Article by Jordan D’Urbano
Throughout my business ventures and investments I’ve sometimes set goals that stressed me out more than inspired me to take action. I started sharing this with other entrepreneur friends and discovered they were experiencing the same thing. About three years ago I made it my mission as a human behavioural expert to discover why this was happening.
If you currently have a grand vision or highly ambitious goal that is stressing you out, read on. The five steps below may help you realign or reinstate your goals.
1. Start with your values
Studies have shown that human behaviour is dictated by our own unique values. Our values are different to rules. Values are born when people go through a degree of perceived challenge or loss in life, which opens the void of wanting to fulfil whatever is missing. For example, someone who grew up in a low socio-economic environment will often place value on attaining money in a different way than someone who grew up with an abundance of money and material items.
When you can pinpoint your hierarchy of values from highest to lowest you can start setting goals that are meaningful to you. Most people stress over their goals because they’re setting benchmarks that look ‘incredible’ once achieved. When setting goals, I personally faced two challenges that showed I wasn’t aligned with my values. Firstly, I was incredibly impatient and frustrated. Secondly, once I achieved the goal I became depressed; my expectations of how it would feel when achieved were out of line with reality.
If you set goals that align with your values, then impatience, frustration and depression aren’t present.
2. Dissolve hindering beliefs
It’s not surprising that once I saw my ambitious goals on paper, negative self-criticising thoughts started to chip away at my desire to take action.
These thoughts will always appear when we feel stretched outside our comfort zone and the only way to work past them is to dismantle our hindering beliefs. Think deeply about the things holding you back. Do you feel like you’ve started something and failed? Perhaps more than once? There’s no need to think of yourself as a failure. Life is not a straight line, and setbacks are completely normal. The key is to keep moving in the direction of your goal, and to not give up, irrespective of how bumpy the journey may get.
A limiting belief is an emotional charge from the past, something you developed based on an important experience (often negative, but not always). Dismantle and dissolve it by identifying it and creating a new pattern of thought around the issue, otherwise limiting beliefs will keep you from fulfilling your potential.
3. Take people off pedestals
When my first business took off, I remember setting goals that were incredibly similar to those of my mentor: make x amount of sales, put down deposit for investment property, etc. I remember reaching my sales goal and then stressing out about researching and planning for that investment property. I’m not saying investing in property is a bad thing, it simply wasn’t aligned with my values at that time. On the other hand, the thought of not investing in property was scary, it felt as though I was ‘failing’ at my initial goal. The truth is I had placed my mentor on a pedestal and believed his path to prosperity was superior to my own. Too bad I didn’t have a clear understanding of this back then.
If you’re feeling this way, then know that what you’re experiencing is a symptom of intimidation. It’s a common occurrence when you perceive someone to be superior, and will often result in you setting goals that aren’t truly yours.
In order to break down this perception, write down what you perceive this person has that you don’t. Once you’ve listed these traits or actions, start to write examples of when you have displayed each trait or action in your own life. As you move through the exercise you’ll start to see that you do in fact own these trait to some degree. Nothing is ever missing in your life, you have a body and a mind that is perfect for your true goals. For example, someone can be successful as a entrepreneur and another individual can be successful as a mother or father of 3 children. True success is about living life on your own terms and being the best you can be according to your individual goals and values.
4. Break your goal into actionable steps
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, however it’s easy to forget. It’s incredibly important you break down your big goals into a series of smaller steps. Usually I like to go with yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly steps. The key here is to make your smaller goals or steps as actionable as possible. If your goal is to save $500 a month, write down the actionable steps in your calendar in order to ensure that it happens.
It’s wise for you to set goals not only in business or finance, but in all aspects of your life. Any time you ignore something that’s high in your values hierarchy, you’ll feel unfulfilled. My top values are coaching, family, wealth and music. My days are usually filled with creating content, researching, spending time with my partner, looking at wise investments and writing songs.
5. Plan for potential hazards early
Finally, it’s essential to plan for roadblocks ahead, even if you can’t see them right now. At one point or another, one will show up in front of you and you want to be ready. Dr. Demartini once said “any detail you leave out of your life, somebody else will fill in for you”. I’ve carried this quote with me for years! Ensure you anticipate what’s coming and look for barriers that could slow you down. Much to my surprise, I’ve seen cases where entrepreneurs don’t want look at potential downsides or challenges ahead.
Make a list of things that might come your way and write down possible solutions. You don’t have to have it all figured out, it’s impossible to predict everything. But having some idea of what might happen will help you be ready, reducing fear and anxiety prior to taking action towards your goals.
Article by Jordan D’Urbano
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.