Deciding its worth it, beforehand
Ep. 270
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In this episode, I dive deep into the powerful concept of deciding why something is worth it before you even know the outcome. It’s not about just knowing your why; it’s about embracing the journey and the growth it offers, regardless of the result. I share examples that resonate with busy professionals seeking change, whether it’s venturing into entrepreneurship, running a marathon, or contemplating a new job. By uncovering the intrinsic value of your choices and understanding the lessons they bring, you can make decisions with confidence, build self-trust, and transform your approach to life’s challenges. It’s time to stop fixating on outcomes and start savoring the wisdom gained from every step of your journey. Tune in for a new perspective on decision-making and personal growth.

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 to another episode. I am so excited that you are here. Before we jump in, I wanted to let you know that I am doing a new masterclass, a free one at that, on September 19th, and it's called The Secret to Building a Career You Love, especially if you like today's episode, last week's episode. If you're starting to reframe how you think about pursuing your goals or pursuing the life that you want or the career you want, then this class is for you.
It will not only teach you the secret behind building that career that you want, but really the four areas that you need to focus on, the four areas that most people sort of forget and like to jump over, and it'll give you some tactics on how to go about doing that, what you need to focus on next. So if you are ready to start building that career and stop putting it off, I want you to join me on September 19th. You can go to and join me for the class. If you can't come live, I do send out a, a replay, but I would suggest coming live because I will give you a workbook that goes along with all of the exercises and questions that we ask that you can use to kind of go through those four areas and examine them for yourself and start figuring out what you need to start building that career today.
So make sure you sign up. Go to All right, onto today's episode.
I have been teaching this for a long time and I realized that I haven't really talked about it and I, and I, I guess I hadn't even really thought about the importance of this. And so I wanted to do a podcast episode on it and it's really my system, my approach to any decision or goal that I set to anything that I want to pursue. And I realized that a lot of what people are worried about happening, a lot of the regret, a lot of the fear that it's not the right decision comes down to them missing this key. Once you understand this, it becomes a lot easier to make decisions without having to make the right one.
And so I want to talk about how we and why we decide that whatever decision we're going to make, whatever goal we're going to go after is worth it before we even go after it. Okay? So here's the problem.
Typically what we do is that we pick a goal because we think I need to get there in order to feel better, to be a better person, to find happiness, to have less stress, whatever the result is that we think. I've done a number of episodes on this one that was called Destination Addiction, right? It's this addiction to get to this place where somehow I'll be a different person, I'll have a different brain and everything will be rainbows and butterflies. And we don't consciously think this, but we've sort of been conditioned in our society to be that kind of goal oriented thinking that you know, when we check off the boxes, when we get to these destinations, then our life can finally start. Then we can be happy.
And we've all had experiences that show that that's not true. We've all set goals and reached them. If you're a listener to this podcast, you likely are actually a high achiever. You've probably reached a lot of goals, achieved a lot of things, checked off a lot of boxes, and you never got to this euphoric place where all of a sudden life doesn't have stress, right? Life is still 50-50. You still have good and bad, you know, days, good and bad emotions all the time. Nothing has gone wrong because that will be the case no matter what you do.
And so when, in order to get out of this destination addiction in order to get out of this orientation where we're only looking for the result, where we only do things because we think, well, once I have that, then I can be better, then I can be happier. We have to start shifting our focus to why we're picking a goal, okay? And so I've talked about this too, like instead of destination goals where it's like, I want to get there, one way to do this is to look at journey goals. Like what is the journey that gets me to become a different person, to grow, to create new skills, to find something about myself? It's not about whether I get to, you know, point Z, it's not about whether I get there. It's just simply how do I want to grow and evolve over the next year, right? And if I look at that journey, which by the way, like if you're setting destination goals, you can sort of spot 'em very quickly.
If you think that you're going to have to hate the whole process until you get to that destination, you're likely picking the wrong goal, right? If you're going to be miserable, 'cause you have to work out seven days a week, three hours a day in order to get to some destination where you think you can love your body. It's not going to turn out the way you think. I hate to break it to you, but that's just not, and it's a really easy telltale sign that like, if I have to grit and bear it the whole time and I'm miserable the whole time, one, I'm like not going to stick to it. Like motivation will wane. But two, like what is the point of this? What is the point of me hating myself for a year or hating my life for a year or two years or five years in order to get to someplace? What do I think I'm going to get there, right?
