What to do When Your Goals Scare You

A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 404

Are you a working mom who is struggling with goal setting? In this inspiring episode of the Purpose Driven Mom Show, Cara opens up about the common fears that can hold us back from chasing our big goals. 

It is normal to be fearful about achieving your goals and dreams. But, if you let fear overcome your thoughts, you can get stuck in motion thinking about all the “what ifs” that can happen. Fear can also happen for success in which there can be feelings of resentment from family or feelings of missing out on the milestones of your kids because you are too busy. Cara shares the importance of figuring out if the fear you are feeling is actually true.

There are a few ways to combat the fear you feel towards your goals. One way is to break down your goals so they are not so intimidating at the beginning. For example, if you have a goal to run a marathon but you fear it is too big a task or that you won’t be successful, figure out ways to break the goal down. Start with running a few minutes and then slowly increase to longer intervals. That way you are slowly working towards that goal.

Listen in to learn more about overcoming the fear that comes with achieving goals.

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Episode Highlights:

00:03 Handling fear around big goals 

4:34 The fear of failure

18:33 How to channel fear into excitement 

19:35 How to identify and address fears around goals

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Transcript: What to do When Your Goals Scare You

*Cara Harvey * (00:00:03) – Welcome to the Purpose Driven Moms show here at A Purpose Driven Mom, we believe that it’s possible to manage your home, work on your personal goals, and grow and scale an online business. Most productivity tips out there tell you to hustle more and make you feel shame about not being motivated enough. And we’re here to dispel this myth. I’m Kara Harvey and I am on a mission to help work at home. Moms realize that they have the power to go after their dreams, take care of themselves, and manage their home without perfectionism, guilt, or having to sacrifice their sleep. If you’re ready to shift your thinking around productivity and get some practical tips to help you manage your mom life, toss your earbuds in while you fold the laundry. And let’s do this! Welcome to the purpose of our mom show. Episode 404. Today, I’m going to talk to you about what you do when your big goals start to scare you. We’re going to talk about how do we handle the fear around our goals.

*Cara Harvey * (00:00:55) – And also I’ll share some stories of times I’ve done it well and times I have not. Today we’ll do some examples and some non examples. Listen, if you want to also just do me a quick favor. Pause real quick. Head over to your podcast player. I would really appreciate a rating or a review. We are hitting our anniversary, our almost five year anniversary with Purpose Driven Moms show, and we’re getting really ramped up and excited for it. So if you listen, if this is blessed you in any sort of way, ratings reviews are a great way for more people to find the show, so we would appreciate it if you haven’t left yet. Let’s talk now about stuff that scares us. Okay, we’re gonna talk a little bit about today. Kind of like why things make us afraid when it comes to our goals. How do we combat that when we’re feeling overwhelmed? And what do you do when you don’t do it? Well, okay, now I have a few goals right now that are scaring the crap out of me that I will share with you right now.

*Cara Harvey * (00:01:49) – by the time this airs next week, actually is going to be my ten mile run. I have run this race before. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, it’s called Broad Street Run. It’s a pretty big run. It’s nice though. It’s flat. I did it three times pre kids and once post kid and the last time we did a post kids it was awful. My headphones wouldn’t connect and I ran ten miles with no music, not very trained and I wanted to do it again this year and I am scared out of my mind. So I will use this example as we kind of go through, like what I’m doing in my training, because I am frightened to finish this ten miles. And the other example I want to share with you is we are hosting our in-person event and go to a purpose driven romcom slash conference. If there are still seats left by the time this is coming out. You know, I’m hoping we’re hoping to get sold out pretty quick. there are only 50 general admission seats, 15 VIP, so you’ll want to head over in and get there.

*Cara Harvey * (00:02:38) – But it is so scary. It’s so scary. And I’m going to share with you a little bit about what the fears are behind those two goals that I know are big for me and just kind of, you know, how I’m working to combat them. Okay, so fear is something that exists, right? It exists in our brain. We have our flight or fight response. Fear is meant to kind of keep us safe sometimes. But I think also fear can keep us stuck. Our big goals trigger all this fear in us because of the what if there’s so many things we could be afraid of? I want to talk a little bit about, like those things that we could actually get scared of because I don’t think we kind of think about it enough. I think that we’re often just saying, okay, well, I’m afraid I’m gonna fail. And let’s be real, that’s one of those, right? Like, we could be afraid that we’re going to fail. But also, what if we’re afraid we’re going to succeed? And I don’t think a lot of people are talking about the fear of success.

