Life After Medicine

3 Truths About “Realistic Goals” That Nobody Told You

September 21, 2023 Chelsea Turgeon Season 1 Episode 120
Life After Medicine
3 Truths About “Realistic Goals” That Nobody Told You
Show Notes Transcript

In the past year, have you had a moment that made you feel like you were trapped in the wrong career? You are longing to find a career that gives you more freedom and fulfillment, but it doesn’t actually feel realistic. Maybe you have some career ideas, but most of them don’t feel actually attainable. You are trying so hard to be “realistic” about your next steps and you feel so trapped.

In this episode, I break down 3 truths about “realistic goals” that no one is talking about.

You’ll learn.

  • What breaking the 4-minute mile taught us about the power of mindset in achieving the impossible
  • How evolutions in technology, society, and culture influence what is truly “realistic”.
  • The difference between being practical and being realistic (which is such a game changer!)

If you are feeling trapped in the wrong career and are trying to find a realistic path out, this episode is one you HAVE to listen to.

If this episode resonated with you, I invite you to join me for part two of the "Clarify Your Purpose" workshop. I’ll help you stop feeling trapped and finally figure out your career direction.  Join HERE

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Okay, my love. So if you are longing to do work you enjoy, but you're struggling to figure out a clear direction, the reason this is happening is because you keep turning externally for the answers. Right, you keep reading and rereading the same uninspiring list of alternative careers for healthcare professionals. You're desperately asking career coaches or other clinicians, what are my options? You're even scrolling to the 10th page of the Google search results, hoping to find that unicorn of a career. And then when you don't find anything on the internet, you come to the conclusion, there's just no good options out there. And I think I really am trapped in my career. The good news is you're absolutely not trapped. You're just looking for clarity in the wrong places. And that is exactly why I'm hosting this free clarify your purpose workshop. So during this free training, I will help you reconnect to yourself and figure out your career direction so you can start doing work you enjoy. The free training is going to happen in two parts. The first one is Monday, September 18th. The second one is Monday, September 25th, and it is going to be. The most epic, most exciting training I have ever done. So if you are ready to start seeking a career that you actually enjoy, that makes you excited to wake up in the morning, this workshop is going to be a great place for you to start. You can head to the link in the show notes to get signed up or go to coachchelsamd. com slash clarify your purpose. And I cannot wait to see you there. my labs. Welcome back to the life after medicine podcast today. I'm so excited to have this conversation with you about one of my favorite topics, we're going to get into three truths about realistic goals that nobody tells you. The reason this is coming up is because I held, clarify your purpose part one workshop and what kept coming up on the workshop, which I knew it was going to. That's why I literally designed part two to address this. So in part one, we were. Holding space to dream. We were getting clear on that question of what do you want? You were tapping into their goals and their dreams their desires, and as they were having clarity ideas and insights and inspirations, there was also another piece rising to the surface. And it was this. Underlying belief. That the things they wanted. We're not possible. Saying things like, oh, but it's not attainable or, oh, it's not financially practical or yeah, but that's not realistic or yeah. I'm too old to do that now. I'm not surprised at all. Of course this is what came up. Because as I talked about in the workshop, In all my years of traveling all my years of coaching, I have realized there's two things that everybody has. A nagging dream. On their heart. That thing that's always been there, but they love to do. And a list of reasons as to why it's not practical or realistic for them to go after it. And that second thing is what breaks my heart the most. And it's why. I'm in business, basically because I am sick of people. Talking themselves out of their dreams and their goals. I want to just live in a world where everyone is doing that thing on their heart. Because when we live. From our heart. When we share our gifts, when we follow our desires. It creates this beautiful ripple effects that everyone benefits from. And so today I want to talk about. This idea. Of realistic. And diving even more specifically. Into. Three. Really important truths that nobody tells you about making these realistic goals. So first let's define and talk about what I mean by realistic. And in order to do that, I looked up the definition and I picked the one that felt the most like. Yeah, this is the concept that I'm referring to, but I think it's also important for you. To check in with yourself when you use that word, because language is powerful words, create worlds. When you use the word realistic or attainable