Ep #253: Impossible Goal Action

So many of us think small.

We think in terms of what we believe IS possible.

When we think this way, we create futures based on our past and our lives look the same for the rest of our lives.

We stop creating, we stop growing…

Today, we take a deeper look at the power of setting impossible goals for yourself and talk about how to take action toward them.

Join me as I review the reasons for setting an impossible goal and show you how to bridge the gap between your impossible goal and your immediate reality. I explain what you can do to make sure that you’re having your next actions be possible and how to think about these concepts in a way that keep you moving forward and the big scary goal doesn’t keep you frozen.

If you have set an impossible goal for yourself, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book.  It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!

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What You will discover

  • Why you should set an impossible goal and ask your brain to think in a bigger way.
  • How to live from the future of already having accomplished your impossible goal.
  • How to keep moving and ensure you don’t freeze up while working toward your impossible goal.
  • The power of building momentum and how to do it.
  • Failing forward vs failing to take action.

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Get the Full Episode Transcript:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Well hello there my beautiful friends, what an amazing day. I am just finishing up a week that I spent doing a model-thon and some mentoring work with my 100K group and my millionaire group and I'm on fire, y'all.

I love meeting with my millionaire group because everybody in there is so on fire and so positive and so excited and creating so much freaking money, it just feels like we're all just giddy about the world and about ourselves and about our lives. And it makes me so happy just to think that because our lives have crossed, we're creating so much abundance in the world. I love it, y'all. I love it.

It's funny because sometimes people tell me that it's irresponsible of me to tell people that they can achieve impossible things. And I'm like, irresponsible? How is that irresponsible? I think it's irresponsible to tell people that they can't achieve what they currently think is impossible. So I'm never changing my stance on that. I will never soften my message and say, "Well, maybe we should all just be a little bit more realistic. Maybe we should all just sit around and complain a little bit more."

That will never be me. You can count on it. There are people who will sit around and complain and make excuses, and there are people that will light their own fire and blow their own damn minds. And I like hanging around with people that want to blow their own damn minds. I want the people who are willing to be uncomfortable.

Many times during that millionaire mentoring session people said, "I feel like I'm going to throw up." I'm like, you're right on track. And then they'll say, "I hope you're not going to yell at me." I don't actually yell, but I think I'm a little bit scary. It's alright. We are talking about things that really matter and I'm always really confrontational and truthful, and so super fun. I love it.

It's like the road less traveled, my friends. So, on that same topic, let's talk about how do you take action on your impossible goal. So if you don't know what an impossible goal is, let me just briefly review. If you're in Self-Coaching Scholars, I shouldn't even have to say if you all. If you're not in Self-Coaching Scholars, what the heck? Come on. Let's do this work at the deepest level.

In Self-Coaching Scholars, we all have an impossible goal that we're trying to achieve, and the purpose of having an impossible goal is many, and there's many reasons for having that impossible goal and I will review them here in a minute, but we also need to be able to take action from today. And so in this episode, what I'm going to talk about is how do you have an impossible goal and live from that future and believe from that future and then also take action today.

So what that may look like for some of you is let's use the example of wanting to make money, or maybe the example of weight loss. So you want to make $100,000 a year in your business or in your job and that is your impossible goal and you want to do that this year and start aligning with it and you start thinking from that place, and you start believing from that place and you start mentoring yourself from that place.

It's a beautiful thing. But then you realize it's Tuesday. On Tuesday you're not there yet, so how do you take action from the future when you need to get your job done today? And that's what we're going to talk about because it's a very important distinction.

And one of the things that happened was I'm right in the middle of creating a course with my CFO master bookkeeper Mark, and we were talking about this report that we're including in the course, which we call the lead cash report, and it's a report where you think about how much money you want to make for the year and you think about how much money you want to make for each month.

And one of the mistakes I see people making is they say they want to make $100,000 for the year and then they're making zero dollars when they start, and so their first month they're trying to make $8000 so they can then meet their goal. They've spread it out evenly between the months. And it is good that it's impossible that your long goal, but we also want to make sure that you are having next actions be possible.

And so I'm going to talk about how to think about these concepts in a way that keep you moving so your impossible goal doesn't leave you frozen. So let's talk about the impossible goal first. So many of us think small. We think in terms of what is possible. And when we think about what's possible, we create futures based on our past.

