The Dangling Carrots

by Raegan Cairney, Clayfield, Australia

Throughout my life I tended to always focus on the ‘dangling carrots’ ahead – you know, the goals you set for yourself that you never quite reach, no matter how much you try. I would either change the goals before I reached them or set unrealistic goals in the first place, always ensuring that I didn’t reach them. Or if by chance I did, I would never let myself enjoy it, because I’d have set another one that was bigger and grander than before. They almost always had the undertone that if I reached my goals, my life was in some way going to be ‘better’ and make me ‘happy’.

These dangling carrots came in many shapes and sizes. Some examples sounded like these:

  • When I lose five kilos, I am going to feel better about myself.
  • If I just go on that holiday, I will feel more relaxed and life will get back to normal.
  • I will be happy when I have a man in my life.
  • If I clean the house every day, it’s going to make me feel better.
  • If I just have a few drinks, I am going to enjoy myself so much more.
  • I am going to exercise five times a week.
  • I will start to enjoy myself at work when I know more.
  • If I just finish this course, I will feel like I am good enough because I have more knowledge.

And the list would go on and on…

Dangling carrots, these unreachable goals, were how I drove my life, always keeping me on a treadmill – one that never seemed to stop and certainly didn’t slow down. In fact, it actually would speed up. The more anxious I became about achieving things, the faster the treadmill would go… so I would then have to go faster to keep up.

As a result, I was living very much from my head and I wasn’t very conscious of my body. If I felt to do or say something – as in, felt it in my body as a kind of ‘knowing’ rather than just an idea – I would override it, instead opting for what my head told me. Living like this meant I wasn’t able to really connect with myself, let alone others around me.

So, to ignore the fact that I was overriding what I really knew was true, I went along to meditation groups, read every spiritual book around (or attempted to), and I was very rarely seen sitting down. I exercised myself silly at the gym and of course drank myself stupid every weekend, really to drown out the voices that were always in my head.

Over the years I did start to curb the drinking, but when I did, what lay underneath were those horrible voices. Comparison, judgment, self-doubt, self-hatred… it was like these voices had been kept quiet against their will and they were not happy. They were back – and they were LOUD.

These voices just perpetuated the dangling carrots cycle even more. Driving myself, driving my body. The urge to silence them again with alcohol was so great!! But, there was a part of me that knew if I did, they would just continue to get louder and louder. Plus, my body was showing the signs of pure neglect: digestion issues, high anxiety, glandular fever – my body was just exhausted. So I was forever looking for solutions to ‘fix’ myself – naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, psychics: you name it, I went to it, always looking for someone to give me answers.

Then three years ago, I was drawn to books written by Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine. Reading his books and attending presentations and workshops was the real beginning of turning my life around and allowing true self-healing to occur.

What was presented was not radical or over-the-top, in fact a lot of it was very practical: real-life tools I could apply that assisted me to get off the treadmill – like being more aware of when I needed to go to bed, feeling into what and how I was eating, being more gentle and loving with myself, which in turn created the space for me to be more gentle and loving with those around me. I simplified my life, simplified how I dealt with things. I learned how to ‘stop’ and ‘feel’, something that I had totally shut down the ability to do from when I was a little girl.

It has taken time, and effort, over these past few years. It has taken honesty and the ability to take responsibility for myself and my own healing, which does not happen overnight. But what I can say is the loud voices have gone, only returning when I know I am not connected to the heart of me… even then they are but a mere whisper. My health is amazing and I have wonderful, ‘true’ relationships with family and friends.

I don’t live my life by looking at the dangling carrots anymore. I have actually learnt to stop, feel, and express in a loving and joyful way. I do this by connecting with me first, listening to me first, and expressing from there. I have found a voice, a voice that is so loving and gentle, yet strong and empowered.

Yes, the voice I now listen to is ME!!

225 thoughts on “The Dangling Carrots

  1. Reagan from reading your blog I became aware that one of my dangling carrots is the ‘to do’ list. If I don’t get everything ticked off I put pressure on myself. Learning to listen to my body and my inner voice is a work in progress still but when I do everything amazingly just happens and falls into place.

    1. Well said lindellparlour – I can relate to what you’ve shared about the ‘to do’ list… For many years this was a big focus for me and was never a list that was able to be completed (there was always more on the list!). It’s been a work in progress for me as well, learning to do what needs to be done but doing this by listening to my body first!

