In this podcast episode, we are discussing overcoming the fear of failure and pursuing ambitious goals. There was once a time when I had a lot of urgency to pursue my biggest dreams. In those days I had little to lose, and my desire drove me to get uncomfortable and expand. Now that I’ve reached this upper level, I’m reassessing where my passions are and how I can spark that motivation to get uncomfortable again. Staying stagnant will never serve us, so we have to constantly be willing to look inward and see where we are blocking ourselves.


I’ll be sharing:


  • How to reevaluate and pursue seemingly impossible dreams.
  • The acknowledgment of societal norms that discourage stepping outside of the norm.
  • Reflections on personal reluctance and ego-driven barriers.
  • Delving into the process of uncovering suppressed aspirations.

… and so much more.


When you’ve made yourself comfortable, it’s more important than ever to explore what fuels your fire and to remember that the journey and who you become throughout the process is the ultimate prize.


Tune in this episode where I’m urging you to contemplate your deepest desires without limitations.


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Emily Hirsh:


Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I do not sound amazing; I am sick, which sucks. I had a Crossfit competition. And the morning of the competition, I had a little bit of a sore throat. And then, these competitions push you—at least, me, I think most people too—to a level that you just don’t normally go, way past where you normally go. And I think my body was just like, “There is absolutely no way I can fight this after what you just put me through,” so I full-blown got sick the next day. After the competition, which was definitely a bummer, but I had a lot of fun at the competition, and actually, some of that is going to tie into today’s podcast episode.


So, this was something that came up for me last week that I felt really motivated to share with you guys and kind of transparently share with you my own thoughts, plus a conversation, and I think it will serve a lot of you because it was a big realization I had combined with a question that a mentor asked me about a month ago, and that’s the question I’m going to ask you today. So first of all, there was like a chain of conversations that I had, plus a book that I was listening to called “Be Your Future Self Now,” and you know when things just happen really synchronistically, where it’s like, you know that there’s a reason that that conversation came up, and it also goes with, you know, the book you’re reading or a movie you watched or whatever, and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, all this stuff just kind of fits together like a puzzle,” and then you have this breakthrough. That’s what happened to me.


So, this book talks a lot about facing basically who you want to be in the future today. So, whatever your goals are or aspirations you have, become that person today and then work towards that. And then, I also was reading after that, like I was fresh off that book, and I started reading this book called “The 12-Hour Walk,” and it’s written by Colin, I think O’Brady, Colin O’Brady, who has done some amazing athletic feats. He’s walked across Antarctica pulling a sled, climbed every highest peak in the United States, and like I think it was two and a half weeks. He’s just one of those guys who pushes his comfort zone to the max and is not really afraid to fail. And so, in his book, he was challenging like where you have maybe already determined that you can’t do something because you’re afraid to fail, so you don’t even try. And here’s the thing—I’m somebody that, if you were to ask me, like prior to these realizations, I would be like, “I’m not really afraid to fail. Like, I go after what I want. I go big. I’ve built a lot of incredible things, and I put myself out there,” and I really wouldn’t have thought, “Oh, I’m afraid of failing.” But here’s the realization I had.


If I go back 7, 8 years ago when I was starting my business, when I had nothing, I was making $18 an hour before that as a nanny. We lived in a tiny, tiny house, we didn’t have a lot of money. I was really going after it, like I was really putting myself out there and making these big decisions that everybody around me was going, “You’re crazy,” or “There’s no way that’s going to work,” or “That’s a huge mistake,” right? You know, those decisions, and us entrepreneurs oftentimes face this when we start our business because it is so different than what everybody else is doing that it makes other people really uncomfortable. And so, when you choose a very big goal like that, oftentimes, the people around you that you tell are like, “Oh, that’s crazy. You shouldn’t do that,” you know? And I was like, when I first started my business, that was my norm. Like, I dropped out of college, I started my business, people didn’t even understand what I was doing, and I was making all these big decisions, and I didn’t know if it was going to work. Like, I had no idea that I was going to build a 7-figure business, but I didn’t care, I just kept moving forward and putting myself out there and trying these and going after these big, crazy dreams.


