Take a minute to ask yourself, would you still be doing what you are doing right now even if it meant you do not get the handsome payoff, arrival or ‘I’ve made it’ moment that you’ve been hoping for? The key to finding happiness and contentment in your life right now is to be grateful for right now, even when things get difficult.
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Stop Putting False Promise On A Pedestal
The promise of false arrival is something that everyone struggles with, and if you find yourself in the mindset of ‘I will be happy when I achieve this thing’, you need to take a look at your goals to figure out how to hold your process in tension with the outcome.
Everything that we want to achieve has a cost, be it energetically, monetarily or relationally, and it is only by keeping the cost of those goals in mind that you can become okay with holding things in tension. By finding and expressing gratitude for what you have in the present, noticing and changing your language around what you are doing and stepping back and navigating your hopeful outcomes, you can stop putting the false promise of arrival on a pedestal.
Who do you think would benefit from the questions asked in this episode? Tag them in the comments and share your story with us in the comments below!
On Today’s Episode
- Understanding the problem with setting goals and the cost of achieving them (14:00)
- Ways to achieve a healthy tension between the process and the outcome (15:30)
- How to stay grateful for what is going on in the present moment (18:30)
- What to do when you realize your process is not working for you (24:40)
- The importance of changing your language around what you are doing (26:20)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“I think sometimes there is this idea that we will find that thing, that feeling, that state when we get that thing. And often this causes problems for a bunch of reasons.” (13:32)
“We can hold these things in tension so that it is not ‘either this or either that’, but how can we see the nuance.” (16:11)
“Here is the one thing I know: change is inevitable. Meaning, we might achieve the thing, we might arrive, we might have finally made it, how long is that going to last? I don’t know. It might last forever, it likely may not.” (18:55)
“Can we hold the process in tension with the outcome? I think so, if we are doing it in a healthy way. And only we get to assess that, is it worth what it’s costing us? And that’s really really important.” (25:44)
“Ultimately, find things to feel content, grateful, happy, joyful about now, even when it is hard, even when things may not be going your way, there is always a lesson in there too.” (29:20)
The Core 4 book is now available! Click here to get a free gift when you purchase.
Harder to Kill Radio is sponsored by the Nutritional Therapy Association. Registration is now open for the NTA’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Online Program. Learn more and save your seat (and don’t forget to mention my name on your application!)
You can also try out their free 7-day course, Nutritional Therapy 101.
256: False Promise of Arrival FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is episode 256 of harder to kill radio. It is the fierce love Friday edition. On today’s show, I’m diving into a concept that I call the false promise of arrival and how to find happiness and contentment in your life right now. Let’s do it.
I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.
Hello, lovely listener. I am so glad that you’re here with me today on this show. I’m recording this a week ahead of time. It’s already dark and I was sitting here thinking, what am I going to talk about next week two 54 which was last week. As you’re listening to this has been getting some really great feedback, so if you haven’t heard that one yet, I’m talking about six tips for surviving the holiday food scene without losing your shit. It’s a really good one, but today we’re going to talk tackle a topic that’s pretty different and it is a concept that I’ve been mulling over for a long period of time. I have wanted to make a podcast about this for a while and something has been holding me back. I don’t really know what it is, but today I’m going to do it and this is a premise that I called the false promise of arrival and I’ll dig into a little bit more of what that means, but in a nutshell, I’m going to be teasing apart and hopefully giving you some pointers and things to think about.
If you have been finding yourself in this zone or mindset of, well, I’ll just be happy when I achieve this thing, get that thing end up looking like this, et cetera, et cetera. And why the false promise of arrival is keeping us from finding that happiness and contentment right now and how to look at goals in a way that’s much more helpful I should say as we’re, as we’re moving forward and we’re kind of heading toward that time of the year where everybody’s going to get refocused on their goals. But I really want to present this to you now because I think there is no time like the present to examine the way you’re thinking or also going to dig into a listener question. I’m excited. It’s been a couple of weeks. There haven’t been any listener questions, but now there are and if you would like to leave me a message, a voice message, and ask you a question, I would love to play it here and answer it so that way everybody can learn cause we all have the same questions.
