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Why Your Goals Won’t Solve Your Problems

December 16, 2022

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Today, I asked my Instagram community: “What’s one word to describe how you feel when you hit your goal?” So many of the answers were relieved or released or peaceful. Kind of all of these words that describe that feeling of a weight being lifted off your shoulder, a pressure being released, which is such a big sign to me that there’s a bigger problem going on. And I’m going to give you an example. Any time in my life where I felt this way about a goal, it’s kind of set me up for a disaster…

audio transcription:

Especially when I’m talking about business goals, money goals, all of those kinds of things. So, for example, let’s say there was a time when my goal is to make $10,000 a month. And that’s all I wanted. And I wanted it so bad. And I was so concerned with money, and I wanted more money, and I wanted to be buying more things, investing in team members, expanding, all of these things.

And I knew that if I had that money, I would feel such a relief. I would feel so much less pressure. I would worry about bills less. I would worry about paying my team less, paying myself less. I would just have so much less worry in my life.

And so I was kind of like my followers were saying, if I could just hit this goal, if I could just make more money, I will feel relieved. Which, let me tell you, it’s a horrible way to hit a goal because you’re living in a pressure cooker and you’re putting desperation on, calling this thing in, calling in more money, calling in whatever you want to call in. And it’s just, unfortunately, not a place we can manifest from or hit our goals from. And it’s almost like psychology, because negative psychology does not work if you set your goal in the negative, I’m going to quit my job because I hate my job. And you tell yourself that every day.

That’s not going to help you because your brain doesn’t cooperate with that kind of information. Your brain cooperates when you say something like, I am going to feel so happy when I quit my job because every day is going to be full of things that I love. Right? But there’s another step that comes into that. It’s not just about what you’re feeling right now that you don’t like or what you’re going to feel when you have the thing that you like.

It’s: Why do you feel good right now? And you hear so many people talk about like, oh, my gratitude practice changed everything. Once I started operating from a place of gratitude, I was finally able to hit my goals. And it’s not just that, that they were just like, writing down what they were grateful every day because I think there’s way more to gratitude than that.

But they stopped living in the pressure cooker of “I need to hit this goal.” And when I hit this goal, everything will be better. And I think that’s what happens when we feel like when we hit a goal, we’re going to feel relief, a release, a pressure lifted. You are operating from a place where this goal is going to solve all your problems. Like, I was at one point, this money that I wanted to make was going to solve all my problems.

But if you listen to many people who ever wanted money and they got a bunch of it, it doesn’t always make you happier. And the reason isn’t because money doesn’t make you happy. Not true. There are so many studies that I think, what is it, like $110,000 now? If you make that, that’s like how much money you need to be happy.

And then after that, money doesn’t make a difference. Sure, let’s just assume that’s true. The reason why people aren’t happy when they do get money, though, and let’s say it’s even within that bracket, is because they’re not happy prior to getting that money. They’re not happy where they are right now. So if you’re sitting here and you have a goal that you want to hit, and you cannot find a sliver of happiness in your life right now or anything, like you’re going to struggle to hit that goal and it’s always going to feel like an uphill battle.

It doesn’t mean you won’t hit your goal if you know, you’ll feel relieved when you hit it. But it will feel like an uphill battle because what actually has to happen for you to hit your goal is you have to surrender. I keep telling this story in different places, but there’s this awesome band called Karma. And the day before their lives changed, they were posting a video to YouTube and it was of them singing a song. And they felt what it would feel like emotionally to have their dreams come true, to get signed to a record label, to go viral, all of these things.

And they felt it. And not in the sense that we’re going to feel such relief, but the joy and the excitement and all of those feelings. And then they were like, but you know what? If this doesn’t work out, maybe this is it. Maybe we just surrender that this ever is going to happen. Maybe this never happens for us. And if that’s the fact, then that’s okay. They completely surrendered. And guess what? The very next day they posted that video, it went viral.

They had deals from record labels all over the place and now they’re like they’re an official band in the world, signed by a label, singing, touring. That’s how they make their living. How cool, right? But what had to happen was they had to just surrender to the idea that this dream coming true would ever be a relief for them. Because just because you have a dream and you have a goal doesn’t mean it’s going to make you feel any better.

And I don’t think I think a lot of people say, oh, surrender, operate from gratitude, and it’s really hard to grasp what that means. And I think all that means is you need to figure out how to be happy where you’re at right now.

If we come back to the idea of I had this goal of making $10,000, I thought that would solve my problems. I feel such a relief. I would feel so much better. I had to ask myself, what do I think I’m going to get when I make that money? And that’s something that you can do with your goals, too. Ask yourself, what do I think I’m going to get when I hit this goal? And, you know, for me, I thought I would feel safer. I would have more security, more stability.

