Over the last few years of my personal development journey, I’ve seen myself sabotage my goals in just about every way imaginable – some more obvious than others.
In this week’s podcast episode I’m sharing 15 reasons that you’re not achieving your goals, particularly if you’re a perfectionist! This was a fun one for me to record because it really reminded me just how many ways we undermine our own success and I hope you get a lot from it.
MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE
- Find out more about my coaching program
- Tim Ferriss fear-setting exercise
- Episode 26: The Power of Self-Image
- Episode 22: How Personal Development Helped Me Overcome Self-Doubt
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE
Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 43 of The Smart Twenties Podcast!
SUBSCRIBE TO THE SMART TWENTIES PODCAST
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hi and welcome to Episode 43 of The Smart Twenties podcast. My name is Sam Laura Brown and this is a podcast where I share personal growth and life advice for women in their twenties and today I’m going to be sharing 15 reasons that you’re not achieving your goals and I know that that’s a lot of reasons, but before recording this episode, I was like, “I really want to talk about all the ways that we stop ourselves from achieving our goals.” And I just started writing down all the different ways and that ended up being 15 and once I got to 15 I was like, “Okay, that’s probably enough.”
So I’m going to be chatting through all the different ways that I know myself. I have stopped myself from achieving my goals or I have seen my coaching clients or my readers stop themselves. And I think a lot of these are extremely common and it might just be one or two things that you hear in this episode that will really help you start achieving whatever it is that you want to achieve. So, I’m really just going to go through them. I am going to do my very, very best not to spend 20 minutes on each one like I’ve very easily could, so I’m just going to go through these and I really just want you to have a think about a specific goal that you haven’t achieved yet that you want to achieve and relate all of this back to that specific goal that you have, so maybe you’re wanting to leave your job for something more fulfilling. Maybe you’re wanting to get fit. Maybe you’re wanting to create a morning routine, whatever it is, just have a think now about whatever goal it is that’s really your main goal at the moment in your life and then I’m going to chat through all these different reasons that you might not be achieving it.
Of course, one of the reasons that I haven’t actually written down is that enough time hasn’t passed yet. Like it’s something that you’re still in the process of and everything’s on the right track and you just need to stay patient and keep acting towards it, that could be the case, but I am going to be chatting about a lot of the ways that we self-sabotage and stop ourselves from achieving our goals or make them very challenging to achieve, so you might just need to make a few little tweaks to them or change your approach or catch yourself when you’re self-sabotaging. So I’m just going to jump straight into it. Also, I just want to mention actually I’m not going to jump straight in. I am going to mention this. I was just live in the Smart Twenties Community Facebook group and the Smart Twenties Bloggers Facebook group, the latter of which is my student only Facebook group for those who are in my blogging workshops.
So if you want to check that out and you’re not in those communities, make sure you go and sign up. You can just search for them on Facebook and if you do want to be in my Smart Twenties Bloggers Community and meet other like-minded bloggers and get my weekly live stream as well as the workshops and everything until the 26th of August. So until midnight on the 25th of August, really I haven’t reopened all of my three blogging workshops. So that’s the Start Your Blog workshop, the Grow Your Blog workshop and the Promote Your Blog workshops. So these are workshops that I taught across June and July this year. I was very strict with my deadlines. I know there are quite a few of you who missed out so I’m going to be merging all of these workshops into one course so that everything’s in the same place for you guys and so that going forward I can add lots of bonus content and just have it be available to everyone.
But I know some of you miss out on like one or two of the workshops for one reason or another. So they are all open. Again for registration, you can go to the show notes at smart-twenties.com/episode43 to find the links or if you go to my website, generally smart-twenties.com, you’ll be able to find them. So I just wanted to mention that in case you missed out on one of my workshops and you wanted to sign up because once the 26th of August comes, it’s only going to be an option to invest in them as a package even if you have already previously bought an individual one. So that’s why I’m giving everyone—it’s about two weeks to go and purchase any missing workshops the individual ones, if you haven’t done any of those workshops and you have no idea what I’m talking about, then it’s like I would recommend just waiting until it’s all available as one package on the 26th because if you’re buying all three of them, it’s going to end up being a very similar cost too, if you buy them all individually now.
And for those of you who have already signed up for all three workshops, you will be enrolled into the new course automatically, including those people who sign up for all three by the deadline, which is, as I was saying, midnight eastern daylight time, which isn’t Australian time. So it’s about 2:00 PM on the Sunday for us here in Australia. So if you have signed up for all three by then you will be enrolled in the course and if you just want your individual course, your individual workshop, you will have ongoing access to that, you just won’t get all the future bonus content that I’m adding and all that kind of thing in the new course. So I did just want to mention that. So my blogging workshops are open again for registration and if you’re wanting extra like podcasts episodes from me, I’m doing them live in Facebook. So make sure you go and join the Smart Twenties Community. and if you’re a blogging student of mine, you can also join the Smart Twenties Bloggers Community as well. So now I’m going to get us started.
So again, we’re talking about 15 reasons that you’re not achieving your goals. The first reason that I want to talk about is that you haven’t actually set any goals. And it’s really interesting this one because, I think a lot of us are really ambitious and driven and one of the chief goals a bit. Then if you ask someone like, what are your biggest goals at the moment? Most people say, “I don’t really know, I have nothing specific, you know, like everyone,” like the goal kind of is just to survive really for a lot of us, but that’s often the case even if we’re really ambitious and that are things we have in mind, but we just haven’t really set a goal and this is a really blatant way that we self-sabotage.
A lot of us in the past have set a goal and then being disappointed when we didn’t achieve it or disappointed when we gave up on it. So to save ourselves disappointing ourselves, what we do is we just don’t set any goals at all so that we don’t even have the opportunity to disappoint ourselves. But obviously, when you do it that way, you’re still being disappointed, but you’re just guaranteeing that disappointment and you’re having it now. So I really want you to think about whatever that thing is that you’re wanting to achieve. Have you actually set a goal? Really think about it. Have you set a goal or are you just all super vague and lofty about it? If you haven’t got a specific goal, which means that you can clearly articulate it and it has a date. It’s not like I want more money. I want to get out of debt. I want to leave my job. Like that’s super vague. That’s just– and I’ll talk about this stuff more in relation to other things in this podcast episode, but if you have it like that, that’s not really a goal because it’s so vague that you’ll never even get to know when you achieve it, which does lead me to point 2 which is that one of the reasons you’re not achieving your goals is because they’re too vague and it’s very tempting to do this for the same reason I was talking about earlier that if you don’t have a specific goal, it’s much easier not to disappoint yourself. Except we didn’t realize that by trying to avoid disappointment in the future, we’re actually creating it now because we’re not working towards anything and life isn’t that satisfying if you’re not really growing or you’re not really working on anything and you’re just– you know, doing what you’ve always done. You’re always comfortable. but often too much comfort becomes uncomfortable.
But I just wanted to mention that if you haven’t set any goals or your goals are too vague, then I really suggest making them more specific and there are lots of ways to do this, but I recommend adding a date if there’s numbers involved, like if it’s money related or anything like that. Doing the math, getting specific on the figures, I realized for me that I had been doing this– it’s so hilarious when you call yourself out on it because it really doesn’t feel like you are. But I had just in my head be like, “Yeah, I’ll be able to go full-time blogging and leave my part-time job when I’m making more money.” And I just had this like, you know, “That’s a goal while I’m making more money, I’ll be able to quit.”