If you have a question, somebody else has a too. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, so you can leave me or questions about nutrition, fitness mindset, all that good stuff at Steph gaudreau.com/message just push the button. Say what you’d like to say. You can rerecord if you mess it up, that’s okay, but I would love to answer your question on the show here. Today’s show is brought to you by of course, the core four. This is my book. Embrace your body, own your power about the four pillars of health. I’m probably gonna reference it in this show today when I’m talking about goals, but if you’re looking for a way of approaching your health, getting back to the basics, this is not, it’s not the sexy stuff. It’s not the trendy stuff. This is just all the stuff that makes a huge difference.
You can approach these four pillars from a place of less judgment on yourself and more nourishment and self compassion and care. Then go and pick yourself up a copy. You can find it on the website if you want a signed copy. I am more than happy to sign one and send it to you and you could find that ed Steph gaudreau.com and before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food properly prepared and nutrient dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body. They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress and you know we love all those topics here and how they affect the body.
As a student you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professional in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and of course, remember to mention my name on your application. All right, let’s do a listener question. Oh, I love, I love listener questions and I especially love when my friends leave. Questions for me. So today’s question is from AAJ and here’s what aJ asks. Hi Steph, this is a J I don’t really have to necessarily question, but no, she hadn’t had any questions. So I’m going to send one to
you. As somebody in the profession, how do you deal with your family or any close friends coming to you seeking your advice, even though you know they may not follow it or even follow any recommendations you give for them to go see somebody. What’s your personal way of dealing with that and not basically holding a grudge because you know this person just wants you to talk to them. So I got,
thank you so much Aja, for leaving your question. And this is such a common question. I feel like it shows up whether you’re a professional has a fitness professional, whether you are somebody who’s just making health changes in your life. It shows up in a myriad of different ways and I think the way I’d answer this question is a couple of things. First of all,
we have to really try. I think this is my opinion, but I think we really have to try to meet people with compassion. This has been such an instrumental concept for me in the last few years, not only as applied to myself but to other people because believe your be H and age and I know each other really well, there are people who you just want them to get it. You’re like, okay, can you just, I’m going to tell you and I want you to take this information and run with it, but we never really know what’s going on with people in their personal lives. We never really know what’s going on behind the scenes. We certainly don’t know what’s going on in their heads unless they communicate with us what they’re thinking. And I just feel like giving people the benefit of the doubt, assuming positive intentions, this doesn’t mean by the way, that we don’t hold people accountable if they do things that are shitty. So it’s not, we’re not absolving people and just saying, well I assume good intentions. No, but this is sort of at for our own benefit. So as the person who is the advice giver, who is going to, okay,
sit down and give their time and energy and love to another person. I think the more we, the more we make it personal and the more we sort of, yeah, somebody doesn’t call us back. We’re like, ah, you know, they’re just avoiding me. Or Oh, like they’re just, they don’t want to follow up. They don’t want to take a responsibility. I don’t know, maybe your car broke down and they just just couldn’t call or something weird happened or you know, we never really sometimes know what’s happening. So assuming good intentions, remembering the place that we were in when we started or we didn’t know what we know now and we were confused or there were still a roadblocks that we’re getting in our way. And I think the biggest challenge is meeting those people with love, meeting them with love. And sometimes that means walking that line, especially if it’s somebody that we know really well, can we be honest with them in a compassionate way?
I mean, I know some people really do brutal honesty and I think you can be firm and you can be bold and you can oftentimes ask people really tough questions without, you know, while still being kind and doing it from a place of love. But sometimes that love means and that care means realizing that people are only going to do the best that they can possibly do in that moment. Right? That’s one of the four agreements is do your best and sometimes our best is a shit show. And so I think, can we give of our time? I really like the concept of asking for permission, especially if you’re a professional and people know that you have knowledge. Sometimes we just want to help, right? And I know AAJ very well and you’re your helper. You want to see people feel better in their bodies and get out of pain.