We create futures that are possible and the way that we determine what is possible is by what we've already done. So we'll say, "Oh well this is what I have been able to do so that's what I will be able to do in the future." By the way, most people that's how they've lived their lives and that's why their lives look the same pretty much for the rest of their lives. They stop creating, they stop believing beyond their current capacity and they stop growing.

So my philosophy is you must have an impossible goal and you must work towards believing it. Now of course you won't believe it yet because it's impossible, and your brain will tell you that it's impossible and you just tell your brain to settle down. Tell your brain you already know it's impossible, it's fine. But as soon as you have declared an impossible goal and you have expanded the way your brain is thinking and then you have the process of believing in it, and that is the mental work that we want to do.

We want to start identifying with ourselves from our future, we want to start practicing believing in that goal. We really want to generate the vision and the excitement and the emotion that comes from thinking in a way that is beyond our current capacity, thinking in terms of impossibility. What is impossible now will be possible later.

And this really expands our vision and requires us to think in a bigger way. And we always want to be asking our brains to think in a bigger way. That being said, we also have to bring it back to the now. So let's use the example of weight loss. You may be interested in losing 30 pounds this year, but you're not going to lost 30 pounds today.

I've got to cut off a limb or a couple limbs in order to try and meet that goal today. So even though we're identifying with ourselves 30 pounds lighter and we're living from that place and we're thinking from that place and we're believing from that place, today we have to talk about what we're going to eat. We have to talk about our protocol today. We have to talk about our next meal.

So how do we bridge that gap between this impossible goal that we have for ourselves and our immediate reality? How do we plan to make $100,000 for the year when we are currently at zero or $1000? So the way that I want you to think about this in terms of goal setting is not in terms of the how and not in terms of even math.

So I think it's important to understand that you can believe in your goal of 30 pounds and know that you're going to lose 30 pounds, but if that's all you focus on, it will seem too big and too daunting in the today, in the fact that you'll get on the scale and you will have only lost one pound or maybe you will have gained one pound, and that 30 pounds will seem so far away that you will give up on that goal.

And so being able to live and kind of straddle those two concepts is super important. So how do we focus in the here and now to generate that impossible goal for ourselves? Now, here's something I want you to know. All impossible goals are created on a pile of failures. And you have to set each day up with the willingness to fail. You have to say, today I'm going to eat every single thing on my protocol without fail. I'm going to make 25 offers today without fail.

And you may fail, and you have to be willing to fail, but you're not going to fail in the taking of the action, but you might fail in the result that you want to create. So for example, your willingness to fail will come from I'm going to eat perfectly on protocol today, I'm going to eat everything that I said I was going to eat that I've decided 24 hours ahead of time that I'm going to eat. And then I'm going to stand on the scale and I may not have lost any weight, and that's okay. I'm going to continue to take action. I'm going to continue to believe in my impossible goal, I'm going to continue to "be willing to fail my way there."

Same thing with making offers, if you are in sales. We just had one client, she had made 32 offers with no sales, and that's how we do it. That's the process. And then all of a sudden it clicked for her and she started making sales. So here's the thing; are you willing to keep taking the action? Are you willing to keep "failing" all the way until there?

Now, as I was talking to Mark and we were talking about this report that we're creating and we were talking about how to set goals, one of the things that I told him that I've noticed with a lot of students is that they set these huge goals for themselves, which of course I love, but then they try and take huge actions as their first step.

They try and lose five pounds in one day, they try and make $8000 their first month when they've never made a dollar. And so it's important that you bring your goal down based on what you can do today. So if you made $1500 last month, your goal this month can be $2000, and then we build and then we get momentum and then we can fulfill that goal at the end.

When we try and get the result immediately, we're missing the point, and here's why. If we set a goal to lose 30 pounds and we commit to believing in that goal even though it's impossible, and we release having to know the exact how that we get there, then we can start taking action, which is how do you know what action to take? You just take the next action based on where you are today.

Now, if you are taking action because you need evidence in order to believe that you will achieve your goal or you're going to give up on your goal, then you're doing it wrong. And this is what I've seen so many people do. So they set these big goals for themselves, and then they expect themselves to lose five pounds in the first five minutes or make $8000 in the first month, and then when they don't get that evidence, they give up on that goal so fast. They give up so quickly because there's no evidence.