But I hadn’t actually sat down and done the math of like, “Okay, well how much money am I going to need to be making? How am I going to make that or what different things am I going to try in order to make that?” And I just really like last week called myself out on how vague I was about that goal. I sat down and I did the math about how much I need to be making in order to quit that job and my like the situation that I need to be in, which is really interesting because it’s something that I had been thinking about for– like since I started that job about a year and a half ago now. And yet I never actually did the math and figured out exactly how much I would need to be making in order to do that in the way that I want to do it.
So that is something I’ve called myself out on very recently. So if you’ve had a vague goal like that. A great example, I think one that we do this a lot with his debt where it’s really tempting to say, “I want to get out of debt” and that’s a great example of a vague goal because there’s no deadline in that. There’s no specific amount. Even though like some people don’t know how much that debt would be, but there’s no plan. It’s just, “I really want to get out of debt, I really want to get out of debt” and we spent a lot of energy focusing on this super vague goal so we get to feel good about having good intentions, but then we never actually have to do anything. So my biggest recommendation is to really check in with yourself. Are your goals vague or nonexistent and one way I like to call myself out on this stuff.
I did it with my coworking space is notice the things that I’m telling other people that I’m not doing. So I’d be like, ” Yeah, I really want to work in a co-working space. So I really want to quit my part-time job” and I hear myself say that kind of stuff a lot. And then it’s just noticing that I tell myself– I tell other people these intentions, but I don’t actually have any kind of plan. So just have a think about it. Do you have a specific goal? Like do you have any goal if someone said to you now– and Jim Rohn who has some great talks on Youtube, he’s passed now. He’s no longer alive, but he has some amazing talks on youtube. and he was saying that his mentor said to him, “Okay, pull out the list that you have of your goals” and he was like, “What list? Like I don’t have a list of goals” and he really learned that he should have a list of his goals and most of us don’t even know what any of our goals would be, let alone have a list of them that we carry around with us intentionally so that we can keep our mind focused on them. So that was something that really stood out to me. And I often find myself setting vague goals or having goals so vague, they practically don’t exist. So I just wanted to bring this up because I think it’s super common, don’t beat yourself up about it, but just think like, is there something that you’d been telling people you have the intention to do or telling yourself as well that you had the intention to do that you haven’t actually got a plan to do or you haven’t started taking any steps and just see like, “Okay, well how can I make a plan, how can I make this specific?”
Number three is not having a deadline. So I’ve kind of spoken about this already, but I find deadlines to be incredibly powerful. I wasn’t, you know, this as well doing a separate episode about what to do if you are the kind of person that like throughout school and uni you were really– work really well to other people’s deadlines and at work, I think a lot of us in this perfectionist mindset, we do work really well to other people’s deadlines because we’re people pleasers. We don’t want to disappoint other people and because a deadline is what pulls us out of procrastination. But often we have–we don’t have the, haven’t developed the self-discipline to follow through with our plans even when it’s super uncomfortable and we procrastinate to try and avoid the appearance of putting an effort, to something that’s not working and all these different things I’m going to be talking about throughout this episode.
So I was thinking of doing a separate episode about how to deal with that because in real life most important things don’t have a deadline. Like you have to make that deadline. So yeah, I’m going to flag that. I have, I think I’m going to do next week’s episode on that topic because a few of my coaching clients have mentioned that they really struggle if they don’t have an external deadline. And I know a lot of different people have said that to me and I know it’s something that I really struggled with initially as an entrepreneur and a business owner that no one’s telling me what things have to be done. And I have to be that– like I have to create the deadline and then I have to be the one sticking to it. So that is point three.
Point four is that there is no real urgency or strong motivation. This is something, again, so I’ve been reviewing my goals and everything, and doing a lot of welcome money mindset which ties into my goals as well. And I realized that having my part-time job–, I haven’t spoken about this yet because I actually called myself out on this about two days ago that. So if you don’t know, I have a part-time job. I quit my full-time job so I have a Law degree, a Finance degree. I was working in insolvency accounting out of uni for a couple of years. I quit that in March 2017 and I transitioned to doing a part-time job, so that I could support myself and not have financial stress while I was growing my blog. And that job also allowed me a lot of time to work on my blog. So I have had that job now for about a year and a half and when I have been reviewing my goals, like I realized that with going full time with blogging and my business that I, as I was saying before, hadn’t crunched the numbers and I love crunching numbers. Like I love doing the math on that stuff and I hadn’t even done it. So I was like, “That’s so interesting that I’ve had this go constantly thinking about it and I really am so vague about it and I haven’t created any kind of deadline and I haven’t created any real kind of plan. I’m just hoping that like one day when this happens and I’ll quit” and I realized that having that job, that which has been incredibly helpful. It’s also really challenging because I really enjoyed the job. I really like the people that I work with. Like it’s a place that I like being. It’s not like, I’m in a job that I hate and I think so often we are taught that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And you know, you should only leave a job or something if it’s really bad but sometimes you do have to leave something that’s really good in order to have something else that’s really good as well.
So in that sense, like I really enjoy working there and I think I will be really sad to leave, but I have seen for myself that at this point, so it’s a year and a half later that while it was great initially not to have the financial stress, I really think that’s made me very complacent because I can fully support myself from my part-time job. I haven’t actually ever paid myself money from my business for my company. And so there is no real pressure to make any money and there are expenses that I need to cover that the company needs to cover up. But besides that, like everything is sort of like, “Yeah, you know, that would be nice” instead of like, “No, this really needs to happen!”
And I just really noticed that while it’s so great to have that part-time job, it really has meant that I can let myself off the hook in terms of being comfortable, like if I have something that I know I need to do to grow my business, but it’s going to be uncomfortable, which it always is. Then I can easily let myself off the hook and not do it because I don’t actually need to make money because I have my part-time job. So I did a lot of thinking and journaling about this because I don’t just want to quit my job and really slam my back against the wall and also Steve and I have a mortgage and I want to make sure that I’m being financially responsible as well and contributing. But I wanted to simulate like I want to manufacturer some pressure.
So what I have decided to do from September onwards, so I have one more pay for my part-time job and then I’ll be doing this is to put all of the money that I get from my part-time job into the offset account that Steve and I have for a house. If you don’t have a mortgage and you don’t know what an offset account is, I will quickly explain it. So this makes it a bit more sense. Basically, my understanding is that you have a home loan account which is what you would expect it to be and then the bank also gives you an account called an offset account and if you have money in that account, they use that figure and take it into consideration to calculate the interest that you owe. So if you have money in that account, you will owe less, you have to pay less interest on your home loan. So we put our money into an offset account and the mortgage comes out of the offset account. So I am going to be putting 100% of my income into the offset account and then I will be paying myself from the company for my living expenses except for my mortgage because I will already be paying that from my income because I will already be going in there. But basically, if the company isn’t making enough money to comfortably pay me that amount, then I’m like, that’s my money for petrol. That’s my money for food, that’s my money for everything. And so originally, I had planned to just put the like put aside my money into an account within my own bank account. I have lots of bank accounts I love having like separate buckets of money. And I was like, “I’ll just have one of them” And then I was talking about it with Steve. he was like, “Oh, why don’t you just put it all in the offset account? And then it will really generate more of that urgency?” And I was like, “Oh, that feels a bit more scary. Could I get it out of the offset account?” He’s like, “Yes you could, but you’d need to talk to me about it” not because I need his permission and I do all of our banking stuff anyway. so I can easily just take their money out whenever I want, but it was more so the accountability of like, like yes, I can physically take it out whenever I want, but I would need to have a conversation with him about it and he knows that I would rather not have a conversation with him and be like, “Yeah, I need to take this money out” I would rather just do the– like that would make me even more motivated to make sure that I’m making enough money in the company and extra because I keep investing in my professional and personal development. Like it’s not just expenses that I need to cover, but there’s also things that I want to invest in as well with the company, with the business. So that is something that I am personally. It’s a very new thing that I have thought of as in, it’s an idea that’s like a few days old, also side notes. We had that conversation before we went to Grilled before going to see the new Mission Impossible movie. It was like the best action maybe I’ve ever seen. I’m usually not a fan of like pure action movies, but I was like, “That movie was really good” just by the way.
