Sarah Findlay's Goal-Setting Process
Using Instincts to Guide Goals
After starting a successful entertainment PR company in Australia, Dawn til Dusk Publicity, Sarah Findlay was ready to get married and had just moved into a new home she had built with her fiancé. But she later discovered a long-standing infidelity between her fiancé and someone they mutually knew. Their engagement was suddenly called off and she moved out of the house with nowhere to live and no idea what the future would entail.
“I lost my future marriage I never started, a home and what I knew my life to be at that time. I thought I had a concrete plan and all that was suddenly ripped out from under me. My life literally crumbled around me and it was all out of my control. I even had to put my beloved dog to sleep at this time.” Sarah says she remembers sitting on her knees on the floor and asking the Universe, “What more do you want from me? You have taken everything.”
Q: What were some resources that helped you during that time?
I decided that I refused to let this experience affect my future. I actively worked very hard at healing myself. During the breakup, I increased sessions with my life coach, who I luckily had already been working with prior to everything. She helped me greatly! My friends and family also came to my support. It’s interesting that I didn’t have a great relationship with either my mom or dad before the break-up, but going through the whole experience, it actually brought me closer to them and brought our entire family closer together. And this is a blessing that I am very grateful for. My breakup somehow helped heal our family wounds and bring us closer.
Q: You decided to move to Los Angeles. How did that come about?
All LA is – was following my instincts. Before I was even in my relationship, I thought maybe LA and it was a very quiet thought. I didn’t immediately follow that instinct at the time. Now fast forward to October 2015, in the midst of the breakup and immersed in the pain of it all. I lost 16lbs and was not really functioning. I was living with my cousin (as I had nowhere to live) and I had no immediate plans for the future, it was too painful to even think about. My cousin suggested gently, “Why don’t we just see what’s out there?” She and I started researching PR jobs in LA just to get my mind off things. We found many amazing opportunities. Then two months later she told me it was time to book a plane ticket to LA to check it out and see if I could live there.
Sometimes you just can’t overanalyze things. I remember thinking: Can I live in LA? Is it a good cultural fit for me? I also didn’t know anyone there at the time, but I knew I could rely on my PR skills. I started messaging everyone I knew in Australia to see if they had any connections to introduce me to in LA. It was amazing—so many people stepped up for me through this crisis and introduced me to my network of friends and contacts I now have in LA. In total about 30 to 50 people helped me throughout the breakup. It was the first time I was completely vulnerable and opened up to people asking for their assistance. In some cases I didn’t need to ask, people just stepped forward and helped me. I learnt the power of vulnerability and that it is ok to not have it all figured out.
Q: You rely on your instincts when goal-setting now. How does that help you get a sense of what’s a true goal for you?
I think for me it comes down to intentions. I ask myself if what I want is coming from a place of fear or love. If it’s coming from fear, then it’s coming from your ego. My coach reminded me of that acronym for fear – that fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. This “false evidence” is just not real. And when fear creeps up I remind myself that, personally my track record is to achieve anything I declare as a goal. That is real. I have case study after case study in my life of achieving my goals. If your goal is coming from an authentic place, you’ll feel an internal pull towards it, instead of a what “you should do” type of mentality.
Q: In terms of moving towards your goals, what’s that process like for you?
For me, working towards my goals is a combination of action, guidance and instincts. I listen to my instincts and act on it, I call this taking inspired action. In this way, I use my instincts as a guide. I have the big picture in my head– like moving to the US, but I’m not attached to how it happens. You can have some structure but also build in fluidity as well. And sometimes you need to just surrender and trust that there’s a universal plan. You start to notice synchronicities and things start to appear to you when you’re in flow. You just need to listen and follow through with action.
Q: What are some things people can do to get connected to their instincts?
Most of the time you just need to be still to feel connected to your instincts or source or whatever you believe in. The Universe will always talk to you in a language that you’ll understand. For me, it’s taking baths and surfing. I’m really drawn to water and the ocean. Sometimes any form movement will help you to connect as well, like walking and listening to a podcast or music. “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer is a great book I highly recommend too.
Q: What are some big goals you want to achieve this year? What is on the horizon now for you?
I am in the process of writing a book, finding a publisher for it, and also launching a podcast – all around dating.
Q: Walk us through that process of how you came to these goals?
The podcast for example, definitely came from a gut feeling at first. I wanted to launch it to help support the book initially. Then I started to brainstorm topics around it and actually do the research on how to record a podcast. As a publicist I knew how to create a content calendar and conduct interviews but I had no idea how to do the logistics of recording and editing. To make myself accountable, I set a date for launching the podcast and then just started to work backwards from there on deliverables. Sometimes when I overthink things, it’ll scare me. But the hardest part is really just taking that initial leap of faith. I think that’s what stops a lot of people. And again, you just have to trust sometimes and amazing things WILL happen.