If you’re anything like me, then I’m willing to bet you have a head full of dreams, a heart full of ambition, and a journal full of goals.
And if you’re anything like me, I’m also willing to bet you have a goal or two on that list that is SO big that it actually scares you.
Why is it that our biggest goals are the ones that scare us the most? And more importantly, how can we overcome this fear?
Do you remember when you were a child and people used to ask you, “what do you want to be when you grow up”? And do you remember always telling them with confidence EXACTLY what you wanted to be – no matter how big and ambitious that “something” may have been?
The beautiful thing about being a child is that the world was a blank canvas through our eyes – ready for us to finger-paint anything and everything our imaginations could dream up. We never for a second doubted that we could accomplish what we wanted.
As we get older, however, this childlike optimism slowly begins fading away. Instead of looking upon our dreams with confidence, we begin looking at them with hesitation, apprehension, and fear.
This is because as we get older, we start focusing our attention on all the things we have to do to actually reach our dreams.
This, of course, does nothing but overwhelm us.
So instead of going after our biggest dreams and grandest goals, we put them off. We make excuses. We never actually act upon them.
If this sounds familiar to you, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many of us struggle to go after our biggest, scariest goals in life.
However, there is a way to get past this fear, and there is a way to start going after your big, scary goals NOW (in a way that would make your childhood self proud!).
And in this blog post, I’m going to show you exactly how.
First, let’s look at where we tend to go wrong:
Overthinking and under-doing
The more you think about what you need to do to reach your goal, the more complicated it seems to get.
This is because overthinking leads to a vicious cycle of doubt, fear, and uncertainty. We stand at the cliff’s edge looking out into a big, wide ocean and we think, “how on earth am I going to swim that whole thing? Where do I even begin?!”
We then start creating problems in our head that we haven’t even experienced yet, or that may not even be there.
Before I began going after my dream of starting my own business, I was getting caught up in this very cycle. I couldn’t stop stressing about all the ‘obstacles’ that were in front of me (that is, the obstacles I thought were in front of me).
The more I thought, the scarier it seemed.
My adult brain kept sounding the alarm bells – trying to convince me that it’s all too much, it’s all too difficult. Trying to convince me that I just can’t do it.
The thing is, all the problems I was thinking about were just in my head. I hadn’t even expereinced any of them yet!
Because of my fear, there were many times when I was ready to give up before even trying. I would have given up, too, if it wasn’t for discovering this one secret that was about to change my life.
The secret to achieving your biggest goals in life:
Less goals, more habits
If you want to get serious about your biggest goals in life, then you need to stop thinking about them as goals.
What do I mean by this? Well, when we think about ‘goals’, we tend to think of them as final destinations – the end result of something. While this can definitely be useful in some contexts, when it comes to our BIGGEST goals in life, it’s not so helpful.
This is because for our biggest goals, the final destination is something SO big and SO far away, it seems nearly impossible to get to from where we’re standing.
And THIS is what scares us. THIS is what leads to all the overthinking.
So instead of thinking about your biggest ‘goals’ in terms of an end result, you need to think about them as the gradual accumulation of good habits over time. This changes the focus from something elusive and out of reach to something that is completely accessible – right now.
Goals lie in the future, habits are in the NOW
The great thing about habits is that they encourage doing rather than just thinking. They’re about action and effort instead of planning action and effort.
When we start working on incorporating daily habits into our life, we suddenly don’t have time to worry about how to get to the end result…
We’re too busy just getting there!
The more time we spend practicing these habits, the more they become incorporated into our daily routine. And it’s this steady, every-growing accumulation of good habits that’s what’s going to lead us to accomplishing our grandest goals in life.
Keep in mind that it certainly won’t happen overnight, and it may not even be super obvious when we ‘finally get there’. You’re not going to look at your calendar and say, “Ah! Tomorrow is the day that I finally achieve my biggest goal in life!”.
Instead, it will slowly and quietly unfold behind the scenes. It will blossom and bloom on the sidelines. It won’t make a loud noise, and it won’t cause a commotion. We may not even fully notice it until we really take a minute to stop and think.
Only then will we realize just how far our habits have carried us.
Only then will we realize that we’ve truly achieved our biggest goal in life.
So to anyone who’s standing at cliff’s edge wondering how to make that first jump and how to get to the finish point, it’s time to stop wondering, and it’s time to start doing.