As business owners, we all set goals, but the real reason we have these goals is because of how we think it will make us feel. We think we want the $10M business, but what we really want is what it represents to us: freedom, significance, security. And one layer beneath that is how we believe those things will make us feel: free, important, safe.

We think that once we reach our goals and have the results, then we will feel good. There are three problems with waiting for specific results before we feel good:

  1. Our feelings are the fuel for our actions. The way to get the result is to generate the feeling first.
  2. Putting the responsibility for how we feel on anything outside of ourselves (like a result, which is just a neutral circumstance) is a risky thing to do because we can’t control anything other than ourselves.
  3. We miss the opportunity to have good feelings while we are creating the results we want. We delay our joy.

The way to get the results we want is to feel good first.

Feeling good first is one of the most misunderstood things about goal setting. And it’s easy to fix. Imagine how you will feel when you achieve the result you want and feel that way ahead of time. Intentionally.

Feelings are our emotional GPS.

They tell us where we are heading and when we should change course. The great thing about feelings is that we can use them as a trigger to examine our thoughts. We can save ourselves a lot of time and pain by paying attention to how we feel before we take action. Because negative feelings cause interference and they slow us down.

Most entrepreneurs are action-oriented. We know that when we take action, we will get results. But why don’t we always get the results we want? The most common reason is that we are using negative feelings to fuel our actions. The secret is to be aware of how you are feeling and to recognize that your feelings are caused by your thoughts.

I remember a time early in my business when I was asked to give a presentation to a group of senior leaders, and I was frustrated because I had already delivered it once before, and I was confused about what they expected from a second presentation. Although I wanted to win the contract, truthfully, I didn’t want to do the presentation a second time. The process of preparing for the meeting was painfully slow because of the resistance I felt. I was focused on myself and not them. I remember running up the stairs to the building at the last minute and feeling frazzled and disorganized when I spoke to them. I didn’t see any enthusiasm for me or my business concept in their body language. I left once again disappointed and without an agreement to move forward with our project.

Think your way to new feelings.

I didn’t realize how my feelings of resistance negatively affected the way I “showed up” (literally and figuratively). Imagine, instead, if I had decided on purpose to feel appreciation for the opportunity to connect with a group of influential business people who were willing to spend time listening to me. If I had focused on serving them and refining my communication so that it was more meaningful and related to their world, the outcome would have been different. They would probably have understood how my solution solved their problem and why it mattered. At the very least, I would have left feeling good about the education I had provided.

I use a tool called the Model to explain the process of creating results.

a Circumstance exists, and then we have a
Thought about it, which causes a
Feeling, and then we take an
Action, which creates a

Many people don’t realize the significance of feelings and think they are just passing emotions that come and go. But learning how to recognize your feelings and generate them on purpose is one of the most important and powerful things you can do for your business because:

  1. Your feelings drive your actions, which is how you get results.
  2. How you feel will tell you the quality of your thoughts. One of the things you have the most control over in life is the thoughts you think. If you are experiencing negative feelings, look first at your thoughts.

Any time you get ready to take action to achieve your goals, stop and notice how you feel first. Actions taken from a place of resentment and frustration will leave you exhausted. Make a promise to yourself to go on a diet from negative feelings of overwhelm, confusion, doubt, and worry. This will FREE UP so much time because those feelings always lead to half-hearted or tentative actions, and sometimes prevent you from taking any action at all.

Notice how you are feeling and change your thoughts until you generate the feeling that you want to have once you achieve the results. Feel that way first, before you take action, and you will achieve any goal in your business – and your life.