Anyway, so that is something that I’m doing it to create urgency and motivation. And when I had that discussion with Steve, I was instantly like, “I feel so motivated now” and there is a line where like, a lot of people don’t recommend. It’s really interesting actually. A lot of people who take the leap and quit a job before they’re ready, recommend not to do it even though they did it, which is interesting. But I didn’t want to do that and just, you know, really put my back up against a wall and potentially end up making money in ways that I don’t want to be making money. I do only have certain ways that I may want to make money as an, I don’t want to make money from advertising other people’s products. Like, I really want to be promoting my own products and my own services primarily.
So everything I do has to really fit in with what I’m doing. So I was concerned that if I just quit my full-time job and maybe this is just an excuse, but if I just quit my full-time job, then I would be under a lot of financial stress and then I would just be focused on making short term decisions to make money instead of long-term decisions for my business. I’m only 27. I was only 26 when I quit my job and this is a long game. I will have a career for probably 50 more years. So, I want to have a long-term focus, but I feel like at this point been a year and a half and I feel so comfortable and I have noticed that I don’t have to force myself into this comfort because I can comfortably live off my part-time income from my part-time job.
So this is something that I’m experimenting with to really create urgency. I was having a discussion with a friend who has a similar business and she was saying that she’s found a similar thing, but she has a large amount of savings and that’s like her safety net, instead of me, it’s my income from my part-time job for her, it’s her savings and she knows that she’s not pushing herself as much as she could be, not that business has to be hard and you have to push, but you do have to be uncomfortable and if you have a backup plan, it’s really easy to avoid the discomfort that’s necessary to grow the business. So, that was really interesting as well. Like just another way that that can happen is having like a safety net of savings. Not saying that you need to blow it, but just like really thinking is there a way that I could create more urgency and real motivation.
It’s kind of like manufacturing a rock bottom moment in a sense. A rock bottom moment being like often in the personal development world, a lot of people get into it because I’ve just had this real like, “Oh my God, enough is enough. I can’t keep living like this” or something really bad happens and that’s their motivation. So I don’t think we necessarily need to have that like, wait for that to happen before we do something and this is a way that I am like manufacturing a situation where I need to actually, like I have a real motivation now to make money and it’s so interesting. This is a whole other side note and I’m going to do an update on my impossible goal in a separate podcast episode. But because I have been talking about making money, but now I’m starting to get people who are like, “Are you just trying to make money?” and that’s all that’s important. But when I’m talking about it, I did just want to mention, A, there is nothing wrong with wanting money but also that the money is a measure of how much of an impact I’m having and when I’m not making much money, it means that I’m not really putting myself out there. I’m not offering my services, I’m not helping people with my products and all of that kind of things. So just wanted to mention that.
Number five– I keep going because I know I could talk about these for a long time each– you don’t really want to do it and I’ve written down doing it because you think you’re assured or because it will please others and not because of your own desire. And this ties into– a lot of these are related, this ties into the previous one was not having any real urgency on motivation. A lot of us I think create goals and structure our lives so that we can please the people around us. And it’s been really interesting, especially with my coaching clients because we can really get into it. But a lot of the time we do this with our parents. You know, they have articulated certain views on what they think is a good idea and then we don’t want to disappoint them because we want them to love us so we do what they say we should do, but when you really get down to it, the reason that our parents are telling us what they want us to do is because they want us usually to be in a place where we’re stable, where we have financial security and they want that for us because they want us to be happy.
And so we often end up in creating that result of that also trying to create for us because they are sharing what they believe will make us happy based on their beliefs about the world and then we often end up being unhappy so we can do the things that they think will make us happy and then I just find it really interesting when you look at it, because at the end of the day it all comes down to they’re giving that advice or withholding approval or anything like that because they want you to be happy and doing what you really want to do and expressing yourself and being creative or whatever it is, is what will make you happy. And then at the end of the day, then that would please your parents as well. Not that we need that approval, but I think that’s such a human thing that I think with our parents is because we have this belief like if anyone should love us, it should be our parents. If our parents don’t love us and no one else will and they are the ultimate in approval.
So just have a think about the goal. Do you really want it? Maybe you don’t actually want it. Maybe you’re just doing it because your parents think you should or because you think you should. Okay, I spoke about this before on a previous episode. I think that like when I was at uni, I was really trying to get myself to read the Australian Financial Review and I was like, “I can make myself really interested in finance. And by the way, I didn’t do that for– no one told me to do that though. I think I ended up in those degrees because I saw myself as smart and that’s what someone smart would do, I didn’t have anyone in my family that was in the financial world, but I just had this idea that like I should be interested in finance. I kept trying to make myself read it. I would subscribe, I would like try and create a routine and it just wouldn’t happen the end of the day, I just really didn’t actually care and I didn’t have my own motivations. And the same thing might be for getting fit. Like everyone’s like, “Yeah, you need to be fit” but you’re like, “I actually don’t care” though it is important to be careful with that stuff because it’s easy to say I don’t care as a coverup for fear because you might be saying “I don’t care” because you’re actually really scared of trying and failing or you’re scattered disappointing yourself. So it’s easy to be apathetic, so this is what I want to caution you on, but if you’re doing something just really for parental approval or approval from anyone else but you, then that might be a reason that you are not achieving your goals.
Number six is that you’re scared of giving a 100% effort because there’s this underlying belief that if you don’t try, then you can’t really fail and this– I’ve spoken about it probably at some point throughout every episode because this is such an underlying belief that perfectionist having and I have had, it’s really typical of the fixed mindset that we withhold effort because if you don’t really try then you can’t really fail and because a lot of us have this belief that like it’s embarrassing to be seen to be putting an effort and not getting a result. It’s why a lot of us abandoned things like abandoned fitness, health and all of that because we’re motivated when we’re doing it and we’re not expected to get a result yet because it’s too early. But then once it gets to the point where you should be seeing some kind of outcome, some kind of result, and you’re not, then we often just completely abandon it because it’s too uncomfortable to be putting in efforts and not getting that result because that feels– it’s such a more vulnerable “failure” than if you don’t try some of us procrastinate throughout school and do cramming at the last minute so that if we never really tried to pass that exam and do our best and we can’t really fail at it and all that kind of thing.
So part of the reason, one of the reasons you might not be achieving your goals, so just have a think about that specific goal might be because you’re scared of giving a 100% effort. So for me, what I do with this, and this is something I caught myself on all the time. I focused on the effort as being valuable in and of itself and I’ve had a lot of people with blogging be like, “I’m just scared it’s not going to be worth it” and I always say, doing something creative is always worth it, like the act of blogging, even if no one reads it, is always worth it because you are expressing yourself, you’re being creative, you’re making something that didn’t exist, like doing something creative is always a good use of time. And I think that that is true of like, going to the gym even if you’re not getting a certain results in terms of physical appearance, you’re still getting the mental benefits. Just so many different things. I really recommend focusing on the effort being valuable in and of itself rather than attaching everything to needing to get this result.