So what they're saying is I'll believe in that goal as long as this first month starts producing evidence right away, and if it doesn't then I'm out. What I'm suggesting is first of all, you set the big goal, second of all, you come back to today and you start taking action that makes sense based on what you did yesterday that is reflecting on what is possible for you today, and then you keep building the momentum from there.

And if you don't get results right away, then you shift back to your belief, then you come back to taking the next action. You shift to your belief and then you start taking your next action. It's very easy to get confused by this, to set a big goal for yourself and then expect the goal to start manifesting, to start creating evidence this minute.

Now, the problem is we don't believe hard enough yet, so in the beginning, our results are usually pretty dismal because we've just started practicing believing something. And because our results are dismal, we sacrifice the goal because of the lack of evidence. We set ourselves up for failure in the beginning and then we stop taking action.

So back to my example of one of my amazing students who is trying to build her coaching business, and she's done all these free sessions and made all these offers, and just hasn't been able to convert people to paying clients, and she decided, forget it, I don't want to do this anymore, this is too hard, this isn't going to work, I'm not doing it right. Which granted, many people would say yeah, you're probably right, it's not working, there's lots of evidence that it won't work, you should probably give up.

And that's where most of us land and that's why most of us stop setting goals for ourselves. But what she did instead, which I think is super important is she decided to coach herself and have awareness about herself and what was going on for her as her own client, and then be able to transfer that into her sessions.

So she was feeling like giving up and quitting and then she remembered, wow, that's probably how my clients are feeling as it applies to what they're trying to do. And that is the same for all of us. We always want evidence, we always want proof that something will work in order to believe in it. And we're willing to believe in impossible goals as long as the evidence comes pretty quickly.

And I've had some clients recently who have told me, "I believe in my impossible goal with all of my heart," and yet I know that they don't yet because they aren't producing results. Now, how do you know where you are in this process? I'm going to give you a really good way to kind of evaluate yourself as you're moving towards your impossible goal.

The action that you're taking now will move you forward even if your results aren't there. So for example, if you eat on protocol, you're moving towards your impossible goal. If you eat on protocol and pay attention and make adjustments, you are moving forward. Even if you're not getting the result you want yet, you're taking action towards your goal. And even though you're "failing" because the results aren't there yet, you're still moving forward.

Now, if you have set yourself up to be immobilized because you've made your next action step too challenging or so you can't actually do it so you're not taking action, you will not be moving forward. You won't even be failing forward. So people will say to me all the time, "Well, I'm failing at my goal because I'm not taking action." That is not what I'm talking about.

You have to be what we call failing forward. You have to be taking action and getting different results, taking an action, taking a different action, keep moving forward. You might need to adjust your protocol, you might need to change the way you're doing your sales call, you might need to change your approach but you keep taking action based on what's present in your life today.

You can't say, "Well, I need to lose 10 pounds today," which some of you guys do and you do that with money too. I need to lose 10 pounds today in order to achieve my impossible goal, so therefore I won't do anything because I recognize that I'm not going to be able to do that.

So think about your own life and think about your own impossible goal and ask yourself the question, are you continuously taking massive action towards the goal that you have set for yourself? And one of the reasons why you may not be doing that is you have confused an impossible goal with impossible daily steps.

Your daily steps and your daily fails can't be impossible. Those have to be things that you could do and actions you can take and you can move forward and you're willing to experience the result of any kind of failure of that result so you can adjust and keep taking action towards your impossible goal.

Just because your goal out there in the future is impossible doesn't mean that your actions today. So I'm going to give you an example of my own goal and my own work that I am doing on it. So for example, as most of you know if you've been listening to the podcast, I have a goal that I would like my business to make 100 million dollars within one year, and I would like to do this within 10 years.

And what that looks like for me today is creating a webinar. It's not I need to make a million dollars today. That's not what that looks like because I wouldn’t even know how to begin to wrap my mind around that. But I do know how to create a webinar. I do know how to create value for my clients. I do know how to do a coaching call. I do know how to ask a question from one of my clients and help them with where they are right now. That is the action that I am taking today to produce the ultimate goal that I have in my mind that is my impossible goal.

The action that I'm taking today isn't impossible. Now, will I get the result that I ultimately want today that will prove that I'll make 100 million dollars? Probably not. So let me give you an example of this. There are times when I do a webinar or I sell something and the response is huge, and I get an overwhelming response, people want to be a part of it, they want to sign up, it's a wonderful thing.

