Episode 127: Don't StopOct 07, 2021
You might have noticed that it’s a lot easier to set goals than to keep working towards goals. This isn’t because you are undisciplined or uncommitted or you lack “follow through.” It’s because your brain is programmed to get you to stop. All the time you are working on your goals, your brain has a biological reason to stop you.
The good news is that your brain can’t actually stop you from reaching your goals. It can try. And it will. But you always get to choose what you do. And when you are aware of your brains goals and tactics, it makes choosing to pursue your dreams so much easier!
In today’s episode, I am sharing five things that will help you NOT STOP on your way to your goals. There is so much that you want to create and do in your life, and I hope you never stop working for them. Don’t ever stop!
Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Hello, podcast universe! Welcome to episode 127 of the 100% Awesome Podcast. I'm April Price and how are you? Is it cooling down where you live at all, even here in Phoenix it's starting to change. In fact, today is like gorgeous, it is overcast and rainy, and for the last couple of weeks or so, I've been able to even get out and take Auggie for walks again without worrying about burning his pores, and without both of us feeling like we are going to die. And it is such a lovely change. And like with the coming of fall, a couple of my children have had birthdays and in fact, one of them, my youngest turned 18, which means that I am no longer the mother of children. I, like all of my children, are now adults and I feel like I have hit a milestone of some kind. Like, there is just so much to experience here in our Earth life, right? There is just so much to learn and grow from and experience and feel, and if we're lucky, we get to experience all of it, right?
I'm lucky to be at this place where I've lived enough life, and I'm still here, that my children are adults, and I get to experience this part of our life. And sometimes I think like we think sort of like, well, I've just done it all wrong, and I've blown my Earth-life experience. I know that I personally spent a few decades of my life thinking that I had wasted it, that God was disappointed in me, that I had blown it, right? That I had made a mess of my entire life experience. But like, life is long and there's so many things still ahead of you, and it is all for our learning and growth. And no matter where you are in life, at the beginning or at the end. Like a lot of us, have this thought that I've blown it, and I just want you to know that that is not true, that your life is long and magnificent and you have all the time to do all the things you want and you are doing better than, you know, right?
And I want you to know for sure that God doesn't think you've done it wrong, right? He approves of the way you're learning and growing. He knows you're doing it exactly in the way that you need to. And I just want you to know that I have a free course that will teach you all about this, okay? "It's called How God Really Feels About You; Three Secrets to Feeling His Love." It's a free course, you can get it on my website aprilpricecoaching.com/howgodfeels. Or you can just text the word "HowGodFeels" it's all one word 266866. And if you text how God feels 266866 then you will get access to that course as well. And it's not very long, but it will give you some things to think about, and a different perspective about how God feels about you that I think would be really empowering and and create a different feeling inside of you. When you think about how God feels about you in the way that you're living your Earth-life experience. So, I just want to let you know that that is available to you?
So, today I am so excited about this podcast. A few episodes ago, I had a podcast called Start Here, and I kept thinking about that podcast and I got thinking like, I actually want to create a companion podcast to it like it should have been a duology, I should have had "Start Here" and then "Don't Stop." But so, they're going to be separated here a little bit, but I really want to talk to you about like, once you get started, once you start creating the life you want. Don't stop, okay? So, if you haven't started, go back and listen to that one. And if you've started trying to create the things you want in your life, but you're discouraged, and you need some help not to stop, then this podcast is for you.
Okay, so it was kind of inspired by a trip that I took last month to Denver. I was going to meet with my coach and have some meetings, and I was on my way to Denver and we got over the Denver airspace and I was in a plane, obviously, we were flying over the Denver airspace and they had us in a holding pattern. So, there was some weather in Denver and they were like, Oh, it's too windy to land, so we're just going to stay up here in the sky in this holding pattern. And we stayed up there for quite a while, actually. And then, when we looked out the window, you could see other planes that were up there, like at the side of our wing, like also in a holding pattern. We're all just kind of like up there waiting, right? Well, after about an hour, the pilot came on and he was like, Yeah, we are running low on fuel, so we're going to go and land in Colorado Springs instead of Denver, right? So, we turned back and we went and we landed at Colorado Springs, and sat on the tarmac there, on the runway, waiting for the weather in Denver to clear so that we could get there, and get refueled and everything, and get to Denver.
