Many people loop on the thought – I should be farther along than I am – in business, career, fitness, etc. In this episode, I want to share where that comes from, why it’s not useful and how to break free.
01:02 – 3 questions to ask yourself when you think you should be further along
07:55 – What’s really driving that way of thinking
15:00 – How this thought is related to imposter syndrome and burnout
18:50 – 4 steps for getting a breakthrough
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This is episode 97 – The Myth of Thinking You Should Be Further Along. One of the most common ways people block their own progress in life is to loop on the thought – I should be farther along than I am, in business, career, fitness, etc. In this episode, I want to share where that comes from, why it’s not useful and how to break free. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the MindStory Speaker podcast.
I’ve heard that thought looping in my own head many times throughout my life, I should be further along that I am. I’ve heard friends, colleagues, family members, clients say it often. I now think it’s a kind of mind virus that actually stops you from moving forward. Here’s why. The next time you hear yourself or someone else say that, ask 3 questions:
For example, I had a client who’d had a job in financial services, and been building his business as a coach and speaker on the side for about 9 years. When he said that, I asked those three questions. He said, specifically I mean I should be further along as a coach and speaker. In terms of percentages, I have no idea. I often find that people have a hard time getting specific that they are not as far along as they should be, yet somehow they know that it’s true.
When pressed, he answered, okay in terms of percentage of how far along I should be, um, I don’t know. Like, 90%. In terms of percentage, how far along am I right now? I’d say maybe 30%. So how does he know that? How do you know that you’re not as far along as you should be? What criteria are you using? In his case, and in many people’s cases, it’s really that he had an image in his mind of himself as a failure. In other episodes I’ve talked about how people take on archetypal characters with core scripts that play out these MindStories, and it’s like getting stuck in a role you don’t really want to be playing, but until you change the role, you can’t change the script or the story. The archetype of the failure can also be called the loser, and often people mutter to themselves, I’m such a loser. They’re not even fully conscious there saying to themselves, but it’s either their voice, or the voice of a bully from when they were a kid, or an interpretation of what their father was saying about them by the look on his face.
And if you have put on that costume of the loser, agreed to play that role in the story of your life, and that drives the belief that it’s true. So then it creates a consciousness bias, a worldview where no matter what happens you will interpret it as a sign that you are indeed this loser. That’s not because you want to continue reinforcing a disempowering limiting belief like that, but the brain wants consistency. There’s thousands of ways to interpret every single second of your life, and its too much for the brain to comprehend it from 1000 different perspectives in any given moment. So it wants you just choose a storyline, a character you’re playing, and a script or intention that your living by. That way the brain can organize your external reality for you. If you don’t give it all that, then external reality becomes too hard to live in. It’s like those moments in life when one belief shatters and you don’t have a new one to replace it with, people say things like – nothing makes sense to me anymore.
That’s why, I am often talking about taking on empowering MindStories, archetypal characters, core scripts, because you need something to organize your reality, so it might as well be something good, rather than something bad. So the only reason my client new he should be further along is because that is the core script of the failure archetype, the loser. That is a constant script that character lives by. Even if he achieved everything on his wish list of achievements, in order for the failure archetype to maintain its status, it would just set the bar higher, so it can continue with the script – I should be farther along. See how it works?
It helps to get more clarity around the answers to the percentages. So my client said, 90% would mean I’m doing it full time and I’m at the top of my game. Okay you can specify full-time as opposed part-time, but what does it mean to be at the top of your game. How do you really know when you’ve hit the top?
When I asked him why he speaks to himself like, he said he figures it helps motivate him to try harder. But when we really investigated it, we went back to a specific moment in time when he was having the thought – I should be further along. And I suggest you try this as well. Think of a specific moment when you said that to yourself. In his case, he was looking at goals he wrote down five years ago, how far along he would be five years later. He would be working full-time is a speaker and coach, and would have quit his job, and would be traveling around the world doing his work. And he hadn’t quit his job, and he was still only doing it part-time.
So I asked, when you said that to yourself did it motivate you to really do what was necessary to jump up to the next level of success? And he had to admit it actually lowered. his energy and demotivated him. He just got a headache and wanted to zone out and not do anything to build his business for weeks after that. That’s when he contacted me, to help him out of this state of mind. And we totally turned around the archetype, script and story that ran him when it came to building this side business, and success started to come effortlessly to him.