      1. I know the list that can never be completed in the time I have available for it so well lindellparlour and Angela Perin. It is one of the things that causes the feeling that I am not okay and have to work hard on myself. Listening to my body in all circumstances is definitely work in progress taking myself lovingly by the hand and stop the pressure cooker.

  2. Raegan this is a very important article to write, what an amazing gift to humanity. Most of your examples are nearly the same as all the carrots I have used in my life, this proves that it is simply an energy not an actually individual wants or needs. I find it so interesting that so many of us have the same stories but if it warrant for people like you blogging about it we may feel isolated and alone in these things. Well expressed.

    1. How true Sarahraynebaldwin that it is an energy to keep us away from ourselves and also isolated from others. It is only by sharing like Raegan has this will be exposed and as you say this is ‘an amazing gift to humanity’.

    2. Reagan’s writing is indeed a gift to humanity sarahraynebaldwin, as it is so practical and what so many of us do… often without any stop moment to feel the affects of continually running after the carrots. So supportive to read of another way.

  3. I have been there and done this Reagan and it is exhausting. I may have achieved some things, but there are consequences to this lifestyle and it plays out in all sorts of ways.

    1. Absolutely Matthey, spot on. I have been cruising to from a to b , looking for this and for that, but in fact I was in the end always being asked to look and feel my responsibility. A big ouch at times, but I start to realize that feeling those ouch’es support me to actually better my life for true good, true responsibility, true fun! No dangling carports can handle that!

  4. Wow Raegan, I never knew you were a drinker … your radiance and shine looks like you’ve lived a pure life! It seems to me that the work of Serge Benhayon has restored another true angel to us all.

  5. Thank you Raegan for spelling out so clearly the deep exhaustion brought on by forever chasing the unreachable goals that we set ourselves. Also the fact that ‘Living like this meant I wasn’t able to really connect with myself, let alone others around me.’ Caught in my ever decreasing circles of ‘dangling carrots’ was such a lonely existence that required a lot of distractions that only added to my exhaustion. It is such a relief to have been introduced to the simple and practical tools to connect to myself and thus to others through the presentations of Universal Medicine which has turned my life around and has given me the gift of living in the present not constantly looking ahead for some unattainable future time when my life will be sorted.

  6. Through reading this I became aware of my own past inactivity, inertia, stagnation in life, through thinking that there would be some changes when this or that had occurred some time in the future. I was never ready or felt I had done enough to merit moving forward or taking a new step in life. I held myself back and berated myself for never being ready or prepared. My lack of self worth continuously meant I did not try new things or establish a foundation to build anything new on. Life has changed, I am building a business, I have been studying, I am changing career and so much more and I feel this is due to making a commit to nurture and support myself in a more true way. Over the last years a foundation of care and love has been built in my life and I have begun to honour an inner connection that I have often felt but denied or over rode. This connection offers clarity, true wisdom and is deeply supportive, no longer am I in fear or stagnation, the next step is already happening and I am ready for it.

    1. Samantha, I know what you speak of here, as reading Raegan’s blog today reminded me of how I’ve always held something out in front of me as a way to keep myself on the go, to push myself and yet in doing so I’ve not connected to and felt the deep tenderness in me. Your comment brought me pause as I considered that often in life that state of perpetual motion I’ve kept up has meant I have not built the foundation which allowed me to support me and build it to allow me to expand and explore my expression, and now I’m learning to see what I might do to support my evolution rather than stand outside feeling cut off from myself, the first step is that connection to me, and the next step I’m learning is to lovingly commit to me day by day.

      1. These two comments have really added to an already powerful blog, there are so many ways that we can deal with dangling carrots, never feeling we are good enough to achieve them therefore not really trying, and always striving to get there, blast through them to put up another dangling carrot never feeling satisfied with getti to the dangling carrots!! Neither are better or worse, just different versions of the same energy that comes from not connecting to ourselves first. Building a relationship with ourselves through self love and self nurturing means our paths in life become extensions of our expressions.

  7. On re-reading your blog again Reagan I can really relate to the constant drive and goal setting coming from a motivation of trying to please and satisfy that inner critical voice that was never satisfied and never thought it was enough. I also have put my body through a lot over the years on this endless quest. But I agree since discovering the presentations of Universal Medicine I have connected back to the fact that I am already more than enough before I actually do anything. This has been incredibly liberating and has been the best and only true answer for my internal critic that I have discovered in my life so far.

