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Discover The Key To Achieving Goals When You Need To Do Things Differently

Welcome! Today's post is all about achieving goals. It's more of a personal one for me, and I hope you'll get something out of it as you work towards your own goals!

Let me start by saying this – Just because you might need a little longer to process things or to understand things, it doesn’t mean you’re not capable or that you’re never going to achieve your goals! The issue is most likely in the way you’re being shown to do something, where fitting in a box isn’t quite working for you anymore.

And anyway, where does this belief around achieving goals that “if we don’t do everything as quickly as possible we’re failing” come from? In my years as a teacher & as a mum, it’s ridiculous to think of everyone as the same. We all process things differently & if there’s any neurodiversity thrown in the mix – a one-size-fits-all definitely isn’t going to be the answer for you!

This topic is really important to me, so please always feel welcome to reach out for a chat if it resonates [email protected] or leave a comment below

A lady sat t a desk with lots of books. She is holding her head to signify stress and overwhelm.

Am I Stupid? When Achieving Goals Feels Impossible

I always thought I was stupid in academic terms. It just never came easy to me. I used to be good with maths, and words, and once I practiced something until I understood it, I became competent at it. But in hindsight, the learning was where I struggled the most. 

The way that it was taught – the teacher standing & explaining things that may as well have been said in a different language, inside panicking because I had no idea what on earth I was supposed to be writing – and in those days ritual humiliation by the teachers was a real threat (that or the wooden chalk rubber launched at you…), terrified to ask them to repeat it because it hadn’t quite “gone in”

Then there was maths & the need to understand why that equation works, which would at times drive me crazy – it needed to make sense to me or I would struggle to “get it” &  implement it. 

That feeling when it came to writing the answers in your book or completing the sums & nothing you’d just heard went in. Knowing you’re not stupid, but feeling like you are in these moments because the teaching method didn’t fit your learning needs. 

As a university student I remember leaving lectures with my two friends & listening to them discussing what had just been covered in the lectures & honestly having little to no idea what they were talking about. I again began to feel very stupid & I spoke up less & less during these discussions because I felt like I hadn’t understood it correctly, or that what I was going to contribute wouldn’t make sense & would be wildly out of context.

The reason I knew I wasn’t stupid even though I felt it, was because when I took the time to sit & learn what I needed to, to do the research, write my essays or revise for the exams, I was able to absorb it & finally understand it. I achieved a 2:1 (hons) for my degree in the end despite never feeling like I knew anything.

However, I still didn’t understand that I processed things a little differently than others, just that I had to really work to achieve those results because it didn’t come naturally to me. 

It’s only been over the past couple of years as I worked towards my MA & began growing my coaching business that it made a lot more sense. 

I found it hard, if not impossible to keep up with the pace of things when I was part of a coaching container. I had to manage my own energy levels & discomfort at being a more introverted member as well, but it was more than that. Achieving goals felt impossible.

To feel like I can do something I need to be able to do it well or it will feel like a disaster. 

This has been an ongoing battle with perfectionism, self-doubt & imposter syndrome. I need to feel comfortable doing it, while also being mindful that I’m not just holding myself back or putting things off to stay feeling comfortable. Understanding it doesn’t need to be perfect – but still finding it extremely hard to finish something & let it go.

Comparison grew more intense as I became more visible on social media & when I had offers to put out there. The thought of actively marketing honestly made me feel unwell. Why on earth would anyone buy anything from me? What could I possibly teach them? (Forgetting that I did just that as an adult tutor for a decade…)

Simple things like building a website. Never feeling happy with it, always finding things to change which then slowed my progress, all while the pressure kept mounting. 

Then my chronic illness flared in the summer – a mix of burnout & bugs & I was stopped in my tracks. I couldn’t do much, I worked from a low energy schedule & stepped away from socials & selling. 

Some months into this I thought about why I had put myself under so much pressure & why I felt less & less connected to my work over the previous months. Achieving goals was far from my mind.

I realised that it was because of a few things:

  • I have chronic illness & these things happen with fluctuating health conditions
  • I stopped being connected to my why & my big visions
  • I put unrealistic time frames on my business growth & achieving goals
  • I listened to others instead of following my own dreams (I don’t mean strategy, I mean the things that I wanted to focus on were dismissed & I was ‘strongly’ advised to focus only on money-making activities like 1-1 coaching programmes). 
  • I stopped writing for Medium (see above!)
  • It became focused on finding clients & much less about doing what I wanted to do
  • I didn’t take care of myself
  • I didn’t feel good enough
  • I didn’t believe in myself or my business because it stopped being a passion project!