And so when you start shifting that focus and you start thinking like, what is the journey? Maybe I want to become a person that takes care of my body. Maybe I want to become a person that loves themselves enough to, you know, move their body or eat healthy. Maybe I become a person that wants to take more risks. Maybe I want to pick a goal because it will stretch me and push me out of my comfort zone when I look at the growth that I'm going to gain. Or when I look at the journey that I want to go on to become this future version of myself, I can pick a much better goal. Okay? And so like that's part of it, right? That's with goal setting. But even with decisions, right? Even when we're making a decision with, let's say I have a job offer, I want to take a new job, right? And a, a recruiter's called me, this job comes up and it's a possibility. And I think that with a lot of us, we get stuck again in this result focused thing of like, well, what if I take this and it's not good? Or what if I take it and it's worse than what I have here?
Or what if I take it and I'm end up regretting leaving?
And we're so worried about regret that so many of us stay stuck forever because how can you know it's going to, how it'll turn out? How could you ever know without taking a risk? You know, taking the jump. Like it requires this ability to be with a little bit of uncertainty with not knowing how it's going to work out with having a little bit of risk, right? And so when we start thinking like, well, you know, I can only do this if the result is going to be good, it's only going to be worth it if the result is what I wanted. If that end goal is what I envisioned it to be, then not only are you less likely to actually do a lot of things that might bring you happiness, that might grow your capacity, that might teach you a lot of things.
But you're always going to be second guessing yourself because how can you know, right? It's always going to be this spinning of like, but what if, what if it doesn't turn out? Well, what if you know, everyone I work with this new place is a jerk. And what if I hate the clients and what if I'm not good at it? And like nobody can answer those questions because how can we know what's going to happen when you go there, right? And so it introduces this unbelievable amount of pressure of like, I have to get it right every time I have to pick, make a decision that will be right, which is impossible. And so we don't make a decision.
And so one of the ways that I want you to think about making a decision or setting a goal is from the standpoint of like, I can only make the decision with the information I have now I can only make it with what I know about myself and about the opportunity and about what I want to do and I cannot know what's going to happen.
So how can I know it's a, the quote unquote right decision, which there is no right decision, but the quote unquote best decision for me right now. And the way you do it is with this, is figuring out why is it worth me doing this even if it doesn't turn out the way I want? Even if it's not the best, most amazing thing that will ever happen in my life, how could it still be worth it? You have to direct your brain there and have your brain come up with those reasons. Don't accept. I don't know. Your brain's going to like, I don't know. It's not going to be worth it because you know we're going to get judged or people are going to say, I told you so, or I'm going to feel really bad about myself.
And this is where you get to really like dig deep and figure out how can I have my own back when I make a decision and what can I learn from this? And I'm going to say before I jump into kind of examples of this is like a lot of people tell you to like, look at your why.
What is your why for picking this goal? What is your why for starting that business? What is your why for going after a career change or a promotion? That is also something I guess worthy of exploring. But what I see is that the problem with picking your why, while it's better than the destination addiction a little bit, it's still result oriented. So what I mean by that is like if I say I want to start a business because I want to have more impact or I want to make more money so that my family is more stable or I want to break some glass ceiling and I want to prove that women can have million dollar businesses or whatever my why is, right? That can motivate you, right? So I'm not saying that you can't know your why, you should know your why, that's great.
But notice the things that I say are dependent on me being successful in that business, right? Like if my why is to have more impact, then I have to have a lot of impact in order for my why to like come to fruition. If my why is to make more money so that my family can be stable, that means I have to have a successful business that makes more than I would make as an employee. And of course that is the goal. Not to say that that is where I want to work towards, but what if I don't get there? What if I start the business and it doesn't work out the way that I thought I was? Or what if the first year I don't make as much as I thought I was going to make or you know, a number of things that can happen, that's when we can start getting really discouraged or you know, worse have a lot of shame and blame because we think like, well I did this in order to have these things, these motivations, these why's and I never got there so I don't know what I'm doing. Or it was a mistake or whatnot, right?
So what I teach, how to decide why it's worth it beforehand is different than knowing your why. Okay? Knowing your why can again be result oriented and we want to get away from that. We want to get away from like we have no idea how this is going to turn out and how could it still be the best thing I can do? How can it still be the best step for me? Okay? And so I'm going to give you some examples When you are doing this, when you're actually approaching your goals and your decisions and you are trying to decide why it's worth it, regardless of what happens, you have to put your brain to work to really dig deep into like what is that journey I'm going to go on, right? So how am I going to grow through this? How am I going to learn about myself? What am I going to learn about myself by doing this right? What skills am I going to learn? What is this failure going to teach me? Like you have to be prepared that you are going to fail along the waist. Maybe it's mini fails, maybe it's big fails, maybe it won't work. Okay, what would that teach me, right? What is that going to open up for me? What is that experience going to be like? Where could that lead me, right?