  8. Reagan great article. I can relate to a lot of those dangling carrots, how these carrots can create anxiousness in the body and keep us so much in the head and far away from our body. I recall I was so much in my head and never felt to stop and feel what my body was saying, and if I felt something I would numb it with food or drink or distraction. Now I know my body messages and the feelings are a true gift for me, a way for me to heal my own body, thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

  9. Reagan what you have written here is very important and cannot be underestimated in it’s power, even living differently over the last few years I am constantly being asked to go deeper and can often find carrots waiting for me ahead. The anxiousness I feel these days is much more harmful a) because I know the choices are from my head and not my body and b) my body gets really affected by the things I choose. This article has brought a deeper awareness to the issue of living disconnected to the heart and soul of me.

  10. The dangling carrot is a strategy that so many of us use to keep us going, or ‘achieve our goals’ when in fact, going for something in this way rarely leads to lasting, longterm change because it doesn’t address the reason we need the carrot in the first place.

    1. Totally Katemaroney1. And for me the reason I chase the carrot is ……RECOGNITION. This acknowledgement from others feeds my need to stay afloat. It’s really unhealthy. I know there is another way, and I’m working on accepting I’m enough as I am without my checklist. It’s certainly a steep learning curve.

    2. It was exactly this rarely lasting longterm changes what made me giving up at some points in my life. Therefore addressing “the reason we need the carrot in the first place” was important because this changed my life at all. Addressing it was and is the best medicine ever!

  11. The dangling carrot is how many of us get through life. Without the goal there is no seeming purpose to what we do. This I am realising is a very horrible way to live as it is void of the simple joy of just being with ourselves and loving what we do.

    1. Great point Josh. That without goals we think we have no purpose or really meaning to get through life. I always use to hate when they asked what our goals where for life etc. I was just happy going about being me.

      1. The greatest purpose we could ever feel in life is to express all the love we truly are and not hold anything back

  12. Thank you Raegan for that reminder. I tend to pretend I don’t dangle any carrots, but it’s a complete lie. I’m constantly trying to outdo myself and compare myself to what others have achieved. Always chasing the rainbow that simply doesn’t exist. It’s tiring and it actually hurts, physically my body is in constant discomfort from the tension I create ‘trying’ so much to reach goals.

    1. Well said Elodie. The trick is that we think we need to be on the treadmill chasing our goals and dreams when we do not need to in the first place. We simply need to re-connect to our inner-most

  13. Really beautiful Raegan. I know I have many dangling carrots and always think about the ‘when I do this’ rather then the here and the now and enjoying that. what you’ve explained doesn’t happen overnight but is an awesome progress to be with along the way.

  14. Awesome Raegan – thank you for showing that we don’t have to be at the mercy of our thoughts trying to run our bodies into the ground but to instead let our heart run the show for it considers the body first and foremost.

  15. Raegan thank you for your article, when we rely on the carrot, something to look forward to, we miss out so much on what is going on at the time, as we focus on the future and not the present.

    1. This is so true Sally. Thank you for breaking it down like this. The carrot does trick you into focusing on the future and taking you away from the present moment.

  16. Beautiful Reagan and I feel that those who meet you and come into contact with you would feel the same. There is a vibrancy and lightness in you that is inspiring. There is a joy in the way you approach life and people.

  17. Great blog Raegan! Recognising the voices that come from, what I term my ‘good for nothing chatterbox’ is a liberating one, allowing for the true voice of ME to be heard. Giving the space to myself to feel what my body is informing me of all the time, leaves less and less an opening for that chatterbox to get its air time with me.

  18. The voices I created have and still sometimes are affecting me deeply, I lose the connection with my body, and with that the true connection to all around. I feel those voices have made me feel isolated, in my own world. But now when listening more to that what is in me, it supports me to express and be open to the world, it is such a difference. That what I was creating was always worse than the real world is.

  19. Reagan your blog has reminded me of my own ‘dangling carrots’. My life was run by them until I started attending presentations by Serge Benhayon and l learning to connect with body. Now and again a carrot will resurface to be looked at, and this a great opportunity to heal. Thank you for the reminder.

  20. Oh man the dangling carrots are exhausting and a total kill joy. I can relate to much of what you have shared here. Acceptance is a beautiful thing that allows the body to surrender and stops the drive and anxiousness.

  21. I have had many carrots dangling in front on my nose, going from one place to the other, always trying new things, thinking that there was this certain point where I had to arrive at and then everything would be all fine, great and I would be enlightned. Very tiring, I can tell you that, especially with all the travelling abroad as well. Since Universal Medicine these carrots slowly dissapeared and this creates a deeper sense of surrendering into the moment and knowing that there is nowhere to go as we are forever evolving.

