Neurohacking Everyday Fear
SMARTER Fear Goals
Fearing forward is all about learning into your fears, because they might be trying to tell us something.
I want you to choose one of your fictional fears for this exercise that you're ready to wrangle and get better at using its power. The most important part of this is to choose one, just one, then complete the SMARTER goal setting.
SMARTER goal setting, and really SMART goal setting is nothing new. It's been around for a long time, but we are going to plus it up by adding the E-R. SMARTER stands for:
S for Specific
M for Measurable
A for Achievable
R for Relevant
T for Time-bound
E for Exciting, and
R for Realistic
Let's say my overarching goal is to change my relationship with fear. Now, I need to get down to the detail, so I can accomplish this goal. If the goal is too big or too far away or too lofty, it just won't get done. We need to break it down into bite size pieces for the bigger dreams to really come true in business and in life.
Let's start with the S for Specific. What is the exact fear you wish to work on? Don't make this too big, otherwise it will never get done. An example of a big fear would be something like, I want to harness the power of my fear for failure. That's too big and lofty. The better example would be the fear that women are not good with money. This is something that I have been told by our collective society as well as enforced by my own mom.
For my M, Measurable, I need to think about how will I know when I've reached this goal? Well, now I'm thinking that maybe my first specific goal might still be too broad, but that's okay, because I can just go back and change my overarching goal to rewrite and reframe the story I have been told and continue to tell myself about women not being good with money. This can be my main goal and I will then change my specific to be: I will rewrite and reframe my perceptions on women and money by taking action to increase my knowledge about personal finances for women, by contacting and learning from women thought leaders, and apply this directly to my own money. That, in turn, lets me create something much easier to measure.
I will now know that I have reached my goal when I have the data on exactly how much money is coming in and coming each month, and by consistently tracking it, and allowing myself to spend the time understanding the common pitfalls of personal finance, as well as making reachable financial goals for this year. These are all distinct targets I either am hitting or I'm not. This way I can get some actual feedback on my progress.
Next up is A for Achievable, and this is going to be how I will achieve this goal, which means it's all about resources. What resources or support do I need to make this happen? Who do I need to reach out to? Where can I get information or training? Clearly, if it's a goal I'd probably have a lot of deficit in this area. In this day and age, there is no lack of resources. It's more like a fatigue of choices, but I know I want to find a professional thought leader that is a woman, since a big part of my fear story has to do with how I gender identify. I also don't want to take advice from people that are bad with their own money. So, I will reach out to a few financially successful women I know to see who they would recommend I learn from.
Achievable also works best when you fill it in with T, which is the Time-bound, because achievability is relative, and if you're like me, you work better with deadlines. For Achievable, I think this goal is realistic and achievable within three months. In three months, I want to be consistently tracking my personal finances, and seeing positive results.
R for Relevant is next. In this one, I want you to think about why it's important to address this story you have been telling yourself about this particular fear. In what ways is this fear showing up in your life or your work? I think we all have a fear of money, fear of not enough, fear of what money does to people, and money itself isn't inherently good or bad. It's the power and the comfort it brings with it. So, for our example, getting my fears in order around money will be significant because money influences my ability to support myself and my level of freedom, philanthropy, safety, and of course, the success of my business.
We did T for Timely with Achievable. So, let's jump right into the E-R that might be new for you in SMART goal setting for Exciting and Realistic. Why is Exciting important? Well, if you are bored by the goal, then you really aren't going to achieve it. You need to be excited about what the outcome will bring when you achieve this goal. Ask yourself, what would having more power over your fears bring you? How would you feel? If you can't get excited about it, choose something else. For my example, when I stop being afraid of being clueless about personal finance, I'm going to be excited, because that means I can feel more in control of my life, have an actual course for financial success charted, and get feedback on whether I'm actually making any progress, or if I'm just going in circles. The ultimate outcome is to be more financially successful and what that brings with it, power, comfort, and the ability to help the world more.
Lastly, we have our second R for Realistic. This is a good final gut check on if you have your SMARTER goal specific enough. Are the things I just outlined here actually going to happen? This is where you need to be honest with yourself, and how much bandwidth you have to complete these tasks, and what it'll take to achieve this goal. If right now you can barely spare five minutes to yourself because you just got a new job or had a child maybe this isn't the most advantageous time to be exploring inner work, and if it's not, that's totally okay. Just be honest about choosing to come back to this in a set amount of time, and reexamine your schedule maybe next month. Think about reprioritizing things in your life. For most of us, there's usually quite a few things we can shave off that aren't really supporting our success. Over-indulgences in Netflix comes to mind. So, what I want you to do is think about those choices that you're making, because we all make choices and it's those choices that drive our successes.
I encourage you to jump into the workbook and noodle out your SMARTER details for one fear goal you have right now. Done is better than perfect.