Step Four: Evaluating Your Current Situation
David Lawrence Preston is a hypnotherapist and personal development trainer who has frequently appeared on radio and television. Over the last 20 years he has developed the Dynamic Living Programme, which draws on practical psychological techniques and the sum of all his considerable experience with clients. He is also the author of 365 Steps to Self-confidence.
Once your goals, your mental preparation and personal growth are under way, before going ahead with any far-reaching action take stock of your present situation. Try to understand all the factors which are impacting on your goal.
A man attended one of my life coaching courses recently. In the third week we were considering the qualities and skills each student felt they needed to achieve their major goals.
‘I wish I had gone to college,’ he sighed, ‘then I would have the qualifications I need.’
‘So why don’t you go?’ asked a fellow student.
‘Because I’m 32 years old, and married with three children, and it would take me five years studying part-time in the evenings.’
‘Tell me,’ I asked him, ‘how old will you be in five years if you go?’
‘Thirty-seven,’ he sighed.
‘And how old will you be in five years if you don’t go?’
He thought for a moment. ‘37, I suppose,’ looking astonished that the age came out the same.
Next time you say to yourself, ‘I can’t do that because I’m too old,’ ask yourself, ’How old will I be if I don’t do it?’ Then do it.
Step four: summing up
There’s a traditional story about a couple lost in the countyside who spot an old farmer leaning against a gate.
‘Please could you help us,’ says the man, pointing at a map, ‘we’re lost and we want to get to here.’
The farmer peruses the map for a moment, then replies, ‘It’s not hard to find, but if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here.’
Maps are only useful once you know exactly where you want to get to and your starting point. Where are you now? What do you have? What do you need? What stands in your way?
Being realistic is not the same as being negative. Yes, you will face challenges as you head towards your goals, and some of these may appear daunting at first. But remember – the challenges don’t get any bigger, but you do!