Episode Eleven: Going for goals, without contextJun 23, 2022
So a lot of you resonated with the need for more context that I talked about in the last episode.
Today, I want to give you two other ways to create context to help make sense of a goal. And these are ideas coming from a forthcoming workshop taking place in The SOLA System. So it's a taster of what I'm going to cover next month.
But really, I want to show you how once you've recognised that feeling of anguish, from not enough context, once you've identified, oh, I just need more context, then creating that context is in your control.
It's something you can get to work on. Right, you can just get on to that.
In the last episode, I gave you some ways to do that, rehearsing the sensory ahead of time, asking for more information or help enlisting coaches, mentors, people who have the lived experience and are willing to share it, identifying the questions that you currently have, and mind mapping what you think, you know.
Today, I want to give you two more.
So before we go further, I want to invite you to have a goal in mind a specific tangible goal that you can quantify that you could really know when you arrive there. So not I want to be a successful music artist. But make it specific, I want to record an album, or I want to get a record deal. Or I want to have a sold out show at this specific venue with this many people attending. Or maybe it's I want to have a successful business online selling my knitted jumpers and generate this specific amount of money with it. Okay, so make it specific. Make sure it's not a goal that involves other people's actions, like, I want people to like me, or I need them to do something in a specific way. Make it a goal, that is a result that is not about other people's actions.
So if you haven't got a goal identified, or you know, it's not specific enough, please pause this episode. And identify one because you'll get the most out of this.
Use this as a resource for your own self inquiry, not just something you sticking your is as a distraction. And then this time will be worth so much more to you.
Okay. So assuming you've identified a tangible, specific goal. Here's what I want to say. Ultimately, the difference between the version of you who doesn't have enough context for your goal, and the version of you who does the difference between them is just experience, experience, the lived experience of having already done the goal, okay.
That's the only difference.
Once you've done it, you have all the context you need to do it. Right. Can you see that to be true?
So if the difference is just experience, one more way to gain context to get to your goal is to create more experience.
It sounds too simple.
And I know you're probably thinking, but how do you do that when the experience is just what happens over time, it's not something you can create more of. You just live and then you get more experience. And if I wanted more experience, I would need more context.
So if those are your thoughts, bear with me because I want you to listen on how switching them around puts you in charge. So this is how you create experience is through doing something new. So you can go about living your life doing exactly Same thing, sticking to the usual, thinking the same thoughts, living at the same level of context that you have now. Or you can take a new step, and then create either a success or a failure, which is really just data information experience. In other words, the more new things that you try towards your goal, until you find out what does work, what doesn't work, equals the more experience, and therefore the more context that you gather. In the beginning, there will be a certain amount of chucking things at the wall and seeing what sticks what works.
And that is where the second point, the second way of creating more context I want to offer today comes in, which is evaluating sounds so boring. But think about it after you've tried a new thing. Instead of chalking it up to a failure if it didn't get you the immediate result you wanted. If you instead reframe that failure as information as context, then spending time to actually evaluate to direct your brain to go into what worked, what didn't work, and making sure you're seeing that accurately means that you can treat every wrong turn in every so called failure as a stepping stone towards the goal being done. Because it's more context. That new piece of experience gives you more information, to then know what the next step is. And that next step that maybe wasn't visible, or hadn't occurred to you before you've done that first step. So evaluating means you can get honest with how much new information comes with just one little action. The problem often is that we try to create certainty ahead of time. So we are afraid to fail, and that we actually avoid the new actions, the new steps, the new things, the new experiences required to give us the best kind of context, which comes from lived experience. With SOLA, it took me more than a year of knowing exactly what I wanted to do, before I took any significant and new step towards it. Like a whole year of just sitting on it, thinking I know I want to do that thing. And trying to convince myself that it would be possible, and trying to figure out ahead of time, all of the contexts and trying to know how it would work and how it would feel. And I want to share that what what I did that meant it took that long. Because we all do this is we have a goal or a vision. And instead of just starting, we experienced the uncertainty in the lack of context, as a negative emotion, right, instead of allowing ourselves to start, we try to get rid of that negative emotion. And we try to fill up that gap, that lack of context by imagining all the steps. So you start to imagine, and you start to fill up that gap that unknown, with made up stuff. And your brain will reach for it thinks it knows and it will fill in the blanks. And because its job is to keep us safe and in a predictable familiarity. It will reach for what it thinks what you think, you know, so fears, what might go wrong, past mistakes, past failures and embarrassments, things you've heard things people have said about other people who are out there trying and taking steps. And your brain offers you all of the reasons not to start. It's not the right time. I'm not ready yet. I don't have the resources. I don't have the time. I don't have those perfect conditions. Another thing that we do, to fill up that unknown of a lack of context is to guess the how