or. Any of those things, just checking in with yourself and seeing like what do I mean by this? What does this mean to me? So I'll read you the definition that I found realistic having or showing a sensible. And practical idea. Of what can be achieved or expected. So let's go ahead and dive into some of these truths. Number one. What's realistic is highly influenced by our mindsets. So essentially there is no objective fixed reality. It's a construct that we've created in our minds not to get too philosophical, cause I'm not really here to be meta. But I think it is important to know reality is subjective. And dynamic. Meaning. there's no true gold standard of exactly. What can be achieved or expected? It's dynamic. And it's created by the confines of our beliefs. And so our beliefs around what's possible. Deeply influenced the reality. That we experienced. And I want to give you guys an example, because I think this can feel. Abstract. And I think it is so important to make this concrete, So. I want to, to tell you guys today is the story of the four minute mile. On May 6th, 1954. Roger Bannister. Busted through the four minute barrier. At the time of three minutes, 59 and four tenths of a second So he ran a mile in just under four minutes. And the reason that's so important is because it's documented as early as 1886, That runners had been actively and seriously chasing this goal of breaking the four-minute mile. And then what's crazy is. Just 46 days after. Roger Bannister beat it. Someone else beat it. With a time of three minutes and I think 58 seconds. And then. A year later, there was one race where three people beat it all at once. Up until that point. People were starting to say it's not possible. It's not a realistic to run something less than a four minute mile. Humans are just not designed for it. It's not something that's possible. We've been trying for years and years. Nobody's done it. It's not possible. It's not a realistic goal to pursue. And then this person. Broke it. 46 days later, someone else breaks it. And then three people in one race break it. What does this mean? There's a book that, that speaks about this called the power of impossible thinking. But you're on wind and call-in crook and they are. Professors of Wharton's school of business So they're talking about this concept and they're like, was there a sudden growth spurt and human evolution? Was there a genetic engineering experiment that created a new race of super runners? No. What changed was the mental model? The runners of the past had been held back by a mindset that said they could not surpassed the four minute mile. When that limit was broken. The other salt that they could do something they had previously thought impossible. And so that shows you. That, what you think of is realistic. Is not necessarily true, right? There is no objective fixed reality. At one point people thought it was impossible to run less than a four minute mile. Now we know it's possible. So now you could set a goal for that. And you could say, oh, that's a realistic goal because people have done it. So when we cling to the idea of realistic goals, We think we're being practical or sensible, which I'll talk about soon, but really we're just stunting our growth. Because what can be achieved or expected? Changes. There's no real limitations on it because it's highly influenced and defined. But what our mind perceives as what can be achieved or expected. And so reality. Is a construct. influenced by our mindset. When you're too practical or sensible about what can be achieved, you tend to limit yourself to only what has been done before by someone. Exactly. Like you. But humans, we have this infinite capacity for progress and improvement. And achievement. And oftentimes the only thing limiting us is our minds. And the reason this is important is because we play such an emphasis on, I have to set these realistic goals. But the thing is. There is no objective reality. What's realistic. What is. Sensible. To achieve. Is highly influenced. By our mindsets. And when we expand our mindsets, our definition of what's realistic can teach. And this sort of goes along with number two. What's realistic. In the collective sense. Changes. As new technology is introduced as society shifts. As things change within society. The idea of what's realistic or possible changes. So again, this shows that the idea of being realistic is this sort of moving, ever expanding target. And it's not this one fixed thing. So for example and the days of covered wagons, it would not have been realistic to say I'm going to go from Oregon to. Maryland this weekend, right? I'm going to go to Maryland for the weekend for a wedding. People would not do that. That's not realistic. Because it's not possible to achieve or sensible or practical to achieve. However, now there are airplanes, so it is very realistic to buy a ticket. And fly somewhere across the country for a weekend. And same with careers. What's realistic with careers now. Is so much different than what was realistic. Even when our parents were going to school. Even 20 years ago, like the opportunities to make money. Introduced by social media. Introduced by the internet introduced by just more gig economy and apps these opportunities have completely expanded. What is realistic. So we have to calibrate our vision to what is truly realistic as times change. Because there are people right now who are 18 years old, making millions of dollars growing a personal brand on Tiktok. That was not something that was realistic or possible. 