It seemed to have become about the money instead of about taking my time, developing my skills as a writer & establishing the life & business I dreamt of. I constantly felt like I was doing something wrong if I didn’t do all the things that other coaches were doing. Achieving goals that were unrealistic took over!

That’s not me digging anyone out – it’s simply me recognising that my dreams & goals were possibly a bit different to that of those I was working with.

Yes I want to make money – of course I do! But I also want to do what I love. I have an income from my counselling & mentoring work, so I am in a good position to take my time.

That is what I forgot. Instead I got caught up in the buzz & excitement & the big push that you see every single day on socials – the “Earn 5-10k” & “If you’re not doing X you’re doing it wrong!” posts. Achieving goals like this became the main focus!

It was also tough to watch how some of the marketing really focused on those who were in a vulnerable position. Often, after investing a tonne of money for their coaching certification, they realise it’s not a get-rich-quick business for the vast majority. 

There is no magic secret that certain coaches are going to give you to earn that kind of money. Yes there’s strategy (that’s a whole different thing) – but you will still have to do the work.

There are some amazing coaches out there who I follow & have learned a great deal from, but the responsibility lies with me to do the work with achieving goals!

What are my biggest takeaways?

I am uniquely me. I learn in a way that is unique to me. I process things in my own way, some things take longer & other things come easily. 

I have a pretty chaotic mind. It’s very noisy in here & it gets very excited, very passionate, but very easily distracted. Finishing things isn’t always the easiest thing for me, and like many others with neurodiversity, I am a box jumper. I have so many things I want to do that it can get a little overwhelming!

But…

The more pressure I put on myself to get things done yesterday, the less that I will get done at all.

I am one of those who goes hyper- focused on something. I live it & breathe it (I completed my Masters dissertation several months early because I did nothing but that for weeks…)

But when I stop – I have no idea if I will ever go back to it. 

Currently I’m stepping back into writing. I have a book that’s 4 chapters in, a blog that’s growing, I’m setting up a new Pinterest account & trying to work out when to get back into Medium. 

I’m also learning how to make ‘proper’ journals & planners whilst creating & selling low content journals on Amazon KDP!

Yes there are other things I probably could be focusing on, but I believe that my way forward is to take a minute to reignite the fire I had in the beginning & allow my creativity to take over for a while. For me, this feels good & isn't that what achieving goals is all about?!

Achieving Goals Now:

The awareness I have of how my mind works & how I process & learn things is key in achieving goals. I know I’m not stupid, I understand that it’s a processing thing & I have proved how capable I am to myself over & over. Now it’s about doing what I can to continue to grow in a way that recognises & encourages my unique self. 

Thoughts…

If you relate to any of what I’ve chatted about in this article, firstly I want to say – you’re doing great. You are capable, it’s about how you can use this understanding to find a way forward that supports & energises you. A plan that embraces who you are & how you learn as you focus on achieving goals.

Remember, it’s not a race & once you find what works for you, you will achieve your goals!

Want To Read More Like This?!

Check out this post where I talk about 5 ways you can overcome overwhelm as you work towards your goals!

Ready For Support That Meets You Where You Are?

Success is MORE THAN possible for neurodiverse, low energy or introvert coaches, even if certain aspects may be challenging. Explore alternative options if traditional methods like one-on-one work or extensive social media content feels overwhelming.

Let me introduce you to my low cost membership – The Authentic Growth Community. TAGC provides accountability, training and mentoring to support you with achieving goals or as grow your online business with ease and confidence. Visit The Authentic Growth Community

An image of the Authentic Growth COmmunity Mock up. It includes a photo of Lynsey and images of the membership. Helping with achieving goals.

Meet Lynsey

Lynsey Wall, Coach & Mentor at Coach Writes. About me - A headshot of Lynsey smiling. Wearing a black t-shirt, blue framed glasses. Office walls behind her.

Hey there! I'm Lynsey, a coach, counsellor, and mentor for low energy, introverted or low confident female coaches & small business owners. With over 5 years’ experience of running businesses, and over a decade as a tutor and trainer, I've learned the value of effective time management that energises you through working with your energy.

I've lived with chronic illness – ME/CFS since 2011 and since then I re-trained as a counsellor, and achieved a distinction for my MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice; all while running 4 businesses! I want that for you as well & it is possible with the right support and pathway to success.

Improving your mindset, finding acceptance and developing a solution-focused approach to achieving your goals is my passion. Blending mental health support where needed, as well as a supportive space and methods to manage your work more effectively.

If you'd like to know more about working with me, you can email [email protected] or find me on socials (links in the menu)

Have you seen my online store Your Coach Tools? Find DFY templates & more!

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