I see far too many people who either say they don’t know what they want or are too afraid to say it out loud. Now, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while now, you might guess that our thoughts are the culprit in this situation.
This week, I highlight the three emotions that truly hold us back in our decision-making and how you can overcome them. I also explore how our belief systems are outdated, and even unconscious most of the time. Questioning what you believe to be true is the key to achieving your dreams, and I provide a set of questions you can ask yourself to do this!
Tune in to start pursuing what you want today! My friends, life is too short to be living an unfulfilled life!
You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 13.
Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here is your host, Tobi Fairley.
Lucky 13. Hey there, we’re on podcast 13. How are you today? What are you doing? You know what, I’m recording this episode right after getting back from Dr. Mark Hyman’s first ever Feel Good Summit in Southern California. And it was amazing.
Some of my favorite gurus like Marie Forleo and Geneen Roth and of course Dr. Mark Hyman were speakers, and it was just spectacular. And my mom, who’s my traveling buddy and I went there to this event for I think – let’s see, three or four days while my daughter was away at summer camp for a couple of weeks and we had a ball.
And you know what? This is actually kind of a big deal for me that I went. You know, just going to something for fun and to nurture myself is a big deal because in the past, before I radically transformed my relationship with time and radically changed my thoughts and my beliefs, I likely would not have gone to this event just for fun. I would have wanted to but I would have instead worked the whole weekend.
And I probably would not have believed I needed to take the time off work or to spend the money. But not anymore. I have created a life where I have both time freedom and financial freedom to do what I want. And it’s appropriate really that the event was called the Feel Good Summit because man, does it ever feel good to say yes to myself and go to this event and do other things in my life for no other reason than because I want to and because I can.
Yes. So today I want to talk to you, now that I’ve been on my soapbox about what is keeping you from doing the things that you really want to do and creating the life that you really want to live. You know, this process of getting to what we want and doing it really starts with helping you first decide what you want and giving you the courage to own what you want, and then to make it happen.
And I work with people every single week in my monthly coaching program that’s called Design You, and with private coaching clients and others, and so many of them cannot tell me what they want. But what I know is that what they really want is already there in their thoughts and in their heart. It always is. They just don’t have the courage to say it out loud or even admit it to themselves. They’re too afraid to own it and believe it and to go for it.
So why is that? Well, I think there are a few reasons, and they’re all about fear. You know, first, I found that people are afraid to say what they want because they don’t believe they deserve it or that they can achieve it. They’re afraid to want it even for fear that it won’t happen or they’ll be disappointed. They’re afraid of the work, a lot of times, and the time it will take to make it happen. And they don’t believe in their own personal power or their ability to get the results that they dream about.
A lot of these people are afraid to be vulnerable and to put their authentic self and their desires out to the world. A lot of them are crippled with indecision, which I also call perfectionism because they believe that if they decide on something that they want and they verbalize it, that from that point forward, they can never ever undecided it or tweak it or change it not want it anymore, even at some point in the future.
So before they can officially decide to want it and go after it, they believe that they must get the thing defined exactly the way they want it to be forever with perfection because it’s permanent once you say you want something, right?
And as you’ve learned, if you’ve listened to my podcast before, and particularly if you ever listened to podcast number four, and by the way, if you didn’t, you should, about the model. If you have heard me talk about the model, then you realize like I do that all of these things that are stopping us from getting what we want that, you know, are leading us to feel fear, those things are just thoughts. They’re not the truth, they’re not our circumstances. They’re just our thoughts. And that means the only thing standing between us and what we really want is us.
So what about you? Can you be brave? Can you admit what you want? If you don’t like where you work, why are you still there? And do you have a plan to change that with deadlines and it’s on your calendar? If you don’t like the size you are or how you feel, same thing, what’s the plan? When will you take the first step?
If you want to travel or to go grow or to create or to get a new hobby, why haven’t you? And when will you? And if it’s our thoughts that are holding us back, what in the heck do we do about it?
Well, I think first we have to look at our thoughts and really how they’re making us feel when we try to make decisions on what we want. And you know what, the most common feelings that I find most of us feel when trying to dream or leap or grow are three specific feelings. They are confusion, and worry, and overwhelm.