The more you sort of anticipate that instead of being so afraid of like if I don't get this end result, then it means this was all for nothing. I wasted all of my time, everyone's going to judge me. I should have known better. I'm going to spend the rest of my life beating myself up. Which is such a waste of time. Doesn't help anything. And you lose all the learning that you could have gotten. When we have a little bit of foresight to really think about, okay, I know I will fail at this. I know I won't be consistent, I know I'll, I will mess up. I know there will be problems and how will I learn from that? What will that create for me?
So I'm going to give you some examples 'cause I think it's easier to see this in examples than it is just talking about it kind of theoretically. But let's just say like you want to jump into entrepreneurship. I know for me, when I started my photo booth business, when I had sort of decided to not go back to the law and I was figuring out what I wanted to do and I wanted to start a photo booth business, I did this exercise, I did this where I didn't do it in this form, I didn't realize I was doing it, but I realized I have no idea if this is going to be a success and it more than likely will be a failure because it's my first try at entrepreneurship and I have no idea what I'm doing. And I've never run a business and I have no skills in this arena. So like I very much will likely fail in a lot of ways. And I had picked a business that had a lot of different components that had software, it had hardware, it had event, you know, dealing with customers and events and all of that stuff.
So there was a really steep learning curve. And so chances were that I was going to fail at a lot of it until I kept learning. And so I had to get really grounded in like, okay, even if this fails, why is this worth it for me? Right? Assuming that I might fail, how could it be worth it? And I started really thinking like, well, I was going to maybe pay to go get an MBA, but this is going to be my crash learning and entrepreneurship, right? I'm going to learn a ton of skills around entrepreneurship regardless of what happens with this business. I will learn more about marketing, I will learn more about sales, I will learn about the backend and systems and hardware and software and all these things that I'm forced to learn in order to build this business. Those are all going to be skills I can use in other things if I choose to either go into another business or take those skills and maybe parlay that into a new job. Like I didn't have any other skills other than law. So I was like, well guess we're going to get a lot of skills through this, right? I was realizing like I'm going to have to learn how to self-motivate. Like that can be a really great skill that I don't have because I've always had an employee and I had an employer and I always had deadlines and I never had to be the one that was like, okay, there's no deadlines for any of this. You decide when you're going to do it, when is it going to be done by, right?
I had to learn how to do things even if other people didn't understand. I had to be learn how to be okay with judgment. I had to learn how a lot of other people were going to have a lot of opinions about what I was doing and me forcing myself to do the uncomfortable thing instead of going back and just getting a job so that I didn't have to deal with that judgment was going to be the growth, right? Was going to be like, can I give myself permission when other people don't gimme permission? Can I look at them with a straight face and with pride and not cower when people ask me what I'm doing and tell them that I started a business, right? When that brings up all the imposter syndrome, like that in and of itself would force me to deal with that, would force me to deal with that. People pleasing with the need for other people's validation. It would require me to learn how to self validate, right?
I'd have to learn to put myself out there like I was deathly afraid to be on Instagram and to quote unquote sell things and what people were going to think and was I going to be sleazy and is this weird? I had to do learn to manage my mind around all of that, right? I had to learn to take up space and be okay with saying like, Hey, I'm trying this thing. I realized like it was going to be the first time that I didn't do what I quote unquote should have done. Like what was the right thing? In most people's mind in like the path that you're supposed to take is like get another job.
And all of my life, I had done what I should have done. I went to school, I got the degrees, I went and got the safe job, I checked off the boxes and I, it got me to a place where I was miserable. So I thought maybe this is my time to do something that's like a complete zag from where I was going before. And maybe that in and of itself is the learning, right? Maybe that in and of itself is my growth to show that I can trust myself and I can do these things and I'll still be okay, right? Maybe it would teach me a whole new way of living and thinking and relating to people. Maybe it would allow me to have empathy for a lot of other people who say they can't work for other people and they don't know how to do this. Like there was so much I could learn about myself and about other people by doing this.