  22. I can relate to having a similar list of dangling carrots Raegan, always making the outside more important to keep me distracted and racy from pushing myself rather than feeling what is
    there to feel in my body.

  23. Just reading the title of this blog caused me to smile – I had a picture of a carrot dangling on a stick in front of a donkey trying to get it to move forward (as they can often be very stubborn) At that point realising that is just how it was for me. A stubbornness to not change old patterns of striving, driving and pushing myself to the limit, overwhelm and exhaustion sets in. As you share so beautifully Raegan those ‘dangling carrots those unreachable goals’. How that all changes when introducing listening to our bodies, connecting more deeply to ‘feeling’ and bringing in a self-loving programme that builds from the inside out. Gently so as we bring in and cement a foundation to base our lives on. Those ever busy thoughts start to take a back seat ride.

  24. What an awesome blog Reagan, with sharing your experience of committing to cutting down the dangling carrots!! While walking last night I was going through all the things I wanted to get done over the weekend, (sort this out, have this meeting, write that email, iron, clean, cook, go to the gym etc. etc.) and then I stopped in my tracks and said to my husband, I’m just setting myself up every time I do that…. because the goals I set are so unrealistic I would need a month long weekend to complete them. So I’ve loved reading your blog today, as it confirms just how exhausting this is, and how much we miss out on feeling from our bodies and allowing playfulness into our days.

    1. I had the same experience today Aimee. I asked myself if there will be a day where I can just do what I feel like doing on the weekend. I told myself sure I’ll have time in the holidays. This is a pattern I have, I tell myself I will have this opportunity in the future and it never comes.

  25. A beautiful blog, with a beautiful conclusion, makes me laugh from joy. Enjoying the changes you have shared here and enjoying feeling it through your words – pure joy.

  26. The practical tools that Serge Benhayon presents are simple and effective. As you say Reagan it is a consistent choice and focus to keep coming back to your self and break down the patterns and habits that keep you away from who we truly are.

  27. Dangling carrots is a very apt description of my stubbornness a times. Reagan, like you I was ruled by the idea of impossible achievements that would deliver me something I was lacking in my life … but of course they never did, I was just being driven by an energy inside me that would not let me rest and be. Being introduced to the gentle breath meditation and the fact that we are already enough has enabled me to put a stop to the most obvious carrots, though they can slip in at anytime when I lose connection to myself.

  28. The dangling carrot, or better known as the ‘where would you like to be in 5 years time?’
    In truth how can we predict where we will be in 5 years time? We can’t even predict the weather accurately for the next day.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t prepare for our future, for this is essential, however we should be invested in the quality of our life and not the details. For the details will work themselves out if the quality is correct.

    1. Such wise words from such a young man. If we live by these words Luke our lives will be very full of opportunities that we have created for our self and there will be no need to chase that carrot for we will know where we are going.

      1. Agree, because in truth the carrot has nothing to do with the future plan. It is there to distract us from the inner pain we are feeling in the present.

  29. I have become aware just recently that when I am stressed, upset or exhausted I no longer turn to sugar for comfort. I’m now turning to me and my self love and support from family, friends and Universal Medicine. I’m choosing a more gentle loving way to return back to me rather than go on a sugar expedition that can take me away from myself for weeks or even months. ‘The voice I now listen to is me’.

  30. Reagan I feel that most of us have the dangling carrot issue thinking it is the way to speed up and get things done. But often they just sit there in front of us and just looking at them causes stress because they’re still there maybe years later! Lovely conclusion , listening to your own voice with joy.

  31. This is an interesting take Reagan that behind the looking forward way of thinking were voices that were negative and self doubting and how through listening to your body you discovered your true voice that was very respectful and loving of yourself. You have offered great truth that the way back to love is through opening up and feeling and not trying to tackle those negative thoughts directly or analytically.

  32. Great blog Raegan – “Living like this meant I wasn’t able to really connect with myself, let alone others around me.” Like you have beautifully expressed until we connect with our own true voice and give power back to that we’re at the mercy of all the other voices.

  33. I had a conversation with guy at the fish n chip shop the other day, somehow we got onto the topic of how full on the voices in our heads are when we’ve decided the way we live needs to change, and that there seems to be so many things out there but no real support or tools that allow you to take hold of your own life and choices. This guy struck gold at the fish, thank you Serge Benhayon and to those involved with the Uni Med living. Absolutely priceless ..

