Side Effects of Going After Your Goals
Ep. 119
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Have you ever wondered why so many people decide to run a marathon?

We all have friends who have never been that athletic. But all of a sudden decide they want to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. Why is that?

It has nothing to do with that actual marathon day. That’s just the cherry on top.

It’s because they know how the process of training for a marathon is going to change them.

What they want is not to be able to run for 4 hours straight (or however long it takes…I honestly have no idea because I’ve never been crazy enough to pick such a difficult goal).

What they want is self-discipline, mental and physical toughness, endurance, the health benefits that come from training for months on end.

It is who they are going to become in the pursuit of that goal.

That is the reason to go after ANY goal.

Reaching your dreams won’t make you happy all of the time. But it will change who you are. And that is worth pursuing them more than any other reason.

But here’s the rub: The only way you get those side effects is by enduring the problems.

You don’t develop mental toughness if training every day is not hard.

You don’t develop self-discipline if you don’t have the urge to just sit on the couch.

It is in the process of continually trying to better yourself that you get those side effects.

So stop wishing away the problems. Those obstacles are the way to the life you want.

If you’re scared to follow a dream because it seems too hard or is going to require too much from you, that’s the exact reason to go after it.

Getting to your goal is great. Growing in the process is even better.

This week on the podcast, I dive into the side effects of going after your dreams.

For the month of October, we are running a 3-day Find Your Path Challenge. The challenge will run from October 12-14. You will be able to work through hang up’s on clarity, direction, and next steps. Sign up here:

Show Transcript
Hey friends welcome to another episode. I am so excited. You are here. I've got a really good one for you. I know you say that every time. And I sort of mean it cause they love these topics a little too much. Um, but before we jump in, I wanted to let you know that I am running a free challenge on October 12th, through the 14th. If you have ever felt like I don't know what I should be doing with my life. I can't find clarity. I'm stuck. I don't know what the next step is. This challenge is for you, my friends. So join us. It is free. It will be on Facebook and I will send out the replays every night. So if you can't come at the time that we're going to be doing the teachings, don't worry about it. If you've liked these last couple of episodes that have been more on mindset, this is going to be right up your alley.

So sign up at quitter And I hope to see you guys there, okay. Onto today's episode. And we're going to talk about the side effects of going after your dreams. So let me tell you what I mean by that. There's a wonderful saying or quote from Henry David Thoreau says what you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. And that's exactly what we're going to talk about. We are all any rush to get there wherever there is. We set a goal and then we just wish and hope and pray that it's just easy and we can get there quickly. And the faster we can get there, the better we don't want any problems. We don't want any headaches. We just want there. And I've talked a lot about how we think that once we get there, we'll feel a certain way.