Number seven is you’re scared. You won’t be as good as you imagine you’ll be. So this is one that really stopped me in my tracks with coaching because I had this belief that I would be really good at coaching. It’s something that I have coached a lot of people before for free or with like a trade of services. And I have like, it’s hard for me not to try and coach my friends. So I’d try not to because coaching is different to friendship but it’s something that I have always naturally done. I’ve always like being the firm one with the advice and I have a belief like I have the self-image that it’s something that I’d be good at and so I didn’t work towards my goal of being a coach for a very long time because I was scared that I would do it and I wouldn’t be as good as I thought I would be. And this is like, I think it’s one certain flavor of the fear of failure because it’s not even like you’re scared because you don’t think you’ll be good. It kind of is. It’s like, you’re scared because you actually intellectually consciously believe that you will be really good.
You’re just scared to find out, you’re not as good as you think. So it’s a bit different to say, for example, maybe with blogging, this was definitely something for me like I didn’t believe that I’d be really good at blogging. I believe that I wouldn’t be good at blogging whereas with coaching, I believed that I would be really good at it and I was just scared to find out that that wasn’t true because that would completely shatter the identity that I had of myself and we always want to be right about ourselves. So what I did was I put it off. I made all sorts of excuses. I told myself when I have a bigger audience, when I’ve got this other course launch, when I’ve done this, then I’ll start offering coaching services when really like I could have started offering it a long time ago, but I was just really scared to find out that I wasn’t as good as I believed that I would be, if that makes sense.
So if you have something– if your goal that you’re working towards, you intellectually believe you would be really good at it and you can list different reasons you’d be good, but you haven’t actually done it. It is probably because you are scared you’ll find out you’re not as good as you thought you’d be. The solution is to just bloody well do it to get out of your own way, to know that it’s going to feel really uncomfortable because it feels it’s a really vulnerable thing to do, to really put in 100% effort and to try to do that thing and it’s really important to put yourself in a growth mindset.
This is what I had to do as well, to really put myself in that growth mindset by not only focusing on the effort as being valuable in and of itself, but really reminding myself that it’s a skill that can be developed. It’s not like people are naturally good at coaching or they’re naturally not good, like sure at some level some people might be might find it easier than others, but it is a skill that you can learn and my first few months of coaching will be my first few months of coaching in the grand scheme of things because I’m just going to improve my abilities as a coach. The same way that in any area of life, it’s all a skill to be improved.
If you’re in the fixed mindset or the perfectionist mindset, then that’s when we view it as I’m either good enough or I’m not good enough, and so to avoid getting the evidence that we’re not good enough, we just completely withhold any effort at all so we can keep holding onto that self-image. So that’s something that’s come up for me recently as well.
Number eight is that you’re scared of what people will think. This is a huge one deserving of its own podcast episode, but I found with my coaching clients and with myself as well that when I have been scared of what other people think, like the first thing I recommend is to really take note of how multiple people can say the same thing and it will usually only staying like it’ll be the most powerful from one person. Even if someone else is saying exactly the same thing, it’s often like say, if our parents expressed out or like a random person on the street expresses out in whatever we’re doing. If it’s a random person on the street, “You don’t know anything about me.” Like what are you talking about? But if it’s one of our parents or if it’s like our partner or our best friend or something, we’re like, “Oh, maybe they can see something I can’t see.”
So often it’s the context of like, there are certain opinions that I think we hold as more valuable because we think that they know us or maybe they can see something that we can’t see or because we really have a lot hung up on getting that approval and that’s often because we don’t– I find personally that when I’m really seeking approval, it’s when I’m not approving of myself and I think the biggest thing with being scared of what people think is to really improve what you think about yourself because if you have strong belief in yourself and in what you’re doing, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else says because you’re like, “What are you talking about like, this is going to happen?” But if you don’t believe like often if you’re scared that people are going to be like, “Oh my God, you don’t know how to start a business” it’s probably because you were doubting that you don’t know how to start a business, so just really making sure that if you are scared of what other people will think and of judgment, it’s probably because you’re judging yourself, like whatever it is you’re scared they’ll think of you is probably what you were thinking of you and to really work on creating that belief, whether it’s through changing your self-image, which I’m going to talk about later through using an affirmation or through just like– often these fears of what other people will think are like, they feel so powerful but when you really intellectually think about it, it makes no sense. I know it’s easier said than done. I also like to really make sure when I have this fear of what other people think, that I’m not doing that with people who aren’t living the kind of life that I want to live. That’s not to say that you can’t get good advice from people doing completely different things and you probably already know that I love getting advice from people in totally different industries and doing completely different things. But what I’m talking about here is like taking financial advice from someone who’s broke. Taking advice on how to buy a house from someone who’s never bought a house before. Like you wouldn’t do that, although some people do. I like a lot of people give money advice when they’re broke but what I’m trying to say is like if someone’s giving you advice about what you should do with your career and they absolutely hate their job maybe that’s not the best person to be taking advice from. So I think it’s really important to keep it in that context or maybe if someone’s giving you advice about or maybe you shouldn’t do something and they’re the kind of person that never has the courage to do the uncomfortable thing. Maybe they’re not the best person to take advice from. Maybe you should find some people that are really courageous. They don’t have to be in the same industry or doing exactly what you want to do. They could be doing something completely different, but they’re just living their life in the kind of way that you admire. I think is really important to not value everyone’s opinion equally. Definitely number one, priority needs to be your own opinion of yourself for sure and it is very hard. I found it very challenging to value my opinion of me more than other people’s opinion of me and that has really come– I feel like now I’m very close to being at that point and it’s really come from me doing a lot of personal development work. I’m really building up my self-confidence by following through with things and by the personal development breakthroughs they have which I spoke about in a previous episode, and realizing like at a fundamental level that I’m good enough whereas we only intellectually that weren’t good enough but really getting it, which happened about a year ago now. So all of that kind of stuff has really helped but if you are scared of what other people will think– so it could be, you’re either scared of what people will think if you openly start trying to do something. I know that like, I majorly have this. When I quit my full-time job, I was like, “Oh shit. Now like people now I’m actually trying to be a blogger” and I just had always fear come up of like, you know, people are just going to think what was I thinking? Like basically again, it was all the beliefs that I had about myself, like, that I wasn’t good enough to do it. Why would anyone be interested in learning from me? Like all of these irrational but very strongly held doubts that I had of myself and I really had the fear around like me even trying to do it, what people would think of me trying.
But you might also have the fear of what people will think if you’re successful. I think this is something that– and I’ll talk about this again in the impossible goal update episode that I’m going to record soon. So I have, I really think I have this, like being scared of what people think about making money if I am successful with my impossible goal like I’ve noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of money mindset work, but I have noticed as well that I have this belief that if I do succeed at that goal that I’m going to be less relatable and all these different kinds of things like that are– again just a reflection of my own money story and my own beliefs around money which is why I’m getting serious about doing money mindset work and I think I mentioned this before, but I’m currently doing Kathrin Zenkina from Manifestation Babe, her Rich Babe Academy program, which is marvelous so far. It’s like not open for– I don’t think it will be open again until 2019, so it’s not something you can go and enroll in now, but it is something that I have really been enjoying. I love Kathrin’s work and just her energy and vibe, which is so good, but I think I currently am in this place of being scared of what people will think if I achieved my impossible goal. So I think part of the reason I’ve been self-sabotaging is because I’m actually scared that if I achieve it I will be judged. And again, it’s just because I’m judging myself. So that is something I am currently working on.