  34. Listening to that oh so honest inner voice not, the busy mind which constantly changes the ever increasing goal posts (dangling carrots) that can so easily stretch us in every but which way. Only if we allow that to be the case. A beautiful sharing Raegan thank you.

  35. A great description of the voices inside our heads that drive us even when we try to drown them out with the variety of avenues and outlets available to us for numbing and disregard. Carrot-dangling is just one of them and a process that has us perpetually hanging up new carrots to move towards – and there are always new carrots to be had. A plentiful supply of things that purport to silence the self-doubt and lack of self-worth that are the regular drivers behind our collection of past, present and future carrots. A nonsensical, energy-zapping way of living when looked at in this way.

  36. “As a result, I was living very much from my head and I wasn’t very conscious of my body. If I felt to do or say something – as in, felt it in my body as a kind of ‘knowing’ rather than just an idea – I would override it, instead opting for what my head told me. Living like this meant I wasn’t able to really connect with myself, let alone others around me.” Choosing to connect with my body – which does know – rather than my mind – which loves to play tricks – means I live more in the present moment. Thus fewer carrot-dangling opportunities.

  37. “Dangling carrots, these unreachable goals” that keep us on the treadmill of always trying to get somewhere, anywhere but where we are. Serge Benhayon presents a simple way to step off the treadmill of our existence with knowing that where we are is not it and we just have to return to where we have come from – love.

  38. I had my own dangling carrots as I believe we all do…. I was an expert at ignoring my body and would push and drive my body to do more! Like yourself, I was only able to stop this momentum I was in when I attended courses by Serge Benhayon – that was when true healing began and I have observed how my life has transformed and now how much I can appreciate myself for all the big steps I have taken. I have so much more self-love, deepening every day.

  39. ‘being more gentle and loving with myself, which in turn created the space for me to be more gentle and loving with those around me’. This is what I discovered, because I was so hard on myself, I would be really hard to all others, which meant I had no true connection with others. However, as soon as I put self-care and self-nurture into my daily practice, and become more gentle and loving with myself, I found that I was more understanding and loving with others. Healing our hurts has huge benefits and turns our life around.

  40. Great blog Raegan. Already more than 3 years ‘old’. I am wondering where you are now. I recognize so much in what you write. Always the goals that would make me happy. And it never worked. So you set higher goals, which you cannot reach, get excited when starting out and get disappointed along the way. It is an endless treadmill that in the end leads to a giving up on life.

  41. Pondering more deeply on this blog I can still see I tend to use the ‘dangling carrots’ in my relationship with myself as well. I want to attain feeling so and so, by then. I have to remind myself again and again that it is enough to be in the body and do all of my movements lovingly.

  42. Being hard on ourselves seems to be at epidemic proportions and it is not even needed. I have come to realise recently that being hard on myself is actually my own creation, and it is a choice. So I am choosing to say No to being hard on myself and instead saying Yes to being loving with myself. The change feels amazing, and the more I love myself the more obvious the hard voice becomes. There is no place for hardness anymore, only Love.

  43. It is intriguing to ponder on the fact that we do all know that the carrots we place in front are placed with the set up of us not achieving them in spite of the image of what is sold to us about ‘getting there’ so to speak. I know that for me when I have had these dangling carrots in my life that they come with a false image of what it would be like to ‘get them’ which prompts us to keep running towards them. Only to be set up with failure as either the carrot does not meet our expectations or we simply cannot ‘get there’ at all

  44. Dangling Carrots as you put them Reagan have been pressures that I have put on myself at times too, only to feel disappointment at the lack of results. Having connected to Universal Medicine and the Presentations of Serge Benhayon of the Ancient Wisdom has been the most amazing and revealing experience of my life enabling me to see the truth of the pressures I have put on myself in the past.

  45. Our body is an incredible marker for us and has very clear and loud conversations should we choose to listen. There is nothing outrageous, simply self care, tenderness and balance that when I am not listening gets forgotten.

  46. Raegan, I am very familiar with the ‘dangling carrot’ syndrome as I too can very much relate to setting self-defeating goals throughout most of my life. Now that I am aware of the anxiousness and the effect this has on my overall health I am choosing to observe when I go into this very ingrained pattern, and realise I have a choice as to whether I take the path to stress and anxiousness as dictated by my mind, or the path to harmony as impulse by my soul. This is still very much a work in progress!

  47. Inspiring to read the changes you’ve embraced and choosing to listen to your own voice. It is empowering when we trust what we feel. Letting go of the dangling carrots is actually easy because we place it in front of ourselves in the first place so we can easily discard it when we choose to.