Now, that is something that I can use "as evidence" that I am on my way to growing my business. But the trick is am I willing to do the webinar, make the offer, and fail at that and keep moving forward? So if I did a webinar today and nobody showed up and nobody signed up, would I still be committed to believing in my impossible goal even though I failed there? The answer is yes.

And would I then do the next best thing, which is evaluate the webinar, evaluate the process that I followed to create it and people's feedback on it and create it in a different way? That is my next best action. It's not based on making 100 million dollars. I'm still holding that space for that and I'm still believing in that, but my goal today is based on what happened yesterday, is based on what happened earlier today. That is my next best action.

And here's the truth; if you just keep taking your next best action, the next thing that you know how to do, the next thing that you know how to figure out, all of those tiny little steps are what lead to the ultimate big step. When I look back on my career and I looked at what I was doing three years ago that didn't seem like - learning how to do a Facebook ad in a class didn't feel important enough in that moment when I think about the goal that I ultimately end up with, but that was the exact action I needed to take in that moment to be able to get that goal.

So when I was talking about Mark about this, he was like, oh my gosh, I never understood it in this way. I never understood how important it is to think big and then to act small, to act on these smaller things to build up to the bigger thing. And that's why something I think he and some of his clients feel immobilized because the goal seems too big and they seem too far away from it.

I'm sure you guys have heard these clichés, "The longest journey starts with one step," but it really is true. That is really how you get there. One step at a time. you have to take the next step in front of you and even though you trip and even though you fall, you get up and you take another step, and that's - all those little steps are what build up to that impossible goal.

So you have to ask yourself what is that first next step. And what's so fascinating about it is you think the goal is so big, right? This goal of 100 million dollars, that's a ridiculous amount of money and clients and the size of my business has to be so big. But if I start thinking about the how do I do that, I get totally immobilized.

But if I think about what do I need to do to help my clients today, which I know is the next best step to getting there, that I can go to work on, and that I will go to work on and be creating and believing with all of my heart from that place no matter what happens.

And I will tell you, just kind of as a final note and as a way to kind of evaluate yourself, one of the reasons why you want to have that big goal out in front of you is because you want to have a reason to endure the failures. You want to have a reason to keep going when the results and the evidence aren't there.

It's very, very, very rare that you are going to set a goal and have it be impossible and have it be big and out of your comfort zone and only have wins all the way to it. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone that it's been quite like that. The best stories that I have, the best success stories that I have still had many fumbles along the way.

Every Super Bowl win - think about it. Every Super Bowl win had mistakes, had fumbles, had turnovers, had fourth downs, right? It's not always a success every single play, but when you keep playing the game, when you keep going, you never look back and think about all those times it didn't work out. You see that it's just a big collection of things that did work out and a bunch of things that didn't work out. That's what creates the win.

So I love that everyone in Scholars has an impossible goal, but I also want to make sure that you don't then use that impossible goal as an excuse to feel bad about yourself, as an excuse to feel immobilized because you don't know what to do next. What you do next is what's in front of you. What is the next logical step based on what you did yesterday?

If you didn’t make any money last month, this month your goal should be to make a little bit of money. Not a lot of money, not a ton of money, but just a little bit. One of my coaches that I work with, Stacey Smith, amazing. She talks about making $200,000 in your business and one of the things - she works with life coaches and helps them get to the point where they believe they can make $200,000.

And a lot of people will come to her and that will be their goal, and they won't have made any money. And so she always tells them, we got to make $2000 first. People say, "I don't want to make $2000." And we always laugh about that because you have to make $2000 if you want to make $200,000. And you know what? You make $200,000 $2000 at a time. You got to make your first dollar before you can make a million dollars.

And if you think little goals like that won't get you to your big goals, you're doing it wrong. You got to stay focused on what can I do right now that will help me get towards that. Maybe I can't lose three pounds tomorrow, but I can stay on my protocol and I can stay on my protocol for a week and I can pay attention. That's what I can do. Even if I'm not getting the result I want, I can keep taking that action, that small consistent action knowing that if I do, eventually it will create the results I want.