Like, I can remember when I made the decision to not continue college. It was a big deal because I grew up in a family where my parents were both like, “This is what you do. Like, you go to college, you get your degree, you have that piece of paper, and then after you do that, you can do whatever you want. Like, if you want to start a business after that, at least you have this degree to fall back on,” you know? That belief that I just totally—I think I’ve convinced them otherwise now, but that’s how I grew up my whole life. And so, not continuing with college was a very big deal because I hadn’t yet built a lot of business success, like I was just starting to get clients and just starting. So, I can remember when I made that decision, and I was like, “I cannot have a newborn baby continuing college and build this business. College is costing me money and this over here is making me money, so I’m just going to bet on it.” And I can remember the response, like the response from everybody around me was like, “What are you doing?” because they couldn’t see everything in the day-to-day.


So anyways, when I look back on that time, I’m like, I was making decisions like that all the time and really going after dreams that felt at the time impossible. Having a 7-figure business in those moments felt so far out of reach that I could barely comprehend it when you’re making $18 an hour. Going to making 7 figures a million dollars plus a year, it feels impossible, but I still was working towards that and I didn’t really care if I got there, how long it took me, I just was committed to the journey. So then, I started thinking about today, and I was like, “Do I still do that? Like, do I still make decisions to go after dreams that are so big that they sound crazy?” And I’m like, “I don’t, I really don’t do that.” Why? So I sat with that for a few days and I realized, and this is where I think a lot of you guys will resonate, especially who are like me, are years into your business and you’ve reached certain phases, I realized that the level of comfort I have achieved because I’ve built what I have has made it so I haven’t felt the urgency to go after those huge dreams as much as I used to because when you’re making $18 an hour and you’re barely paying bills and you live in a 400-square-foot studio with a newborn baby, you have a lot more urgency and drive to go after everything.


Because you don’t have a lot to lose. You’re like, it can only get better from here, right? I can only go up. And it’s not that I have a lot to lose if I go after my dreams, I don’t believe that, I never, like, would take a risk that’s like, you’re gonna lose everything. But I feel like because I’ve achieved a level of comfort, my lifestyle, my house, my vacations I get to take my family, like, the time I spend, my schedule, it’s like, I don’t have that urgency to go after these big things or at least I don’t prioritize it anymore, which I found so fascinating because I was like, but wait. Do I have these big dreams that I’m not saying? And I sat with that so we’ll talk about that in a minute. And I also realized, so I’m realizing all this as I’m reading the book and I’m going like I haven’t made a decision where people are like, you’re crazy, in a long time. And I actually believe a lot of the times the best things happen when we are following a path where most people around us are like, “I don’t know how you’re doing that, like, that is freaking crazy,” right? Because you’re going after something so big, it’s hard to comprehend.


So I’m sitting with that, I’m thinking about that, and then at the same time, I had a friend in Crossfit who we were prepping for this Crossfit competition and she came up to me and she’s like, “We started around that same time, we’ve competed together,” and she’s like, “I realized that I stopped basically trying to reach the level of going to the Crossfit Games.” And we’re both at the same level. Like, we are so far away from being good enough to go to the Games. The Games is like the 1% of the 1%, right? And she said, “But I sat down and I had a 2-hour conversation with one of our head coaches, who is a top Games athlete, and I’m going to try. I’m going to go for it. Like, it might take me 10 years, but I’m going to go on that journey because I would rather go on that journey than not.” And I was like, “Oh my god.” When I started Crossfit a year ago, I think I literally have podcasts where I was like, “I’m so excited and I’m starting Crossfit and I want to get this far.” Well, I gave up on that without realizing it because what happened was I convinced myself, and I was like, “There’s no way. There’s absolutely no way. You would make it to the Games because you’re so far from being even close, and you started late.” I built up all of these facts in my mind. I was like, “You didn’t start at like 14 like a lot of these athletes do today, you’re too tall.” 