We'll be happy. We'll be content. Everything will be rainbows and butterflies. It'll be so good. We won't have this human brain that has anxiety and sadness. And we know that's not true. I talked a lot about this in episode one 15, it was called. Life is always both good and bad. So if you haven't listened to that episode, feel free to check it out. But the premise, the entire episode is the fact that even if you achieve your goals, life will still be both good and bad. It'll be 50 50. You will have lots of good and you will have some bad days. And whenever I talk about this with my clients or you know, people on the podcast, the inevitable question that comes up is then what's the point? Why should I set these goals? If it's just going to be 50 50 over there, why not just stay here?
And that's a great question. My answer to you, is it because of the person that you will become in the pursuit of those goals? I want you to think about a marathon. Why is it that so many of our friends, people we know all of a sudden decide that they want to run a marathon or a half marathon. We've all known people like this. You might've been a person that decided that was your goal. It happens every year. Now there are obviously like tons of runners and people that are like very athletic and that's not surprising, but there are also tons of regular people who may not actually be active at all, who decide that they want to take on this very challenging goal of running either 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles. And have you ever wondered? Why? Like why, why does this become a very common goal for people, people who have never done anything athletic, all of a sudden deciding that they're going to try to run for four hours straight or however long it takes to finish a marathon.
I'm not actually sure. Now part of it might be to get in shape, right? Part of it obviously is that they want to prove to themselves that they can do this physical activity. And sometimes people just get to their wits and when they haven't been active or they haven't been able to lose the weight they want to. And so they pick this goal as something that's going to get them there, but it's more than that, right? It's to push, not just their bodies, but their minds it's to create habits of discipline it's to create a hard work ethic. It's to see what they're made up. That's why they're signing up. Right? Because the reality is like the actual marathon is not the goal. Like the last day of running the 26 miles and crossing that finish line. That's like the cherry on top. Right? But it's not the point.
It's who you have to become during that training regimen in order to be able to cross that finish line. Because if I told you I could just snap my fingers and I will give you the ability to run 26 miles tomorrow. Is that THAT exciting? Like, does anybody care that much, that they can run that? The goal isn't to just like put a checkmark next to "marathon" on your two lists. Like that's just something I got to check off, right? The goal is to push yourself as a human being both mentally and physically to see if you can do something that is very challenging that most people don't ever do. That's why it's appealing. You literally get nothing from finishing a marathon. Okay? You don't want any money. It doesn't change your status in any way. I mean, maybe obviously you get in shape and it might change your fitness longterm.
But a lot of people just kind of go back entirely to the way they lived before they started training, right. They run one marathon or maybe a couple, and then they stop. But everybody that signs up for it knows that it's going to change who they are. That is the side effect of the goal, right? The goal is to run 26 miles, but the side effects are self-discipline overcoming self-doubt, mental toughness, physical toughness, and on and on and on. And that's the reason why people are actually pursuing that goal, right? It's not because they just want to run 26 miles. It's because they want to be that person that has self-discipline. They want to be that person that has mental toughness. They want to overcome the self-doubt that they have in their own abilities. And what I want you to see is that without the quote-unquote problems, without the obstacles, you don't get any of that side effect.
If I just gave you the ability to run 26 miles tomorrow with zero obstacles, you don't change as a person, right? If it's not hard for you to run three hours, then you didn't cultivate any resilience or any strength. It's just something that naturally comes to you. That only comes from the obstacles. If you don't have the urge to sit on the couch and you have to fight that urge in order to put on your shoes and go out running, then you don't develop self-discipline right. If you don't have the urge to sit, then there's nothing to be disciplined about. It doesn't take discipline. If your brain always wants to just go on a run that just is giving in to your urges, right? So while we're busy, wishing away the problems like wishing away the obstacles, hoping it would just be easier thinking that something has gone wrong, because I think, Hey, I just want to sit on the couch.
Netflix looks really good right now. I'm such a lazy person. Like we think something has gone wrong, but that is the entire point of picking that goal. And if things were just easy, you would miss out on all of the growth. I constantly talk to people who want to start a new business or a new career because they think it'll just magically be better over there than it is here when they have that new thing, they'll just be happy all the time. Right. And I know that I said that in episode one 15, I talked a lot about how it's both good and bad over there. And that's true. It is, but it's not the whole truth because the good and the bad are different over there, right? The good that you want by starting that business. By changing that career, you can only cultivate through the difficult process of getting there.