*Cara Harvey * (00:03:32) – I think it’s not a thing that gets brought up. So let’s talk about these two. I’m going to pause to invite you to something brand new we’re doing here at TM, ePDM, and that is the very first in-person, purpose driven Mom conference. September 28th and 29th. I am hosting an event right here in Philadelphia that you can attend where we can be together live. The goal of this conference is to help you decide what dreams you want to work on, what goals matter to you, and to really embrace the person you are now in motherhood. We’re going to spend time mapping out the end of your year, creating time blocks for you to work on these dreams and goals. And I have three incredible guest speakers coming to help you embrace and love your mom life journey and go after your goals and dreams. This event is been on my heart for years, and if you go to a purpose driven romcom slash conference, you can hear and read all about it. Right now we’re in pre-sale for tickets, so what does that mean? Tickets are $100 off in the month of April, and I want to let you know that this event will sell out.

*Cara Harvey * (00:04:34) – We will be capping around 60 attendees, so as soon as it sells out, it is done. I want you to head to a purpose driven rom com slash conference, or check out the show notes for the link and come join us in Philadelphia. We are going to have the most incredible experience. It is in September. You have enough time to plan to make it happen, to tell a friend, we cannot wait to see you at the Purpose Driven Mom conference and have some in real life time together again. That’s September 28th and 29th, and you can go to a purpose driven Rom-com conference to learn more. Let’s kick off with fear of failure and fear of success. Fear of failure is real. Are people going to judge me? What are people going to think? I’m going to try something again, and then I’m going to fail. I’m going to tell you, I have trained for different races multiple times and have not done it. My brain wants to keep me safe. My brain wants to say, listen, don’t do this goal again because it’s too big.

*Cara Harvey * (00:05:28) – You’re going to fail, you’re going to feel terrible, and you’re not going to want to keep, you know, running again or whatever the goal is. But I also have this thing that I deal with called the fear of success. And maybe you can relate to this one. My fear of success for me shows up when things get too big, because I’m afraid of what if this does work? Have you ever had a goal like that where you’re afraid, like, wait, this could potentially work out? And if this does work out, what does it mean? That’s the question I want you to ask yourself often. What does this mean? Or what am I making it mean? Because the truth of what it means isn’t always right. That it’s what our brain is saying. The fear of success for me happens a lot in my business. Every stage, every level. Something gets scary for me. And I’ve thought about this before. Like, what if this does work out? What if I do this in person event and I love it and I realize this is a thing I want to be doing these in-person events.

*Cara Harvey * (00:06:23) – I want to continue to do this. I want to start speaking on stages. I mean, that’s a good thing, right? But then my brain, that piece of my brain gets scared and it says, but what if what if I do want to do that? And what if in doing that, I spend more time away from my family? What if my kids start to be like, where’s mommy? And my husband starts to feel resentful? What if, in traveling so much to speak on stages, I don’t get to spend as much time with my, you know, my community, my purpose to your mom club? What if I can’t handle it? What if it gets me back to working all these hours because it’s going well? The fear of success is also real. And when your big goals scare you like that, it’s important to stop yourself and say, what am I really afraid of? Because I think a lot of times we just think like, I’m afraid of failing. But what if you’re afraid of succeeding? What if you’re afraid of the repercussions of succeeding? Let’s talk about some other things you might be afraid of.

*Cara Harvey * (00:07:15) – Okay. And I think for moms, this is a big one, right? What if you have the fear of not being good enough? What if that imposter syndrome is like, I can’t handle this, right? So you decide I have this big goal, and I want to pull my kids from school and I want to homeschool. What if I’m not good enough to do it? What if I can’t be like that Pinterest mom or that Instagram mom that I see? What if we have this this belief that will never be enough? Does that happen for you? You see somebody else maybe going after a goal and doing a thing you want to do on social media and instead of thinking, I could do this, your brain immediately goes to imposter syndrome immediately. Well, I could never do this. And listen, this happened to me with the event. I was like, who would come to my conference? I could never do this. No one’s going to show up. I’m not like those other people who can have these events and have people buy tickets.