Number nine is that you’re blocking yourself from knowing how to do it. and this is actually with all of my coaching clients, pretty much all of them, they will say, I don’t know how to, I just, you know, I want to do this thing but I don’t know how to do it like, okay, well say you had to advise me, like if you had to do it today, you had to start doing today, what might you do without fail? Every single one of them then proceeds to tell me exactly the steps I would need to take at least the first few steps to get started. And they will say like, “Oh, I just don’t know how to do it, I need to either do this course to learn how to do it or I just need to keep waiting until I’ve learned more. I just want to do this thing, but I just don’t know how to do it” and when we go through it and then I showed him that they actually do know how to do it. They know almost every step and it’s really important to do that because then you can deal with the real fear and the real issue like we block ourselves from knowing how to do it so that we can use that as an excuse not to do it because if you don’t know how to start a business, you don’t have to.
And so I think particularly with this business, starting in business is a really vulnerable thing to do and it requires a lot of personal growth. It’s vulnerable in the sense that you really have to put yourself out there. You’re giving yourself permission. It’s not like when you get a job after uni and you know you’ve got a certificate and yes you’re qualified and all of that. That doesn’t happen with the business. You have to decide, “Okay, I’m going to start this” and it can be scary for that reason that you have to give yourself permission, which we have not been trained to do in school. We have really been trained to wait for others to give us permission to do things. So, yeah, I have really just noticed that blocking ourselves from knowing how.
So if you think about that goal that I got you to think about at the beginning of the episode, you might be like, “Yeah, like I really want to get out of debt, but I don’t know how. I really want to leave my job but I just don’t know how really question or I really want to eat better, but I just don’t know how I really want to get fit, but I just don’t know how” really question whether that is true that you don’t know how. And if you had to, if I imagine this, if I was to give you $1,000,000 to do that thing, would you be able to give me a list of the steps you need to take? Most likely yes or you jump on Google like we are blessed with Google, we can find out so much so easily and I think we often take it for granted that we have that because I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to do things before Google existed but just to really think is the-how the issue or are you actually just really scared and you’re using that I-don’t-know-how as an excuse because what I found with my coaching clients is 100% of the time they know exactly what they need to do to get started and they’re just scared and that’s okay to be scared.
And what I also love teaching my clients and teaching you guys through the podcast into everything that I do is that, that fear isn’t a sign that you shouldn’t do it. We don’t need to get rid of that fear. What we need to do is to learn how to feel the fear and do it anyway, which is not the answer that anyone wants to hear, we’re always trying to look for how to make things easier.
Usually by searching for that answer in terms of how to feel motivated because feeling motivated makes things easier, the quickest way to do things. How to fast track this, you know, how to get abs in six weeks or six hours were much too impatient for six weeks. So yeah, I think that blocking yourself from knowing how by saying, “I don’t know how to do it, I don’t know how to do it. I wish I could do it. I just don’t know how” really question that because I would suggest that you know exactly how and that you’re just a bit scared to do it and that’s okay. But if you keep saying it’s because you don’t know how, then you can’t deal with the real issue, which is a fear and it’s okay to feel that fear and once you see it, and I recommend as I always do, Tim Ferriss’ Fear Setting Exercise. I’ll link it in the show notes if you haven’t done it, but you can just google it. That’s a really good one. Once you know that the issue isn’t that you don’t know how the issue is that you’re scared, then you can really work on the fear and get yourself to a place where you can act in spite of that fear. The goal is not to be fearless. I’m certainly not feel as the goal is to feel the fear and get shit done anyway, so that was number nine.
The tenth reason that you might not be achieving your goals is because it’s very comfortable where you are, and I talked about this earlier with how I’ve been very comfortable and I’m manufacturing like a very strong motivation to get into discomfort, but this is an interesting one I think because often, I think people who are really struggling to achieve their goals, we would say that we’re not comfortable where we are because you know, we’re really dissatisfied with things. We want a more fulfilling job. We want to be making an impact. We want to be healthier. We want to be self-disciplined, we want routine. All of these reasons we can point to and say, “No, I’m not being comfortable” but there is comfort in familiarity.
So if you were doing the same things over and over again, they’re the things that like, yes, it might be. You might say it’s uncomfortable to find yourself watching Netflix every night when you promised yourself you go to the gym, but it’s comfortable and it’s familiarity. So I would just have a think about, you might not be achieving your goal because you’re very comfortable where you are and I’ve already gone into this in detail so I won’t go into it further and I’ve shared that like one way that I’m getting myself out of that really comfortable position without actually leaving that comfortable position but manufacturing that, but really just thinking about, “Are you too comfortable where you are?” Have you like– are you just allowing yourself to just continue being where you are because that’s where it’s comfortable and you really have to learn how to be in discomfort.
Again, no one wants to hear that. We just want to feel motivated and inspired and enthusiastic and passionate. And that’s all we want to feel and we don’t want to feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to feel like we could get rejected, we don’t want to feel vulnerable, but that is what is required to grow because they are the feelings that come up when we try to do things that aren’t in our brains, like automatic patterns, that on our autopilot settings, that’s the emotion discomfort comes up because our brain wants to be efficient. It wants to just do the same things. It’s always done. It doesn’t care if those things are good or bad so that is why you can create a good habit as easily as a bad habit. The brain doesn’t care. It just wants to do the same things over and over again.
And that’s why it has to be discomfort to change. And I think that so often I see and I’m sure I’m guilty of it too, like how to like all this advice about how to make change easier and I am a believer in like asking yourself what would this look like if it were easy and not over complicating things because we tend to overcomplicate things, especially if we have this belief which is one I’m currently working on which is, it’s hard to be successful. You have to deserve it.
It has to be really challenging like it can’t be easy. And so that belief has made me overcomplicate things not accept money for things that I’m not truly good at and all sorts of things like that. But I just think that with that one, it’s really important just to stop looking for all the advice about how to stay motivated and how to stay inspired and to just practice feeling uncomfortable and watching yourself like I like to think of it like I can watch myself trying to squirm away but not let myself. Like I can see myself like, okay, I can feel my hand like twitching towards my phone to like go and look at Instagram, but I’m just going to let that feeling be there and not react to it. It’s different to being like, “No, I don’t want to look at Instagram. No, I don’t want to look at Instagram. I’m not going to look. I’m not going to look!” It’s just like, “Okay, I can feel that I want to look and I’m just going to keep working” and just like not being like I’m harsh about it with myself. Just observing it. So that’s another one.
It’s a skill to learn to be uncomfortable. It’s a skill that I don’t think we’re taught because I think we’re taught, if you feel uncomfortable, you should eat something, you should drink something or you should buy something or you should watch something. Like if we feel unpleasant emotions often in our childhood, of course this is always done with the intentions of love and trying to make us happy. The intentions are very good, but we’re taught like, you know, if someone’s feeling bad you should cheer them up. And you should make them feel better and maybe you should go shopping, maybe you should get a massage, whatever. And I told like you shouldn’t have negative emotion and if you do need to fix it instead of, if you have negative emotion, just feel it and if you feel it, like I think that it’s easy to think, “Well you know, if you don’t cheer people up there just be sad all the time” but actually I think then you can process emotion and get out of it so much more quickly but we try to repress it. We don’t let ourselves feel it. We try to cover it in food or drink or Netflix and that kind of thing. And then we also feel bad about feeling bad because we believe that we should be happy all the time and it just really amplifies it.
So it’s a skill I’m learning to really feel discomfort and it takes practice and it takes just doing it. You might like to use Mel Robbins’ Five Second Rule, which is what it sounds like. It’s kind of sounds like, you know, when you drop food on the floor and you’re like ten second rule. It’s not that, it’s where you just, if there’s something uncomfortable you just give yourself only five seconds to do it. Like maybe you have to make really challenging core. Instead of thinking about it all day, you just, “Okay, I’m going to do it. Five, four, three, two, one you hit core” or whatever it is. And she said that she used that to get out of bed in the morning when she was in a, like feeling really depressed and just in this really like, vicious cycle. She just started using that to get herself out of bed. Like the alarm would go off into just go five, four, three, two, one and get up and just, the scientific reasons.