  48. The detail in this blog is very powerful, you really dive right into why we choose to run on that tread mill so hard and for so long but you explore it all without an ounce of judgment and plenty of understanding.I think we can all relate to the dangling carrot situation its a very universal subject.

  49. Dangling carrots, I know them well. By attending to the details of what is in front of me and caring for myself my life has changed dramatically. When I do find myself in my head or judging myself or others it is a matter of coming back to myself and focusing on what is in front of me, giving it my full attention. It is a work in progress, but my life now is so different to when I was constantly in search of something elusive many years ago.

  50. I love how you describe this Raegan – ‘dangling carrots’ It’s so true and I have so say after reading your blog I did exactly the same thing. I had plans for everything. I became aware that I needed something to look forward to, because what would happen if I didn’t? What would happen to me in life if I wasn’t working towards something. What I look forward to everyday is being myself and enjoying the experience of being me. I have no real plans like I used to, to look forward to. I simply look forward to everyday and what it may bring.

  51. It’s amazing how we can drive the body to illness and disease when we choose to override what it’s messages to us are and instead listen to the mind and the goals it has set for us.

  52. What you are describing is basically what we learn in this world, that we have to become somebody and that we need to keep achieving, thus always having another goal in front of us. But as you unravel it keeps us unsatisfied and searching. But searching we do always in the outside as that is what we have been told and that is ‘how life is lived’, so I agree with you, thank God for Serge Benhayon who is living and thus showing us that there is another way, that we are already enough and have all the answers ‘within’ us and that with learning to care deeply for ourselves we are able to connect to this inner wisdom more and more.

  53. “Dangling carrots, these unreachable goals, were how I drove my life, always keeping me on a treadmill – one that never seemed to stop and certainly didn’t slow down.” Who are not in the trap of this dangling carrots – is not nearly everybody. Therefore I love it that you so simply expose the truth underneath it Raegan.
    It is our choice now to change it or not.

  54. Thank you Reagan for a great sharing, there is always the big IF in life and the way we live it, tricking us into trying to reach out to make life better. When we come to realise the truth, that we already are what we have been searching for,and by claiming this love in our bodies we are left with the choice to be, no IF’s needed at all.

  55. Great blog Reagan. You have just described how the world is set up to suck us in. Better homes and gardens, skinnier models, more relaxing holidays destinations, drinks that allow you to socialize better, better education and the one-up-man-ship that can bring etc. It is clearly all a big carrot posed in front of us all to make us feel we are not enough and we are never ever going to be enough. Hey I love the way you have cut the carrot down and tossed it on the compost and allowed your self to be, now this is the true love that we are all really looking for but could not see as the carrot was in our face!

  56. Great title Raegan, ‘The Dangling Carrots’ hummm… I still occasionally choose this but learning to listen to my inner voice and trust what I feel more and more, this supports me to let go of the dangling carrot for sure. Also appreciating myself more and more hugely supports me in this too.

  57. I can so relate to those “dangling carrots” and the out of control treadmill, and I can recall how absolutely exhausting living this way was. I nodded my way, as I would say many others did, through your carrot list, and I know that I could have added quite a few more, one being; I need to lose a certain amount of weight before a big event. Did that ever happen? – NO!, but the feeling of failure was sure evident with that particular carrot not being achieved, on more than one occasion. Carrot dangling is one past time that I have deleted from my life, and does it make a difference to the way I live? – It sure does!

  58. I can so relate to the ‘Dangling Carrots’ – always out of reach so I would never feel that i was enough because I couldn’t achieve my (unrealistic) goals.I do still have some – like the ‘I will exercise every day’ one which gave me a wry smile of recognition when I saw one similar on Raegan’s list. It’s a perfect set-up for failure which then so often leads to self-loathing for not be able to live up to my own expectations. That and not exercising at all (in this case) which means nothing actually changes. It’s a comfortable yet excruciatingly painful place to exist in. It’s great to be exposing the deeper, more hidden versions of it so it no longer plays a part in life.

  59. This sounds so familiar Reagan and the interesting thing is that it is a great way to postpone life as there is always something that first needs to be achieved before I can really start.

  60. We use all the distractions that we have to keep running away from ourselves and as you share Raegan, when we first turn inwards we might have to face some ugly stuff, but we need to remember that what we are facing is merely the outer rim of what we have accumulated over life-times, the more we deal with the stuff that is covering up our precious self the more we can actually feel our true greatness and the glorious light that we are made of. That is why modalities like Chakra-puncture are so amazing, because they put us straight in contact with that inner most divinity, so that we have a taste and an experience and actually know that it is there and worth working through our stuff for.