So for instance, like if you want to start a business because you imagine that you'll have more freedom and you get to make your own decisions and you get to build something that you're proud of. Well, that takes you learning how to make a decision, right? So many of us are stuck in indecision and worried about risk and have so much doubt. Part of building that business teaches you how to push through that doubt and make the decision anyway and take the risk, right? It requires you to move past self-doubt and take massive action. That only comes from doing the hard work. When you have a doubt, right? It comes from taking action when you're terrified and proving to yourself that you can do that over and over again. If you already knew how to take massive action and push through doubt, then you'd likely already have a business or your Lee's not, you know, wouldn't be in a career that you hated because you could push past those things.
I talked to so many people that are stuck and they think the problem is the job, right? And you've heard me say this on the podcast. That if you think it's just changing the job, you're going to jump from job to job and nothing is going to change. You're still going to end up being miserable because you'll have the same brain. You're trying to change some outside circumstance. And oftentimes we're looking for the lowest hanging fruit. We're thinking like, okay, I can move from this role to a role that's very similar. And hopefully, I'll just be happy because I changed, you know, the decorations on the wall. I changed something outside of me and maybe that'll magically make me happy. And I can't tell you how many times I've talked to people who have done that. And then they find themselves unhappy again, right? Because the problem isn't the job.
The problem is that you're a people pleaser and you don't know how to put up any boundaries or you don't know how to make decisions, or you don't know how to listen to your own inner voice. And until you work through that problem, you'll never get to the quote-unquote there that you want to get to. So I've had a lot of clients who come to me and they want to quit their career and they want to like start a business or they want to try something else. And they're so worried about what other people think. And so they come and they have devised these plans of, you know, starting a blog under a pseudonym or like going anonymous. And I have to explain to them that the problem is that they are paralyzed by other people's opinions of them and hiding the fact of who they are, is not going to solve that problem.
It's sitting with that discomfort, learning how to be uncomfortable and still do it anyway, learning how to feel judgment and be okay with it, learning how to not be ashamed of taking a chance and starting out small. When you finally make your jump, it's not to have another career it's to work on, not allowing other people's opinions to dictate your life, right? That's the side effect. And that's what will liberate you. So I want to tell you a little bit about the side effects of own jump on the outside. I have this podcast and I have a growing business that I love. I get to work on things that I am excited about and that I find fascinating. I get to work with people that I love working with. I get to set my own schedule and all of that really is a dream. And I love it.
But none of that is why I'm so proud of myself for going on this journey and for why I consider it such a success for me, what I consider a success is that I have massively overcome my need to be liked by everyone. I'm not saying that it's completely gone. It isn't, but I've stopped caring so much about what other people think of me. Would you use to cripple me with anxiety? I've learned how to make decisions, which I was notoriously terrible at. I literally couldn't decide where I wanted to eat because I was so used to deferring to other people that the idea of making a decision for myself or voicing my own opinion felt so terrifying. I've learned not to be afraid of uncertainty, but actually to really love it. If you've listened to the podcast for a while, then, you know, I've mentioned a couple of times that I have no idea what I'll be doing in five years.
And that's the most liberating feeling for me because maybe I'll be doing the podcast. Maybe I'll discover something else I love. And I'm allowing myself to kind of be this full human that changes and evolves and goes after what I love and has a full rich life. And that's been incredible. But before that would paralyze me to the type a risk averse, you know, lawyer that I was, if you told me I didn't have a five and then a 10, and then maybe even a 20 year plan, I would think that you were crazy because that's the way that my brain had been functioning for so long.
I've now learned to put my needs first and stop people pleasing so much. I've learned to allow other people to have their own negative emotions and be okay with that. I've learned to stop feeling guilty. My God, I'm going to do an entire podcast episode about this because guilt ran my entire life. I used to have a coworker when I was a federal public defender, who would introduce me to people and say like, this is goalie. She only does things because she feels guilty all the time. I literally would hang out with people because I felt guilty. I would do what my family wanted because I felt guilty. I would do what my clients needed because I felt guilty. And I can't tell you the joy. I feel in not taking on other people's responsibilities, their emotions, their needs. And I'll say one of the biggest things that has come out of this is that I have my own back.
I know that regardless of what happens, I will love myself. I won't beat myself up under any condition. I will allow myself to be a full human. I started questioning like, why am I taught to hate myself so much? Why do I only focus on the weakness? Why don't I ever look at all of the strengths and all of the things that I bring to the table now, I only have all of those things because there were so many problems that stood in my way to get to where I am right now. Right. If I never cared about what other people thought about me, then it wouldn't be, feel like a success that I've built an audience on Instagram, or take talk or wherever, or my podcast. Right? You don't need courage if you don't have fear. Like if it's just like, Oh, whatever. Yeah.