If you haven’t heard of her, she has a great interview on Tom Bilyeu’s YouTube channel slash podcast. I definitely recommend looking it up. Just Google or YouTube search Mel Robbins and Tom Bilyeu. I love both of them. And the interview is really great. It’s about motivation and basically, oh, you can’t rely on it, which is something I believe in, so I’m definitely look that up, but that might be helpful if there’s lots of uncomfortable things you need to do and I have been using that quite a bit recently as well. I don’t think I’ve even mentioned her before. Well, not very much, but she is someone that I really enjoy her teachings as well.
Okay, number 11 is that you don’t believe it’s possible and I’m not saying this to say that you need to change your goal to be realistic as I have already been speaking about, I have a goal that I literally believe is impossible. So I’m not saying you know, your goals need to be realistic and that you should always only do the things that you already know how to do. What I’m saying is, if you don’t believe it’s possible, you need to work on that belief. Instead of bringing your goals down to meet your belief system, you need to believe bring your belief system up to your goals. So one way that I like doing that is using an affirmation. I think I have done a podcast on that. I’ve definitely done a lot of blog posts about it and I’ve talked about this a lot but I will mention it again and actually the livestream that I did in the Smart Twenties Community this morning was an affirmation Q and A because I get a lot of questions about how many affirmations should I use at once, like, is this a good affirmation or not and so I answered a lot of those questions in there this morning. For those of you who were there live and for those of you who will want to watch the replay, that’s still going to be just continuing to live in the Facebook group and I’ve marked it as an announcement as well. So it’s easier to find.
So yeah, as I was saying, you need to bring, instead of bringing your goals down to you, you need to bring your belief system up to your goals. So I use the affirmation, I will celebrate my last day at my full-time job on 30 June 2017 or sooner and that’s because I didn’t believe it was possible to leave my job. And so instead of believing that I can’t leave my job and letting myself say there I did the work on creating the belief that I could leave my job and then that is what happened once that belief was there. So I think this is such an important point because we are told, “You know, don’t disappoint yourself. You want to set realistic goals” and I get it, I think that advice is with good intentions. But I think once you really a bit more interpersonal development, you can, instead of bringing your goals down so you’re never disappointed, you can A., manage your thoughts so that you don’t feel disappointed because not achieving your goals does not create disappointment.
What creates disappointment is the thoughts that you have about it. So you can set a huge goal and not achieve it and then not be disappointed. It’s not like, I think that so often it’s spoken about like disappointment is spoken about as if it’s just the effect of not achieving a goal. Like that’s the natural outcome and I think for a lot of people it does feel that way because we’re not taught that we can control our emotions and that the best way to avoid disappointment is to not have any expectations. But really I think the best way to avoid disappointment is to not have thoughts that create disappointment such as, “I’m not good enough, I didn’t achieve my goal” Instead of when you don’t achieve a goal, you can say, I’m going to try it again and you can instead turn that disappointment into determination.
So I don’t think it’s like when people say, “You know, you should set realistic goals so you don’t disappoint yourself” disappointing yourself, feeling disappointed in yourself is always a choice because it comes from the thoughts that you have. But that is something that it does take quite a lot of self-awareness to realize that I can be then generate those thoughts on purpose but believing that it’s possible, you might not believe your goal is possible if that’s the case, do not bring your goal down. Instead work on and bringing your belief system up and creating that certainty and that possibility for yourself and I definitely recommend using affirmations. I will link in the show notes as well, some resources to help with affirmations. So that will be at smart-twenties.com/episode43. Okay, we’re getting through this list. I knew this was going to be a long one. That’s all right. I love the long podcast episodes and I’m really enjoying chatting about all of this because this is really a lot of the work that I have been doing individually with my coaching clients recently and I really wanted to talk about it because there are just so many patterns, like each client really is thinking about things in a very similar way. So I thought that by sharing this on the podcast, that will help a lot of, you as well.
Number 12 is you want to know everything before you start and when this one is coupled, which it usually is, with one I spoke about earlier, which is that you’re blocking yourself from knowing how to do it. If you simultaneously have the belief you need to know everything and you’re also blocking yourself from knowing how to do it. Then of course you keep yourself stuck, so wanting to know everything before you start. So for example, with the business example, you might believe that you need to know everything about a business and maybe you have some fear around that. You’re like, “Oh, what is definitely really important that I miss?” but I will tell you from my experience, I am making all of this up as I go. I did all of this stuff that I’m doing now. I did not know was even a possibility for me when I started my blog. I certainly didn’t know how to do it and I am very focused now on having things be on a need to know basis. What I really want to talk about is the fear because this need to know needing to know everything before you start, so you want to have the perfect plan.
You want to have all your ducks in a row, you want it to be the perfect time to start. Fitness is such a good example in healthy eating because we do this so often is, “Oh, you know, I can’t start next week because it’s the holidays and then the week after it’s going to be my birthday and then the week after that I have this dinner” and then I’ll start like just wanting to constantly delay it until we think we’ve got this clear run to success and that’s because so many of us have very little tolerance for putting an effort without a result.
So we’re trying to delay the effort until the result is guaranteed. Except by doing that, we often don’t get any result because the perfect time never comes. So wanting to know everything before you start is really procrastination. It’s really fear and it’s really often trying to avoid the shame that you believe is going to come when and you are going to create for yourself when you are like, when you get evidence that you’re not good enough. So if you have this goal, think about the goal that I had you think of at the beginning of the episode. If you think about that goal and you’re like, “Yeah, I really want to start, but I just need to figure out XYZ before I get started” just start like, I know that’s so much easier said than done, but it’s something that’s so common like there’s always one more thing you can learn, one more YouTube video to watch, one more course to take one more book to read. You don’t need to know everything and I think we get that at an intellectual level. So I don’t really want to harp on about that because I think you know that, you know that you know enough to get started.
And actually are the email would have gone out now I had in this week’s newsletter, I was talking about the different beliefs that have helped me create my success and that one of those beliefs is I know enough to start and I think that that’s a really helpful belief if you have been wanting to start a business or a blog or anything, a fitness routine, healthy eating, having this belief, I know enough to get started is so powerful because then you start so many things you don’t actually know what you need to like, you’re not aware of the things that you will even need to know until you’ve started because you learn in the doing of it and so even if you have the most perfect plan, something will happen along the way and you’re going to need to get information on a need-to-know basis as you go along anyway. So if that’s the case, you may as well just start and know that it’s okay not to know everything like I don’t, I definitely do not know everything. I don’t know everything about blogging. I don’t know everything about podcasting, but I know enough. I know enough.
And I also have one of my clients, she kept telling me that she is clueless with business even though she, this is relating to blocking the how to do it. She taught me exactly what she needed to do, but she kept saying like, “I’m really clueless” and to really just make sure you catch yourself if you’re saying that kind of thing and for her, I recommended creating the belief that I do know a few things about business because if you go from “I don’t know anything” to “I know a lot about business or I know more than enough” then that might be really hard to believe if for the last five years you’ve told yourself you’re clueless. So, but it’s easier to believe. This is like a ladder. Like when you create a new belief, you can use these latter beliefs which are like, beliefs that are part of the way there and once you believe that, then you can believe the next one. So instead of going from a really negative belief to really positive belief you go from negative to a bit less negative to neutral, to more positive to the belief that you want. So I recommended to her to just start saying no, that I like, I do know a few things about business because she was saying, “I don’t know anything” when she was actually able to tell me a lot of things. So I just wanted to mention that as well.
