The Mountains We Create

When you set a goal for yourself, do you listen to your internal dialogue?  Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? Is your glass half full? Half empty? Refillable? Do outside elements influence you? The weather? Traffic? The clock?

When you set a goal for yourself, what self-talk or limiting dialogue happens in your head? Are you aware of it? Do you let it go on and on? Do you ignore it? Squash it? Do you wait for some outside source or sign to validate the thought?

“Traffic is heavy. I shouldn’t go to that networking event tonight.”

“Need to start that diet after the holiday.”

“See, I always mess up at this.”

“Do you really think you can……”

How many speed bumps or hurdles do you create to make that goal or milestone unattainable?  A mountain to climb.

It’s a scientific fact that when we set a goal for ourselves, we instantly identify obstacles to prevent its achievement. It’s a human protective element. We do this to ourselves and we do this to others. When we tell others our goals, they respond and offer insights; either encouragement or detailed insights into the challenges and obstacles on the horizon.

It was dance banquet night and as I sat at the table with one of my fellow and cherished dance moms, she announced to the table her 12-year-old daughter intended to start a car fund.  The mom communicated, “she want to purchase her own car when she turns 16.”

The table responded with affirmative and supportive comments.

“Good for her.”

“Love that”

“Great Goal.”

Then the mom communicated the vehicle of choice was a Tesla.  For some reason, this announcement completely changed the goal.  The reactions and responses instantly changed. The hilarity of such a lofty ambition. The comments became:

“Did you warn her about the cost of insurance for a luxury vehicle?”

“How’s she gonna afford that?”

“Oh, that’s choice.”

“Well maybe a used one……”

“A tesla?  She can get a Fiat. Fiat’s start at $17,000.”

As with most conversations the conversation diverted to new dialogue and we never revisited the topic.  But the conversation resonated with me. Why did the model of the vehicle impact the ability for achievement?  Who were we to place judgement on this goal? How often do we do the same to ourselves?

I can lose 5 pounds, but 20 is a huge endeavor.

I can run a 5K, but not a marathon.

I can make $75,000 in a year, but $100,000 is a reach.

Insert your limiting belief.

The next day I called my friend and told her to play my voice mail to her daughter on speaker.

“I was thinking about our table conversation last night and your daughter’s goal for a Tesla when she’s 16.  Please let her listen to this message.

You want to buy a Tesla? I say go for it!! I hope you find a way to fund this purchase. I hope you have a massive brain spurt that will give insight into how to make the money. And don’t feel like you have to settle on a pre-owned one.  Go for it, because it’s good to have a goal. Go for it!  Be the only 16-year-old at your high school who purchased their own Tesla.”


To jump the hurdle, overcome the obstacle, go over the speed bump or climb the mountain, consider these tips to achievement.

  • Keep a picture of what the end goal is: a photo of the car, the vacation spot, the dress, the house, the diploma. Some visionary prompt in a prominent spot like your phone or computer screen saver image, your office, or your nightstand so that you see it every day. Create a vision board. Look at it daily and believe that you can achieve it.
  • Work with a life or business coach to help keep you on track. No budget? Is that a self-imposed obstacle? Find a friend who is loyal to the death, believes in you and your goal as much as you do and will hold you accountable to timelines.
  • Ask yourself the following:
    1. Why do I want to achieve this? Knowing your “why” is key and has momentum in itself to you propel you forward. What’s the reason behind the goal? Go deep on this one. It’s not simply “to be debt free.” Keep asking yourself why again and again and again.  When that a-ha moment arrives. You’ll know it.
    2. What are the three steps needed to get there? Breaking down a goal into chunks creates a pathway and identifies the road to get there. Can you place a date on the steps and call them milestones or targets for achievement? If you plan to create a new website, by what date would you have the domain name, write the content for the pages, and then launch it? Then you can add detail to each of the steps to break those down into chunks.
    3. What realistic date could I achieve this? Placing a timeline on a goal means you will need to take action.  What would make you start today? Tomorrow? Keep pushing the date out on the calendar?  Return to your “why.”
    4. Celebrate your successes! Not necessarily with chocolates but tell your friends and neighbors. Post it on social media. Share photos.
    5. Practice these daily. Know that there will be bad days. You will doubt yourself.  You will question yourself.  Revisiting your “why” and reflect on your successes will propel you to more action.
  • Find a quote that resonates and inspires you towards your goal. Read it every day when you get up and when you go to bed. Some of my favorites:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

“All Limitations are Self-imposed.” 

“Yesterday, I really wanted a burrito and today I’m eating a burrito. Follow your freaking dreams.”

“Dream becomes reality when passion and persistence meet.”

When you set your next goal, consider the obstacle that comes to mind as a gift helping you identify steps towards the target. Those thoughts are enabling, supporting, and encouraging a proactive mindset to prepare for the journey to achievement. And remember that the obstacle is merely a speed bump.  Not a mountain.

Dream It. Believe It. Achieve it.

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