Now what I want to point out to you is that the whole time that we were flying above Denver and we went back to Colorado Springs were sitting there on the on the runway, right? I never had the thought, well, maybe I just am not a person that can get to Denver. Like maybe Denver is just not in the cards for me, right? Like, I never had the thought I guess I'm not going then I guess I will never get to Denver, right? I knew that I could get there if I just kept going, if I just like, stayed on that plane, kept like working my way towards Denver. Now, I wasn't going to get there in the timeline, I thought, and maybe eventually like could have been possible that they had like, had to get off the plane, and then had to figure out a rental car situation or something, right? But eventually I knew that if I kept going, I would arrive in Denver.
And I just think that this is really important for all of us to realize as we start going towards our goals and our dreams, like we are going to face obstacles we're going to face like whether we didn't expect we're going to face like obstacles to the things that we want to accomplish. And so many times we make those obstacles mean that we can't have what we want, that we can't arrive where we want to be, that is not meant for us. And that, like other people can get to Denver, but I'm not the kind of person that can get to Denver. We just we don't have that thought about Denver, and I don't think you should have that thought about your goals. I would love it if you could see your goals, and dreams the same way, right? Like that for sure, I can get there, if I keep going for sure, I can get there. If I just figure out another way, right? Like whatever it is that you want in your life, whether it's a relationship goal, or a money goal, or spiritual goal, a health goal. What if you knew that it was a destination that was available to you? That there might be delays and there might be unforeseen obstacles? But none of those delays, or obstacles disqualify you as a person from getting where you want to go, and you just have to keep going, right?
So, I thought that trip to Denver was going to take one, and a half hours when it took eight. I didn't make it mean that, like Denver wasn't for me, okay? So, like when we set goals, we have an idea of how long we think it should take, like the reasonable amount of time that it will take, the amount of effort, and failure, and everything that will be involved. And we make all of that up, right? And all of that that we make up about our goals. Also, just know it's like the fantasy version, the version where there's no pain, and suffering, and no obstacles, right? And I just want to offer you that when it comes to our goals, we actually don't know how long it will take. We just made up that it should take three-months when actually maybe it's going to take two years, right? And what if the only thing that is wrong with that is your expectation, right?
So, what I want to say to each of you is that Denver is for you, okay? Like, wherever you want to go, don't disqualify yourself. Don't stop. Don't quit. Believe that you are going to arrive where you want to arrive, if you are just willing to keep going, okay? Don't disqualify yourself, and tell yourself that's not for you, because that is always a lie. You can create anything you want in your life because that is your right. As a child of God who gets to choose, right? Choose how you spend your effort, choose how you spend your time, choose what you decide to believe about yourself, okay? So, today in order to help you not stop on your way to your goal, I want to give you five things to stop doing okay. Five things that I think if you stop doing, you will be able to keep going towards the things, towards the goals and dreams that you have for yourself.
Okay, so first thing I want you to do is stop negotiating. So, your brain is very, very good at its job right now. Remember, its job is to keep you alive, and to do this job has three main priorities. Seeking pleasure, avoiding pain and saving energy. And if it can do these three things effectively, then it's going to keep you alive, right? It's going to keep you fed, and procreating, it's going to keep you safe, and unharmed, and it's going to keep you with plenty of energy to escape predators when you need it, okay? So, these are its only goals, and whatever your goals are, if they are anything other than seeking pleasure avoiding pain, and saving energy, right? Then they are going to be at odds with your brain, and its goals, okay? Now also, I want you to remember your own brain's limitations, okay? Your brain cannot act by itself, it can't take any action, it can't make your body do anything that you don't want it to do, right? Your brain can only think.
