No goals, no ambitions, no drive …

Hi Brooke,

I’m about to be 39 years old. I am a TV and print journalist and have always been externally motivated — needing others to validate me, doing things so I can “prove” myself, that sort of thing. In fact, I think I chose my career because it would seem “cool” to others. I didn’t realize that until a few years ago (one of your podcasts opened my eyes!).

I was laid off about five years ago from a high-profile job and at the same time, went through a really bad break-up with an unavailable partner. It was difficult on me and I was in “victim mode” about everything. I blamed myself for it all and was really, really hard on myself. I got into a steep depression, gained 60 pounds, etc. I can see now (with all the tools I’ve learned about self-coaching and personal development over the years) where I was blocked during that period, and where I’ve been chasing outward validation. Anyways, all my life I’ve been highly motivated and ambitious. Lots of goals and dreams, which I pursued. After I was laid off, and during the years that followed, I kept TALKING about how I would do this or that, but never did anything. I’ve had all this free time and I could have started ANYTHING I talked about — a blog, or traveled to another country, or tried new classes, or WHATEVER — but I kind of became like a hermit, hiding from the world. My goals, dreams and ambitions that once burned bright started flickering in and out of my life. I stopped trusting myself that I was ever going to follow through on any of them. Over the past few years, I noticed that I no longer feel a desire to do anything.

Looking back, I now see I was buffering with food or distractions of some sort (mostly food) during that time. I lost the weight but kept battling with food. This is my first month in your program, and I’m only 11 days with zero sugar or flour. I understand I can change how I think about the past, but what concerns me is I still feel empty, hollow. I don’t have any dreams, motivations or goals anymore. Nothing really excites me. I don’t WANT anything. Not even a vacation or something pleasurable like that. I just sort of work, pass the time, go to the gym, but nothing bigger. Everything looks fine on the outside, but on the inside, it’s a whole pile of BLAH. 🙂 I barely leave the house anymore and I’ve stopped pursuing a social life or outside interests. I’ve fallen into that group of people who are just getting by and not TASTING life and what it has to offer anymore.

I’m wondering how long after you quit Chardonnay that you really were interested in something else again, something like a dream or ambition or even just a full life. Do you think this will change? Can I force it to move along? How do I get dreams, desires, ambitions back? I feel like I’m a shell of who I used to be. I don’t want to go back to who I used to be — she used all the wrong language on herself — but I miss that part of her, that wanted to conquer the world and grab everything life has to offer.

Thank you, Brooke. I sincerely appreciate all you do. 🙂