10 15 years ago, however, It actually is realistic now. People have done it. You can expect. To achieve, maybe not exactly that, but there are ways to generate income and revenue in a way that it was never possible before. And the same thing with education, and going back to school. So I think a lot of people have this idea of if I need to shift careers, I'm going to have to go back to school, go to a four-year university. Maybe I can do it online. We'll see you. I have to go to university. I have to get a degree in this really traditional sense. And that was the pathway. And so then there's this idea that if you reach a certain age, you're too old to change careers because you're too old to go through that rigmarole of going back to school and getting a new degree and all of that. But the thing is. Times have changed. It's 2023. You do not need. Bachelor degree from a university. Two. Earn a living. there are so many ways to earn a six figure living. That do not require going back to school in that traditional sense. I meet people all the time. Who've gone to coding boot camps or UX boot camps, or. Don project manager certifications and just bound waves. To gain skills, gain knowledge. And enter an industry. That is lucrative and that makes a good living without having to pay. Tens of thousands of dollars to go back to school and go into debt and all of those things. So what's realistic now. Is different than what was realistic, 20, 30, even five years ago. The N even thinking about like the pandemic with telemedicine and the way that's a new possibility. Like people are open to remote medicine. People are open to remote, working in a way that they never were before. What is realistic now? May not have been as realistic before the pandemic. But we have to start calibrating our vision. Of what is realistic as times change otherwise. We're the ones not being realistic. We're the ones being archaic and stuck in the past. And this is so important to grasp, and it really does go along with number one, because number one is all about. Reality is not objective and fixed. It's dynamic. And it's subjective and this number two, then we're getting into sort of what do I mean by that? Even more so is what's realistic changes. As new technologies introduced and as society shifts and changes, the definition expands. So if you're trying to use the term realistic, if you're telling yourself something's not realistic, not attainable or not practical. You definitely want to check in and say is that actually true? But it's 20, 23. Couldn't there be a way to do this. There's so many options. There's so many expansions. And has anyone actually ever done this? Maybe someone has done this. Maybe it's not as hard as I think. And really getting into this sense of questioning what you think is realistic, because it's possible that your ideas around what's realistic are stuck in the past. And as society has shifted and changed and grown and progressed and innovated. The things that are realistic now. Are totally different than what was realistic 10, 20 years ago. And then finally. Number three. The third truth. And this one is my absolute favorite. You don't have to be realistic. To be practical. And safe. Being realistic. Is not the same thing. Of being practical. So first definition of practical, because I do think it's important to be on the same page. Practical. An idea or plan likely to succeed. Or be effective in real circumstances. When I think of practical, I don't even know if I love that definition. I think of practical as. All the little pieces. That need to happen. In order for something to work. Okay. If we're talking about the four minute mile example, Being realistic. If the person Roger banister, if he was being really realistic, he might say why don't I try. A four minute, 52nd mile. Because that's reasonable to be achieved. Reasonable and sensible and practical to expect. So why don't I try that? That's realistic. Unrealistic is saying, now I'm doing. The three minutes, 59 seconds, baby. I'm going to be unrealistic. I'm going to set a goal that hasn't been done before. we don't know if it's going to be expected or achieved being impractical would be okay. I'm going to set this unrealistic goal three minutes, 59 seconds. I'm going to do it. And then I'm going to eat Cheerios. All day. And I'm gonna. Go on some walks. Jog a little bit. But that's, not really doing much. So that's being impractical, right? Because there's this unrealistic goal that he set. But then he's not doing the practical things. The day-to-day things, the actions. That actually bring you towards the goal. Another example of being impractical. Would be. And I'm going to, I'm going to run. So fast. That I injure myself, or I am going to try to run this three minute 59 mile by taking cocaine. Or I guess that's not even impractical, but that's just not being safe. So I guess that would be an example of not being safe. It's if I trying to achieve the goal by any means possible. I have this unrealistic goal and I'm going to