And so, if they want something that's in line with its priorities and its goals, it has to give you a thought to prevent you from taking the action you want towards your goals, okay? Notice it has to talk you into whatever it wants, your brain cannot do anything without your permission, is what I'm saying, it has to talk you into it. And so to do that it starts a negotiation with you. So, let's say that our goal is to get up early, right? Getting up early might be what you want to do, right? But getting up early is not what your brain wants to do, it is not with it like in line with your brain's priorities, okay? Remember, your brain wants to seek pleasure, staying horizontal and resting is more pleasurable than getting up. And so, we're going to have to give up some of that if we get up next avoiding pain. It's going to be uncomfortable. It's going to be cold. It's going to be dark. We're going to be tired. Our muscles might hurt, our head might hurt, our brain is like, no, thank you. I don't want any part of that pain, right? And it takes energy, it takes way more energy to get up than to stay laying down.
So, your brain is like this goal of getting up early is not in line at all with my priorities, but your brain can't act. And so, if you want to get up and act, it can't stop you. It can't hold you down, right? It only has the power to create thoughts. And so, uses this power of thought to set up a negotiation with you, and talk you into its priorities, okay? It gives you thoughts like how about five more minutes? Well, we didn't sleep that well last night, so we need to sleep in today, like it's been a really hard week. I have so much stress I could probably use the rest, right? It doesn't matter anyway, what what difference is one day going to make like if I get up now, I'm going to be tired all day? And how am I going to deal with everything, right? It is constantly negotiating for its priorities because it cannot act by itself, it has to talk you into it. And so, whatever your goal is, your brain is constantly trying to figure out a way to negotiate for its priorities instead of yours, okay? This is the way of it.
So, I've been watching this show called Alone, which is like this survival show where they put like 10 people up in the Arctic and they have to like, like, find all their food. They have to create shelters for themselves. They have to try and survive in the Arctic by themselves alone for 100 days, and all they have to do is stay there, okay? So, they have if if they stay for 100 days, then they win a million dollars, okay? And so, as you're watching this show, it is just like so fascinating to watch how their brain is negotiating all the time for them to quit, right? Like, remember, they're in the Arctic, they don't have a lot of food, they're like exposed to the elements, they're alone, right? They're all by themselves, it's cold, like all the things that I like really like. I watch the show and I'm like, I'd be out on daylight, right? But it's so funny to watch their brains negotiate when they start, they're like, I'm all in, I can stay forever, right? I have all these skills, and I can stay forever. But as the show goes on day after day, you notice how their brain starts to justify going home. It's always running the negotiation to go home, to escape the pain, the discomfort, and the energy that's required to stay there, okay?
And so, it's just fascinating to watch their brains justify tapping out. And they make it sound so good, right? Like they'll say things to the camera, like, I made a promise to my wife that I wouldn't put my body in danger, and they make it like sound like such a good reason. And this is what we all do when it comes to the discomfort of our goals. We negotiate with our brains, and we have like such good reasons, right? Like, I need to rest, I need to stay in bed, right? And we participate in this negotiation. And I just want you to know that when you participate, your brain is so good at its job and getting its priorities met. And if you negotiate with your brain, eventually it will wear you down, right? And so, I think it's really good to understand that, and the first thing I want you to notice is like, I need to have a lot of compassion for this negotiation.
A lot of us see the fact that our brain negotiates as like a personal weakness. We're like, oh, all those people that can, like, accomplished so much and like, reach their goals, they don't have this negotiation going on, right? Their brains want to get up early, their brains want to stay in the Arctic. And that is not true, right? Every brain is negotiating its priorities for what it wants for those survival priorities, okay? And so, I want you to have compassion for your own brain, right? It is doing this because it wants to keep you alive, and it thinks that's the best way to do it. And when we go to do hard things, and we go to achieve our goals, it gets freaked out, right? And our brain wants to stop the hard, scary things that we were doing, right? And it's going to give you a lot of good reasons why you should stop, okay? So, what I want you to see from all this is that the less that is up for negotiation, the better. The less we actually engage in the negotiation, the better we are, right? That's why I say stop negotiating.
