I’ve recently made a concentrated effort to return to the habit of goal setting. Writing down my yearly and monthly aims every morning and every night. I’m bad at it, usually only get the mornings in, but I feel so clear-headed from it. I steal a page out of Grant Cardone’s book the 10X rule and I set my goals as unreasonably high as I can.
The theory is that humans are terrible predictors of how much effort a goal takes. Your assumption of what it would take to make 100k this year is almost entirely wrong. So when you miss your goal, you will be completely discouraged.
Cardone’s suggeston is instead of 100k, try to make a million. That sounds crazy, and it is. But he’s right. The aim at a higher target will summon the sleeping parts of you needed to get where you want to be.
I’ve always believed I am capable of big things. Thats why small things don’t delight me.
My addiction is momentum. I am happiest when things are popping off and saddest when things grind to a halt.
With all this as a background, I’ve recently been able to put words to one of the traps I set for myself, and I bet you do.
Inside of me, is a traitor. A judgmental bitch boy of a man who is waiting for the smallest thing to go wrong so he can throw his hands up in the air and say he knew it all along. There is a voice that has a bad feeling about everything ambitious and has an even deeper need to be right. When I write out my goals in a cafe he is embarrassed, he thinks everyone would laugh if they knew how high I was aiming.
Much like a conservative radio host, this creature inside me lives in a world of perpetual confirmation bias. One of the facets of confirmation bias is we stop seeing all the data. We see the data that supports our conclusion.
This shadow friend loves to compare, and he is a master at doing it at the worst possible time.
I’ve been eating healthy for weeks, the shadow voice will wait til I’m drunk at a birthday party and say “well you’re not that serious about your diet are you?”.
I will miss a flower sweep in competition, and the voice will say “if you’re not good at that move that you practice so much, how bad are you at everything else that you don’t practice?”
This is the constant and depressing habit of invalidating yourself. Comparing what you could be to what you are. But never after a workout, never after a roaring applause from the crowd, only after failure.
This negative ghost is, bafflingly, trying to help. In its own fucked up way, it is trying to protect you from the sting of failure. This voice is constant exercise in forrest for the trees thinking. It never makes exceptions, it never gives you credit, it is a legalist worst than any airline customer service rep you have ever had to try and negotiate with.
I fall for this all the time. I take what the voice says as gospel, and not just as a very closed minded fortune cookie.
The weakness of the voice is it has no hope, and like everyone is future blind. No one knows what will become of me. I may be a world champion one year, or I could have a severe head injury and live in a home for the rest of my life. We can all prognosticate, but the future is finding the light switch in a dark room.
Believing that there is no light switch is the least helpful belief.
Listen to your traitor, but don’t trust him. And don’t let him make any plans.