What is it?
The fear you feel when you dare to set yourself an ambitious goal.
John Assaraf talks about why it can be so difficult to reach our Goals in his book Innercise; The New Science To unlock your Brain’s Hidden Power. An excellent read on this subject is Chapter 1: It’s not your fault, Why Reaching Your Goals has been so hard.
This chapter explains how the brain’s two main priorities impact on our ability to function well when we set ourselves an audacious goal.
Priority 1 – Keeping you safe – The brain needs you to survive. The brain has naturally evolved to keep you safe both emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Priority 2 – Efficiency – The brain is marvellous, but it likes to run in efficient mode. It is interested in energy conservation.
As John Assaraf points out Safety and efficiency help you survive, but they don’t ensure you will thrive, pg. 18.
This can have an impact on us when we set ourselves audacious goals in our life.
We get scared. We begin to doubt ourselves. Some people even feel guilty for wishing for success and particularly wealth in their lives. The negative self talk can begin – seeking to talk ourselves out of setting such an ambitious goal.
The truth of the matter is that the brain likes to remain in status quo – change threatens the brain. So, it will do everything in its power to talk you out of your audacious goal.
As John Assaraf so nicely puts it, achieving goals is hard because, as far as your brain is concerned, radical change is a potential threat, pg. 19. Significant change, for the brain, feels like a significant threat, and it will do everything possible to resist leaving its ‘comfort zone’, pg. 20.
Luckily guidance on how to halt this and work towards understanding how to effect change and therefore be more successful in achieving your goals is also detailed in the latter parts of his book.
It is no wonder really so many people are struggling and suffering from stress and anxiety. Many of us prefer not to over-stretch ourselves, as we may call it. We obey our sub-conscious brain’s demands to stay small and not to set ourselves goals which will cause us to take ourselves far out of our comfort zone.
Margaret Lynch talks about goal trauma. She describes this as being caused by a specific previous event when you put yourself out there (you dared to believe you could have it/reach your goal) and it didn’t happen for you. Your brain now identifies this as a real potential risk. You don’t want to let yourself be that hurt again so you begin to live your life small.
If I don’t dream big, I can’t get hurt. The problem with this is that you are running very negative thought patterns in your head which will likely result in similar experiences in your life.
The Law of Attraction states that everything in life exists twice, once in your thoughts and then once in reality.
If we think small, our lives may continue in a very safe pattern. Our conscious and sub-conscious brains are now in coherence. So, there is no drama. But when we dare to set ourselves ambitions goals to live the life, we truly desire, we can send our two brains into dissonance – creating a raft of symptoms from negative talk, doubt, stress and anxiety and procrastination. It feels uncomfortable and so we withdraw to give ourselves peace from these negative emotions.
But there is hope – we can address this. John Assaraf shows us how to master the achievement of our goals in chapter 11 of his book, showing us how to set brain friendly goals.
There are many programmes out there now online to support us to master better goal achievement. Including at www.myneuro-gym.com/innercise .
So here is a short extract for you;
When writing goals John Assaraf suggests trying to answer the following questions: –
What specifically do you want to achieve?
Why must you achieve these goals?
Now write down your answers
But the killer question is the following one:
Are you interested in, or are you committed to, achieving these goals?
(Assaraf, 2019, pg. 6).
I just love this question.
The latter question asks if you truly have a commitment to focussed and purposeful action to move closer to your goals.
This is the difference between setting goals and achieving your goals. As Natalie Ledwell says, just because you set yourself a goal doesn’t mean it will happen, you need to take action to manifest your dreams.
You also need to ensure that your setbacks will not stop you in your tracks, and that you will use those setbacks to learn and grow and to continue to move forward.
To move to being able to take purposeful action towards your goals you may need to work on your limiting beliefs first.
So, what action can I take?
1. Buy John’s book – it is a great read.
Another great programme for supporting you to set goals and support you to work towards those goals of course is the Ultimate Success Masterclass created by Natalie Ledwell. Find out more at https://gillianforrestercoaching.com/the-ultimate-success-masterclass/
Or BOOK A COACHING SESSION WITH ME.
FIND OUT HOW I OVERCAME GOAL TRAUMA.
AND TOOK ACTION TO MAKE SURE I WAS COMMITTED TO MY GOALS NOT JUST INTERESTED IN THEM.
Or you could book a programme of coaching to work with someone to support and guide you through the process of goal setting and taking inspired action to help you move towards realising those goals @ https://gillianforrestercoaching.com/life-coaching/ – many people need an accountability partner to ensure that they stay focused and on track to realise both their goals and their potential.