So, we need to make decisions for our goals that are non-negotiable. What are we going to decide like? I'm not even going to argue with that brain, we're just doing it right. So, I do this thing when I'm really working towards a goal that is, like, very uncomfortable. I'd like to give myself a 24-hour rule, which means like I make a decision about what I'm going to do in the next 24 hours, and it's non-negotiable until the 24 hours is up, okay? So, for example, if I've decided to get up and exercise tomorrow, and I've made that decision 24 hours in advance the next day when my brain starts negotiating, I'm like, nope! Like, we made that decision, and so we're just going to do it. And then I tell myself that after I finish it, if I want to negotiate differently for the next 24 hours, I can. Meaning if I get up and I go exercise, and after I finished exercising, I can ask myself, Do I want to do that again tomorrow? And if the answer really is no, then I can set up a different goal for myself. But I find that once I go and do it, my brain's like, Yep, I want to do that again tomorrow, right? And so, I decide for tomorrow, I'm going to get up at five o'clock and I'm going to go exercise right the next morning. When your brain wants to run a negotiation. I'm like, no, you'll have to negotiate after, right? For the next 24 hours.
So, I just think it's really like a useful way to think about the negotiations of your brain. Try as much as possible not to make those decisions in the moment because your brain. We'll make that decision according to its priorities instead of yours. I want to have some, like some rules set up about what, when, and where your brain can negotiate, okay? And then, there are just certain things that you can set up and to be non-negotiable, certain like milestones along your way to the goal, right? So, with my business, obviously, I wasn't like doing that 24 hour in advance. But when I was terrified, and inadequate, and uncertain at the very beginning, I just told myself, I'm going to help 100 people, and then we can renegotiate. We can decide, is this what we really want to do? And after I had helped 100 people, my brain was like, Yes, this is awesome. So, much of the inadequacy, and fear had left by then, and so I was all in, right? Then I set another milestone, right? And my brain says, like, I don't want to do this. This is hard, I'm like, yeah, well, when we hit that next milestone, then you can renegotiate it, right? And I just find that like if I make it non-negotiable until the milestones that I make so much more progress towards what I really want instead of giving in to what my brain wants in the moment. All right, so stop negotiating.
Number two to stop trying to be perfect, okay? So, one of the big reasons we quit is because we get in the trap of like all, or nothing thinking, and we start thinking that a little bit doesn't matter a little bit here, a little bit there doesn't matter a little daily work on. It isn't going to make a difference, okay? And particularly in terms of our goal, we think that if we miss a day or a week or month, then we might as well give up, right? And I just want to offer you that like consistency matters so much more than perfectionism. And when I say consistent, I don't mean perfectly consistent in equal intervals, right? You're like, people will use that word consistent against themselves, and they're like, well, that means every day or that means every week, right? What it means is that action accumulates, any action accumulates. And if I keep showing up repeatedly, even if that doesn't mean in like perfectly consecutive like moments, that is all that matters. And it just means keep showing up, keep working towards it.
Don't like make it need to be perfect, it is too easy for our brains again to set up a negotiation, and tell us we aren't making a difference, when we like make ourselves have to do it perfectly. Do not have to do it perfectly. You just have to keep going, like I said, consistency means just repeatedly showing up a little bit over time makes a huge difference.
Okay number three, stop believing your brain's assessment of your progress. So, your brain is the worst indicator of progress. All right, so there's this old story about Florence Chadwick, and in 1952, she did a 26 mile open water swim from California to Catalina. And as she was making that swim, there was like a ton of fog that day, right? And she kept swimming, and seeing that she could not see the land, she couldn't see Catalina out in front of her because the fog was so intense, right? And she ended up quitting a mile from the shore and she, like, called the race, or called the swim, right? And got in the boat, and then realized she was only a mile from shore. She had swum the 25 miles, and then just like, missed her goal, like by a mile. And so, then she ended up doing it again, and that day there was fog, too. But she didn't let the fog tell her that she wasn't there, that she wasn't close to her goal, and she kept going, and she made it all the way there, right?
And your brain, so many times you are so much closer to your goal than you think, but your brain is operating by finding like all the time, it's searching for what's not done, how we aren't there, right? Like if we use the Denver example, my brain would be like, you know, let's say I get to Colorado Springs, I'm sitting on the tarmac, my brain. If that was a goal, my brain was like, yeah, you're never going to get there, like you've tried so hard, and you're never going to get that right when really, we're just at the very last leg of it, okay? And so your brain is just the worst indicator of progress because it stops paying attention to all the things you have done, and only pays attention to what you haven't done, right? And it's resetting that starting line over, and over, and over again as soon as you accomplished it, it becomes irrelevant to your brain, right? And your brain only then sees what you still haven't done. And so, just recognize that like, you can't trust your brain to tell you whether or not you are making progress, okay?