And none of that was contingent on the fact that I made X amount of dollars or I, you know, made this business into whatever I thought it needed to be, right? Notice how none of it was like, oh, I'm going to make a lot of money from this, or I'm going to have more flexibility 'cause I work for myself, or I'm going to have a lot of impact. Those are great. It's not to say I didn't have those why's. It's not to say I didn't think of those things, but again, those were more destinations of like, I have to prove something before I have that. I have to have a successful business before I'm really making that money or having that flexibility. And so I had to get really clear on like, why would this be worth it, even if it doesn't work out.
If we think about another example, let's say like you just have a goal to run a marathon, right? And you want to think about like, why do I want this right? Why would I put myself and my body and my mind through this thing that isn't easy and truly is not that enjoyable for the most part, right? A lot of it is just hard work. Why do all these people choose it? Is it just to check off the box? Because I could, you know, run 26.2 miles? Maybe that's part of the why, right? Maybe it's part of it. It's like I'll get in shape. And those are what I think clearly stick out in our minds. Because it's almost like, oh, I can do this bucket list thing, I can prove to myself or whatnot. But when you really dig underneath it, it's like, why are people doing this?
Because you'll learn discipline. You'll learn how to stick to something even when you don't want to, right? You'll learn to get back on the horse when you fall off. Like you have to accept that you're going to be inconsistent. You're not going to stick to the training schedule every day for five months. And what do you do in those times when you don't do it? That's where the learning is, right? That's where the growth happens. Where it's like, I am confronted with this setback. How do I deal with that? I'm going to have to learn what it is to have these negative emotions like frustration and resistance and boredom and physical pain and still push through it and prove to myself and my mind that like I can do whatever I put my mind to, right? I'm going to have to put myself first in front of other people's needs. Maybe I have a family and I have to carve out like, hey, I need to run these times and that's going to be really uncomfortable for me.
And maybe part of the point is doing that so that I can show myself, my kids are okay if I take an hour, two hours for myself and I ask my spouse to help out so that I can do this. Like maybe my learning is in that. Maybe it's that I will finally have time to think on my runs and I'll get some time to clear my head. And that's what I need for my mental health. It doesn't even matter if I never run the marathon. It's that I have started carving out that space and giving myself either the physical activity that I need or just the time and space that I need in order to be able to think and to release some of the stress. It'll force me to deal with my self-doubt and all the judgment I have around myself, all of the voices that are telling me I can't do it right.
As I keep doing this, I can keep showing myself that. Like I don't have to do it perfectly and I can still do something right? I can see how far I can push myself, how strong mentally I can be, even in the face of something I don't want to do. Maybe it'll allow me to be an example to my children about doing something with discipline and doing hard things. Even if you don't think you can, even if you think you're too old, even if other people don't think you can. There's so many reasons to maybe choose this goal that has nothing to do with whether you actually run that marathon on that final day and you cross that finish line or not. And the more you really understand that, the more you realize, like it can be a good decision. Even if I don't get the result I want, it could be the most growth I've ever had. Even if I only ever run 13 miles and I run half of it and I only get through half the training because of the things I'm gaining through it.
But for so many of us, we don't ever slow down to figure out what that is. And so if we don't run like finish that result, we think, well I failed, right? We don't get any of the learning. We don't like sit back and reflect like, what did I gain from this? We simply tell ourselves like, that was clearly a failure. I don't know what I'm doing. Or I knew I wasn't going to do that. I shouldn't set any other goals. When I started realizing like I can decide it's going to be worth it regardless of how it turns out, it changed how I approached every decision in my life.
It made decision making so much easier because I didn't have that fear of regretting things because I knew one of my favorite quotes is like, you either get the results you wanted or the lesson you needed.
And when I started looking at my life like that, like either way, I'm going to get something out of this and it, it's going to be painful. It's not going to be great all the time. Of course I want the results, of course I want the whys, but that's not going to happen. I'm not going to knock it outta the park every time. That's just impossible. So I'm going to take off that standard and I'm going to start figuring out how can I make this decision without knowing how it's going to end? And how can I know it's worth it? I'm going to give you one more example. If you want to, let's say take a new job. 'cause I hear this a lot with people that I coach where they might have an opportunity and it that does require risk. It requires you to leave what you know, what is comfortable. And even if you don't even like it, it's something that you, you know better. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
And so for so many of us, we say stuck because we're so scared of like, well, what if, what if this doesn't work out? What if this isn't good enough? What if it's just as bad? What if it's worse, right? What if like, I'm back to square one and we're so terrified of what we're going to make that mean about ourselves like we think we should have known. But again, how could you have known ever? So you can start thinking about like, let's say I have this example of like, I want to start a new job. You can start looking at like, how could it be worth it? Well, you know, I'll learn how to start over in a new place and I'll learn how to trust myself more and I'll learn how to do something scary and know that I can be okay and I can figure it out and I'll learn that I can change my mind even if I go to this new place.
