What's not working?

What are you trying to achieve? And why is it not happening? Do you feel excited about the prospect of achieving this thing, and yet it feels somehow out of your grasp because your attempts to get it so far haven't worked?

So often in life you try and you try, but how often do you actually look at what you are doing, and the results that all that effort is producing? With most goals that we try and achieve, there are factors that are within our control and factors that are out of our control. When you are looking for a particular outcome, it is useful to look at these two sets of factors and distinguish between them, as this allows you to see where your efforts are best placed in terms of focusing your energies. It is a useful exercise, to draw up a list of these different factors as it will give you a clearer picture of the situation. Be sure that the factors you perceive as being out of your control really are. Then you can accept what you are not going to be able to change, and work on what you can.

When you have worked out what is within your control, look at the strategies that you have been using to achieve your aims. What is useful and what has produced no tangible results? Keep doing what is working, but look at what is not working. Is it the approach you are taking, or is it just not a very useful way to achieve your goal? Does this approach need refinement or should it be abandoned altogether? Also, what do you keep meaning to do but never actually get round to doing? Is it time to accept that you don't want to do this thing and leave it, or just get on and do it. It could be that the step that you are procrastinating about is what could really make the difference.

It is only when you allow yourself the time to consider what is not working, that you can start to conceive what could work instead. You need to think creatively about other ideas and approaches that might help you to achieve what you want. Here are some questions / ideas to help you find alternative ways to achieve your goal.

  • What is missing from the plan that could really make the difference?
  • Step outside of your situation and look at it from a different perspective. If someone else was in your shoes what would you suggest?
  • What might you be avoiding?
  • Go back to your initial reasons for wanting this thing, and think past everything that has happened so far and associate with why you wanted it in the first place. What does this desire inspire you to want to do?
  • Think about who can help you. This can be really broad in scope and not directly linked to the goal itself. Often we think we have to do everything on our own, but have a think about all the people and resources that could help you with what you are trying to achieve.
  • Finally, once you have some new ideas about how to achieve your goal, give them a go, but have a break about thinking about how to achieve your goal. Take the action you have decided upon, but allow yourself the space to think about other things. Sometimes allowing yourself to think and do other things gives you new insights and ideas when you return to your original pre-occupation!

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