sweaty and puffy and your muscles are sore. A lot of us have associated that with oh, this is actually good luck. Most people I know about most people, a lot of people okay, I’ll just speak for myself. I when I’m sore of in the gym I’m like, Oh good. This is really working because I’ve associated that kind of discomfort with it working overall, even though in the moment I’m like, oh, no, this could be a sign that I’m unfit or I’m never gonna get that. But no, it’s working because that discomfort is part of the process.

So if you haven’t been thinking about it that way with fitness, maybe that’ll help. But I really want you to think about that way, with your business, with your growth goal. That discomfort is a sign, it’s working. That having negative feelings is a sign that it’s working. And you might need to get coached, you might need to get support, you might need to do some self coaching. You might need to work through that if it’s a feeling that’s quite indulgent, such as overwhelm, you might not need to sit and process that but you just need to at least for all of us to normalize these feelings that we’re having and the experience that we’re having, and let it be okay and stop shaming ourselves for having a normal experience. So with that said, I hope you’re having a beautiful day. If you enjoyed this episode, if it helped you please tag me on Instagram. I’m @perfectionismproject, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Author: Sam Brown