*Cara Harvey * (00:08:01) – And that was that was what I like to call my anxiety brain. I always tell my therapist I have anxiety brain and I have truth brain, right? So because I’m a life coach, I can kind of go through and analyze some things and figure out like what exactly I’m getting stuck on, right? And I know for me, that voice, that inner critic we call her right, like that voice, they are saying things like, you can’t do it, you’re not good enough. You’re not that person. You don’t have it in you. Or they’re also saying, like, there’s not enough people out there, right? There’s also that fear of, I can’t do this go because that’s the imposter syndrome, that’s my anxiety brain, but that’s not my truth brain. So it was asking myself like, well, what’s the truth in this? But maybe that’s your fear. The fear is I can try, but I’m going to fail because I’m not good enough. There’s another fear that’s, I think, maybe not specific to moms, but comes up a lot for us moms, and that is the fear of kind of neglecting the family responsibilities.

*Cara Harvey * (00:08:54) – I have this personal goal, and what if I want to go after it running? Let’s talk about the running example being a quote unquote distance runner. And I say quote unquote here because I’m slow. I’m a jog walker. I only do one long run a week, and the most I’ve gotten to is seven miles at this point. So, you know, I say all that with a caveat of, you know, in the way I do it, but it takes time. Why? Because I’m slow. Because it takes me a long time. I run walk like a 13 to 14 minute mile because I’m run walking. And so to do seven, eight, nine, ten miles takes a long time. And so doing this have this fear of like, I’m never going to be able to to fit it in my schedule if I have to take this time. Because not only do I need an hour and a half, I need two hours to run on long run days as the running progressed. I am red as a tomato friend.

*Cara Harvey * (00:09:43) – I am beet red and sweaty. I need an hour and I’m not exaggerating. From the time I’m done with my run run, walk jog to the time I’m ready to the time I’m done showering, cooled off and things like that. Like a full hour. So in reality, training takes me anywhere between one and 2.5 hours at this moment for my longer runs. That makes me feel in my irrational brain. Oh, if I’m taking these three hours for me, when am I going to do XYZ around the house, right? Also, I’ve been running during the day for my long runs because weekends just don’t work for me. Kids have sports, whatever, but the weekdays I can take a time block either like a 9 to 12 time block once a week on Fridays. I tend to do my long runs. Well, I’m doing that. Then I’m shirking away from my work responsibilities because I’m supposed to I should. We always talk about the shoulds, right? I should be working because my kids are at school, not selfishly.

*Cara Harvey * (00:10:37) – And I say it in quotes because we know it’s not real. Going for a leisurely run, like doing this thing for me. That’s for your brain. That’s not real, right? That is my brain saying that there’s this hierarchy of what I need to get done, and family has to come before Cara, and we know that that’s trash. Like, everyone can kind of come at this equal playing field, right? It’s not that I have to come before my family. It’s we can all come together. As long as mom’s not trailing all the way behind. Right. so there’s this fear of neglecting your responsibilities. There’s also this fear of the time. I cannot balance what I need to do as a mom. With the car shuffle and all the things that are on my list with my personal goals. And so I’m afraid to even try because I’m afraid I will be disappointed that ever happened over the summer, was it? I wanted to take ice skating classes? It was sometime in the last year.

*Cara Harvey * (00:11:29) – they offer ice skating classes for adults. I don’t know how to ice skate, and I’m actually petrified to ice skate, and I was thinking about going to take it, but all of these fears started to to come up for me. Fear of the judgment. Right? Like, oh my gosh, I’m a grown up. I don’t know how to ice skate. I’m gonna fall. Whatever fear of if I take these classes, then, like, you know, I will have to sacrifice something somewhere. And then that other fear of, well, my kids should probably take the ice skating classes first because they don’t know how to ice skate, and they actually had youth and adult classes at the same time. But I was so afraid to sign up for them because I thought, well, what if my kids are in class and they need me? Something happens and they get hurt and they need me, and I’m in my class. And I started to feel selfish, like, do you do you hear that? This is a real fear.

