Perfect Form

To Achieving Your Goals

You may have seen the video on Facebook or possibly the TEDx talk, but even if you haven’t, you might be surprised to learn that you have a congenital “allergy” to goal achievement. In her TEDx talk (“How to stop screwing yourself over”), and in the more recent interview with Tom Bilyeu, Mel Robbins explains that change in general, and big change specifically, is counter-intuitive to how we are wired.  

We have incredible 21st century intellects paired with Stone Age sympathetic nervous systems, which creates much of the mental and emotional turbulence we experience in our daily lives, resulting in anxiety, depression, stress and general unhappiness. This is because we are wired to stay safe, specifically by avoiding harm in any form. Harm might be real or imagined, experienced as a memory, a current situation, or something that has yet to happen. When we perceive the potential for harm, our nervous system does everything it can to protect us, including increasing our heart rate, dilating our pupils and releasing adrenaline and cortisol, amongst other things. When we experience that reaction, we have a built-in desire to avoid whatever is causing it. That was a good thing 2.5 million years ago, when a sabre tooth tiger was lurking in the savannah, but when we experience it all day, every day, in traffic, at work and at home, it can be paralyzing.

The next time you want to try a new gym, talk to a new person, or achieve any new goal, and you feel the rush of anxiety that many people feel, accompanied by pangs of fear, hesitation and self-doubt, don’t sweat it (even if you are actually sweating). It is normal to feel that way. You are supposed to; because it is your body trying to keep you safe from imaginary harm. Instead, do it anyway, because in all likelihood, nothing bad will happen. In fact, once you do something that previously made you nervous, it becomes something you’ve done. As soon as that happens, it becomes (gradually) more comfortable, and will provoke less and less anxiety.

You may have an allergy to achieving your goals, but just like your seasonal allergy, don’t let it stop you. Thank your nervous system for protecting you from sabre tooth tigers, get on with your life and achieve all the goals your heart can imagine.  




A speaker, coach and author, and combining almost 30 years of fitness and wellness, Rod is the vice president of canfitpro, the largest provider of education in the Canadian fitness industry. Overseeing this dynamic 100,000 member organization, Rod continues to propel its growth and position as a leader in the global fitness industry. Rod is a cross-Canada cyclist, NLP Practitioner, RYT 200, Certified Coach Practitioner, and 4-time Ironman finisher. For more information on Rod, visit  and for and for more information on canfitpro, visit     

Categories: Exercise Tips & Techniques