I can do the scary thing of also saying I don't want this and I'll have to confront all of the insecurity that that brings up. That it means like, I don't know what I'm doing or I'm a flake or I'm not good at this or whatnot. And I can learn to silence those voices. I can confront that. I'm like, no, I do know. I've just, I'm allowed to change my mind as many times as I want and I'll know that I'll figure it out no matter what. Even if I hit another speed bump, right? And each jump will get easier and I'll know how to stop making it mean anything about me and how to stop attaching a meaning. And I'll figure out if maybe it is better. Maybe it'll, I'll learn that this is the best decision I could have made and I'll learn more about myself.
Like what do I actually like and what do I not like? Maybe I'll go there and realize I hate it and I'll get more data about why do I hate it? What are the jobs I want? Maybe this is the only way for me to learn.
When you start looking at all of those reasons why it could be worth it to go, it makes it so much easier to know like, even if this doesn't work, it was worth me doing. And that in and of itself can make the decision so much easier and it can allow you to start building that self-trust in yourself to make these decisions, to learn the lessons, to enjoy that journey, and then make another decision and another one after that and pivot from there. 'cause that's all we're all doing. None of us know what the future holds for us.
None of us know how any of this is going to turn out and we can try to play it quote unquote safe thinking that like, if I don't change anything, then I won't regret it. But we know that's not true because so many of us regret that we stayed in the same place for five years, 10 years, 15 years. There's a cost to inaction, there's a cost to not making the decision. And you have to think about what is it going to cost me to stay here? So when I can get really clear on like why is it worth it to leave?
And I will say this, when you do these exercises, oftentimes it will help you understand which decision is better, right? Because you could do this exercise either way. You could decide why is it worth it for me to take this new job? Why is it worth it for me to stay? Maybe those reasons are like, well, I'll learn how to manage my mind where I'm at and I'll learn how to, you know, not need everyone to be exactly the way I want in order to like being at work. And maybe I'll be able to save money and I'll be able to do things outside of work because I'm already settled in here. You know, whatever.
You can come up with a list on your own. But when you take your brain there and you have your brain really look at like, how could this be the best thing for me? You can start really like feeling more confident in the decision that you're making regardless of what the result is. And then you can change your mind and you can make another decision from there. But I'm telling you, this changes how you approach your decisions and how you approach your goals.
It stops putting the onus, unlike you needing to create some result in order to be proud of yourself, in order to be happy with the decision, in order to think that something good came out of it. And the more you can do that, the more you can make decisions faster and faster and faster and learn more and learn more about yourself and pivot and get closer to towards that north star that you want to be on. There's no other way. There's no other way to think yourself. Think you're way to this. And I think if we all slowed down enough to see what we're gaining, instead of constantly think seeing like, well I didn't run that marathon. I didn't cross that finish line, so it means it was all a waste. Instead of like, no, what did I gain from this whole thing? How could that be worth it? Regardless of what the result happens?
The more you start finding the lessons, the more you start garnering the wisdom that is coming from your life experiences, right? So I want you to try this. If you're sitting on a, like a decision that you have to make if you're sitting on a question or if you just want to set a goal for the next year, think about what's that journey that you want. What is the growth that you want? What would take you there? Sometimes it's the scary thing, usually it's what's going to push you out of that comfort zone in order to give you the life that you want. And what is going to make it worth it regardless of what happens. This will change the way you make decisions, I promise.
And if you want help doing this stuff, this is what we work on in the Quitter Club.
We're actually going to open doors next week, so be on the lookout for that because there's going to be something really special coming out. And doors will only be open for that week. So if you want to start reframing how you're thinking about things, and you want to stop putting all of the pressure on whether you hit one silly destination and you want to find really the value in taking these actions and becoming that person and taking the risks and going after the things you want, then join me in the Quitter Club and let's build those dreams year after year together. You can get on the waitlist if you're listening to this before the door is open so that you can be notified, but you can go to club. All right, my friends, I hope this was helpful and I will see you next week.
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. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.