Goals & Self Development

Why We Fail to Achieve Our Goals

Last night I was watching The Punisher with my husband. I’d never really seen it before, but in the episodes I was watching, there is a super hot guy who is really bad. He’s like, a psycho killer. 

The weird thing about this guy though – is he’s also a total baby. He’s always whining about something. His scarred face, his childhood, his enemies. Just constant whining. 

I thought, ugh. I can’t keep watching this baby of a man go around being angry. There was even a scene where the main “good” guy is sitting with the “bad” baby guy and is totally listening to him whine and he’s being understanding. I thought, why is the “good” guy putting up with this crap?

This made me stop and think though. Why am I so annoyed with this baby guy?

We tend to be attracted to people that we admire and want to be more like, and we experience detest for people whom we see our worst traits in ourselves. 

This character wasn’t just annoying me. He was making me not want to watch the show with my husband again.

So why was I detesting this guy so much?

And thats when I realized the problem: I am a total baby myself. 

I realized that there are two me’s inside my body (yes, I’m getting schizophrenic over here).

There is the “Bad Ass Brittany” and there is the “Baby Brittany.”

Bad Ass Brittany (I’ll call her BABs) has lots of great goals, she’s strong willed, she cares about giving and being meaningful to others. She’s confident and funny and interesting.

Baby Brittany (BB) is just a total whiner. She complains, she feels sorry for herself, she is entitled, she experiences doubt and fear and lets it take over her. She gives in to any desires she may have at the current moment, like eating too many cookies and drinking too many vodka shots. She pushes people away, she has low self-esteem, and she is literally afraid of everything.

I think a lot of us (or all of us) experience this. There’s one part of you that wants to be great, and another part of you that wants to sit on the couch eating chips and watching netflix. 

This is normal and I don’t necessarily think there is a way to completely eradicate yourself of that weaker, bad influence person inside you. 

However what matters is…

Which one is usually in the drivers seat. 

And for me, last night, I realized that I have been letting BB drive, A LOT LATELY.

bad self is in the drivers seat so we can't reach our goals

BAB’s is in the back, making suggestions (that BB ignores). 

And this is a huge problem, because BB is just not capable of having the life that BAB’s wants to have (BAB’s is in charge of goal setting). 

If BAB’s sets the goals, but then lets BB drive, we are just never going to get where we want to go. 

If you’re failing to achieve your goals in most areas of your life, or its been consistent, or you just never EVER follow through on your New Years Resolutions…

You need to stop and look at the two “persona’s” that are inside of you (you know they’re there!).

There is a disconnect between who is setting your goals, and who is in the driver’s seat most of the time.

If your goal is to run 1000 miles in a year, but you let your excuse-prone, lazy, procrastinating part of yourself sit in the drivers seat too often – you’ll never reach your goal.

Don’t try to fix the excuses, the laziness, and the procrastinating. Everyone tries to do this, and its backwards. Its going to take a lot of time and energy to convince BB to change her ways. Its possible, but it may take years and years of therapy – and even still, she may never change.

The solution is to let that baby part of yourself be. She can be there, thats fine. Just put her in the back seat of the car.

Don’t try to optimize BB. Don’t try to figure out how to convince BB that eating unhealthy food is stupid. Don’t try to convince her that she shouldn’t mope about someone giving her a dirty look. She doesn’t care! She likes unhealthy food. She likes moping. And there is a good chance, she will never change.

The amount of energy and willpower that it would take BB to stay in a positive mindset – its overwhelming. Thats why we run out of steam and start failing on our goals. We can’t take steps to accomplish a challenging goal AND simultaneously be constantly having to convince our “weaker” selves to be stronger. Its too much.

No wonder we all give up.

Do you really want to put all that effort into trying to change BB? She loves all that negative stuff SO MUCH. And really, when has trying to change someone ever worked?

Wouldn’t it be better (and easier, and quicker) to just put BAB’s in the driver’s seat?

This isn’t that difficult to accomplish.

I’m going to try it out for the rest of the week. Every time I feel BB come out (which is pretty much always), I’m going to tell her to get back in the back seat.

And I’m going to let BAB’s keep driving.

I’m used to letting BB drive, so it feels more comfortable to me. But I don’t think it necessarily takes more ENERGY. But it may take more ENERGY to deal with being UNCOMFORTABLE not letting BB drive so much.

I’ll see how it goes.

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