Why your emotions always stop you from reaching your goals….


Setting goals these days has become the new thing… It is easy to set them but in time we often forget them… It’s about time you saw something through to the end…

For me reaching my goals became much simpler when I understood this concept…

We humans all have two sides, an EMOTIONAL and a RATIONAL. The emotional can be called our ELEPHANT and the rational our RIDER. Everybody thinks the rider is the leader because he is sitting on top. He has control of the reins. He is steering. They forget about the fact that his task is to control a 6 ton beast (your emotions) which are up and down all day everyday.

Our emotions (Elephant) can be our biggest weakness because we humans are naturally lazy and skittish and we are always in search of the quick payoff (ice cream/sugar/beer/wine) over the long term goal or desired outcome (fit/toned/strong). When we fail to change or reach our goals it is often our emotions that hold us back. This happens because we need to make short term sacrifices for long term payoffs. For example avoid bad food today and have a better body in 8 weeks. Simple right?

Our rationalisation (Rider) however is the opposite. He sees the path ahead and knows what needs to be done. He knows the long term goal and knows exactly how to get there. He knows that by avoiding bad foods now he will look better in his new Lululemon gear in 8 weeks time. So if it is this easy why doesn't it always work out…

There will always come a time when the rider and elephant disagree on which way to go. This is a big problem. This is called using your WILLPOWER. This is where the rider needs to dig his heels in and steer the beast away from danger. This danger come in the form of the “one drink” with friends, the cheat meal because you have been good and trained hard all week or worked hard all week. We allow ourselves these treats because our elephant gets the better of the rider and we let our emotions win over our long term (rational) goal. We gave in! Our rider lost! We have strayed from the path! AGAIN! 

Our willpower is tested regularly. Every day your rider struggles against the emotional beast! Our rider can only win tug of war for a little while before eventually losing to the mighty elephant! The rider will always lose unless you set yourself a goal that will appeal to both your elephant and rider and they work together!

Something that appeals to you emotionally and rationally will allow the two to work together and it is then and only then that you will be on course for SUCCESS!!   

Shaun is the Co-Owner of CrossFit Agilis in Sydney's Inner West suburb of Balmain. Shaun is a previous regional competitor, having competed for CrossFit Active in the teams category at the Reebok CrossFit Games Regionals in 2014. Since starting CrossFit, Shaun has consistently finished within the top 3% of all Open competitions (Australia, New Zealand and Asia region), with his best finish being 137th in 2013. His consistent top placings and previous experience are a result of his dedication, focus and constant efforts to improve not only his own performance but the performance of his clients through the training programs he develop.