  61. Great blog Raegan for I am also very familiar with the dangling carrot syndrome characterised by the when I get… ‘it will’ or ‘I will’ be enough. But that’s the deceptive and illusionary thing about dangling carrots, whatever it is you want to come from an external source will be forever out of reach.

  62. Reading your blog Raegan makes me ponder on the possibility that goal setting is a way of shirking responsibility. As a goal never achieved let’s me believe that I am not good enough, or that I don’t deserve what I aspire to. Yet choosing to be responsible and maintain this responsibility as I live, doesn’t leave space for goals unachieved. It presents instead my steadiness that supports me as I make the next choice in my life.

  63. Living in connection to ourselves is such a game changer, no more chasing after all that the world sells to us as the panacea of all our woes. Nothing can ever fill the emptiness but our own true selves, and how beautiful and fulfilling it feels to be connected to ourselves.

  64. I read this blog over a year ago, and I just stumbled across the comment I made back then. I talked about the fact that I liked to think I didn’t dangle carrots, but in fact I did and I was running my body and mind into the ground trying to achieve all sorts. I feel far less driven today than I did then. I still place expectations on myself that don’t really support me, but I am far more aware of how the drive creates the anxiety that creates the tension in my body that is felt through physical pain and emotional drain. The more I allow myself to feel it all, the more I am aware of it and can then make a different choice – depending on how stubborn I feel like being!

  65. Your story is profound Raegan for so very few people are able to get off the treadmill like you have let alone quell the voices that keep them there. How gorgeous that you have chosen to heal what stood in the way of you connecting to yourself and can now embrace the qualities that lie at the heart of you, so that there is no need to seek outside for anything.

  66. I have not drunk any alcohol for 10 years, not a sip or a drop, my life has improved dramatically. Lately a few people that are very close to me have started drinking again and I have felt a great pull to join them, the voices calling out to drink again, it great to be able to jump on a blog like this for another read and be reminded that we all get those thoughts fed to us from time to time but it is how we respond to them that is important, not weather they are there or not.

  67. As I read this blog I felt a sense of the essence that flows within us all and how precious it is. It does not save it’s harmoniousness for a select few but is available for everyone who choose to look within and return to a self-loving way of being. The game of pursuit takes us out of our essence and creates a goal or promise for some time in the future. But that ‘future’ can be now when we stop seeking and recognise that we have all that we need within us already.

  68. I can very much relate to this restlessness. I used to even think that it was not ok to be content with myself or with life, that I had to keep improving myself, striving for the more. So glad I too realised that that way of living was not only exhausting myself physically, but it was also driving me further away from the very core of what I was.

    1. Great point Fumiyo – I have definitely subscribed to this belief system too. The truth is, we know that we are grand beings living small lives, but, we can only return to the glorious beings we are by accepting ourselves as is.

  69. Who are we without the dangling carrot? Most people would not know. It is not before we get to know who we are simply by being that we can let the carrot dangle until it´s rotten.

  70. It is so easy to get trapped with these ‘dangling carrots’, these goals and ideas outside of ourselves as our whole life on this planet is geared towards this way of existence. But what a difference it makes when we start to listen more to our bodies and our innate wisdom that comes with that connection and start to live life from the inside out.

  71. Making life about everything on the outside, i.e images, goals, wants, must-haves, leaves a very big gapping void within, which then drives the numbing and distraction away from ourselves even more. Thus, the cycle of filling the emptiness begins and continues until we realise that everything is already within and living that in everything we do is truly fulfilling.

  72. “the voice I now listen to is ME!!” This is a very important aspect you bring to the fore here, to learn to listen to our inner truth and not let everything from the outside dominate us. It is a step by step process and something we need to remind ourselves of as we have created a world where perfection is the goal but not the loving quality we are with each other.

  73. A Celebration indeed Raegan! What a truly great, and honest sharing… The ‘treadmill’ you describe sounds as though it was being operated at break-neck speed. And yet, you realised that it was your call to stay on it, or step off and find your own way and rhythm in life – from the voice within you had so long overridden and denied.
    Love this – no doubt we can ALL relate to some degree!