Do you know what doesn't create the results you want? Quitting, giving up, saying that it doesn't work. That does not get you the results you want at all. Saying that your impossible goal is impossible and then stop taking action will never get you there. What gets you there is continuously taking the next best action.

Even if you fail, even if you don't get the results you want, keep moving forward. Alright my friends, that's what I have for you today. It's how to take impossible goal action. Set a big huge goal for yourself, blow your own mind. Think from that goal, get excited about it, create a vision and then do the little task that is in front of you today. That is how you will get there.

Have a beautiful week everybody. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

0 Comments

  1. I love the idea of getting rid of my to do list and scheduling on a calendar instead. But what do you do if you have an unpredictable schedule. At work, my appointment schedule can change at a moments notice in an emergency. At home I have an infant and a toddler. I find it really difficult to schedule my own important work. Right now i make a prioritized list and work my way down it. But i still really over schedule myself.

    1. Hi Stephanie, Thank you for listening to the podcast. You can adjust your schedule each morning and plan time for unexpected events. Some other great podcasts on time management are #159 – Time Management: Making Time, #160 – Lessons Learned from Steve Chandler, #161 – Money Beliefs, and #162 – Time Management: Procrastination. –Felicia

  2. I have recently started a new job. I am a physician and I have been through several different jobs after my extensive training so I have experience with many systems. The hospital at which I am now working is in a predominantly minority community and is state funded. There are many ways that the lack of a functional system is affecting the care of the patients of this community. I am doing my part to care for my patients to the best of my ability when they finally get in to see me. What I am struggling with is the lack of integrity and accountability that is systemic. I can see many people here (physicians, nurses, administrators, etc.) that seem to have come in with a similar attitude and outlook as mine but they have all been subsumed by the predominant culture which is one of “it cannot be done here because it has not been done here.” I have a meeting in a few hours to try to speak to people that supposedly want to listen to the things that are necessary to care for the patients I see. I know I will hear many “yesses” and likely nothing will happen (anytime soon). I would like to keep trying to make things better for the patients and the staff here, but fear that after I have hit my head against a brick wall enough, I will become like the others and just accept that this is the way it is here and use “workarounds.” What is the best way to effect changes in such a large system for the betterment of society? Should I just be ok with just positively affecting the people with whom I interact and forget about the rest?

  3. I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I have a podcast suggestion.
    Hi, I’m going for a job interview soon and I’m worried about how it’s going to go. It’s so often the case that during an interview I’ll be asked a question and my mind will go completely blank! I have nothing to say and I completely stuff it up! I’ve spoken to a lot of my friends about it and it seems to be a really common thing. Can you help?? Thanks xx

    1. Hi Nia, Thank you for your question. Brooke will be responding to questions in an upcoming Questions and Answers episode. Stay tuned! –Felicia

  4. I have been listening for 6 months and I finally on 1-9-19 I saw myself in fear and I was able to watch myself feeling that fear. So I guess I had an out of body experience and every since then I have had no fear and before that day I lived in fear everyday of my life. You changed my life so I wanted to say thanks.

  5. Hello! I found you podcast a few months ago and am so grateful for all the knowledge you you have passed down to us. You’ve really made a difference in my life and help to change my patterns of though. There is, however, one question that still stands out to me ask I continue on this self-coaching journey. Here is a little background information surrounding the questions:
    I am a 23 year old studying health sciences. I have set some pretty growth promoting and challenging goals for myself (have a successful therapy practice, be a millionaire by 35) Most of what I do and the daily choices I make, I feel, are to help me achieve what I want to do and who I want to be in 5-10 years. More often than not, my significant other tells me that I worry too much about the future and not enough about the present I’ll bring up situations such as “Where should we live when we graduate? I have work opportunities out west…would you be willing to move there with me?“ or talk about finances to be able to pay off students loans and buy a house. These are all things that I think need preparation and time. I ask him these questions because I want to be able to collaborate with him and show that I want him to participate in planning our life. When he tells me that I “worry too much” i start to question myself. Is it so wrong to analyze a game plan and work hard towards future goals? Where is the line between extreme goal setting and healthy goal setting? Is there something I’m doing wrong or is it just that we don’t share the same vision?
    I look forward to hearing your perspective on things

    1. Hi EJ, Thank you for listening to the podcast. Great question! Brooke may address this in an upcoming Questions & Answers podcast. Stay tuned! –Felicia