be unsafe about it and impractical. So unsafe would be doing things that could harm himself, could be taking drugs to do it. It could be running so fast that he gets injured or it could be, oh, I'm actually going to train by. Going up and down Mount Everest without a coat on. Unsafe. So unsafe is doing things that could put you in a place of harm. And then impractical is doing things that are not really going to help you move towards the goal. Or impractical based on maybe it's like he has never trained before. And the impractical thing is okay, I'm going to wake up tomorrow. And I'm going to run. The three minute 59, second mile tomorrow. Even though before now I'm at a seven minute mile. But tomorrow. I'm going to run three minutes 59. So that's impractical. It's not this incremental progression. It's not looking at. Where you are in relation to where you want to go. It's not factoring in reasonable improvements and progressions. So that's impractical, right? Do you see how they are? Absolutely not the same thing. Being realistic. And being practical and being safe. Not the same thing. So you can set highly unrealistic goals. And work towards them. In a way that is safe and in a way that is practical. And that is honestly what I recommend. Like I'm actually not interested. And being realistic. I want to set wildly unrealistic goals. The life I'm living now. Is wildly unrealistic. Compared to the life I was living. In medicine. If I. time travel back to myself, to the Chelsea who was. Working in the medical field, 80 hours a week. So exhausted, just like really unhappy with life. And if I was to tell her like, Hey. This is how things are now. You wake up, you do a 90 minute yoga class on a rooftop. In a foreign country. And you get to do it with a friend. You get to move your body. You're more flexible and stronger than ever before. And then you get to go to a cafe. Eat some delicious breakfast. Start working on content that you care about. With friends that are interesting to you, people that you really like to relate to and you get to laugh and work. And go on what? And then you get to have a phone call. It was somebody who resonates with you on such a deep level, and then she's going to pay you thousands of dollars to work together on something you love. And you've designed like. None of that. Would've made sense to my brain. This is literally just what happened during my day today. This is just the play by play of my day today. If I had said that to me, five years ago, fall of 2018, working in the hospital that would have felt wildly unrealistic. But the thing is I'm here now. Because I let myself be unrealistic. I dreamed about this. I didn't necessarily totally think it was going to be true. But I did dream about it and I was like, oh, I just want to wake up. This is me in 2018. I was like, I want to wake up. And have a morning. To do exactly what I want to do. And then I want to go to a cafe and open my computer and work on things. And I don't know exactly what I'm gonna be working on, but I want it to be something I'm really passionate about something I really care about. And I don't know if it makes sense, but that is what I want. I want it so deeply. And so I had this dream at the time. And it felt unrealistic. It felt wild. It felt like a stretch. And I still let myself dream it. And I still decided. Why not try to make it happen. What else am I doing with my life anyways? Why not try. And. The way I tried., I wasn't unsafe. I didn't quit my job. Without any source of income. I was never homeless. Like I always had an income, so I was safe. I got a new job, a bridge job teaching English that I always had income money coming in. So I was safe and then I was practical. I was like, okay, this is a dream that I have. Let's see if I can figure out how to do it, what do I need to learn to start making it happen? What could that work be? How can I get started? How can I start doing some things? And I signed up for a travel blogging course, signed up for a life coaching certification, spent tons of hours. Designing my website and publishing blog posts and coaching people. So it's I was practical. And I also in my head, I was like, it's going to take a couple years to get there. So in the meantime, I need a job. And this is how I'm going to make money. And then on the side, I'm going to be building this thing. So do you guys see. That being realistic. Is not the same. As being safe. And being practical. You can set these beautiful unrealistic goals. And then you can work towards them. Without compromising safety. Without going for rope without doing anything dumb, you can be smart. You can be. Very practical and methodical. And step-by-step. You can design a plan. You can start working towards it. You can move towards a goal that feels wildly unrealistic. While being so safe and so practical. And that's what I'm about. I'm actually not interested in being realistic anymore. I actually want to be unrealistic and I really believe that I get to live this unrealistic life right now. Because I had the courage to dream. And that's another piece I want to speak about. Because I know. That it can be so scary. To dream big. It's scary to want something. It's scary to go after what you want, because there's this fear of what if it doesn't work out? And