Transcript: Goal Anxiety with Dina Cataldo
We tend to think that something has gone wrong if we feel anxiety when we're thinking about a goal.
That we're not doing something right or that we can't achieve a goal.
What if that wasn't the case?
What if we could use that anxiety to discover what we needed to achieve our goal with more ease?
All of us want all the things to feel good before we take action on what we want.
But as long as we allow anxiety to run the show and prevent us from taking action, then we're keeping ourselves small.
In this episode you'll learn what goal anxiety is, where it comes from, how to deal with it, and how to get the most from this emotion. You'll actually use anxiety to play bigger in your life. You'll play the long game instead of letting anxiety keep you stuck in the short game.
I'm also going to give you some specific examples of where this may be showing up for you, so you can manage your mind around the anxiety around anything you want to achieve.
Now, if you haven't heard, my New Masterclass for Lawyers is this Thursday, June 2nd, and I'll be talking about achieving big goals with more ease by transforming who you are now into the person who has what you want.
It's called “Your Next Evolution,” and you can sign up now at dinacataldo.com/evolution
You're going to learn the biggest hurdles lawyers have when it comes to building their practice, deciding to leave their current positions and achieving any other ambitious goal.
One of those hurdles is managing their anxieties and fears, and I'm going to help you do that.
Make sure you save your spot. This Masterclass is gonna be a good one.
You can save your seat at dinacataldo.com/evolution
With that, let's jump into goal anxiety.
What is Goal Anxiety?
Just like it sounds. Goal Anxiety is anxiety we have when we think about any particular desire or goal.
I looked up the Webster's definition of the word “anxiety,” and I didn't like any of them. They didn't quite hit the mark.
For instance, anxiety isn't a state of being; you can't just be an anxious person. Anxiety is a feeling in our bodies.
Some of us feel it more often than others.
It's not abnormal or bad.
It just is.
Where does Goal Anxiety come from?
Feelings are energy. That means anxiety is an energy that we have in our body.
Our body has electricity coursing through it. That's why a defibrillator can resuscitate us when our heart stops. Anxiety is just one frequency of energy within our body. Some frequencies are more helpful and others aren't.
When we have anxiety specifically about a desire or goal that we have, it's because we have thoughts creating that anxiety.
They could be thoughts like, “I don't know what I'm doing,” “I don't know where to start,” “I need to prove myself,” “It's not working.”
It's not even important that we pinpoint the thought right now, but I want to bring you that awareness.
How to deal with Goal Anxiety?
Anxiety is just a feeling in your body, and it's nothing you need to push away.
In fact, trying to push it away can make it feel worse.
The goal here is not to label anxiety as bad and change our thoughts as quickly as possible to get out of anxiety.
The goal isn't to push through the anxiety and pretend it isn't there.
Recognize it and let it be.
Then the uncomfortable part is to sit with the anxiety and not reach for your phone, or food or some other things to distract you from the feeling you're having.
Sitting with it can actually help a lot of time, but because we usually think something's wrong we just push through it without acknowledging it or asking ourselves what we need.
Instead we want to use the awareness of anxiety to help us achieve our goals with more ease. Here's how.
How can use use Goal Anxiety to help you?
If your brain generates anxiety when you think about your goal, you can use that to help achieve your goal.
Our job is to get to work seeing what our brain is offering us and recognizing where our brain is lying to us.
For example, let's say you want to add a new practice area to your business. Your brain will offer you up a lot of thoughts. If you recognize that you are feeling anxiety whenever you think about that desire, then you can ask your brain what it believes about that goal.
It might offer you thoughts like:
“I'm not experienced enough.”
“My current practice is my bread and butter, so I can't stop doing that.”
“I don't have time.”
These would be your default thoughts. You're taking action — or NOT taking action — based on these thoughts.
Our brains are like a computer in the sense that there's always a background program running. So if you start typing a document, there's a program running in the background that auto saves for example. Or there's an anti-virus program that runs on autopilot, so you don't need to think about it. It's purpose is basically to make your life easier.
The brain has the same thing going on, but it only makes your life easier if you're not ambitious.
If you ARE ambitious — if you do have a goal — the autopilot thoughts can make your life harder.
That's why we want to take a look at what thoughts you're having about your goal. Depending on what they are, they could be making your life harder.
The example I gave you is a real life example that I've encountered multiple times with attorneys I've worked with. They had very similar — if not exactly the same — thoughts about adding a new practice area onto their business.
We could work through them one-by-one and start seeing where their brain was lying to them.
For instance the thought, “I'm not experienced enough,” was a thought my client had about building a mediation practice, but when we looked at it, it was untrue. Yes, she'd completed only one official mediation, but she'd been mediating for years and not giving herself credit for it. She'd mediated exchanges with clients, she'd obtained the necessary training, she had lots of street cred in her neck of the woods as someone who was reasonable and well-liked. She actually had a lot of experience. But her brain didn't default to remembering that she had lots of experience. Once she could dissolve the false belief that she wasn't experienced enough, she built the confidence to send out letters to judges and counsel letting them know she was available for mediation.
You can do the same thing for each one of the thoughts you have about your goal.
Where might your brain be lying?
How might the thought you're having be false?
For example, with the thought that you may need to stop practice one area of law, so you can pursue another, is that 100% true? How might that be false? How might you be able to do both? What options might you have? Brainstorm them. Really question what your brain offers when it says anything that sounds remotely like, “I can't because…”.
I'd say about 99% of the time it's lying when it says, “I can't,” because it's our brain's job to look for problems. We have to train it to look for solutions.
That's why anxiety can be so helpful.
It keys us into the fact that we're having thoughts about our goal that aren't helping us.
Then we can get to work asking ourselves what those thoughts are and debunking them one at a time.
When we debunk them, we can access the truth.
When we access the truth, we can release some of the anxiety and take cleaner action towards our goals.
We're not pushing ourselves or willpowering ourselves.
We're asking our brain to do the work for us.
This is some of the work I do with my clients to help them achieve their desires.
It's how my clients achieve seemingly impossible goals like building businesses on top of their legal practices or doubling their revenue in a year.
You can do this too.
I'm not a special snowflake and neither are my clients.
They do the mindset work with me week after week and go after what they want.
If you want to do that work, if you want to go after your goals with more ease and less anxiety, book a call with me.
Your practice can be a lot easier. I promise.
Book a call with me at dinacataldo.com/strategysession
Thanks for listening. I'll talk you Thursday.