There are many different pathways to achieve a goal.
Some people believe all that is needed is to create a vision, define a strategy, identify actions and take steps forward. While there might be obstacles, they can be addressed as they appear. My experience is that each person has a unique set of family dynamics, school and work experiences, personality types, friendships, and abilities and all of these aspects impact the way they achieve goals in equally unique ways.
Sometimes it is a matter of aligning with a goal. For example, take a client of mine who knew all the right things to do regarding health and weight but was having a challenge doing all those right things. We agreed upon three coaching sessions to see what was underneath the challenge. It turned out that it was a matter of giving voice to two conflicting parts within her. One part wanted to experience the joy in the healthy actions, while the other was resistant to those actions.
When both parts were given a voice and allowed to integrate, the client was able to move forward easily towards her goal and only one coaching session was needed. While there had initially been a clear goal, alignment was missing, which made full commitment to the goal impossible – until those conflicting parts were integrated.
Other times, a pathway towards a goal is more complicated because people think they know what they want but they don’t. My experience is that there is frequently an 18 month cycle in which people go through a series of events that help them to clarify their true goal.
For instance, someone I know thought he wanted to be a high school math teacher and left a job in Information Technology to follow this path. He received his license and found a high school math teacher job but it didn’t work out. This attempt was followed by several other short-term roles including adjunct professor and contract high school teacher. After this point, he realized that high school teacher was not the best career path for him. Once this decision was made opportunities for community college jobs teaching IT appeared. After a year and a half of experimenting, he has now been an IT professor at a community college for over 7 years.
I’ve seen this same pattern of bridging to a clear goal with people deciding where to live, what they want to do in the early stages of retirement, finding the right approaches for diet and exercise, and for determining what type of relationship they want.
In addition to inner conflict or lack of clarity, other factors can play a role in our ability to achieve our stated goals.
- Family dynamics including unconscious loyalty to an unhealthy family member or needing to find a way to carry their “weight” in the family.
- Self-defeating belief systems such as “it’s never going to work, I can’t do this”, and many others.
- Hidden cravings for instant gratification or “the sweetness of life” or feeling unsatisfied like something is missing.
- Resistance to discipline, being told what to do, or to the repetition of a regular exercise.
In those instances, the path forward is not as simple as setting a goal and taking action. While coaching is about creating your future the way you want it, there are instances in which situations from the past create obstacles to moving forward. Whether it be uncovering a hidden craving or shining light on a family pattern, the transformational coaching services offered by Systems of Change, LLC (www.systemsofchange.com) takes a unique approach based on the circumstances that are present along each person’s life path.
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