More On Understanding Our Goals…

Last time we talked about our “iceberg” and how, so often, it’s the unconscious aspect of our psyche which is in the driver’s seat of our lives. This can be particularly true when creating major goals or new realities for ourselves.

We say we want a new career or to go cliff diving in Acapulco or create a more fulfilling social life. And then we wonder why we aren’t getting what we want. We feel like we’re dancing as fast as we can, trying everything possible to accomplish our objectives and finding our way repeatedly blocked. And then we spiral down into anger, despair, bitterness, de-motivation and finally declare “fate has decreed that I shall not have this!” and give up or put off what we could be doing because “the thought of it makes me tired and drains me of energy.”

And this is where we hire a life coach! LOL! But now back to our regularly scheduled feature article….

What may be a very helpful starting point is to look at where we sabotage ourselves — not at the macro-level of goal achievement, but at the “micro-level.” The macro-level would be the action steps we do to achieve our goals. We want to be a freelance writer? Then we send out writing queries to publications or contact businesses to see if they need copywriters.

At the micro-level though — how do we feel about ourself in relationship to our goal? Are we approaching our goal with dread?

And consider this…the fear or fears that I speak of, may have nothing to do with the actual goal that we have or desire. But may lie in what is beyond the goal once it actually materializes. Do we feel up to living life at the level that is required once we reach our goal? Is our goal going to change how we interact with life by taking us out of our current economic circle? Or by changing how our friends view us? Does our goal require a commitment to a higher level of maturity on our part?

Or, are our fears to be found in the steps needed to create the goal? If we say we want to be an actor, but then don’t want to get up in front of an audience — do we really want to be an actor? Maybe we just want to be famous so that we feel universally loved — which doesn’t really have anything to do with being an actor…

So for the freelance writer…Do we view rejection as confirmation of the little voice inside of us that repeatedly says we have no talent? If someone asks us to write something for them, do we cringe? Do we hate the idea of being completely self-reliant and actually prefer to be “taken care of” by a company?

If at a deep level we approach our goals with fear — other people pick up on this. Like a scent people perceive that we are not entirely comfortable in our own skin. And thus they will not be entirely comfortable with us. They, and we, may not even be aware that this is happening. And this will come across in our behavior and even in our writing — through our word choice and tone. We might not perceive it, but it is there.

And worse, our inner fear will effect the decisions and choices we make to arrive at our goal. Our fear will cloud our viewpoint — like a pair of dark sunglasses — making some possible things appear impossible. And making the tiniest obstacle seem like a 20,000 feet deep ravine that we can’t possibly swing across.

So often there is a desire for a goal — but only when we are EMOTIONALLY READY for all parts of it to appear in our lives. Thus we’ll go through the motions of doing something — for years even — but never arrive at the objective. And the whole time be saying to ourself: “I can’t get there. I’m not able. This won’t happen. It will take a lifetime to make this real.”

When we feel capable of living the life that will be created once the goal is achieved. When we feel completely able to do the things necessary to arrive at our desired destination. And when we can confidently rely upon our own inner strength and wisdom, as opposed to others’ viewpoints. Then we are equipped to achieve our goal.

So how do we get there?

Part of achieving a goal that is not seemingly appearing in our life — when we in our own eyes think we are trying everything possible — is being willing to admit that maybe we are not trying everything. We’re trying what we are comfortable with. What we know or think we know. So at the micro-level we need to begin to look at our assumptions, attitudes, prejudices, limiting self-beliefs, how we perceive life, how we view our personal relationship with life — and how we interact with life.

Now you may be saying –“I don’t have time for that! I need to go DO it! So tell me how to go do it and then I can get it done and I don’t have to go through all this mumbo jumbo self analysis and psycho babble self discussion. Who wants to do that?” Well that is a lot like fixing the copier for you and never showing you how to fix it yourself. No? There is no little pill, no magic wand, no nose twitch, or eye blink that is going to make you more comfortable in doing those things which take you out of your comfort zone to arrive at your goal.

The goal itself may represent Nirvana to you, but the path to get there may look like sheer Hell. Fantasies are wonderful, realities take work.

(At this point you may be saying “Why can’t he sugar coat anything!?!” But that wouldn’t be particularly helpful now, would it?)

Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

What do I need to let go of or leave behind in order to get to where I want to go?
Where am I giving up when the going gets tough?
What assumptions about myself and other people do I need to shake off and discard?
What attitudes that I maintain are holding me back?
Do I have some deep-seated prejudices about people, places, things or ideas that keep me from seeing opportunities that are offered to me?
What are my limiting self-beliefs? Do I feel like a victim? Do I personalize disappointments?
How do I perceive life and how do I view my “relationship with life?” Is life scary or an adventure?
How I do interact with life? Positively? Negatively? Am I demanding? Full of gratitude? Asking anybody who happens by for a hammer so I can nail myself to a metaphorical cross?
What is the inner tape in my mind repeatedly telling myself? Am I saying to myself: “I can do it.” Or am I saying: “I can never accomplish it.”
How am I unconsciously choosing the smallest steps possible to get me to my destination?
What consequences of the goal — once it is created — do I NOT particularly want in my life? (i.e. If I get a new, higher level job — will it require more work and responsibility. Do I really want that? If I start dating more people — am I comfortable with rejecting more people with “No thanks. I’m not interested.”?)

Pick up a pen and start digging into your iceberg. We create our goals at the micro-level. We act them out at the macro.

Next time we’ll look at the symbolic aspects of our goals….