That’s what self judgment usually does to a person. There’s this myth that it motivates you, like bullying yourself into doing something is the only way you’re going to do it. Maybe it works for the short term, this kind of negative reinforcement, but it doesn’t create intrinsic, internal desire to grow in your career, business, fitness, whatever you’re working on. You know how people force themselves to exercise, grinning and bearing it, eating the tiny meal but secretly resenting it. It’s just hard to sustain that kind of focus when it’s coming from negative reinforcement, willpower alone, and not from an entirely new MindStory with different archetypal characters and scripts. We have all that installed, it becomes easy, you don’t have to think about it, it’s on default, it just naturally happens.
So when you hear yourself make statements to yourself such as, I should be further along, ask yourself – what does further along mean? Further along towards what? And who is saying that? And what’s your motivation in saying that? And then you’ll probably get down to these stories and characters running the show. And then, like the director of the show, you could fire members of the cast that are dragging you down, and hire some better ones. For example, in case my client, we just looked at what’s the opposite of the failure archetype, or the loser archetype, well it’s the winner archetype. So the winner is one who succeeds in his goals, and he has a different script no matter what’s happening externally, such as – I’m just as far along as I need to be at this time, no matter what happens I’m always learning and growing, it’s the journey that matters rather than the end goal, I’m going to get there one day eventually. The winner who lives by those intentions, has a different MindStory. He’s on the heroes journey where he knows he’s going to face some challenges along the way, but he will make it to the top of the mountain, because in his story the hero, the winner, wins. That’s built into his operating system. There’s no question about that, he believes that. Even on his deathbed, no matter how far along he came on his journey towards his goal, he will interpret it as a win.
Now, you might think, well that’s just deluding myself. But is it? Let’s go back to that moment in time where my client is looking at the goals he set five years ago. He would look at that, as the opposite, more positive …winner…archetype, from the perspective of the glass is half-full. Which of the goals he set five years ago did he achieve? Actually, when he did the percentages, he’d achieved 65% of the goals he set out to achieve. That’s actually a lot higher than most people. From that perspective, that archetypal character running the show, with the core script – I’m worthy of success – would say…wait a minute I did build my career as a coach and a speaker quite significantly, and I kept my job so that I could have financial stability while I did it, good for me, I learned how to be very organized and prioritize with my time so that I could do both, and I use my coaching and speaking skills on the job which made big difference to the people around me. And after he had all those thoughts, how did he feel? He felt energized and motivated to use the next five years to achieve the rest of the goals on his list.
It’s just the mechanics of how it works, what motivates us, what drives behavior, and you have full control over these mechanics, as soon as you understand how it works. Now, you might be thinking it yourself, how do I recast myself in the MindStory of my life as the winner instead of the loser?
STEP 1 – You have to be willing to admit to yourself that you indeed did cast yourself as the loser. I tell you this, because when I really go deep with any of my clients, almost all of them have that as an archetypal character running the show. It’s almost like it gets downloaded into your operating system, especially once you hit school. Even people who seem like they have everything externally, they had that same loser archetype. That’s where the whole imposter syndrome thing comes from, most all highly successful people I’ve worked with have this imposter syndrome. One day to go to find out I’m actually a loser, I’m just faking that I’m just faking it. Or, anyone who’s gone through burnout, they definitely have the loser archetype running the show in the background. The only reason a person would go into burnout is because they are pushing themselves beyond what’s natural and good and right for them. Why would they do that? Because nothing is ever good enough, because they are never good enough, their work is never good enough, people around them aren’t happy enough. They live in this constant fear that if they don’t keep spinning all these plates in the air as fast as he possibly, the whole thing will start to come crashing down and everyone will see the truth, they are a loser. But again, that’s not true, it’s only true if you say it’s true. Sure you could come up with a big list of all the reasons why you are a loser. But by the same token you could also probably come up with a big list of why you are a winner. Did you pass Grade four? Did you once get chosen for a baseball team? Did you ever help someone feel better about themselves? Did you ever make a great dinner?
