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A note about failure + goal setting.

A note about failure + goal setting.

I’m writing this from snowy Salt Lake City, Utah. I came here from Costa Rica, by way of Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia. I’m supposed to be in Nicaragua…then Guatemala…then Belize. I intended to travel for four months, coming home in January to run my group coaching program stateside.

As it stands I’m home three weeks early. It wasn’t an easy decision. The whole process was haunted by old thought patterns I’ve worked hard to deconstruct. Did I quit? Did I let myself down? Did I cease to be a gypsy adventurer? Did I let anyone else down? Did I fail? Failure. Yeah, about that. 

Taking in the view in Bagan, Myanmar. © 2015 Gail Jessen

Taking in the view in Bagan, Myanmar. © 2015 Gail Jessen

In the pursuit of any goal - in my case a solo trek around the world of indefinite duration - we set our minds on the way our path is “supposed” to play out. Right? It’s totally human and totally natural. I was “supposed” to be on the road until New Year’s Day. I was “supposed” to love Costa Rica. I was “supposed” to take the local chicken bus through the mountains of Guatemala to Lake Atilian and swim in a volcanic crater. I was “supposed” to prove I could do it.

Old Me would’ve had something to prove. Old Me would’ve soldiered on. Old Me feared failure more than anything in this world. In what I now consider to be my past life, I didn’t think I was worth anything if I slowed down. If I stopped accomplishing whatever I was accomplishing at any speed less than that of light, I wasn’t worth anything. I defined my worth through my accomplishments and the external accolades of others. It didn’t matter if I was happy or healthy. It only mattered that I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. 

Fixating our mind on a series of expectations inevitably sucks the joy from our pursuit.

Guaranteed.

If we want to arrive at any accomplishment with our happiness intact, we have to let go of expectations and our fear-based concept of failure.

I once approached everything in my life from a place of fear, even my goals. I see so clearly now that I had goal setting completely backward. My goals had no time for feelings. Fluff. Sentimentality. If I was happy or miserable, the goal would be achieved regardless. Nowadays, the accomplishment is secondary to how I want to feel. Phrased another way, my primary goal is feeling the way I want to feel. My core desired feelings are my non-negotiable states of being. They are: Magical, Wild, Supple, Luminous. If I felt that way in Central America, I would’ve carried on. I didn’t, so I didn’t.

When you truly understand that you’re worthy of your desires - and you give yourself permission to feel the way you want to feel - you flip a switch that fundamentally shifts your perception. Failure no longer exists, only lessons. External accolades are nice, but you know your value regardless. Expectations say more about the person delivering them than they do about your own reality. You’re centered. You’re grounded. You’re unstoppable. Let's talk more about that in the quick video below...

I want you to have this sense of clarity, this permission, this freedom. Discovering your core desired feelings is the first step. My group coaching program has only 10 slots left. Enrollment is open until 12/30/15 - the program begins 01/01/16. The Align: Your Core Desired Feelings coaching program costs $400, but if you register as a participant in my free AWAKEN e-course...you pay just $250. Click here for details about the program, which includes five online modules, three live coaching calls, a private support community, and lifetime access to the materials!

Love,
gail

P.S. When I’m done facilitating the coaching program, I’m flying off to Latvia…in icy cold February…with five daily hours of sunlight…to housesit and pump well water and chop firewood in an off-the-grid cottage…while learning to cook with a communist-era babushka who speaks not a word of English. Stay tuned! 

Finding my edges in Latvia.

Finding my edges in Latvia.

Gratitude: An Ode To The Weirdest Thanksgiving Ever.

Gratitude: An Ode To The Weirdest Thanksgiving Ever.