And I do this sometimes too where I just want to help people and I’m ready to insert myself into a conversation and reminding myself that not everybody always wants to hear what I have to say in that particular moment. So asking for permission, you know, Hey, I was wondering if I could share something with you that I learned. It was really helpful for me. Couching it in those terms can help to take some of the guilt, guilty feelings, some of the shame if they haven’t known that thing, you know, like, Oh, let’s just self-judgment, why didn’t I know this thing already? So that’s just some of my thoughts on that. I hope that was helpful. Um, yeah, let me know. Text me, let me know what you think of that answer. But thank you so much for chatting in. Leaving your question. And of course, again, if you want to leave me a question like Aja, you can head to Steph gaudreau.com/message all right, let’s dig into the meat of today’s episode.
The false promise of arrival. Or I’ll be happy when, Oh my gosh, this is something that strikes all of us. So again, you know me, I’m coming from a place of deep compassion. Have been through these, this before, go through it all the time still. And I’ve been wrestling with a lot of this in my professional life, especially with, you know, the the idea of I’m just gonna put in all this work and then I’m finally gonna make it. I have arrived and how we hold the hope of arriving at some moment at some state of being about a way that we might feel or a way that we might look. We hold that as so as such on a pedestal, I guess is what I’m trying to say. And there’s, there are some things that make this tricky and I, the setup is I often see in my community people asking questions because they’re seeking some kind of sense out of all of it or they’re seeking a way to find some relief from their frustration or pain when it comes to this, but sometimes it goes something like this.
I will be happy, this is a paraphrase obviously, but I will be happy when I get this thing or I will feel worthy when I achieve this financial goal or I will feel like I’ve finally made it when I hit this big promotion at work or you fill in the blank. There are so many different ways that you can slice and dice this, but I see bearing out and again for me as well that time after time, after time after time, if we are hinting our future happiness, future contentment, I think those are different things. I walk around most of the time and I’m pretty like I kind of a contented state. I feel like that’s a much more calm way of saying it rather than happy joy, whatever you want to use for the word. But I think sometimes there’s this idea that we will find that thing, that feeling that state when we get that thing and often this causes problems for a bunch of reasons.
So I want to just tease some of these apart and I hope this will give you some things to think about. I don’t know if I necessarily have a lot of answers on this show. Last week I had a lot of, I had a lot of answers so it was just a list, a list of six things, but today it’s more questions. So the false promise of arrival is always kind of waiting for this moment to occur when we’ve finally reached the goal, and I’m not here to tell you that goals are pointless or that they’re terrible. My husband XE, who most of you probably know he’s been on the show before, has an article that he wrote at one point called goal fuck yourself, which is why in his, the premise of this article is why goals are pointless. I don’t think goals are necessarily pointless, but I do sometimes see the setup with goals as not actually being very helpful and I’ve talked about goals several times on this show before.
Suffice to say goals do have a point, but when we are constantly living in this state waiting for the goal to be reached or the other shoe to drop was it as it were, this can really cause us to not connect to what’s going on in the present and also miss the signs that perhaps what we’re doing to get to the goal isn’t actually all that worth it for us because every single thing that we do, every goal, every pursuit that we undertake, everything we want to achieve has a cost, an energetic cost. It has perhaps a time caused it had might have a monetary cost, relational costs. Maybe we are not going to be able to spend as much time with our family and that’s kind of a time thing, but that involves another person or people, so we always have to keep the cost in mind. So there is a tension. There is a tension here and I’ve been so fascinated by the concept of tension lately, how we can hold different things. The intention, for example, what I said at the beginning of the show, we can assume good intentions while also holding people accountable for their behavior. They’re not mutually exclusive. We can do those same things. We can hold intuitive eating intention with
nutrition, nutritional principles, nutritional therapy, dietetics, whatever we want to call it. We can hold these things intention, so it’s not a, well either this or that, but how can we see the nuance, and this is the shitty part about social media and the things that I see happening a lot online is we just, we want the quick dirty answer. We’re going to scroll right by it. It’s going to literally be in our field of view for 1.3 seconds and then we’re just over it or onto the next thing. And that does not often lead to dialogue. So a couple of things. First of all, these are questions or things I want you to pay attention to as you’re thinking about, you know, am I handling all my happiness, all my contentment on something that I am achieving in the future? So number one, would you still do this thing?