So Step 1 is seeing this archetypal character who is feeding you scripts that make you feel disempowered, limited, deenergized, demotivated. This is an important first step, just shining a light on it. By the way, by archetypal, it’s a word coined by 20th century psychoanalyst named Carl Jung, to mean a pattern of behavior, a set of internal instructions in the unconscious that animates the psyche of a person. It’s also a constantly recurring motif in literature, painting, stories, media and mythologies that share similar traits. That’s why we respond to stories so powerfully. We relate to certain characters and often choose to live by those archetypal instruction sets, and often we make those decisions very young.
So STEP 2 – once you have identified a limiting archetype, see if you can name it. You can usually tell if there are names you call yourself. And don’t be shy about pulling these out of the shadows because they like to stay in the shadows, because they can control you better. As soon as you start to shed light on them, they lose power over you. And just as an aside, these bad archetypes and scripts are like mind viruses, they’re not actually part of who you really are. So people will say I have an inner critic, or I’m so judgmental towards myself. But what’s really going on is you just downloaded bad malware, it doesn’t belong to them, it’s not part of them. It’s just like you have to debug your computer, clean out the fridge, have a shower. We constantly need to be cleaning out bad mind programs, or they’ll stick to us and grow. There’s nothing wrong with you if you have these bad archetypal characters and scripts and stories. We all have them. Just learn how to be of good hacker of your own system, get rid of them and replace them. And the best way to get rid of it is to override it.
So, popular ones are the Orphan – I’m not good enough, the Beggar, there’s not enough for me, the Victim, bad things keep happening to me, the Slave, I’m oppressed, the Loser, I’m unworthy of success, the Coward – I’m too weak, afraid and closed, the Idiot, I can’t figure it out, the Wounded, I’m too broken inside.
STEP 3 – Once you identify one, and just do one at a time, just find the opposite. For example if the loser thinks I’m unworthy of success. The winner is its opposite, I am worthy of success. You can’t have one without the other. We live in a dualistic universe. If you have one you have the other. And what you focus on grows, so all we’re going to do here is put your energy on its opposite, because then you tend to have better outcomes in your life.
The opposite of the orphan – I’m not good enough might be the connector, I am good enough. The opposite of the beggar, there’s not enough for me is the provider, there’s enough for me and everyone. The opposite of the victim – bad things happen to me, might be the guardian – I can protect myself and others. The opposite of the slave – I’m oppressed, might be sovereign – free to create the life I want. You see out works? That’s the one you focus on. So every story usually has the villain and the Savior, the loser and the winner, the victim in the Guardian, the pessimist in the optimist. You never usually see a story where every character is a villain, a loser, a victim or a pessimist. It’s the contrast of characters that makes things interesting. So chances are you have these opposites within you as well. And if you see somebody in your life that seems more of an Explorer than a Coward, or more of a Provider than a Beggar, they have both sides within them it’s just that they are focusing more on the positive aspect of that duality, if that makes sense. They are choosing to embody that positive character, and scripts, and instruction sets more than the opposite.
STEP 4 – is to play make-believe for a while. Imagine you were this opposite positive character. Think back again to that area of life where you tend to think “I should be further along”? Revisit that now. And instead have that positive archetypal character look at the situation, because that character has different instruction sets and scripts. So for example, how would the Winner, the Savior, the Explorer, the Provider, the Optimist look at where you are in life right now? Say, you noticed you are saying things to yourself like, I’m such an idiot, I can’t figure this out, when it came to say creating an online course. So, the facts of the situation are that you tried to start an online course and got frustrated with the technical problems, and gave up. You are looking at your list of goals for this quarter, and one of them was to get your online course together. So then you realize it’s actually the character and that character’s script that made you give up. So you find the opposite, and I work with a reference chart of 15 of the most common disempowering archetypes and their opposites when I work with clients, so on my reference chart the opposite of THE IDIOT, is THE CREATOR. Creative people love to figure things out, they love to problem solve, be ingenious. And their script is I can totally figure it out, or something to that effect.