Number 13 is that you’re trying to do it alone. So a reason that you might be stuck with your achieving your goals is because you’re trying to do it alone. I spoke about this in the fitness episode, how getting a PT, even though I could technically do it alone, I just was at that point, I was like, “I really want someone to be in this with me together. I really want that accountability” I’ve already spoken about how I don’t believe in accountability buddies like I love working on goals with people simultaneously and having friends that are doing the same things. I’m just very careful not to have to be– I don’t know how to explain this. I feel like maybe last time I talked about I didn’t explain it properly because I got some people being like, “Oh you know, I’d love to be your accountability buddy if you actually like but you said you don’t ever want them” and I do love working simultaneously on goals with people. I love checking in with people. Like it kind of would look like accountability, but I just make sure to never– it’s like they have to be very self motivated person for me to want to do that and it’s like we’re both going to keep working towards this goal anyway, but we’re just making it even better for each other instead of, “I’ll work on my business today if you do” like, I never liked doing anything like that. It’s like, “I’m working today. If you want to come today and sit next to me and work on your own stuff, that would be amazing. If not, I’m going to be there regardless” that’s how I like to do it but I think paid accountability, so PT, coach, anything like that where you’re paying them and you don’t have to give them accountability in return that is so powerful and as well with coaching, I have really accelerated my journey– a PT is a coach as well but also with business coaching because even though I have a lot of friends now which is even saying that like, that has been a journey to get myself to a place where I have quite a lot of friends who have their own businesses. So I just feel just going to start for a second and feel proud that that’s the case because that has been a lot of work and putting myself out there to get that to happen.
But anyway, having a lot of supportive friends is very helpful. I definitely recommend that if you are not listening to podcasts already, or obviously this is podcast, so yes you are, but I mean if you’re not listening to podcasts of people often who are doing the kinds of things that you want to do and who are making it feel normal for you, that’s so important. But with the coaching like I just know that when I’ve had a coach they have helped me to see things or also when I’ve done really intensive personal development programs, I have been able to see things about myself that I couldn’t see like a coach is like a mirror basically and they will show you things that you can’t see about yourself. But when you have a friend supportive friends are amazing. But like even me as a coach and as a friend, I’m very different as a friend. I have to really catch myself not to try and be a coach because friendship is very different and there are a lot of benefits of friendship that you don’t get from a coach. And there are benefits of coaching that you don’t get from a friendship. With a coach, they are a lot more to the point, the coach is really helping that person uncover something that they actually do want to see. Whereas, when you’re talking about it with a friend, they might just want to vent or they might just want someone to sympathize with them or empathize, and just be like, “Yeah, that must be really hard” whereas with a coach, a coach isn’t going to do that. If they’re a good coach, they’re going to really help you see your thinking and move everything to the next level and keep going and they’re not there to be like, “Yeah, that must be really hard” and just give you a pat on the back.
So I have found coaching to be incredibly powerful, but also having supportive friends, listening to podcasts basically trying to make myself as not alone as possible. I’ve also found working from a co-working space, even if I haven’t spoken to the people that overly like we’re all working, but just being in the vicinity of people that are doing something similar or at least like when I’m at home like I am now when I’m recording this, I’m the only one here and I’m the only one that’s working and I love just being like, I love being at– well I like being at the gym alone, but I also like being at the gym when there’s lots of people and it’s really like this energy of everyone’s working out. And I like the same thing for work. I know some people aren’t like that and they just want silence and aloneness. But I like background noise. I like being around other people who are doing similar things.
So if you’re not achieving one of your goals, have a think about that goal that I got you to think about. Is there a way that you can be less alone? Maybe you can find some friends. you can either go to like meetup.com. They have meet-ups for everything. You could go to a conference or an event or depending what it is, you can listen to more podcasts. You can hire a coach, you could hire a PT but making sure that you’re not doing it alone because that is something, not only is it harder, but also there are different ways that like people can show you your thinking, you can bring new ideas into the mix and all of that. So definitely recommend that.
Number 14 is that you don’t follow through with your plans. This is a huge one. I know you probably struggled with this, I think almost everyone who listens to this podcast and reads my blog struggles with following through with plans and this relates as well to the deadline one. And as I mentioned, I think I’m going to do a separate episode about not like setting deadlines and following through with your plans because they are very related but I’ve written down that it’s probably one of the other reasons that’s creating the, not the lack of follow through. So usually the issue isn’t follow through in and of itself. Usually, the issue is some underlying fear, maybe it’s a fear of what people think is a fear that you won’t be as good as you think he will be. It’s you know, a fear of putting in the effort because then you’ll feel ashamed. You put in the effort and don’t get a result. Often it’s like, that’s not following through with your plans is often a symptom rather than the cause. So if that’s something that’s coming up in your life, I’d really just have a think about what’s going through your head like one of my coaching clients I was working with, she was saying that like, she had this whole plan but she hadn’t followed through with it and I was like, “So what are the kinds of thoughts that you have when it comes time to do it but you don’t do it?” And basically the thought was, “I’ll do it later. I’ll do it tomorrow. I don’t do enough. I’m not sure how to do that. I don’t know enough to do that now” and that was really coming for her from this fear that– like the fear that I was talking about with coaching, the exact same fear of like, what if I do it and I’m not as good as I think.
So I think not following through definitely a symptom. Same with procrastination but I think so often we blame our attention spans for procrastination when if you can relate to what I talk about on this podcast, I can assure you it is not the attention span issue. It is a fear issue and the shame issue. Anyway, that’s a different issue to talk about on another podcast episode. So if you’re not following through with your plans, definitely have a think about the other things that I have spoken about in this episode. I’m also going to list them out if you need to review them smart-twenties.com/episode43 where everything will be linked for this episode. So, yeah, that is something that is really a symptom.
The final one, we’ve made it, I hope this hasn’t been too overwhelming, but I was going to do five reasons and then my list went to 10 and then it went to 15 and I was like, whoa, they’re all so interrelated and I know that so many of you struggle with this, that I was like, “I’m just going to talk about all of it” you guys know I love these episodes to be long and detailed and helpful and I thought I would just cover all of this in today’s episode. So number 15 is, it’s not normal for you to achieve your goals and this also relates, of course they all are interrelated, this really relates. I’m just trying to find it in my list. This really relates to number 11, which was you don’t believe that it’s possible. This is slightly different to that.
So this is what I really talked about in the episode on self-image. I have heard from you guys that, that was one of my most helpful episodes and I get a lot of feedback about that episode in particular. So if you haven’t heard me talk about, I think it’s called The Power of Self-image or How To Transform Your Self-image, go and have a look for that one because that has really been helpful for a lot of people and it’s what I wanted to talk about as well because if you currently see yourself, and again this relates to not believing it’s possible, but this is more about focusing on the self-image aspect of that, which is you think you’re not the kind of person who achieve goals. You might think you’re a starter, but not a finisher, which is a huge one.
