Replay: Side Effects of Going After Your Goal
Ep. 276
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Side Effects of your Goals

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In this episode, we explore the transformative side effects of chasing your dreams. We often expect achieving goals to guarantee happiness, but it’s not that simple. Life is a mix of good and bad, no matter where we are. The real value lies in who we become during the process. When we stop avoiding obstacles and setbacks, we can practice self-discipline, courage, and personal growth. The journey itself shapes us more than the destination. Listen to learn how to embrace the challenges, as they’re your path to self-discovery.

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter, where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.
Hello my friends, and welcome back to another episode. I'm so excited you are here. I'm gonna do something a little bit different. We're now at episode 276 and I know that a lot of you have not been here the whole time, which is totally fine, and you have not gone back and listened to all of them. And there was a lot of episodes where we talked about really important topics, you know, 2, 3, 4 years ago. And I think when you get into this type of a business, you sort of become comfortable with constantly churning out content. But I think oftentimes that comes at the expense of like really honing in on certain topics or making sure that people understand certain topics. So over the next couple of months, throughout the end of 2023, I wanna revisit some of the topics that I think are really important and that I think bear either repeating or listening to for the first time.
Like if you haven't had a chance, I've gone back and picked a couple that I think are really important for us to understand as we go into the new year. I know there's still time, obviously for the new year, we still have a couple months, but just really thinking about how we wanna build on next year. And so I'm gonna play a couple episodes that I think are important. And even if you've listened to them, you likely haven't listened to them in years and you'll get something from them. But I think especially if you haven't listened to them, they're topics that can be really important for your journey. And so that's what we're gonna do today. And then over the next couple of months, every couple of weeks, I will sprinkle one of these in so that we can revisit something that we've maybe already talked about, maybe you've already listened to, but you can listen to with a fresh ear and a different place in your life.
So today's episode we're gonna talk about the side effects of going after your goals. And really in this episode, the reason I think this episode is so important, and you'll hear and we'll talk about why you should be picking goals and how you should be picking goals and what the real reason of going after those goals is. And it's not to reach the goal, but one of the other things I want you to think about as you listen to it that I didn't really talk about that much in this episode, is this idea that a lot of times we think that something has gone wrong when we're going after a goal and we reach some hardship obstacles, it doesn't go the way we want, we fail. We have to learn and we think that there's something wrong, right? It shouldn't have happened. Like, you know, we don't voice this concern, but I think oftentimes we think I'm gonna do something and I should never fail at it. I should know exactly how to do it. I should get there without any trouble. And that's just not the way it works. But what I want you to really think about is all of the things that, things that you're gonna gain come on the back of those problems, quote unquote, of those obstacles.
And so maybe when you're going through your journey and you're thinking about this and you're thinking about the goals, how can you reframe or think differently about those obstacles when you are going through them instead of thinking like, this isn't fair. This shouldn't be happening. I don't know what I'm doing. This is terrible. What if we think about like, this is what I signed up for,
It's getting over this that will teach me the lesson. I need to learn how to run this business, right? It is getting over this that will teach me the discipline that I need to run this marathon or whatever the goal ends up being. And so I think when I stopped looking at problems in my journey, in my goals as problems, when I started realizing like, yeah, this is what I signed up for,
This is where the learning happens, right? This is where the change happens. This is where I get the side effects of going after this goal. This is supposed to be here. There was so much less resistance to the actual problem. I didn't make a story of it. I didn't make it mean that I don't know what I'm doing. I started understanding like this was meant to be on this journey and that's helped me immensely.
And so I hope it helps you. And so without further ado, we're gonna jump back in and listen to this episode that we did. I think this was episode 119. So this was sometime around 2020 called The Side Effects of Going After Your Dreams.
Okay? So let me tell you what I mean by that. There's a wonderful saying or quote from Henry David Thoreau that 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 gonna talk about. We're all in a 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 115. 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 days and you'll 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 gonna be 50-50 over there, why not just stay here? And that's a great question. My answer to you is 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 have 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 wanna 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 gonna 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 wanna prove to themselves that they can do this physical activity. And sometimes people just get to their witts end 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 gonna 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 hard work ethic. It's to see what they're made of. 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. 'cause if I told you I could just, you know, 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 check mark next to marathon on your to-do list. Like that's just something I gotta 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 win any money. It doesn't like change your status in any way. I mean maybe obviously you get in shape and it might change your fitness long term, 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 gonna 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 wanna run 26 miles, it's because they wanna be that person that has self-discipline. They wanna be that person that has mental toughness, they wanna 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's 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 into 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 wanna 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 115. 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 wanna 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 doubt, right? It comes from taking action when you are 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 you'd at least not would 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 gonna jump from job to job and nothing is gonna change. You're still gonna 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 wanna get to. So I've had a lot of clients who come to me and they wanna quit their career and they wanna like start a business or they wanna try something else and they're so worried about what other people think. And so they come and they like 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're paralyzed by other people's opinion of them. And hiding the fact of who they are is not gonna 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 wanna tell you a little bit about the side effects of my 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'm 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, which used 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 'cause 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 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. 'cause 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 gonna 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 Goli. 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 TikTok or wherever or my podcast, or 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've done this a long time ago.
And the problems are what have 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 wanna do, I, 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 started 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 am 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 gonna 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 gonna have the freedom or you're gonna have like make all this money, but because you're gonna 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 saying. 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 are 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 gonna give you everything that you desire, but it's gonna give you a way of looking at your life differently. It's gonna 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 are willing to let yourself live a full life. You're willing to let yourself try things and be bad at things. You are 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 wanna try, whatever the path is that you wanna try and you feel afraid of the obstacle that you're gonna face, I want you to know that the obstacle is the way. It is the way to that dream that you wanna 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 gonna make you feel uncomfortable, and it's gonna bring up a lot of emotions. That's the only reason y'all gonna have growth is because you're gonna 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 like this episode. If you did, let me know. I'm here for you and I will be back next week with another episode.
Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing, imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does, and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life, and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to and get on the waitlist.
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