And these three feelings in particular are often crutches that we use to not have to decide because we think deciding is scary. So as long as we can stay confused or worried or overwhelmed, we don’t have to decide. These feelings are our excuse or our scapegoat or our exit strategy from our dreams. These feelings are what are called indulgent emotions. And we indulge in the emotion or the feeling as a way to procrastinate. It’s a way to stop us from going after what we really want. It’s a way to keep us from feeling other emotions like fear.
So let’s look at these. First, let’s look at confusion. You know what confusion is? Confusion is quitting ahead of time. Confusion has us spinning thoughts and considering tons of options, but it never allows us to make a decision or take an action. And as long as you’re confused, you typically won’t even take a first step. And you know what? The first step is actually the solution to confusion. If you try something and you get feedback, then you know if you like it or not and if you want it. And then you’re no longer confused, and then you have more clarity on the next step.
So if you want to quit ahead of time and never ever achieve your dreams, then confusion is definitely the way to go. Be absolutely confused. And realize – I’m joking of course but realize that confusion is nothing but a habit. And like all feelings, confusion is completely optional. You just have to become aware of it when confusion shows up and you have to decide to be anything and to feel anything except confused. Well, of course, instead of confused and worried and overwhelmed, okay?
So you have an option. And here’s the thing: if you find that you’re a person who tends to hang out in confusion, then I want you to adopt this as your new mantra. Have you heard the saying, any action is better than inaction? Well, those of you who tend to hang out in confusion, you need to adopt this as your new mantra. Any action is better than inaction. Okay, so that’s confusion.
Now, what about worry? Well, my mentor, Brooke, says worry pretends to be necessary. Let that sink in for just a minute because it’s so true. Worry feels active. It seems required when something that we don’t like happens, right? It feels like you’re doing something for yourself or for someone else. But the truth is worry is passive. It’s not an action. And it changes absolutely nothing. Worrying is a complete waste of time. Think about all the real action you could take in all the hours that you spend worrying.
We could likely already have every single one of our dreams by now if we stopped worrying just tried things instead, right? And what we don’t realize when we’re worrying is that the worst that could happen, the worst thing that we’re worried about if we went for something, if we tried something, if we stepped into our dreams and it didn’t work out, ironically, the worst-case scenario is almost always exactly what is happening to you right now.
What I mean by this is if you say, try to start a new business, and it fails, then the worst-case scenario is you have to get a real job working for someone else that is unfulfilling and doesn’t make you a lot of money. But probably the reason you’re dreaming about starting a business is because the place you are right now is working for someone else in a job that’s unfulfilling and it’s not paying you a lot of money, right?
And this is true for every scenario. Try it out. Think about what you want, think about what you’re worrying about and you’re afraid of and the worst-case scenario and then realize it’s probably exactly where you are today. So the truth is you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a leap and not worrying. Okay, so we’ve covered confusion and worry. Let’s look at overwhelm.
Now, overwhelm, it is my personal favorite of the indulgent emotions. I spent years in overwhelm, really accidentally not achieving my dreams because I was overwhelmed. And I wasn’t ever afraid to say out loud what my dreams were, but I took on so many dreams and took them on all at once that overwhelm really became my personal BFF. Like, we – overwhelm and me, we are tight. I know overwhelm so well.
And I used overwhelm to take a break sometimes and to rest. When my brain was tired of thinking of all the things I was trying to accomplish when I was absolutely overcommitted and exhausted for years, as long as I could create a dramatic overwhelm episode, then I could really sort of procrastinate and take a break from my absurd expectations of myself and others.
And you know what else? No effective solution ever comes from overwhelm. Those effective solution does come when you’re calm and when you’re reasonable. Not when you’re overwhelmed. In fact, overwhelm stops everything in its tracks. Overwhelm is paralyzing. And overwhelm prolonged my own path to reaching both time freedom and financial freedom, which were my goals. It really prolonged my path to both of those for years.
And I really didn’t understand that overwhelm was A, my problem, or B, that it was optional. But it was both. So the first step in getting what you really want is to eliminate confusion and worry and overwhelm from your life. Pick any other emotions but don’t pick these because they’re indulgent and they aren’t serving you.
And you know what? While you’re at it, go ahead and get rid of anxiety too. It’s the other of the indulgent emotion of choice and just wipe it off also because I don’t want you hanging out in anxiety either. I want you to move forward, okay? So the first step is to just banish indulgent emotions from your life.