So in Step 4 you look at the situation from the vantage point of the positive archetype, who’s script, intention, modus operandi, worldview is I can totally figure it out. Then make a list of what you see, your thoughts, your interpretations of these facts. In the case of the client I was helping, these were the list of thoughts. It’s okay that I got frustrated and stopped, there’s a lot to figure out and I’m new at it. But I could get good at this. I could find someone to help me, I could sign up for a course on how to create online courses, I could set a date for the launch and invite everyone on my list and then all have a deadline to work towards, I could make it simpler than I’ve been trying to do, and so on. Then, you start to feel more engaged, motivated, interested to dive into the goal again.
Now, that might just seem like common sense to some people, just look at the glass as half-full, look at it from a positive perspective. But, you might know to do that intellectually, but I find that the percentage of time that people spend in the disempowering, limiting points of view tend to far outweigh the times when they are being positive and constructive in their thinking. That’s because these train tracks of thinking and being and acting, are well-worn, comfortable, easy to use, because of so much practice. It’s much harder to start thinking in a positive way on a regular basis when it’s new to you. It’s like trying to drive a car for the first time, it’s slow, it’s clunky, you have to think about everything you’re doing until it becomes second nature. But it’s totally worth the effort, because once the positive archetype and they are script become your default, then things like creating an online course doesn’t seem daunting to you anymore, the challenges of building a business while also having a job don’t tear you down anymore, or not nearly as much. They energize you, motivate you, give you ingenious ideas, make you a magnet for great opportunities. And the negative archetypes to the opposite, they deenergize you, demotivate you, leave you with no ideas about how to move forward, and block great opportunities coming to. It’s really quite simple. But you need the regular practice of casting yourself in the positive, empowering role, and then the script, the belief comes more naturally. That’s why I work in story form, using the MindStory Method, with people because it goes into the imaginative brain, the right brain and connects to the whole person, as opposed to just trying to work with people in a linear logical way. That tends to not stick.
Now, you can do this on your own and it can be quite effective. However, there’s always some people who want someone to guide them through this process and keep them focused in the right direction, keeping them accountable, problem-solving for them, customizing it for them. For many months I’ve been unable to take on new coaching clients, but a few spots have opened up recently, so I’m opening up applications for a six session coaching series, that’s usually once a week, or once every other week for two or three months. We get together on Zoom for about an hour, and I take you through a process where we figure out where you are now in terms of these kinds of scripts, core beliefs, archetypes stories that are running your life that you don’t want, that are working against you, and sometimes it’s really hard to figure those out on your own, it really helps to have someone who knows how to ask the right questions to get down to what they are.
And then we create the goal of where you want to be, not only in terms of the script, the archetype, the story but in relationship to a specific goal. For example, building some aspect of your business like creating an online course, speaking, coaching, getting clarity on a new career path, or a new business direction to pivot to, getting clarity on moving or changing your living situation, growing your skills within a particular role in an organization, creating better situation financially, or to do with your health, your weight, your sense of life fulfillment.
Many coaching models promise to help you with mindset, but those generally don’t stick. Because the process is only done at a shallow level. With the Mindstory Method that we work with, you reinforce the mindset changes at the operating system level until it becomes default. Switching to one time is easy, but keeping the good, empowering scripts as your default system does require reinforcement. It’s like going to the gym. This coaching series is designed to reinforce it until it sticks. And we do that in a variety of ways depending on your learning style and life situation. For example, I create customized neuro-blueprint audios for you that work with how your mind manifests.
So imagine building that aspect of your business like an online course, or growing your speaking, coaching, consulting to a level that’s much more satisfying, growing your income, getting that crystal clear clarity on a new career path, or a new business direction to pivot to, imagine the sense of fulfillment you can have when there’s no longer these hidden, unnecessary sabotage scrips getting in. your way anymore. It can give you a kind of energy, motivation passion and excitement like you’ve never experienced before.
So, my partner Dave and have spent the last 22 years and over 800K honing and using it in our business until we ensured consistent immediate results for our clients with now a 95% success rate.
And so the most important question you can ask yourself is, would you like my customized support designed just for you? You don’t have to do this alone. So if you’re ready to get the expert help you need, here’s a rare opportunity for you.