I thought, you know, I made a list of all the things I would do when I had that money. I would, you know, start my Roth IRA, my retirement account. I would do more investing. I would pay off a credit card. I started to list it out, and instead of being like, oh, I’m going to be able to do these things one day, I’m going to feel such a relief, I asked myself next, what are those things could I already be doing right now?

And the first thing is safety. Like, why didn’t I feel safe right now? What did I need to feel safe? And that was the very first thing that I had to work on. And I’m telling you, when I’ve already worked on that safety piece how to feel safe in the money I was already making, how to trust that I was already okay and things were going to be okay once I did the reparenting, the inner child work, the meditations, the journaling to uncover why I didn’t feel safe and what I needed in those moments.

All of a sudden, this idea of $10,000 being a relief or a release for me was put aside because I gave myself the release that I needed by making myself feel safe in what I have now. The next thing that had to happen was I looked at the list of the things that I would do with this money, and I said, okay, well, what of these things can I do now, even if it’s in the tiniest way? Can I pay off ten extra dollars on that credit card this month? Can I open up my Roth IRA now, even if it’s with a small, small amount of money that I only invest a small, small amount? I had to stop thinking that hitting this goal of $10,000 a month would change my life, and it would be the answer to all the problems when there were so many ways that I could start solving the insecurity, the lack that feeling of not being safe in those actions that I wanted to take.

I could do many of those now. And so I hate hearing that people are going to hit a goal and the feeling that they think they’re going to get is released or relief or peace, because why can’t we call those things out in now? And I truly, truly think the difference between the people who skyrocket to their goals and the people who freaking constantly are battling an uphill wall that they seemingly have to climb is the difference between someone who has completely surrendered, and the fact that they are so happy at where they are now, and they’re like, okay, this could happen or this could not happen. Either way I’m going to be good. And if it’s not this, it’s something better.

That kind of vibe. Or you have the people who are completely obsessed with this thing being the thing that solves all their problems and nothing will ever be the thing that’s going to solve all your problems. A lot of times the thing that’s going to solve all your problems is you. And there’s so much mindset, stuff that goes into hitting goals and hitting goals from a place of confidence and security. I have tried to hit so many goals from lack mentality and feeling unsafe and desperation and it just feels icky and gross and it feels hard to get there.

And even when you get there, it seems like things don’t align up exactly how you wanted them to. If you’re a business owner, maybe you’re not getting the exact clients that you wanted and they’re kind of not great or all of those things. And I’m telling you, as someone who has learned how to manifest and hit their goals from a place of feeling at peace with where I’m at and knowing the feeling of hitting my goal will not bring that peace. It has changed the game and it has made getting my manifestations that much sweeter. So much sweeter.

And that is the place that you want to operate from now. For me personally, if I could describe how I’m going to feel whenever I hit my goals, because it is a feeling that can mark that you’ve made it right. Sometimes it’s not always a material thing. Sometimes it’s like me being in my kitchen cooking in the afternoon, a big crazy meal that I’ve never tried for lunch and being like, oh, this is so cool. I used to only eat lunch within ten minutes and now I’m spending 2 hours cooking a recipe in the middle of the day instead of working.

How freaking sick is that, right? And maybe that’s the feeling you’re looking for. I don’t want the feeling to be safety or security or release or peace. Why can you not have that now? In small, small ways, maybe you can.

I always recommend making that feeling something greater – excitement, joy, like someone just gave you a big hug, like you just found out the best news ever, or even better, hell yeah. Of course! I think that’s the best feeling or response that you could have to hitting a goal. That feeling of – Of course! I was destined for this.

There was a time when I got paid in full by a client and it was easy to be like – uh! The first time I got paid in full, I’m not going to lie, I fell on the floor. That was like, I couldn’t believe it. And then it was a long time before I got paid in full again because I don’t think I believed I could have that again. The next time I got paid in full, it wasn’t like a “I’m going to fall on the floor” moment. It was a “Of course.” I was locked into that moment. I was mine. No one could take it from me. I knew it was coming.

And I also knew that if that moment never came, something better would come and I would be taken care of. I had to also do a lot of work around trusting that I would be taken care of and figuring out why I maybe didn’t trust that I would before I could get to that place those feelings around goals shifted from “oh my god this is going to change everything” to “of course.” But that’s the journey that we take.

So if you’re on that journey, that’s okay. There are so many different ways you can shift your mindset and shift your inner dialogue to help you feel that way. But the easiest place to start, and I guess your homework after listening to this is start to think about:

  1. What do you think you’re going to get when you hit your goal?
  2. What parts of that can you already tap into or access now?

Because the more you can find happiness in the moment you’re in right now, the faster your goals will come to you and your manifestations will come through. And I know that feels unbelievable, but treat it like a little science experiment and try because once I started trusting that fact everything changed. So many doors opened, so much more happiness flooded into my life and so much got released.

I hope this is helpful, I’ll see you on the next one!

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Hi, I'm Ashley!

Certified Life and Business Coach and
Co-Founder of Living Adventures Retreats


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