GUEST POST: Why You STILL Aren’t Where You Want To Go

This is a Guest Post by Cheese-It Laura Swartzbaugh. She’s been in my world for a gaggle of years, let’s say six. When we met, she was a teacher and had been one for let’s say a gaggle x a gaggle number of years. Many years. And as so many Cheese-Its are, heck, so many humans are, she was looking for a change. And as so many Cheese-Its do, poof! Change. I love people who speak a desire and then make that desire reality — be the change. And now she’s helping others find their change. Win-win. My jam.

Why You STILL Aren’t Where You Want To Go

Even though you 1. Have all of the resources and tools you need and 2. Know exactly what to do.

Many of my clients come to me frustrated with themselves. 

They have a vision for their future. A goal. A dream. It’s a significant change from their current life.  They have invested time, money, and a lot of thinking on this vision. They WANT it. They KNOW they can do it (intellectually). They even have figured out the first steps (or, in some cases, ALL of the steps) to reaching this goal.

And yet. 

They haven’t gotten there yet. And they show up pretty angry. With themselves. Why am I not already there? They ask me. The answer is simple. But isn’t easy.

They’re being held back by Right Answer Mindset.

Let’s look at an example: let’s say my client –let’s call her Norah–has her own business. It’s going well and she’s come a long way from when she first started. And yet she’s still not making real money–the money she wants to make in 2019 to meet her goal which is to match her salary at her other gig, which she works part time. She wants to go all in on THIS business– her entrepreneurial business. She is making some money, but not enough. She’s getting experience and building confidence in herself and her business, but not enough.

She KNOWS this is what she’s meant to do and what she wants to be doing. She LOVES it.

I know she doesn’t fully believe in her business because she is still concerned with how other people are doing it. She’s still looking outside of herself for the answers regarding how to run her business. She’s got what I used to call when I was a teacher “right answer mindset.”

This is an extremely common affliction amongst high-functioning, achievement oriented high school kids who are driven and have big dreams for their future — college, grad school, a demanding career, etc.

They work hard.
They do their homework.
They come to class on time.
They participate (when they KNOW they are right).
They are doing all the right things and checking all of the boxes.

And they are learning LESS than my other students who are diving in and speaking, sharing, asking questions despite NOT knowing if they are right.

These “right answer mindset” students only raise their hand when they KNOW they have the right answer. They do not like to take risks that make themselves feel uncomfortable because they are worried about how that will look to other people. 

It’s perfectly human. It is their Toddler brain keeping them safe. It’s saying — DO NOT RAISE YOUR HAND UNLESS YOU KNOW THE RIGHT ANSWER FOR SURE. 

Do not get school wrong because if you do, it will all fall apart. 

As a result of this, these students often learn less during a class period because they are spending too much time thinking about the right answer to my probing, engaging, and brilliant teacher questions. 

Meanwhile, they may miss something that is truly interesting to them about the role of adolescents in the civil rights movement. 

They miss out on growth opportunities because they are too concerned with the right answer. 

They do this even though they’ve heard their annoying teacher talk about growth mindset a million times. They KNOW they have to believe in their own ability to grow and evolve and become even more intelligent. 

But their Toddler brain holds them back from these opportunities for growth. 

This is exactly what’s happening to my clients. 

They are high-functioning, achievement-oriented entrepreneurs who are driven and have big dreams for their future. 

They work hard. 

They do their prep work for their clients. 

They come to appointments on time. 

They participate in networking events (when they KNOW they have the right way of saying things). 

They are doing all the right things and checking all of the boxes. 

And they are learning AND earning less than my other clients who are diving in and trying new things in their businesses because they want to see how it works. 


Why is that? 

Because here’s what the risk-taking screw-the-right-answer adults are doing: they are NO LONGER listening to their Toddler brains. 

Here’s what happens when you stop listening to your Toddler brain:  

You allow your adult brain to try things. You get curious about the impact of those experiences. You look at what works, what doesn’t work, and decide to change how you’ll do it next time with curiosity. You build capability. Which creates confidence. Which leads to taking MORE risks as you step more fully into who you are working on becoming. 

You DON’T make having a “wrong answer” mean anything about your ability as an entrepreneur. 

You DON’T hide behind all of the resources and tools that you can read, watch, listen to, and purchase. 

Instead, you turn to your adult brain and ask it what to do next. 

And you start to blow your own mind. 

Because, in a few days or weeks or months, you turn around and notice that you ARE the person you were dreaming of becoming. 

You DO believe those new thoughts you’ve been practicing. 

Your adult brain is thinking EVEN BIGGER about your NEXT future self. 

And you feel like throwing up a lot of the time. 

Just like a student in a US history class who raises her hand and shares her opinion about the 13th amendment even though she is NOT AT ALL SURE she gets what the (brilliantly funny) teacher just said. 

Be the student in the front row who is asking the questions, speaking her mind, and experiencing herself as a LEADER in the classroom/life. 

So, do me a favor and say screw the right answers and bring on what YOU LOVE and YOU WERE MEANT TO DO. 

Find out more about Laura at Laura Scout Coaching, LLC