Let’s assume we’re doing a thing. Would you still do this thing even if you weren’t going to achieve that goal that arrived, that moment of arrival? Cause I’ll tell you what, that moment of arrival is going to come. If it does come, it may come and you might think, Oh okay, yeah, my brain got it’s dopamine fix. Fantastic. And then five minutes later it’s like, what else is there? Okay, that wasn’t enough. I need more. I need more. I need to do more. I need to achieve more. I need to get leaner, I need to be able to squat more. Right? It’s like more and more and more and more and more. So the question is, I want you to ask is if you’re having this suspicion that you’re sort of hinting your future happiness on achieving this thing, this arrival moment of making it, I’ve made it. What do you still do? The things you’re doing, even if you didn’t get the handsome pay off at the end. I dunno. That’s an important question perhaps to ask yourself and that one’s tough. That one’s really going to challenge your
tie your, your concept of how much am I investing in this thing? Am I actually enjoying what I’m doing? And that’s going to play into my third point. But what I still do this thing, even if I didn’t get the handsome reward at the end, any of the answers. No, I’m not saying you have to quit doing that thing right away, but maybe this time to reassess the situation, tweak something, do something different, pay attention to your mindset, those sorts of things. Number two, when you are constantly in this, you know I will make it. When or this false promise of arrival, you make it really hard to stay grateful for what is going on in the present. And here’s the one thing I know, change is inevitable. Change is inevitable. Meaning we might achieve the thing. We might arrive, we might have finally made it. How long is that going to last? I don’t know. It might last forever. It likely may not. So because change is inevitable, our bodies changing is inevitable. We need to like really internalize that our bodies are going to change over our lives. They have already changed. We didn’t as adults start off our life at this size.
Our bodies change as we get older. This is just one example, but then, the more we either try to go back to what was or we, we hang out and we sort of attach our happiness, our future happiness and contentment to are making it at this moment we are not staying in the present and life also has its ups and downs. It’s going to suck. Being human is not like it’s all love and light and just peace and Nama stay. It’s gonna have moments where it fucking sucks and it’s hard and it’s tragic and it’s painful and it’s all the things. It’s the full experience of emotions is what you’re getting when you’re here on this planet, in this body, walking around doing this thing as a human being.
So can we stay present in the moment now even though we’re working toward this goal again, can we? Can we hold those things? The intention, can we still be present and grateful for now? Even if things are hard, even if things feel shitty, even if we’re struggling, cause I hear a lot like the struggle, the struggle, and I use this word a lot too for myself. I’m struggling with this. That’s part of what it is to be a human. Obviously, if you’re needing care, mental health care, physical care, et cetera, yes, we need that too. But we are not just supposed to experience only positivity all the time. So can I remain grateful for what I do have and stay present for what’s happening now even if I haven’t made it again, I don’t necessarily have all the answers here? Some things to consider. Number three, and I talk about this in the core for the difference between the process goals and outcome goals, process goals, and outcome goals.
And this relates back to my first point. Would you still do the thing which you still engaged in the process? Even if you did not get the outcome? This I’d moment where I’ll be happy and I will have made it. In other words, I had a really big CATJ moment come to Jesus, um, recently where I looked back, Oh, I’m probably going to reveal some stuff I’m not ready to reveal yet, but Oh well, here we go. I, I looked back to 2018 we’re now at the end of 2019 so the past year and a half, two years. And I look back and I thought, okay, what have I, what have I been doing work-wise? I introduced a second podcast every week, which is this is Harder To Kill Radio. So fun. Love it. Also killing me. Two podcasts a week is killing me. There it is. So we may be adjusting that schedule very soon in the near future.
This is this, this format of me on the mic is not going away, but suffice to say, some changes will be coming. So I look back, what have I been doing? I’ve sent more newsletters than ever before to more different newsletter populations that I have. I’ve doubled my podcasts. I have continued to grow my communities. I’ve put out more long form medium to long form social media content this past year than probably ever before at a pace that I cannot, cannot sustain any longer. And I don’t want to construct my business in a way that means I’m going to have to hire this massive team to do it for me. I just don’t, I don’t want to, I don’t want to do that. I just don’t. And that’s fine. That’s, I get to decide that. Right? That’s, that’s my definition of what my business is going to look like.