what if I'm disappointed? I had a client recently who was like starting to get really excited about applying for this mentorship and. was excited about it, but then she was like what if I don't get it? And I was like, you can handle disappointment. That's okay. That's part of it. Having these big dreams going after the things you really want. It does come with rejection, disappointment failure. And sometimes. We hide out. Behind this idea. Of being realistic. Because we're afraid of getting hurt. Here's a quote. I love by this career coach. I really admire Ashley Stall. And she said. People who call themselves. Realists are often just dreamers who got their hearts broken somewhere along the way. So I know that it can feel. Safe. To dismiss. Ideas to dismiss dreams to not go after what you want. To suppress your desires. It can feel safe to do that. Under the guise of. I have to be realistic. I have to do what's attainable. I gotta be practical about this whole thing. It can be really easy. To say that you're being realistic. While, truly, you're just scared. And I get that. I really do. But. Let's stop pretending. That living our life. From our fears. As a practical thing to do. Because it's absolutely not. Living our lives from our fears. It's just not a courageous thing to do. Living our lives from our fears is easy. But wildly unfulfilling. And you deserve more than that. And so if you are. Catching yourself saying things like. Oh, I just have to be practical. Or have to be realistic. I would love for you. To just check in with yourself. Check in and see. Is this an objective reality? Or is there room for this to shift or change or be dynamic? Is this reality based on. Current day times isn't based on the society, current technology, all the things that are available to me now. Am I saying it's unrealistic based on modern date, current day times. Or is it, am I saying it's unrealistic based on generations back. And then finally, how can I. Be practical. And safe. While pursuing. This thing that feels scary and unrealistic and unattainable, is there a way for me to be safe and practical? And minimize risk while doing this. You never have to jump off a cliff. You never have to. Quit one job without having any idea where your next paycheck is coming from and not having a huge runway of savings like that never has to be the case. I never want you guys to do anything that is financially unsafe. And a lot of times. We can pursue. really beautiful. real unattainable goals while still being safe. And practical. But not being realistic. Cause we don't got time for that. Because I don't want a realistic life. I'm not interested in that. And I feel like there's a part of you. That wants an unrealistic life too. So I would love to invite you to dream big and dream unrealistic with me. And if this podcast episode is speaking to you, I have a free training that is happening Monday evening. Clarify your purpose part two, where we're gonna work through fears, work through limiting beliefs and help you really expand yourself. Expand your beliefs around. What's possible. And I am so excited. To really help you guys move through this because oftentimes. It is our fears. It is our ideas. Around what's practical. What's realistic ideas. Our ideas of our own limitations that keep us from finding clarity and direction, because it's hard to. Find direction. When we keep telling ourselves all the directions we want to take, oh, that's not going to work. Oh, no, we can't do that because of this. If we're dismissing every potential idea that could lead to a direction, it's hard to find direction. And this is something that we are going to tackle. On our training on Monday is how to work through all of those fears. All of those. Disbeliefs, all of those voices that say this is not realistic. This is not going to work, how to work through all of that so that you can really identify your direction. Link in the description or the show notes to sign up. And I hope that this episode helped you shift and change something. And if it did. I'd love to hear from you guys in the life after medicine, Facebook group, what parts of this podcast resonated with you? What parts of these three truths felt like whoa. That's it, that's a shift. That's a game changer for me. I love to hear from you. And just know how you're reacting and how you're responding to all of this. Let's just recap the truths one more time so that you have them nice and fresh with you. So number one. What's realistic is highly influenced by our mindset. And it's subjective. And dynamic. So there's not a true gold standard. For what can be achieved or expected it's dynamic. And it's oftentimes created by the confines of our beliefs. Number two is what's realistic changes. As new technology is introduced and as society shifts and changes. So we have to calibrate our vision of what is truly realistic. As times change. And then number three. You don't have to be realistic to be safe. And practical because realistic and practical are not the same things. It's okay to be unrealistic. It's okay. To want goals that feel. Unattainable. So sending you guys all so much love, and I want to say thank you again for listening. And I will see you all next week and maybe I'll see some of you at the clarify, your purpose workshop.