Failing to reach your goals is one of the causes of stress and frustration for many entrepreneurs and a very hot topic in my coaching programs.
If you have been following me on Social Media – Instagram (@paoladevescovi) and LinkedIn in particular – you probably know that I’m about to wrap up the Prosperity Summer Camp, my 10 week group coaching program that i’ve launched for the first time this year. I chose the summer for my program because this is time when things slow down, and it is a good occasion for taking the time to look at things from a broader perspective, analyze your business or career, see what is working and what is not, think about what you would like to change or eliminate and how to implement this change in your business or in your life.
I’m very happy to see my clients achieving important results, getting clarity and having aha moments. But I’m also very happy for the obstacles and limitations that are holding them back and that they are bringing up during our group coaching sessions.
With this group of people in particular, 3 recurring themes have emerged as situations that are preventing them from moving forward in their businesses, affecting also their lives:
- Goal traumas they have experienced directly or indirectly in their lives
- Too many ideas and projects they want to pursue, causing them to start too many projects that are then left aside incomplete.
Let’s examine them one by one.
1. Goal trauma
What is it? My mentor Margaret Lynch defines a goal trauma as “any experience from the past that leaves you with:
- An increased level of upset, anxiety and/or regret when you recall it
- Increased stress and over-reaction when a current situation feels similar
- A great loss of your personal power in the form of trust, confidence and belief”
Goal trauma tends to occur when you let yourself follow and believe in your dream, think big and believe it will happen, no matter what the naysayers say to you and disregarding your inner voice trying to convince you of the many reasons why you should not follow your dream.
You are 100% committed to your dream, you sacrifice yourself and work very hard. But something happens and your dream does not come true, and you experience painful loss and feel like a failure.
After an event like that, you tend to trust yourself less, trust other people – and the Universe – less, and probably be more skeptical about believing anything is possible.
Goal trauma causes you to approach new goals with hesitation and doubts. And even if you are willing to set a goal, your “inner skeptic” will do its best to make sure you don’t believe in it enough.
Back in 2010 I wrote a blog post entirely devoted to procrastination and anti-procrastination strategies. You can find it here.
In that post, I identified 3 main causes for procrastination.
One reason may be that you can find the task unpleasant and you find reasons for not doing it. Another reason is that you are disorganized. A third reason for procrastination is that your decision-making skills are not well developed and you cannot decide what you do. You are afraid of taking the wrong decision and consequently you don’t take action.
However, today I see there may be some deeper causes for procrastinating, connected to past “painful” experiences – a goal trauma may be one of them – that trigger limiting beliefs, emotions like fear and anxiety, stress and overwhelm so that you postpone doing something you should be focusing right now and instead you focus on something else that is more pleasant or you feel more comfortable about.
3. Putting too much on your plate
When there is too much on your plate, chances are that you are saying yes to too many things. You probably take on too many clients so that you can be sure to earn your desired income. Or you start too many projects so that at least one of them will go well or simply because you get easily bored and you love the excitement of the initial phases of a project – I confess that I can related to this myself…
The downside of filling your plate with too much is distraction and you find it hard to complete at least one thing, quality over quantity is no longer your motto and your priority ends up being ticking the tasks and activities off your To-Do List. As a result, stress and overwhelm fill your day.
Being aware of a possible goal trauma, when you tend to procrastinate and when you are saying too many yeses is the first step to releasing what is your holding you back or keeping you stuck, preventing you from taking that action, focusing on that project, pursuing that dream that would change your life.
To become more aware, you have to learn how to be more present, more “mindful” of what you do, your thoughts, your beliefs that make you act always in certain ways.
Notice them and write them down in a journal or record them on your phone. See if you can identify recurring patterns or behaviours and especially pay attention to what are you are telling yourself when you are unwilling to set or pursue goal, when you procrastinate or you say another yes.
In my upcoming online group coaching program Re-Connect we will explore these themes and I will provide exercises and techniques to release the deep causes that keep holding you back with the help of tapping (or EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique) and quantum physics principles. If you are interested in knowing more about my upcoming group coaching program, visit this page or send us an email to email@example.com with the object “Re-Connect”.
“The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”
– Nathaniel Branden –
To your prosperity and success
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