But when I stepped back and I was like, okay, so what’s the, what’s the outcome that I’m striving for? Right. Reach more people. Yes. Important. Talk about the, this mission of embracing your body. Owning your power. Yes. Getting away from the strictness of dieting and finding a more sustainable and enjoyable way of doing things. Yes. Honoring our body’s self care. Finding a body neutrality. Yes. All very, very important. But what was I hoping was the outcome? I don’t know. Some nebulous like make more money, reach more people and that outcome. So I had to ask myself, is it worth the pace at which I’m working? Cause it has been really killing me. I’ve had to step back. I’ve had to slow down a lot cause I was like, I can’t do this anymore. You know where I would wake up and start feeling like I wasn’t looking forward to him, what I was going to have to do that day and feeling really creatively just out of juice, out of juice.
And I see this happening in so many places on social media it’s fucking frightening. But when people start talking about it, other people are like, Oh yes, I feel the same way. Other entrepreneurs, other online coaches, other podcasters, other people in this space, everybody I’ve talked to, there is somebody in the crowd who oftentimes multiple people who thank me for for helping them not feel alone because they felt alone with this. So the whole point, and I’m going to talk about this more in an upcoming show, but the whole point is realizing that the PR, the process was not working for me, not working for me at all. This process, this like the pace, the scale, it does not, it is not in alignment anymore for the outcome. So there’s a difference between process and outcome goals. This is big. This point is becoming a little bit more long-winded than I had anticipated.
But you need to enjoy the process and if you don’t, if you can’t stay present to the process, the outcome is always going to haunt you. It will just, you know, I’m working toward this thing, I’m working toward this thing and yes it can. Do we hold those intentions? Can we hold the process intention with the outcome? I think so. If we’re doing it in a healthy way and only we get to assess that, is it worth what it’s costing us? And that’s really, really important because I have, you know, I’ve seen it, I’ve worked with lots of people for whom the process is not feeling really great, even though they are, they are dead set, locked eyes locked on that outcome, really focused on it. But the things that they’re doing now are not bringing them any contentment, any happiness, and joy in it. It’s, it’s it transactionally, that sort of energetic thing, the relationship is way too much withdrawal energetically and all of these other things, time and relationships and money and all that stuff.
And then the last point I wanted to make about this is notice when you say you should be doing things, the should is a massive tip-off. So again, if I’m holding the, this false promise of arrival like if I just do these things, I will make this. If, if I just achieve this goal, I will be happy. Notice when you slip into that language, I need to do things or I should be doing things not saying as a hundred percent across the board, but when your language is full of shooting and needing to, and there are things we need to do, my dear friend, we’re gonna need to do like paying the taxes. That stuff is inevitable there. There are going to be some non-negotiables, some need twos and probably even some should [inaudible] but notice what you’re talking about. The need to and the should in ref what you’re referencing because there is very often not just one way to approach the thing that you want. So if you want to improve your health, great. How are you going to do that? May involve things that you’re going to have to take responsibility for. May it be uncomfortable and challenging. Yeah, of course. It’s new if you’re going to have to make some decisions. Yes.
but you shouldn’t hate it every step of the way. If it’s not, if the, the way that you’ve chosen isn’t working, find another way. Oh, I should do this thing. You know I should cut out all my fat cause that’s what I heard on some, you know, daytime show. No, that’s not the only way to improve your health and to, to feel better to improve the way you’re eating. For example. So notice that language, right? Where’s the thinking and the language driving the feelings that then drive your behaviors and see where you can put some of what I talked about today into our practice. What do you still do this thing? Even if he didn’t get the handsome pay off the arrival that I’ve made it moment. Are you able to have gratitude, express gratitude and stay in the present for what you do have? Are you achieving a healthy tension between the process and the outcome? And how are you describing what you are doing? Notice things like should need to have too and change that language or change what you’re doing so that you find a better mix and ultimately
find things to feel content grateful, happy, joyful about now even when it’s hard, even when things may not be going your way. There’s always the lesson in there too. All right. Make sure you go to Steph gaudreau.com get the show notes and a full transcript for this episode. Hit that subscribe button on your app as my call to action today, hit the subscribe button and tell a friend about harder to kill radio. Your personal endorsement means more than anything else. That’s how we grow this community, how we share these things with people we love and care for. All right, I’ll be back next week or another Tuesday episode with an expert guest. So until then, be well!