Now what? Well next, to go after our dreams, we need to dig into our belief systems or what beliefs expert Shelly Lefkoe, who I just heard speak at the Feel Good Summit, she calls our belief systems very appropriately, our BS. So you have to call yourself out on your own BS, or belief system, okay?
Well, why do we need to do that? Well, did you know that 92% of people who try and change something in their life fail? Well, you might have known it was a lot but 92%, wow. That means only 8% of us make the stuff that we really want in our lives a reality.
So what’s the problem with the 92%? Well, it’s our belief system that’s the problem. And we want to think that the reason we never change is because humans are resistant to change. But it’s not exactly change that we’re resistant to. We are resistant to go against our own personal belief systems.
But if we change our beliefs, our actions follow. So what beliefs are you keeping, hanging on to, clinging to, without maybe even knowing it, that are keeping you from deciding what you want and going after it? Well, to figure that out, you have to become a watcher of your thoughts. Because beliefs are actually just thoughts that we have though over and over and over and over and over for years.
And you know, really many of our beliefs come from our childhood or from a long time ago, at least, and they’re nothing more than thoughts, even though they seem like our guiding truths. So it’s really important that we allow ourselves to even write down what we want and even if we think it’s pie in the sky, like, write it down, have the guts to put it on paper because that’s when we can see what beliefs come up that are going to keep us from taking big leaps to our dreams.
So let me tell you a few beliefs that might be the ones you’re holding on to just to get you started. Here’s a few of them that you could have and you might not even realize that they’re your problem. Okay, so ask yourself, do I believe going after what I want is too hard? Because if you think that, it will be, okay?
Ask yourself, do I believe it will take too long? Because by all means, it’s not taking a long time for you to stay stuck in emotions or beliefs for the rest of your life, right? So do you believe what you want will take too long? Ask yourself, do I believe it’s selfish or greedy to want what I want? Do I believe I’m not smart enough? Not thin enough? Not rich enough? Not pretty enough? Or not worthy enough to have my dreams?
Do I believe that money is the root of all evil or do I believe that rich people are jerks? Or do I believe that fancy cars or showy and frivolous when there are children starving in the world? Do I believe that I don’t need anything to be happy? That a simple frugal life is admirable? Do I believe that my gender or my religion or my age isn’t congruent with wanting what I want?
Do I believe that my family and my friends, or even complete strangers will judge me for what I want? And do I believe if they do judge me, it will be so painful? Do I believe that it’s reckless or risky to change jobs when the one I have is stable and pays well, even though it’s boring and it’s killing me a little bit every single day?
Do I believe things should last forever? Like cars and marriages and friendships and businesses and washing machines? Do I think they should never be over or die? Do I believe my friends and my family should weigh in on my decisions because I don’t trust myself to make good decisions alone?
And you know what, that’s just a list I came up with off the top of my head. And there are literally thousands or even millions of beliefs that you could have that are holding you back. But can you start to see how powerful our beliefs are? And can you see that changing your belief system or your BS could allow you to own and go after what you really want in life, maybe for the very first time?
You know, it’s really not that big of a shift a lot of times that we need to make to go from say, believing things should last forever, to believing things run their course or to believing that just because they’re over doesn’t mean they were bad.
You could choose to believe, say, that a job was great while it lasted but it’s time for you to do something new. Just that simple change in your belief system can open up a world of possibilities for you and your life. And don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that you personally have to make hoards of money or even want to make it. You don’t have to own your own business, you don’t have to do something that the world will think is spectacular or be a certain size or have 2.5 kids and a big house.
It just means that you do get to decide what you want. You and only you get to make that decision. So don’t let indulgent emotions or outdated belief systems that were mostly passed on to you from other people and likely ingrained in you years ago be the things that stand in your way of owning what you want and then creating the life you dream of, a life that is unique and courageously yours, no matter what anybody else things. Because it’s your choice. And I want you to see also that not deciding because of your indulgent emotions or your belief systems is really still deciding.
If you don’t decide to go after something amazing, and stretch yourself, and experience life, and grow and show yourself what you’re actually capable of, you are still making a decision. A decision to be less fulfilled that you might could be. So how long will you wait to have what you want? How long will you wait to feel good or to be inspired or to be happy? Forever?
Life is short, friends. I hope you will take your life by the horns and get rid of pesky indulgent emotions and outdated belief systems and step into the highest version of you. Start today.
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You at tobifairley.com.