All right, number four, stop wanting it to feel good. So, I know that we talked about this in the "Start Here" podcast, but it applies to starting, and it applies, to keeping going equally, okay? So, remember, we talked about your brain's priorities seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, saving energy, right? Now, I told you that the only tool your brain has to stop you is thought, but that's kind of a lie, right? It really has two tools, right? Because when you think a thought, it produces an emotion in your body, so your brain uses this mechanism of thought, and emotion to stop us from going forward towards our goals if they go against those priorities, right? So, your emotions are directive, right? Meaning that if it feels good, we move toward it. And if it feels bad like we have an instinct to move away from it, or to stop doing it.
And so, your brain uses thought to create emotion in your body to direct you towards or away from its priorities, not yours, remember? And so, your brain like, it's running that negotiation that I talked about, but it is using emotion as part of that negotiation, right? So, that means that a lot of your goals that don't align with your brain's goals like you're going to have negative emotion come up, your brain is trying to direct you away from that thing because it's not in line with its goals, okay? So, that means that a lot of your goal work isn't going to feel great, okay? Your brain doesn't want it to feel great to you on purpose. So, that is not a problem unless we expect to. Sometimes we set goals, and we expect to feel amazing about it. We expect to feel excited, we expect to feel motivated, we expect to feel committed, right? Your brain does not want to create any of those emotions for you because your goal is going against its priorities. And so, it is purposely giving you negative emotion to move you away from the goal to direct you away from the goal.
What I want you to know is you don't have to feel good, you don't have to feel motivated. Your brain is not going to create that for you by itself. It is trying to actually unmotivate you, right? Because it has different priorities. Now, of course, you can feel motivated, and committed, and all the things you want, but you will have to create that emotion on purpose by deciding what you want to think, okay? And what I want you to know is that, in fact, you don't even need to feel those emotions, you can just do things anyway, and recognize that my brain doesn't want this thing, but I do. And there are just going to be plenty of moments on the way to your goal that are painful, right? There's so much discomfort in going for things outside of your comfort zone, please don't let that stop you, right? And actually, this is one of the things that is most amazing about goals like, yes, you are going to achieve the thing that you are going after if you keep going. But also you are going to build your capacity to feel discomfort. You're going to build your ability to feel pain and discomfort and not quit.
So I think I've mentioned to you before about Courtney Dauwalter, who's like an incredible ultra marathon runner. And she gave this interview not too long ago, I know that I've talked to you guys about it, but I just want to remind you about what she said about the pain, and discomfort that she feels as she's going towards something, right? She said that instead of trying to put off getting to the place where it hurts, or where her brain is like, this is too painful, let's stop. She tries to celebrate getting to that place, getting to the place where it hurts, getting to the place where it's hard, right? And then, when she arrives there, the place where she calls the pain cave, she's like, awesome, right? Like, this is where the real work begins, this is where, like, I get to triumph over my brain.
And so, I want all of you to think about the discomfort that is created by your goal. So, many times we're like, oh, I don't want to feel this, and we kind of like, want to quit or stop, right? Like our brain, that emotion is directive. But what Courtney Dauwalter was saying is like, we want to move towards that feeling. That place is the place we are actually trying to get to, right? And then if we look forward to it because our brains are so powerful, we can flip that story, right? That instead of not wanting the pain, instead, we say, like, perfect, this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to get to the place where it hurts. I wanted to get to the place where I am required to overcome my brain, okay? So, part of the work of our goal is is not just getting to the goal, but is to increase our capacity for discomfort, and notice, like if you are happy to get there, if you get there, and you acknowledge like this means I'm accomplishing the things I want.
