In order to get a new result, you have to start thinking, feeling, and making decisions from the place where you already have the new result.
Why? Because your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings create your actions, and your actions create your results. If you're thinking the same thoughts you've always been thinking you're never going to get a different result. If you keep thinking investing in myself is not worth the money, you'll never take the training that helps you change your career. If you keep thinking it's impossible for you to lose weight, you won't start again and try a new approach. If you keep thinking there's just never enough money at the end of each month, you'll keep proving yourself right.
What you keep believing is what you keep creating. Period.
We talked about how important feelings are in the last post. Most people think feelings (emotions) are light, fluffy, pointless things. They want to skip over the feelings and get to the tactics and tips. Into the action, into the doing to make a change. Jumping into action without addressing the thoughts and feelings driving the action is not sustainable long-term. Think: New Years Eve resolutions, any new diet, and most new workout plans.
In the beginning of any project or new goal, your main emotions will probably be excitement and motivation. Why? You're actively thinking about the end result and how great you're going to feel in the having of your goal. You're having all of these positive, best-case-scenario thoughts and envisioning your future - how rich you'll be, how successful your business will be, how much weight you'll lose, how great you'll look. Whatever it is. You're just focused on that end result.
What comes next? You start putting in the work and you're a few weeks in and you're not seeing results. Your motivation is running low. Really low. The excitement has been gone for many days. It seems completely impossible now and the future vision you have for yourself is long gone. All you can see is the hard work and none of the results. Without the evidence that it's working, you stop. Without knowing how to generate the emotions that will continue to fuel these actions, your unconscious brain takes over and guides you back to your old thinking, your old habits. They're comfortable and familiar.
What happened? Without actively monitoring and working on your thoughts, you're going to crash and burn. Every single time. It's like trying to take a cross country trip on a single tank of gas. It's impossible. Yes, you could get out of the car and walk the rest of the way, but really, how likely is that? And even if you do, how hard are you going to have to work to merely arrive at your goal destination? And how are you going to feel once you arrive? Relieved for a second and then probably pretty terrible.
This is why doing the thought work when going after a new goal is crucial. First and foremost, so you have the fuel to sustain you on your trip to your new goal. Unless you're purposely thinking and feeling from that future you that already has the goal, you're always going to make decisions that keep you right where you are. You'll be scared of investing in yourself because what if you fail, look at all the times you've tried and failed in the past. You'll avoid that public speaking opportunity because it's terrifying and what if you freeze? Instead, what if you make decisions as if your end result is already done, what do you do? What would you try that's different from anything you've tried before? What emotions would you be willing to feel if it meant you could achieve your goal? In order to keep going, it's so important to think and feel and make decisions from that place where it's as good as done.
Secondly, thought work is crucial to avoid burn out. You can absolutely muscle and hate yourself into reaching a goal. I've done it. The thoughts driving it don't lead to a positive result, even if you attain the goal. Negative thoughts create negative emotions, and negative emotions create negative actions. On paper it might look good, but once you achieve that goal, there's a giant let down on the back end. You haven't grown through the process. The gold that you thought was waiting for you at the end of the rainbow was just an empty bucket. You can end up feeling even worse than you did when you first started because you thought for sure once you achieved your goal you'd feel better. So you hung in there and took all of the things for the hope that by achieving your result, you'd feel worthy. Happy. Content. Fulfilled. And you did for about 10 minutes after you achieved the goal. But now that's gone and you feel awful. So you ask yourself, now what? It can be really disorienting and depressing. Especially if it was a goal you'd been wanting to achieve and working towards for a while.
The third reason to focus on thought work and feeling on purpose when working on your goal, is so you can uncover the invisible barriers to why you haven't achieved your big goal yet. Our unconscious underlying beliefs act as binoculars with teeny, tiny holes to look out of that affect how we see the world and what we think is possible for us. This is where coaching really helps. These beliefs can be challenging to uncover on our own. You've been looking out of the same pair of binoculars for your entire life. You don't know what you don't know. You haven't tried on other binoculars to compare what you're seeing and what you're missing. We often need someone else to point out our underlying beliefs (limiting thoughts) and work with us to dig deeper to discover where they're coming from and why we have them in the first place.
Discovering, observing, and re-evaluating some of my deeply held, unconscious beliefs with my coach has been the most challenging work I've ever done. But once you uncover the beliefs and look at them non-judgmentally with your adult brain, they vanish. It's like the view out of your binoculars widens with each belief you uncover and dissolve.
Any goal that is worth going after is going to stretch you. If it's really big, in the attaining of it, you're going to have to change entirely. I speak from experience when I say that this process is painful and uncomfortable. When your goal is really big, you're going to have to give up everything that got you to your current result, even if it's seemingly "working," to get to your desired new result. That shit hurts. There's no way around it. There's no avoiding it. But it's entirely worth it.
If you're ready to start thinking, feeling and making decisions from your future self and remove your invisible roadblocks, schedule a consultation with me. I can't wait to hear about all of your goals and dreams - especially if they seem impossible. Coaches love impossible dreams.