based on how things appear from the outside, to have been the process for people who have done it. So people who are on Instagram sharing their wins, and the fact that they've succeeded or they've got this goal that you want, but they're not sharing the losses and the struggles and all of the wrong turns along the way. Right. So then you look at that and try and fill up the gap of experience the lack of context with imagined context base Based on how someone else appears to have done him, or what people will say, or what will happen, or what the path will involve, or that we have to be like that person over there who took that route. And that's the only way. And then we start comparing ourselves to them, feeling like we have to be that person, or, well, I can't do things the way did they do it. So therefore, I'm never gonna get to the goal. We're imagining all of these things, and all of the how, and trying to fill up that gap. And getting more and more overwhelmed by all of the details of what we're imagining. And another thing that we do is, or that I definitely have done, and an unlearning as a habit is you can have an amazing idea or vision for what you want to do or create. And then you get really excited and really interested and kind of obsessed and passionate, and yes, this is what I'm going to do. And then you start going over and imagining all of the things that you have to do, right. So in your mind, in your imagination, you start going to work on all of the steps in front of you, not in your life, but in your head. So in your head, you get into the tiny details of the how, like, Okay, I'm gonna did that thing. And then oh, yeah, and then this is how it's gonna do do this thing. And it's going to look like this. So it's going to feel like this, and then this thing, and then have to do that, projecting all of what you think it's going to involve. And then all of those details start to feel totally overwhelming. And then you realise you've just been sitting there in your head, and you haven't actually started, you haven't actually done anything. And now you don't want to because the whole thing feels so overwhelming in your brain, all of the steps and details and things that you have to do. So you don't stop. And the gap of experience stays the same. But now, you also feel totally overwhelmed by what you've imagined to fill that gap. So if this sounds familiar, then know that I get it. This is me, this was how I got nowhere fast. And I could get totally overwhelmed by my best and most exciting, most compelling most motivating ideas. And then would feel really bad. Because while I'm so motivated, and yet I'm so overwhelmed, and I haven't even started. Okay, so deep breath. This is what we do instead. So going back to your goal, instead of filling up that gap in context with imagined experience. Instead, I want to offer that you can fill it with actual experience by focusing only on the next one step or two steps maximum three at a time. Okay, so you want to withhold from trying to go several steps ahead. Now, this needs a bit of explanation, because the idea of one step at a time, it's like yeah, yep, heard it before, one foot in front of the other. So before you write this off, I want you to stay with me, because this works. This is how I get things done. This is how the people I work with his start to make massive shifts in their life. This is how they do it. So it's one step at a time. But here is how so first of all, the feeling you want is discipline, not discipline to force yourself to work, but discipline, to not mentally go into all of the imagined steps ahead of you. So you never want to be thinking about the steps when you aren't in a position to immediately actively start that first step. Because all that happens is you're trying to do it in your head. And then it doesn't happen. So you only want to be thinking about your project in the time of you doing it. So all the other times, let it be on the mental backburner. Let your subconscious get to work on it and focus on something else. And when you're in the time and space when you can take immediate action when you can get started. Then that is when you focus just on the first step. What do I think I know to do based on the limited context I have right now. And it's probably a step that involves some apprehension, some fear because it's probably the step that you've wanted to avoid? Because it will be a new experience. So let's recap. What do I mean by experience? So we talked to think about goals in terms of success and failure. Both are just context. Both are just results. Both are just information along the way that shows you. Yep, this helped this got me somewhere, or Nope, this was a wrong turn. And now I know not to do that, or this is what the information I got from that was, that is the best kind of context experience, and then evaluating what did that taking that courageous step, lead me to now No. imagining all the steps ahead of time, doesn't get you there doesn't give you context, it only increases the overwhelm you experience from a lack of context. Because what you're doing there is trying to get rid of the discomfort of not knowing how it's going to feel, not knowing the steps, and trying to know ahead of time, when you take that courageous first step or that next step, and evaluate it, it takes you a little bit further along the path, the path is not linear. It winds in circles around here, and it goes Loop The Loop. And it's two steps forward, five steps back. And every single step along that winding path gives you more context and new understanding. So what is that first step? Based on what you know, right now? What courageous, little tiny next step? Can you take, take it, then evaluate it? What was the result? Now we have a tendency to look at our results and use them to judge if the goal is still possible or not. So we try and look for proof, we try and extract belief from our immediate results, instead of staying the course, so this is where discipline comes in. Again, because you have to hold faith, that just because the result of that next step, didn't immediately get you to your goal. It doesn't actually mean anything about whether you'll get there or not. So if you have any feelings about the result, it's probably because you're making it mean something about the probability of the goal, instead of allowing it to be a neutral result that is informing your next step. So when you evaluate, do it on paper, or out loud in a voice notes to yourself? Did this do what I expected? What