I know that a lot of you struggle with. You might have the belief that you’re or the self-image that you’re a procrastinator, you might have the self-image that something isn’t possible for you. So again, that’s why affirmations and bringing your beliefs isn’t up to your goals rather than bringing your goals down to your self-image is super important. But if you have this belief in it and this self-image might have been created by other people who say like, “Oh yeah, here she goes again, like when are you going to give up on this one? Or I wonder how long you last this time” and I like, I haven’t had that personally in my life, but I know that a lot of people do get that if they are the kind of person that does start a lot of things and doesn’t see in the past, hasn’t seen them through to completion but then people like we want to categorize people and put them in a box and we do this with ourselves and we do this with other people. And so other people in your life might be putting you in the box of “Yeah, here she goes again. She’s not going to achieve this goal” like, “Yeah, we’ll see how long she lasts. I wonder when she’ll give up” and that can really create this further evidence for this self-image. But the trick with self-image, so– I’ll just cover this briefly first. Self-image is really important because we act in accordance with our beliefs about ourselves, so I use the example. I think this is a good example because it’s so trivial that I think it’s easy to see.
In that episode I did on self-image, I talked about myself-image around indoor plants and that I had the self-image that I just wasn’t good at looking after indoor plants or plants generally, but I didn’t really have any outdoor plants look after. So I had this belief like I’m horrible at looking after indoor plants. I kill all my indoor plants and because I had that belief, I acted consistently with that belief so I wouldn’t water my plants until they had signs of dying. When of course once I get to that stage, it’s really hard to water to rehabilitate them. Especially if you don’t believe you’re good at that kind of thing because you just don’t put in the effort. And yeah, I just had this belief like I kill every plant I get. I’m horrible at picking the right plants, all of this self-image around it. And so it’s like what I had been doing in the past, it was like, “I’ll believe I’m good at looking after plants once I’m good at looking after them” but the thing is that you don’t become good at looking after them until the belief changes, which is why so many of us get stuck is that we want to believe it’s possible after we’ve done it. But you can’t do it until you believe it’s possible.
So I started– and this was very intentional personal development work that I did. I started looking for evidence that I was good at looking after plants, like I didn’t, try to then change. So sometimes I’d be like “Maybe I can be good at good at looking after plants” so I’d feel motivated, but I’m weak and I water all of them and do everything I was meant to do. But because I had this underlying belief that I wasn’t good at it, I saw that as being normal and looking after plants as been an exception. So I’d always come back to my auto-pilot unless I was putting in a lot of using a lot of willpower. So what I did to change that, so now I don’t have to use willpower and habit and routine has really helped us out as well. But I started looking for evidence of, “Okay, well they’re actually, you know, there is this plant that’s alive. Maybe it is a plant that does thrive on neglect, but this plant’s alive. Okay, I can use that as evidence” or there was this plant as well and often when we frame it like you might think, I’ve never actually achieved any of my goal.
If you really think about every single goal, there’s probably an exception, what you have achieved it and then you can focus on that and also what’s going to happen in your future, which is up to your imagination to create this new belief. So instead of being like, “Oh well I’ll wait till I’m really good at watering and looking after plants in using my willpower to do that” I, instead, went to the belief and I thought, “Okay, well I am actually quite good” I thought I’d stopped telling people because I used to always hear myself saying, “Yeah, I love indoor plants. I’m just no good at looking after them” and I’ve stopped saying that, I say “I’m really good at looking after indoor plants and if they die it’s an exception” It doesn’t mean that I haven’t had plants dying and that I haven’t had moments where I’ve not cared about them and haven’t cared for them. But I see that now as being an exception rather than the normal. So it means that I don’t have to use the willpower to water them because I believe already that I’m that kind of person that waters their plants. So I tell people I’m really good at looking after indoor plants. I stopped, like even stopping telling that story to other people has really made a difference.
And since then I have taken such good care of my plants and Steve actually doing our front garden at the moment. And we had these four are, I got these flowers for our hanging baskets and they have been absolutely thriving also because I think I’m pretty sure that I bought them after I created this new belief. I did my research, I made sure that I got plants that could tolerate full sun, like all day, full sun because when we first bought plans we bought them based on what was pretty and we did not buy plants that could tolerate full sun all day. So they died. So I did my research. I’ve been watering them every morning, like I water them once a week with liquid fertilize. I water them also. I’m on a different day of the week with the flowering stuff that helps them flower and they have just been thriving and then we’re looking at getting some of them to put in the front garden to climb up our railings that we have. And Steve was like, “Well yeah, those ones we have have been absolutely thriving. So it makes sense to get some more of them” and I was like, I have really turned my whole story around. And the reason I like using this example of plants is because it’s so trivial and it sounds so insignificant and a lot of us are less attached to those kinds of beliefs and they feel a bit more easy to change than like the beliefs that we have about ourselves about that we’ve attached, like not being good enough to and attached shame to like, if you believe, you’re a starter but not a finisher that feels like it’s exactly the same as the plant example and that you don’t have to then finish everything before you can believe that you’re the kind of person that follows through.
What you can do is also think back to your past and filter that through the lens of, “Okay, what are the things that I have finished? Oh, I finished high school, I finished this, I finished that.” And often there are a lot of examples and we just completely dismiss them and we completely dismiss them so that our story can be true. And so if you create a new story, then you can often find evidence that will fit. Basically we can find evidence to fit any kind of story that we want and we will only see what fits in with that. So if you say, okay, well maybe actually I am the kind of person that finishes things and follows through with my goals. Then you can think back, “Oh wait, there was this time, there was this time” I’m really starting to create that identity because once you see it as something that is normal for you, then you don’t have to use as much willpower. Of course in the beginning you do have to consciously think about this new story, this new belief that you have about yourself.
So for the first few weeks I had to consciously think, “I’m really good at looking after plants. I’m really good at looking after plants” whenever I’d be looking at my plans, like they’re all over the house and be like, “I’m really good at looking after plants, I’m going to water this right now or as soon as it needs to be watered” and there was always that moment before when I’d see a plant and I know I need to water it, but I’d be like, “I’ll do that later” because that would fit in that way is what would fit in with my story of I’m not good at looking after plants. So now I was like, “Okay, well if I was good at looking after plants, what would I do in this situation? Okay, I would want my plants now. I’m just going to do that now. It takes like three seconds” so yeah, I hope that analogy is helpful.
So it applies if you’ve been saying I’m not a morning person, but you’re trying to wake up early and I always talk about this being a morning person. I’m a morning person. I do not enjoy waking up early. I always want to sleep in except whenever I have a week of sleeping. And I’m like, “I feel shitty physically” like I just do not feel my best self when I sleep in. But I definitely want to not wake up when my alarm but I have to believe that I’m a morning person and that really helps me and I think so many of us don’t even give ourselves permission to see ourselves as a morning person because we think morning people have to be a certain way. They don’t.
Anyone can be a morning person if you say you’re a morning person, so, and it will actually change the way that you behave in the morning as well. And then you will begin to act in accordance with that new image without having to use willpower. So hope that has been helpful.
I will just quickly run through them once more. So bring that goal to mind that you have been thinking about. So 15 reasons you’re not achieving your goal. You haven’t set any. They’re too vague. You don’t have a deadline. There’s no urgency or motivation. You don’t really want to achieve it. You’re scared of giving a 100% effort. You’re scared you won’t be as good as you imagine you will be. You’re scared of what people will think. You’re blocking yourself from knowing how to do it. It’s comfortable where you are. You don’t believe it’s possible. You want to know everything before you start. You’re trying to do it alone. You don’t follow through with your plans. It’s not normal for you to achieve your goals.
That’s a rundown of what we had talked about in this podcast episode. I hope you have found it incredibly helpful. I have loved talking about it and this is something I haven’t really been working on with all of my coaching clients. If you would like to work with me one on one and have me really help you walk through everything and take your life to the next level and achieve your goals, that is something that is available. You can find out all the details at smart-twenties.com/coaching. I hope you have an absolutely lovely day and I will talk to you next time, bye.