I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am a certified coach / counselor at Dutch...
Six steps to achieving anything you want16 June 2014, by Dorota Klop-Sowinska
Being a coach is a wonderful job on many different levels. Most importantly, it allows me to help others to fulfil their needs and dreams.
Being a coach, however, also forces me to constantly look into myself for areas to grow.
As part of working with many of my clients on their goals and on my own ones, I have made a list of steps (elements) that need to be taken in order for any of us to achieve basically anything we want.
1. Creating a long-term vision
You need a long-term vision to help you to move in the right direction. If you feel stuck in your life or career, it is very probable that you have lost clarity with your long-term vision.
As you do not know what you really want, you are reluctant to take any steps at all, as you are afraid that you are going to walk in the wrong direction. You feel as if you are walking in a mist, so you decide to stop and wait until the mist is gone.
I have a better solution for you, though: sit down and think about your long-term vision:
› What are the things you would regret not doing if your career or life were over?
› What would you be doing if money were no obstacle?
› Who do you want to become in 10, 20 and 30 years from now?
Being able to answer these questions, having this vision for yourself, is like seeing light through the mist. The decisions you are going to take will be very different if you have this long-term perspective.
Many of my clients say that having a long-term vision makes them feel calm again, as they feel that they have found their inner compass. So even if they end up walking for a while in a different direction, they can always check their compass and adjust the course.
2. Setting goals
Once we know what our long-term vision is, we need goals to help us stay on the path. We need to translate the long-term vision into both long-term and short-term goals. I work with yearly goals and translate them into monthly ones.
While you should always write down your goals in a positive way, you should nevertheless consider upfront the obstacles that you will face and how to overcome them.
3. Practising focus
Once you have written down your long-term vision and goals, the next thing you need to do is focus. This is an area that many, including me, struggle with. There are too many things happening during the day that we need to manage which often pull us away from our goals, even if we have set them clearly.
Focus is something that needs practising every day. So every day you need to ask yourself: "Is what I do today going to get me closer to my main goal?" You need to be busy with your main goal every day, even if for only five minutes, in order to develop it as your second nature.
A great idea is to buy a notebook and write down daily what you did that was related to your vision and your main goals.
4. Developing your self-belief
So now you have your vision, goals and focus; is that enough? I would say for one per cent of us yes; for the other 99 per cent, probably not.
What we still need is the right mindset that will help us to do what we already know we have to do. You might be dreaming of becoming the next Richard Branson, but if you’re saying to yourself, "I'm not good enough, I can’t do it," then guess what? You will not become a second Richard Branson and you will end up frustrated and disappointed.
Often we carry a lot of limiting beliefs with us: i.e. you have to be really lucky to be successful; you are not smart enough to do x, y or z; other people are better than you, etc., etc.
Based on those beliefs, we form a certain path for ourselves in life. We say, "This I can achieve and this I can’t - it is too challenging/too difficult/too hard," etc. Then we live our lives based on these beliefs, never questioning them and accepting them as universal truths.
Guess what? They are not! If you hold onto negative beliefs, the result will be actions that are not bringing you any closer to your long-term vision.
One of the best gifts you can give to yourself is to become aware of those limiting beliefs and start questioning them one by one. One of the rules that guides human nature is the rule of consistency, meaning our behaviour needs to be consistent with our beliefs.
Therefore you need to reframe your limiting beliefs and replace them with constructive ones. Once you do that, you need to start a habit of repeating them over and over again daily, until you believe in them!
Once that happens, you will achieve anything you want. Repeating them can be done in front of the mirror or by writing them down several times a day. Here your notebook comes in handy again.
5. Creating your network
I sometimes think I am becoming boring and repetitive on this topic, but the right network is one of the most crucial things to develop, next to your self-belief.
In the end we are social creatures and one of our core needs is the need to belong and be accepted. You can read more about needs here. So if you feel that you are not getting enough positive support from your network, it is time to look for new allies.
A lot of my clients are struggling with that point. They are consistently confronted by negative feedback from those around them - don’t do that, be responsible, be realistic, stay safe, etc. This is when people stop trusting their beliefs, as they want to be accepted by their "others."
So if you feel that those around you do not support you, please follow my advice and find new comrades who will!
6. Taking action
Act! No matter how many self-help guides you read, coaching sessions you take or support you receive from your network, you must act. Without action nothing will happen.
Every day write down the actions that you are going to take. Then make them a reality! This will give you self-confidence and by doing them you will bring yourself closer to your goal, which will bring you closer to your vision, which will do what? Make you feel HAPPY and FULFILLED!
Let me know in the comments below what your biggest take-away from this article is!