I love putting things out on the internet. Then I probably would have done this a long time ago and the problems or whatever led me to actually be able to help other people. It is the basis of my entire business. If I just decided I wanted to quit law and I didn't feel any fear or doubt or think it was a risk. If I didn't care what anybody else thought. If I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and if I did it, and then all of a sudden I became a success like that next day, how would I ever help anybody? If somebody came to me and said like, I don't know what I want to do. I would literally be like, Oh, that's so weird. I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. And I knew all the steps.
Strange. I'm really sorry. I got nothing for you. Right? The only reason I can relate to every single person that comes to me is because I felt that same feeling is because I know what self-doubt feels like. And I know how risky it seems to quit that job that you've been in for 10, 15, 20 years. I know what it feels like when your whole family thinks you're crazy and you have to like face them. I know how cringey it feels to put out a picture on Instagram and talk about a business that you're starting. That's the only reason I know how to help anybody else. And what's interesting is now having this view of these side effects. That's how I view my journey as I go forward. It's it's really helped me liberate the way I see problems, right? So when things aren't going as fast as I want, like this is a common theme that happens is like we compare ourselves and let's say often I find people who seemingly are much further along than I am.
And sometimes those people started after me and I'll think like, why isn't it? Why is it taking so long for me? Why can't I build this business faster? Why isn't it growing the way that I want? And when I start thinking like that, I take a step back. And I think like, maybe my journey is not to show people how to become an overnight success, right? Maybe my journey is to show people that it might take two or three or five years, and it's still worth it. Maybe when I'm overwhelmed. The lesson in that is for me to show people, how do you overcome this overwhelm and keep pushing forward when I'm feeling imposter syndrome or cringe worthy of posting again on social media, which let me assure you. I still feel all the time. I know like maybe me showing up is a way to show other people that it's okay to be seen and to take up space and to have your voice heard.
But I can't get there if I don't have these problems. And so I want you to start thinking about your situation in this context, right? If you are stuck and let's say, you don't know what the next thing is, or let's say you do, and you don't know how to get there. I want you to stop wishing away the problems. I want you to stop thinking something has gone wrong. I just want you to look at it like this is your journey. What are you going to learn through that journey and be excited for that. And what I want you to realize is that that very thing that you are scared of, or that makes you feel like you're not able to kind of move forward. That's exactly why you should move forward. Right? So if you are scared that you can't build a business because you're too terrified of what other people think.
When you put yourself out there, that's exactly why you should build a business. Not because you're going to have the freedom or you're going to have like, make all this money, but because you're going to work on this fear of what other people think, there's no way around it. But through it, if you think that you can't go after some dream of like, I don't know, being a TV writer or becoming a journalist or whatever the dream is because you have never done anything else before in your life, or you're too scared of failing, then you should go after it. For that reason, you should go so that you can fail and see you're okay. And figure out a way and prove yourself that you can do it and prove to yourself that you'll have your back. Even if you fail there, is that saying, you know, what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
But I don't think that that's the right thing. What would you do if you knew you would fail and you could still have your back and you could still try again. Oftentimes the things that we're afraid of most is what we need the most. And if you want these side effects, if you want that growth, you should go through the gauntlet. You should stop avoiding it for so many of you guys that are stuck in, let's say people pleasing or doing what everybody else thinks you should be doing. The reason you should go after a new career and quit is not because that career is going to give you everything that you desire. But it's going to give you a way of looking at your life differently. It's going to show you that you are strong enough and more capable enough than you imagine. You're more resourceful enough.
You are able to rely on yourself. You are able to figure things out and you're willing to let yourself live a full life. You're willing to let yourself try things and be bad at things you're willing to get over your weaknesses and build them into strengths. That's the reason to go after your goal when you're scared of something, when you want to try whatever the path is that you want to try and you feel afraid of the obstacle that you're going to face. I want you to know that the obstacle is the way it is the way to that dream that you want to have. It is the way for you to stop letting other people dictate your life or feeling guilty for everything you do, or hating yourself and wanting to make yourself so small that you're not seen or not heard or not noticed railing against.
That is the only way out of it. And yes, it's hard and it's going to make you feel uncomfortable. And it's going to bring up a lot of emotions. That's the only reason y'all are going to have growth is because you're going to go through that. And I really hope if you have the opportunity that you choose that path, that you stop wishing away the problems and you find a way to learn from them. I hope you liked this episode. If you did, let me know I'm here for you. I do the free monthly coaching calls that you can get on at quitter If you want to ask some questions and I will be back next week, another episode, thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at Twitter podcast, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.