Do your goals rely on other people recognising your talent or success? Do you need a specific outcome to feel special? Often when we set a goal we’re focused on the milestones, the final destination or the need to prove ourselves to others.
But what if you set goals that would bring you happiness and greater enjoyment, but no longer relied on what anyone else did or thought of you?
It’s a revelationary way to look at goals, and a philosophy that performer and coach Kate Chapman hopes to inspire in her clients. She has performed on Broadway and featured in multiple shows, including Les Miserables and Mary Poppins.
Kate joined me recently on the Goals Do Come True podcast where she shared many nuggets of wisdom!
Overcoming the need to feel special
I wanted to know what goals she’d been working towards in her life. Her answer was quite a surprise.
Kate: “I’ve had a whole lot of different experiences with goals. I’ve set goals and achieved them, including being on Broadway, losing 100lbs in weight, restoring my health, and then I made a goal to just relax and that’s what I’m doing now. I realised that many of those other goals were about being special. I needed to see or hear what was special about me and I kept putting myself in arenas where I’d be told I was special or not special.
Now I’m more interested in what is special in the world around me. I’ve become much quieter and more contemplative. I am tired of running after goals where I need other people to tell me I’m smart enough or good enough. I am having such a good time now!
Sometimes life is hard. I’ve lost people this year and my life is very different to how it was almost two years ago, but there is beauty in all of it. My new goal is to have control over my own enjoyment level.”
A big shift
Kate’s life changed dramatically over a period of 18 months; her singing and dancing career was put on hold as she nursed her elderly uncle (and of course there were lockdowns).
When her uncle died, Kate moved from New York to the middle of nowhere. She and her husband now have 40 acres of land, and to use Kate’s word she then “accidentally” decided to take on two kittens and seven chickens!
Forty acres is a lot of land for seven chickens, so I was keen to hear her plan!
Kate: “I’d like to create a retreat centre for my coaching clients. It’s a prairie, so we have nothing but sky and beautiful stars. I’m figuring out how I want to feel when it’s complete and then I’ll work back from there. It’s really enjoyable.”
Kate has a lot of heartfelt goals. Sometimes when one person is incredibly driven (even by joy!) it can be difficult to find a balance unless their spouse or partner is fully on board. When I mentioned this to Kate her answer blew my mind.
Get out of the way
Kate: “I learnt a long time ago to get out of the way of my husband’s goals. It’s best to stay in my own lane. I set my own dreams, wishes and desires. I include him as much as I can but I stay out of the way of what he’s doing, because if I meddle I thwart him, and if he meddles in my goals he thwarts me!”
Take a moment to ponder whether you and your partner are aligned when it comes to goals. Do you work towards them together or are you sometimes at cross-purposes?
Kate’s current goal is one that you’re likely to love (I might even adopt it for myself!) because it completely embodies her earlier idea that her goal is for herself (and about herself) and not dependent on anyone else.
Time to relax
Kate: “There’s a global culture to consume. We’re busy little bees and ants scurrying about. Several years ago I enjoyed a month-long arts project in Uganda. In the outlying villages people were living in mud huts. There was no electricity or running water. They didn’t have doors or windows. They lived off the land.
One woman I met had never left the mountain and what I noticed was that when they worked, they worked. When they played, they played. When they relaxed it was very different from sitting on a couch in front of the TV taking in some sort of story (that’s still consuming!).
It got me thinking, what does relaxation look like? When do I feel the most relaxed? My body, mind, spirit and heart all need to be relaxing for me to say I am relaxed. It’s my goal to become pretty good at that!”
Drop the story
Often when I try to relax I can’t still my mind. It’s always busy with thoughts. Kate shared the ultimate golden nugget about this! She suggested that whenever this happens you transcend the story you are telling yourself.
Kate: “Stop telling yourself stories about rushing. As human beings we always want to tell stories that we’re either relaxed or rushing or drinking tea or going here or there. We’re always telling a story. Stop the story. Just be something outside of yourself for a few seconds at a time. It’s that thing about needing to be special versus finding something special. Complete relaxation or meditation allows you to transcend your own story.”
Kate shared some wonderful wisdom to ease us into 2022. Her overarching message, and one we’d all benefit from remembering, is to think about how you want to feel on the journey towards your goal and once you accomplish it. Make sure your goals are meaningful and enjoyable to you and not reliant on approval from others.
I rounded off 2021 with the publication of my second book Think Simple, Win Big. I wrote it to help service-based entrepreneurs create businesses they love. And I thoroughly enjoyed the process (whether I sell a million copies or not!).
You won’t be surprised to know that I love hearing about people’s goals. If you have a big goal that you’d love my support with, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.