I frequently wrestle with something in my own life and in my work with clients. Namely, when is a goal too big?
Most of my clients have goals like:
- To earn a great income AND be of service in the world
- To feel confident about what they do and how they serve others
- To really love what they do, and no longer live and work according to others’ expectations
- To voice, perhaps for the first time ever, that their needs are important and worth fighting for
But would I be comfortable working with someone with someone who wanted to make billions as a goal?
I had to do some soul-searching around that (answer: why yes, yes I am).
And then I also did some research on those big goals. And the science (from the University of Jena and Carnegie Mellon) tells us that big, unattainable goals may not be ideal, and that letting go of the stress and worry about attaining those goals can be helpful.
The researchers at Cargengie Mellon emphasized that “in situations in which people are confronted with unattainable goals, benefits accrue from the capacities to abandon goal-directed activities and to reengage in valued alternative goals.”
Give up on all goals?
Does that mean we should give up on goals? Especially those big ones?
I believe in goal setting. I believe it’s important to write down your goals regularly and do the work necessary to get to them, without worrying about the outcome. I even believe in really big, impossible dreams.
So I don’t know the answer to whether you should let go of your big financial goals.
I do feel like there’s a happy medium, though, and only you can determine what that is. Is your goal making you feel anxious because you’re not meeting it? Or excited and pumped up about it?
It’s kind of like we need to find this magical place where we are feeling content and allowing ourselves to be present while in the midst of the journey (being grateful is a big part of this) but also still doing the work to get us there.
I think most of us can agree it’s not really the money itself that we’re seeking. It’s how we think the money will make us feel.
Most of us expect that money will allow us more time to travel, to have more time with our family, to have cool and unique experiences, and to feel financially and emotionally secure.
Don’t allow the number to keep you from being happy:
We can also probably agree that we don’t need a bank account with three commas in order to be happy. (Or better than happiness? Feeling purposeful. Read here about why chasing happiness isn’t necessarily the best philosophy.)
Here’s what I’m betting is true for most of us out there: holding on to a numerical goal as the “when I reach this number, then I can be happy” means that you will wait forever in order to be happy.
So find out what is it that you’re really hoping that money will buy you.
An easy way to do that? Sentence completion work.
If I had a million dollars, I would….
Having a million dollars would mean…
The interesting part of this work is that it might also pull up some of those subconscious money blocks around why you aren’t yet earning that sort of income – it does for me!
Maybe money = confidence?
You might also find that the number is a stand-in for your confidence in yourself.
And here again, it’s not about the money. Confidence is based on many factors, but one of them is feeling aligned with and working towards your purpose in life. It’s about honoring those promises to yourself and living with integrity.
Confidence isn’t about that number in the bank. (But you already knew that, right?)
Incrementally upgrade your dreams:
Now that you’ve figured out what that money goal is standing in for, then go after those goals in small ways. If it’s travel you really want, maybe you’re not ready to hop on the Lear Jet to Paris, but could you be on Southwest to Arizona? Or a car trip to North Georgia?
Or maybe you’ve always wanted to have someone clean your house. Or cook your meals. Or wash your clothes. Or a personal assistant to help you with your work or business. Could you have meals brought in twice per week? Or a cleaning service once per month? And plenty of personal assistants and virtual assistants are willing to work just one day per month or one project per month.
Then commit to those dreams:
Let’s go back to the travel analogy (because that one comes up for a lot of people and I also have a big dose of the travel bug!)
Start now. Start today. Pick a destination and buy your plane ticket. Commit, and see how the universe lines up to support you.
I know, I know, me saying “hey, you too can go to Europe” might sound really first-world-myopic.
But I do hope that you will give yourself permission to commit to whatever your goal is, if that’s what’s in your heart.
Once you commit to that plane ticket, you’ll work your tail off to afford the hotel and food costs. Need some help manifesting that money? Here are my 21 ways to manifest money today.
And if you have to eat a few bologna sandwiches in order to afford that plane ticket, well, they make some great bologna in Italy…
P.S. You know how you haven’t seen a lot of blogs from me lately? That’s because I’ve become obsessed with Facebook lives lately. (Sigh, the world is moving to video, which is a sad thing for readers like us! But onward, spiritual soldiers!)
So if you want more Erin, and you want more connection with other like-minded female entrepreneurs and spiritualpreneurs, then come join our awesome and supportive group of badass women who are committed to changing the world AND earning money on Facebook.