I have set aside some time to get on the phone or zoom and to work with you one on one to identify precisely where you need to install better script to rise you to the next level of excellence quickly. On this first complimentary call we’ll etch out a step by step plan to get you from where you are now, onto this better path, a golden timeline towards your highest potential and ideal future. On the call, we’re going to identify exactly what you need to do and who you need to be for massive growth. Then we’ll see if it’s a good fit for you to enroll in this 6 session series.
Now who’s it for? It’s very, very important, because we want to use your time wisely. I want to use my time wisely. So in order to get on the call with me, you must be 100% committed to your goal now and getting help to get there now is really important. If it’s still a “maybe” thing, or a 6 months from now thing, then this isn’t for you. So, If you’re not committed, if it’s not urgent for you, then this call is not right for you. But if that is you, then it’s totally the right thing.
And it’s not for you if you aren’t coachable. By that I mean, you’ve noticed in the past that you look for people to help you but then you reject the help. Like that’s a pattern for you. That’s a disempowering character running the show too much of the time. There has to be enough trust within you to reach out for help, to feel deserving of help, to feel that it’s maybe possible. Of course, it doesn’t have to be perfectly there, as we’ll work on your ability to believe, but you can’t be at 0%. We need to have something to start with.
And it’s also not for you if you aren’t willing to work for it, and invest your time, energy and resources into an incredible and rare opportunity. Because it’s going to feel like a stretch right now, perhaps a bigger stretch than ever before. You know why? Because the stakes are high when it comes to core scripts that run your life. Many of us secretly don’t want to give up the familiar. But if you don’t then you’ll get what you’ve always been getting in terms of results. We are mining for gold here, so it could get messy or uncomfortable at times. But at the other end, you have precious gold that you never had before, a life and results you’ve been longing for. So, if you’re 100% committed to getting help, open to getting help, willing to do what it takes, then just click on the EXPLORE COACHING link in the shownotes to fill out the questionnaire and then schedule your FREE zoom call, which could be audio or video. So, click on that it’s going to take you to a questionnaire with a few questions to fill out. Then you hit Submit which takes you to a page with a calendar that shows my availability. Select a time that works best for you. And then we’re going to get on zoom together and sort all this out. Here’s what to expect from the call 40 minutes, that means give yourself enough time, make sure you don’t have to cut the call short, as this one intro call could entirely change your life for the better. We’re gonna understand where you’re at where you want to go, and how to close the gap.
And if we feel like working together would be a good thing, then we talk about next steps to do that. Now, the purpose of the call is not to solve all your challenges then and there, because there isn’t anybody who can get on a call with you for 40 minutes and solve all your challenges. It is to really understand what they are and then figure out what you need to do in order to solve them.
So like I said before, if you feel you fit the description if you qualify. Just take these simple steps. Step one, you complete the short questionnaire. Now your answers here are very, very important, it’s going to give me the information needed to properly prepare for the call. It’s going to help me begin to devise what type of strategy I think you need. And it doesn’t make any sense for us to spend time during the call getting this information. So I want you to complete the questionnaire prior to the call and that way we can make the most of the time we have together.
Now if you don’t complete the questionnaire, 24 hours before your scheduled call time, you will be receiving an email from our team that unfortunately, we will have to cancel the call and there will be no opportunity to reschedule. It’ll only take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire so you can show up powerfully for your call.
Step 2 schedule your call. So once you hit Submit after the questionnaire, it will take you to a page to pick a time you can be focused. So be in front of a desktop or laptop or an iPad, not on your mobile phone and like in a crowded or noisy area or while driving. really be focused and take notes. Okay, uninterrupted time.
Step 3, put the call in your calendar. Now, if you’re not able to show up, please cancel or reschedule the call at least 24 hours in advance. I only have so many time slots in the week to see people and I want to give your spot to someone else. And so if you can’t honor the time that we’ve set up and you have to cancel at the last minute, where you don’t show up for your call, we will not allow a reschedule. Okay. So I absolutely want to honor this time that we’ve set up to support you….because it’s rare that I have time like this to help people.
So if you’re called to check this out, it must be for a good reason. So honor that reason. Just click on the link to do the questionnaire and schedule your call – see it in the shownotes, and we’ll see you on the call
That’s it for today. See you next time.