I had a goal. This was a big goal. I dreamed and schemed about achieving this goal for over three years. It took a lot of time, money, more time and more money than I thought it was going to take to achieve this goal. But yesterday, the work paid off. I achieved my goal.
I was over the moon with joy. I danced around the room. I giggled and laughed like a loon. I subjected my little dog to my screechy singing as I bellowed, “I am Woman. Hear Me Roar!” (Apologies to Helen Reddy and my neighbors.)
That was yesterday. Today, I feel empty. I am shocked. What happened to the “party central” feeling from yesterday? I hit the big goal! I had slain the metaphorical dragon! I jumped all the hoops; walked over the fiery stones. And this hollow feeling is my reward? I feel cheated. What’s up with this?
OK…Back to coaching basics: My feelings are driven by my thoughts about the circumstance, right? So, what are my thoughts right now about achieving this milestone? I am now aware of my maniacal, inner mean girl shrieking the following:
“Goal achieved – CHECK! Now, get busy with your next audacious goal, girlfriend. Don’t be such a slacker! Get off that bodacious booty and start bringing in the big dollars…now, as in yesterday! Get moving or you will miss out and be a big LOSER! No rest for the weary! CHOP CHOP!”
Whoa…those are my thoughts? No wonder I feel like a beaten down draft horse…my inner mean girl was directing my show. If you are not familiar with your inner mean girl, I am sure she is similar to mine. My inner mean girl is fear-based, glass is half-empty, “never enough” kinda gal and I love her dearly. She saves me from dark alleys at night and those pesky velociraptors. She has a primal “LACK!” or “ATTACK!” vocabulary which has kept us humans alive for millions of years but now, well, she is just a loud, scary voice in my head; like right now. I need her to chill.
How do I do this? I play scientist with my own thoughts. I get curious and notice what thoughts are coming up. If I don’t like those thoughts (and those results), I change my thoughts. Easier said than done; but, I can tell you the more I do it, the more of a habit it becomes. And it helps to have an awesome coach who keeps reminding me of this.
Now, a sampling of my new thoughts:
“Karen — you rock! You worked REALLY hard and you met your goal. What a grand achievement! Time for a massage. Time for a party. Time for a funny-named drink with an umbrella! And, time for some girlfriend therapy. I wonder how much the flights to Kauai are right now? And, inner mean girl…thanks for your input. Here is a slice of mango as your reward. Quiet down, relax and enjoy the scenery. You stay strapped in the kiddie seat in the backseat of my car.”
Awwwwww…now, THAT feels much better. “I am Woman……!”