  74. This is such a powerful sharing Raegan and a subject I can relate to very well. Having lived most of my life with the ‘dangling carrots’ and ‘the grass is always greener’ sort of attitude your blog brings an understanding as to how we create this in the first place. Seeking outside of myself for fulfillment became my ‘norm’ and the search for happiness lay in the ‘if only’s’ instead of dealing with the here and now and knowing I was enough. The greatest key for me was to begin to accept and appreciate myself in full and this supported me to connect and embrace my qualities within and then any need or desire on the outside began to naturally fall away.

  75. Ah those carrots! So glad I read this blog today because I have been chasing carrots for far too long. Your words remind me that I don’t need to get anywhere. I feel I can give myself full permission to simply appreciate where I am right now. Simply beautiful.

  76. Setting goals is a clever way to be hard on yourself. It’s an expectation that is not reality. It takes away the simplicity and natural flow that is already there. It makes it strenuous because what is set to reach is going against your body. This line I appreciate brings me back “I have found a voice, a voice that is so loving and gentle, yet strong and empowered.” If my voice is not that I know it is not me.

  77. It can be so exhausting chasing the unreachable goals that we set ourselves, which as you say stops us from being connected with ourselves too. Building a foundation of connecting to ourselves first, and honouring our inner connection is so much more loving.

  78. We push and drive our bodies until they shout no more and bring a stop moment, whether that is an accident, an injury or some form of illness and disease, then we wonder what is going on. I am learning to go deeper with honouring and listening to my body, really feeling and understanding its messages, after a couple of stop moments.

  79. I love this blog Raegan, it always helps me identify the carrots that I’m chasing. Giving myself permission to be in love with who I am right now feels so much more spacious and loving than setting goals.

  80. I so resonate with what you say Raegan. And irony of ironies, a difficult one for me now is learning how to set aside the goal of ‘getting somewhere’ with my personal development – the very thing that has helped me set aside the other ‘dangling carrots’ that have populated so much of the rest of my life! Just goes to show there are always deeper layers to uncover as we get clearer about the dynamics of our lives.

  81. The old dangling carrot, I know this one all to well. It’s the treadmill we’ve turned on and pretend we can’t find the off switch. I still have moments where I discover that I’ve dangled another for me to catch. The more we live from our inner most the less we dangle the carrot, for we feel the truth that we are already all we need to be we just need to learn to live it in all we do.

  82. “Yes, the voice I now listen to is ME!!” This is very inspiring. To live more embracing and appreciative of ourselves is life changing.

  83. Having ‘a dangling carrot’ is a distraction from taking responsibility and committing to what is required in the moment. It is living in two times – the now and the future – and therefore not fully present in the moment.

  84. I love how you call out these voices that are not the real us – voices that reverberate loudly in our heads when we have disconnected from our own true voice, which as you say is very practical and simple to access, when we make our lives about self-love and love before anything else.

  85. What Raegan has presented here is a paradigm change, one from being thrust along on life’s treadmill to one where each of us takes our life in hand and makes it if the love we each hold within.

  86. As I was reading this I was reflecting on the dangling carrots I have placed, one in front of the other over time. And whilst, I too have realised that this actually doesn’t achieve what we think it will achieve, and I’m less concerned about ‘getting something’, I would be dishonest if I said those carrots were completely gone. For me, they just look different now, less material if you like, closer to home. For example the ways in which I take care of myself, are often for an outcome, not because I’m simply worth the care and effort, instead, it’s for the sake of sorting out medical ailments. Sure it’s important to look after yourself in order to help the body clear any illness and disease, but when that is the focus, instead of the focus being that we are already everything first and deserve to take care of ourselves, then, we again find ourselves ‘trying’ to reach a goal, an outcome.

  87. The eternal chase in the world, ‘who am I’ and ‘what is all this about’. I remember being asked and then hit with these questions a number of times during life. It’s at these points you would try and put your life on a different course as what you had been doing obviously wasn’t ‘it’. This would work for a time only to come back to what seemed like a different point and yet it had the same questions or feeling again and so around and around we would go. This became a life and you learnt to cope with this as how it was, you didn’t accept it but just played out the ups and downs that seemed to keep coming. Then at a point the questions didn’t come again and you set forward on a path that supported you to see the answers. Answers that were in fact there all along just hidden. That point was reflected into your view by Universal Medicine, not telling you the answer to those questions but turning you back so you could see them clearly yourself.

  88. Putting ourselves under constant expectation creates so much anxiety within us, and our relationship with the subtle things such as our expectations, drives, goals, pictures of how life should be reveal a lot oboist what we have taken on life to mean and what is running us. To let go of these feels amazing as you’ve shared Regen, and letting go doesn’t mean having nothing, or has to be replaced by something that is our essence.

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