This means I'm taking control of my life. This means I'm overcoming the negotiations of my brains. And you look forward to it and you celebrate it. Then you don't have to solve for it, right? Like, we don't have to have strategies to endure the discomfort. If that is exactly where we wanted to end up and intended to end up, okay? So, stop wanting it to feel good. In fact, like you can even like look forward to feeling the discomfort as an indication that you are getting the things you want out of your life, okay?
The last thing that I want you to stop is to stop questioning. Stop questioning if you should have the goal. Stop questioning the validity of your dream. Stop questioning your capacity, right? Like, stop questioning your ability to get to Denver, right? Stop questioning if you're crazy, or if you should be doing it, or if you should spend the time and energy, or if it's worth it, stop questioning it. We waste so much time questioning, and again, this just goes back to the negotiation of the brain, right? We are questioning it because it doesn't feel good and we think it should. We have setbacks, and obstacles, and things don't go as fast as we think they should or the way they think we should. You know, we start questioning it and our ability to get there. So, we are in this constant battle where we want the goal, or our progress in the goal to make it worth it to us like to make us feel good, and to make us feel like we're getting somewhere, right? But we have to stop questioning that. The more time you spend questioning, and flip flopping, and trying to figure out if your goal is possible, or reasonable, or doable, the less time and energy you have to put towards your goal, right?
Like if I'm in Colorado Springs, and I just am like, I don't know, I don't know if I can make it, and I stop and I get off the plane, and I question it, and I try to figure out, like, am I capable of getting there and what I really want? Like, I'm just wasting time getting to my goal. Your brain is really, really going to want to fixate on whether or not you should be pursuing the goal in the first place rather than just doing it, okay? And it looks at all the obstacles, and the problems and like the length of time it takes to reach your goals as reasons to question your goal in the first place, as a reason to question your capacity to get it. So, I want you to stop questioning. You just decide from your highest self from what the real you wants from your highest level decision making self.
Decide where you want to go, decide your destination, decide your dreams, and your goals, and you just make the decision and then you never question it again, right? What are the experiences you want to have? What are the Denver's that you want to get to? And then don't question or waver again? Just keep going, okay? We have to stop needing reassurance from our goals, or our progress, or our feelings and just decide, decide what is our vision for our life and figure out how to get there, right? Stop questioning, and just decide this is happening, I am going to figure out how to make it happen.
Now, I also want to tell you that it makes it a whole lot easier to keep going when you have a coach, right, for all of these reasons because our brain is negotiating with us and we need a way to talk back to it, to recognize our thoughts for what they are and to have an answer to all of that. We need a coach because our brain doesn't notice progress, but our coach can, it can point out to us so many times my coach, I'll tell my coach like, I'm failing, this isn't working, and she'll be like, Give me the fact, right? And as soon as I start writing down the facts, I'm like, Oh, maybe I'm farther along than I thought, right? And finally, we are going to feel bad a lot as we achieve our goals and having a coach to talk about our thoughts and feelings can make a huge, huge difference. It's reassuring. Like, my coach will tell me all the time, this is what growth feels like when my brain is directing me away from it, she'll remind me, this is what I want to move towards, right? This is what growth feels like, wherever you want to get to whatever you want to achieve, a coach can help you, like, manage the mental chatter you're going to have so that you can get there. We have human brains and they are trying to keep us safe and it's like, so sweet, right?
But this primitive part of our brain also isn't that great at creating new things and achieving new goals. And so, you really have to see the perspective like your long term vision in order to keep going. Stop listening to your brain and keep going. You have the unlimited capacity to create, and you can get any where you want in your life. You can create any experience you want to have, if you don't stop. Don't stop your life is yours. Don't let your brain call the shots and negotiate its way out of the life that you really want. Get all the things you came for. Go all the places that you want to go because they are there. They are 100% available to every single one of you. And that, my friends, is 100%awesome. I love you for listening, and I'll see you next week!
A lot of us think that God is disappointed in us, after all, he knows everything about us. Everything about us isn't always amazing, but God is never disappointed in you and I want you to know why. Download my free course, How God Really Feels About You; and Learn Three Secrets That Will Help You Feel His Love. Go to aprilpricecoaching.com/howGodfeels and learn how much he loves and approves of you exactly as you are.
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