All It Takes Is a Moment of Fearlessness
Never let your mind underestimate just how far your feet are willing to take you. This article about goals was inspired by a memorable client named Andra. She hired me as her coach to help her mentally prepare for a two-day, 39-mile walk event to end breast cancer.
There were other criteria we were coaching to as well but this was one of those big, audacious goals where she was starting off with a flutter of possibility in her heart and a big gulp in her throat.
Here’s What You Need to Know
When you set your sights on a big, audacious goal, you invoke that part of yourself that knows no limits. A moment of fearlessness is all it takes to put yourself on this trajectory, but there may be countless moments of doubt and worry as you begin to absorb the full extent of your undertaking.
Andra understood that nothing big gets accomplished in isolation. It looked like I was going to be Team Andra. And I had never done such a challenging walk myself. Gulp.
- The goal is the easy part – getting out of your own way is the hard part:
We set about breaking her goal down into manageable chunks. All goals look great at this stage…on paper. It’s when you attempt to take them off the page and into your life that you run headlong into your limiting beliefs. It was then that I realized the most valuable thing I had to offer Andra was not some firsthand blister from a long walk of my own but rather, my relevant wisdom in navigating doubt and worry.
- Two steps forward, one step back and a gift of learning: This is the rhythm of growth, or what I affectionately call ‘constructive self-sabotage’. It’s not a matter of if a setback will happen but when. Your willingness to mine your setbacks for the gift of learning they bring equates to your rate of progress. Andra soon discovered this would not be a straight-line process. There were high and lows, ebbs and flows, but she was determined to learn from her efforts. She made small, purposeful course-corrections while amassing many increments of progress.
By the time the walk event day had arrived, Andra’s efforts had transformed her on so many levels: self-esteem, health, work and more. And while there was no guarantee she would complete the 39-mile trek, she was now confident and up for the challenge. She left me an excited voicemail at the end of Day 1 of the walk, having completed more than half the distance already. It was thrilling to witness and share in her accomplishment. What follows is my response to her.
“Remember this: once your feet have crossed the starting line, you have already won. Regardless how things unfold or how far you go, you are living, breathing, and experiencing one of your dreams. This aliveness is really what the goal is all about – the outcome is secondary. But once you get a taste of this aliveness, you will be amazed at the reserves of energy within you, to take another step, and another, and yet another.
Soon enough, you will find yourself in uncharted and transcendent territory, where your imagination is unleashed into every other area of your life, and all things become possible. What was once inconceivable and out of reach, is now within your grasp and within your capacity. The feet have proven to the mind…there are no limits.”
Here’s What You Can Practice
A goal of tidying up some longstanding clutter on your desk or in the garage, while helpful, is really just honouring a hodgepodge of past intentions. A big, audacious goal is about what you want to manifest going forward. It’s about what you need to learn and who you need to become to bring that outcome closer and closer to you, through progressive steps you honour daily.
The size of your goal is equivalent to the amount of help you’ll need to achieve it. If you can see an obvious path and achieve the goal yourself, even though it may seem big to you, you’re really just playing it safe. Your big audacious goal is more like “I have no clue right now how this is actually going to happen”. Now you’re open to the positive influence and support of others.
Here’s What You Can Expect
The process of preparing yourself for a meaningful goal, staying unattached to how it unfolds and reaching out to others will end up being just as fulfilling, if not more so, than the goal itself. By the way, Andra successfully completed that walk event on Day 2 and last I heard she was going to do another 39-mile walk event with friends!
Kathrine Brown is an expert on binge eating, food addiction, body image and self-sabotage. Through her leading-edge Conscious Weight Loss® coaching process and podcast, she has helped thousands around the world live bigger lives in smaller bodies. Enjoy more wisdom and wit from her Wisdom Bites™ blog and The Three and a Half BIG Questions You Gotta Ask Yourself to Lose Weight free eguide.