*Cara Harvey * (00:12:16) – So again, all your feelings, all of those things like they’re valid, right? But are they truth? And I think that is the thing we need to address with our fear. My fear is valid. My fear is real. My fear is where I’m at right now. Like all of our feelings, it’s valid. But is it the actual truth? Right? Am I selfish for taking time to run? A little. But is it a bad thing? Like, it’s not a bad thing to be selfish in moderation. If we’re not a little selfish as all humans are. We would never do anything for ourselves, right? So things like I talked to moms who were like, oh, maybe I want to go back to school. My husband and I were just talking about this because he’s thinking about going back for his doctorate. There’s a lot of fear in that, because it’s the balancing of managing home and work and all those things. There has to be a sacrifice, right? Or I talked to so many moms who were scared of starting the business.

*Cara Harvey * (00:13:11) – I really want to start a home based business. I’m afraid I’m not going to make enough money. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t have the time for it. Right. But having patience with yourself, going in as a student and learning, taking these small steps can help you combat this fear. It’s a normal fear to have, right? I’d actually be like, more afraid if I wasn’t afraid of things sometimes, but it’s when the fear becomes debilitating where you feel like you just can’t do anything. That’s the problem, right? So what do you do? How do you go from this? Goal is so big and I’m afraid to. How do I make it actually work? How do I start working even if I fail? I want to pause and thank our sponsor for today’s episode. And that’s one thrive. One thrive has set out to create a command center that is functional and stylish. We love our family command center from one thrive. We use it every single day. It’s got prime real estate in my kitchen so that we can make sure that everyone’s on top of all the events.

*Cara Harvey * (00:14:03) – We have all the school paperwork and everything in between. One. Thrive helps you create the right command center for you. So if space is an issue, they’ve got some skinnier, long ones. My daughter has one in her room that fits perfectly above her bed, and you can get them for your kids or yourself. And they’re super duper cute. They’ve got magnets and boards and so many great things that I really think can help elevate your command center experience. It’s a great way to keep organize, and one thrive has created a code specifically for our podcast listeners. You could use the Code Summit 20 by May 31st and get 20% off your entire purchase. No minimums at all. But listen, if you need help and you’re not sure which command center is for you, head over there, talk to their help desk. They can help you get set up with the right one for you and your family. Again, you’re going to go to one that’s the number one. Thrive Comm to check yours out today.

*Cara Harvey * (00:14:50) – Surprise, surprise. Here. Do you have it broken into small chunks? You need to set goals that are realistic for your time, season, but also chunked out 15 minutes at a time. Small intervals. And that’s how I kind of started with running. I was running couch to five K started at two minutes. It was a five minute walk, a two minute jog, and a five minute walk. Right. And that didn’t take a lot of my time. And then slowly I started increasing the amount of time I ran. So I was able to kind of see how adding an extra five minutes here, like, wasn’t the end of the world. My kids were fine and then adding another five minutes. Kids are still fine. We have enough time to get ready for school, right? Making sure that your goal is broken down into manageable chunks will allow you to feel like it’s more realistic and a little bit less scary when we go with this big goal. Like, I remember when I wrote the book, I was like, I’m gonna write a book.

*Cara Harvey * (00:15:35) – That is the scariest goal in my brain. Like, who am I to write a book? I’m never gonna have the time for it. Whatever. So when I took that big goal of, I want to write a book, and I broke it down into all the steps, right from mind mapping to outlining to drafting to, you know, design, etc. and all the things you have to do to write the book. And then I broke them down into how many I was going to do each week and what it was going to look like. I feel like I could take a breath. I felt like it didn’t feel so big. And so do this with some of your goals, kind of make sure they’re realistic, make sure they’re broken down. Make sure that they are more doable for the time that you have. Okay. We try to make these big audacious goals and they’re great. But if they don’t make sense for the time that you have, then you’re going to get overwhelmed and you’re going to quit right now.