new context have I gained? And what will I do next, the more you repeat the cycle, the closer you get to your goal, and the emotions that you have to be prepared to feel and acknowledge and generate our courage to take that step without projecting a whole bunch of imagined things into the unknown path. discipline to only think about the first or second or next three steps and not all of the steps to only think about it, when you're in a position to do something about it. Discipline not to use your immediate results to mean something about the probability of the goal, faith to keep taking action. And then evaluating what was the result in neutral terms? What new context do you have now, and then decide your next step based on that some of those next steps will be asking for help identifying the questions that you have right now. giving yourself time to get familiar with the sensory, which really means just taking a smaller step one at a time. The scary the step, the more likely it will give you more context, because it's new experience. Now, next month in The SOLA System, I'm giving a bonus workshop on making secret dreams happen. Making goals happen. And realising felt internal realities on the outside. So what I gave you today was a taster of this workshop we'll be going into how do you actually hold faith in a reality that isn't materially realised yet that you don't have proof for and how do you keep taking steps to make that real? How do you keep going, even when you have no proof that you will get there? So how do you make real in the material, tangible reality, an internal felt reality that is calling you to bring it into fruition? How do you develop the skills and keep Going and enjoy the process and make that goal happen, even though you are someone who has a need for more context, and a need for context for how you individually, specifically, personally, with all your unique traits, how you get there, in your own way, in The SOLA system, there is a halfway point called self revolution. And this is where I invite siblings to set a three year goal. And the reason to set the big goal is it reveals to you where the current beliefs that you have don't match up with it. Where are the gaps in context, and self concept, it gives you the stuff to bring to coaching or to self coach on both of which are available every day, all the way through. So focusing on the next step allows you to sidestep a lot of the internal turmoil and stalling and overwhelm. So consider how much that would be worth to you to not be in that context, overwhelm, and instead, have a space where you can work through all of the fears and the lack of belief, support to identify and clarify a goal. And then support to actually get to work on it. To just begin to realise that thing inside that you know, you're capable of that you want that idea that won't leave you alone, that idea that is in you, because on some level, you know, it's something that you're capable of. But the feeling of overwhelm, and starting, has just been stalling you and making you think that maybe this isn't for you. That resentment, that bitterness, this is one of the most unpleasant emotions, I've experienced it. And I also know that it starts to go away. When you start growing again, when you start to see yourself making progress. It lifts you out of that sense of your life not being in your own control. And something that you get to sculpt, stepping into that being true coming out of that learned helplessness that can come when all of the given roots and the common ways of doing things actually don't work. And deciding to be resourceful to ask for help to take the steps to build context, through actual experience. That puts you in a totally different relationship to your own life. So in siblings go through the first cycle through The SOLA System, it's focused on your relationship to yourself. After you experience changes there, you get to work on having a relationship to your life, where you aren't at the mercy of it, where you get to shape it. That is the whole point of having a coach of having a community which is full of people focused on shifting their life, making those big decisions, having the space to go share and update and say, This is what I'm going through. Or this is how I'm approaching this unique problem that a lot of us face, or this is what I'm working on. This is the big change happening for me. This is what I'm right in the middle of here's where I want to go. The siblings in the programme, you take my breath away by how much you're willing to do this work, and everyone else listening, I want that for you to case. So decide that not having the context is not something that's unsolvable that the only difference between where you are now. And where you want to be is experience. That experience is something you can create the context to know how you did it comes after you've done it one step at a time, over and over, not using those immediate results to judge whether the goal is possible. But just deciding what your next step will be. There's one final word I want to say, which is that it's really tempting to use those immediate results to prove a belief that you might have that, oh, this won't work. Or see, this isn't for me. Or this is impossible. There's no way or it hasn't happened yet. Or I should be further along by now. Instead of I am doing the next step. Celebrating those little steps is a big part of it. It's encouragement to take the next one. It means you're focused on what you were doing on the context you do have and the progress you're making. Instead of focusing on what you don't yet have taking steps with the thought that I have have everything I need right now. turns everything else into a bonus. It takes you out of the feeling that you need something over there and into the feeling of I am creating, I'm moving, I am progressing. So celebrate the fact that you are listening to this podcast, you are seeking context, you are taking steps, you are asking yourself hard questions. You are admitting difficult emotions, you are opening up to the possibility that more is possible and more is available. You have a goal in mind. It feels years off. But that version of you in the future that has done it is grateful and thankful to the version of you now, that decided to begin, even though you have no proof that is prepared to move through all of that discomfort of creating context, in order to become the person who's done it. All right, that was a big one. And I will finish it there and talk to you soon.