I literally googled the height of Crossfit Games athletes to confirm to myself that I was too tall because they’re shorter than me and like went through this process. I didn’t consciously realize what I was doing, but what was happening was over time, I just shifted and it was like that was no longer a dream of mine because I was like, “No, it’s impossible. You can’t do it,” and you know I still go to Crossfit, I still love it. But it just became like, “Oh, I just go and I try to improve my fitness. I’ll do these local competitions and there’s no way I’m going to go to the Games.” And so while, like, that could still be true, it could still be true that I never make it to the Games. It is extremely hard. And I almost feel silly saying that that’s a goal because of the reasons I said. Like, I am actually not built the same as most of those athletes, most not all, and I just started a year ago, right? And Crossfit is one of those things that you cannot get better in months or even a year, like it takes years and years and years to build to the level that these athletes have. But I sat with it and I was like, but why wouldn’t you try? Like, why would you have convinced yourself to stop even having that as a goal and stop going on the journey of getting there? Because even if you don’t make it there, wouldn’t that journey be better? 


And I was like, yeah, you know, if I shift my training and I do more sessions and I have a purpose behind it and I’m leveraging a coach and I’m not just going to work out but I’m actually training. Wouldn’t that be better than just showing up every day to the regular class if it is something I truly love, you know? I think there’s definitely things in your life that you don’t have to go all in on. But for me, athletics and Crossfit and, you know, from the beginning I was inspired by the Games athletes. That’s why I started. I saw a random Instagram video and was like, “I want to be able to do that.” And it was a Crossfit Games athlete. But I got rid of that dream because I literally stacked up evidence against myself of why I could never do that. And then I guess I was like, well, I don’t want to look stupid. So I stopped saying it. I stopped saying, “Oh, I would love to be a Games athlete,” because I realized, like, once I got in the sport, like, what that actually meant. And I was like, well, what was I even thinking in the beginning saying that? Look at these people, they’re like a hundred times stronger and faster than me. And the realization I had though was yeah, if I tell people I would like to go to the Crossfit Games in the next ten years, I’d like to qualify for that, most people are going to say, “That’s crazy. Like, do you know how little of a chance that you have to get there?” Okay, why would I not try? 


Because even if I don’t make it, wouldn’t the path over the next ten years to pursuing that get me into a stronger and better place than I would be today if I just was like, “Screw it, I’m not even going to try”? This carries over into everything. So what in your life is it? A revenue number? Is it having a bestselling book? Is it producing a movie? I don’t know, like what are those crazy things that are supposed to sound crazy because they’re so big, they’re so terrifying? What are those things, and wouldn’t it be better to go on the path to try to pursue it even if you never make it than to just write it off as impossible? Like, we live in a society that wants to stay comfortable, that rewards and really emphasizes that if you go too far one way, you are crazy, like you are going to fail. You know? I don’t even know because who cares if you fail? I don’t believe in failing. And the thing is, that’s so interesting with all this and why I’m sharing this for you guys is I feel that I’m a pretty solid person when it comes to putting myself out there and not being afraid to fail, but then look what I uncovered. 


So after all this, I sat down, and I remembered this question that a mentor asked me a month and a half ago. We were sitting in a workshop, and I’m going to cuss. So if you have kids around, you can pause it or something. I was sitting in a workshop, and it was like, we’re talking about basically pursuing dreams and I was not really like saying anything big, I was kind of just like, well, you know, I’ll do this, I’ll do this. It was kind of like vanilla, vanilla sounding stuff. And she stopped, and she’s like, “Emily. What do you really f*cking want? Like, what do you really want that you’re not telling anybody? That is so big you’re not actually saying it out loud? Like, what are those dreams? Because they are there.” And immediately I had a few answers, and she made me actually answer back and say like, “I really f*cking want this.” But over the month after that happened, more has come to me. So after all this, I sat down with that question, and it was like, what do I really want? What am I not even, not just not telling people, but not even letting myself go there because I think it is so crazy. And it does sound crazy. So a bunch of things came to me, but some of the big ones being one, the Crossfit Games. 


Two, a bestselling book. Three, a stadium full of people that I get to do a live event for one day. Like, those are some of my big dreams. Now, if you go tell anyone, like if I’m at a birthday party with my kids and I’m like, “Yeah, I’m one, I’m going to be in the Crossfit Games,” I can guarantee that everybody around me is going to be like, “That girl’s crazy. You know, like what is, that’s crazy, she’s not even close right now.” Or, “Yeah, I’m going to have a bestsel book, I haven’t published a book before, I’m gonna have a bestselling book.” I want to go after those dreams because here’s the thing, let’s say I don’t achieve any of those. Let’s say I go all in, I give it 100%, I put myself out there, I go after those things, I don’t achieve them, I will be a better person going down that journey than if I didn’t. So why the heck would I stop myself from that opportunity? And who knows what opportunities will come along the way if I choose that path. 