*Cara Harvey * (00:16:16) – The other thing that’s going to be really important and kind of pushing past the fear, is having a support network. I talk about community all the time, and I think that we don’t realize the impact and the importance of having your people while you’re going after big, scary goals. Okay. When I was running, I was sharing with my friends who like, weren’t running, so they didn’t really care, but I still shared with them. I was like, I’m going for my long run. If I don’t text you when I’m done, like I might have fallen down, like make sure I text you like just checked in. They have been cheering me on. I joined some Facebook groups of people. This one’s the sloth running group, so it’s like slower runners. I follow people on TikTok who are realistic and slower runners. I have a community so that when it gets scary, when I don’t want to do it, I can talk to myself and say, you know what? Who can I lean on? All right.

*Cara Harvey * (00:16:56) – You also might need a support network so that you can have time for your goals. So this might be things like, hey, I know this person lives near me. They also are trying to work from home. Maybe we can do childcare swaps a little bit. Like you take a couple hours, I’ll take a couple hours and we’ll make that work. Okay? Showing up places, having accountability buddies. This is why things like the Purpose Driven Mom Club are so beneficial, because you get to show up and have people root you along the way. And when you’re getting your head, because we know that it’s all up here, you have somebody to talk you through, okay. And then last up, I think the one of the strategies that I don’t always lean to because it’s hardest for me, but I think it’s important, is kind of like that emotional awareness, that emotional management, if you will. and these are things that are going to help the mindset of it all. So journaling is a huge one.

*Cara Harvey * (00:17:45) – I like to kind of always when I go through and I journal most things, I always act through and I’ll put like, what’s the like feeling right? Like, what am I feeling? Why do I think I’m feeling that way? What is the truth? And that allows me to be like, oh, I could never run ten miles. Well, so what? Okay, so that’s the statement. What am I feeling? I’m feeling hopeless. Honestly. I’m feeling embarrassed that I said I was going to do this and I can’t. Okay. Why do I feel that way? Because this run was hard, and I can’t imagine adding two more miles to this or whatever it is. But what’s the truth? The truth is, I’ve proven that my body and my mind are capable enough to go a distance, and I will do my best and get it done. Like, that’s the real truth. And going through and kind of journaling your thoughts, your feelings, your fears, I think can help you really just get a hold of a handle of it all.

*Cara Harvey * (00:18:33) – You know, things like mindfulness are also helpful. Meditation, gratitude. These allow you to kind of take that fear and channel it into a different emotion. Right? You can say, this is the fear I feel. You know, I’m scared of this. What else is this fear in my body? Well it is it’s excitement for sure. Like, am I afraid of showing up next week and doing this race I am. Right. I’m afraid I won’t be able to finish it. I’m afraid I’m gonna look redder than red and everyone’s gonna laugh at me, right? I don’t know. There’s lots of fears in my head, but I’m also really excited because I know, like, again, truth brain, anxiety brain. My truth brain knows I’m going to be able to do it. And my truth brain is we’ve done this run before. So that endorphin feeling when I’m done is chef’s kiss. It is fabulous. So I’m excited. I’m proud of myself for how far I have come. Acknowledge what are the other feelings, right, that are not just fear? What are those feelings for you? And I think that is going to help you reframe that fear into something else.

*Cara Harvey * (00:19:35) – I want to encourage you right now to look at your goals for moving into May. What are the ones that scare you? What are the ones that you have fear around? And go through some of these exercises and ask yourself, what are we really scared of? Why am I scared of it? And what can I do to help combat that fear? Your fear and emotions are real. Let’s honor them and make a plan to help you move forward on your goals. Okay, so show notes they’re going to be at a Purpose Driven mom.com/podcast 404. And again, if you haven’t today please head over, leave a rating or review. We appreciate it. Thank you so much for listening. Or if you’re watching on YouTube, thanks for hanging out. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Purpose Driven Mom Show. If this episode served you in any way, we would really appreciate it if you headed over to wherever you listen to podcast. Hit that five star and leave a review and a rating.

*Cara Harvey * (00:20:22) – That’s how more moms can find us and we can grow our community. If you had a tip or an Make sure you come over and tag me at a Purpose Driven Mom on Instagram and share it with your friends. The best way for us to get this message out there of less hustle and less shame and more intentionality, is for you to share it with people you know need to hear it. Thanks for listening. We appreciate you and I can’t wait to connect with you more outside of the podcast.


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