We can all find ourselves at a point where there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be. We know what we want but we just cannot seem to get there. Perhaps you want to go for a promotion in work, or maybe you want a less chaotic morning time at home; it could be that you are tempted to take up a new sport, or maybe you hanker after a bit of adventure and would like to travel. People often wish for these type of things, but can be stuck where they are and feel unable to either make the move towards their goal or to complete that move and achieve their goal.
When you know that there is something that you really want to do, yet you find yourself still looking at it from afar, it can lead to a loss of confidence as you feel somehow ‘less than’ for not mastering a task; it can lead to frustration, as you know that you are better than this and that you are essentially missing out on a better experience in life; it can even lead to a depressed mood as you wonder what the point is if this thing that you want in life is not yet in your grasp.
On the other hand, when we do go after a goal and achieve it, the sense of mastery and accomplishment is intrinsically motivating and it drives us on in so many ways that it can have a domino effect in our lives. Success breeds confidence, and confidence in turn breeds excellence, which makes the next task we take on more likely to succeed.
So, it is well worth taking the time and effort to chase those things in life that we know deep down we really want. Never just shrug the shoulders and sigh and think ‘well, maybe that wasn’t meant for me’ if it doesn’t happen first time – go after it, fight for it, fight for yourself and for your happiness. Do we have to be happy all the time? No. But a good dollop of real, true, ‘feel it in your belly’ satisfaction, reward and contentment is good for us now and then.
Useful strategies for getting you from where you are now to where you want to be include:
1. Identify the goal
What is it that you want to happen? Picture it vividly and be very clear on what it is that you want to happen. For example, if you don’t want chaos in the morning getting everyone out the door, what do you want - what does a calmer morning look like and how is it different to what is happening now? If you want to go for a promotion at work, identify the role you want to get but also what your life will be like when you are doing that job.
2. Identify the obstacles
What is stopping you from going for or achieving this goal? What needs to happen for you to be able to go for it and reach your target? Sometimes we need information, strategies, practice, support or encouragement, so identify what would help in your quest.
3. Identify the ingredients for success
What are the most important ingredients needed in order for you to be successful? To achieve a calmer morning routine for example, you would need good organisation the night before, everyone knowing the plan, everyone having responsibility for a task, no delays with items such as electronic devices or TV, rewards in place for desired behaviours, etc. To get a promotion at work, the ingredients for success would include having a clear view of what that role entails, suitable qualifications, experience and skill set for the role, demonstrated evidence of relevant achievements in your current role, etc.
4. Bridge the gaps
On the list of ingredients, rate yourself on where you currently stand with each item, using a scale of one to 10, where 10 is that you have that ingredient covered, and one is that this is a complete blank on your list; a weakness. The ratings will tell you where the gaps are between where you are now and where you want to be. Put the work in to bridge the gaps and to develop skills, experience or behaviours that are needed. Also, put actions in place to deal with whatever obstacles stand in your way, finding ways to remove them. You are then on your way to achieving your goal. Work methodically and tick items off your list, and you will find yourself down the road towards your goal before you even fully realise it.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time” - (Thomas Edison).