So my ask and invitation to you today is to sit with that question, like don’t answer it in a second, sit with it, sit with it for a day, for a two days, journal, make a list, and see what comes up because I can guarantee you, you probably have things that you have maybe not even consciously written off as not possible. And here’s the thing, like I thought it was so fascinating, how I was like I remembered like I I googled the heights of Crossfit athletes one day when I was bored and literally took inventory of how they’re pretty much all shorter than me so that I can have evidence of why I wasn’t going to pursue this and I didn’t like as I was doing it I wasn’t like you are getting in the way of your dream right? like I was just doing it. That’s our ego. Because our ego doesn’t want to quote fail our ego doesn’t want to go after something and not achieve it. Our ego doesn’t want to look bad right? It’s trying to protect us but the growth always happens when we step outside the comfort zone and I shared this in another podcast I think it was last week that the comfort zone is also constantly changing for me now going to Crossfit five days a week that’s easy for me to show up every day and do that because I’ve been doing that for the last year if you just launched a podcast recording podcast episodes are probably still super uncomfortable for you. 


But a couple months down the line that’s going to be easy. Your comfort zone has now shifted so how do we intentionally take action to get out of our comfort zone to go against things that we have a 50% chance of not even making it. That’s good. That’s where we learn. That’s where we grow and how many times I started thinking of all the stories. There’s the author J K Rowling right her Harry Potter books were turned down by I can’t remember how many I think it was like 5 plus or more publishers before it was actually approved right. How many stories? Do you hear about where somebody had to go up against and know and they had to keep on going and they know this stuff is cliche I know it’s like you know people say the know is when it starts and people talk about this stuff all the time. But I guess 1 thing I want you to see here today is. How much our minds manipulate us to think we’re not even doing this like literally two three weeks ago if you were to ask me if I’m going after my big dreams I’d be like yeah I’m building an eight figure business like that’s my big dream to have that you know, but because my comfort in my daily life I’ve achieved so many incredible goals and I told my husband I’m like 1 of my big dreams would be that we could fly private but it’s not like I have urgency to get there right? 


But when we lived in our four hundred square foot house I had urgency to make a better life for us so that pushed me into going after these dreams but now that I’m very comfortable and yeah, it’d be nice to fly private. It’d be nice to do this. It’d be nice to do this. There’s no urgency to go after that and maybe flying private isn’t one of those goals to go after but it is one that I’m like. Yeah I don’t know if I’ll ever do that. Just like so ridiculously expensive, but all of these things when we build up a comfort zone and we create a life where we now are so comfortable now we don’t have the urgency to really go after these big things because we don’t need to as much. Right? Like we’re happy. We’re comfortable. We’ve achieved this baseline of comfort and this is why a lot of times crisis is what pushes people into a new level like people have to hit rock bottom hit a crisis and hit a point where they’re like something has to change and then they go change their life. This is a story that’s over and over and over again. But maybe we don’t have to have a crisis to pursue those things but we have to have an awareness to go after them so sit down and ask yourself what do I really f*cking want like what is the thing that you know and you can picture it if you told people they would go. That is crazy. It doesn’t mean that they’re bad friends or bad family. Usually that makes people really uncomfortable because other people who care about you. Also don’t want to see you fail. 


They don’t want to see you get hurt. They don’t want to see you try something that results in you not being successful because we have this. Version in our mind that if we don’t achieve that thing then we failed but what if there is no failing what if the only way that you could fail is not taking action because how many times do you think something’s the goal you go after it and then you realize along the way that’s not even what you want anymore and you pivot and then it leads you to something else and then something else and something else and you get somewhere that you never even thought that you could go. So I challenge you today to sit with that question what do you really f*cking want? And let yourself go there and don’t put a timeline on it, don’t put a restriction on it just see what comes up and see what lights you up and see if you’re willing to pursue it or at least take a little bit of a step towards it. I hope you guys enjoy this. I know this is more like a monologue today. I hope it resonated with some of you and I can’t wait to hear what comes up for you guys. Alright I’ll see you on the next episode. Bye guys!