Ever wondered what could be the reason behind you not achieving one of your goals, despite trying, and trying, and trying some more? For instance, have you been trying for years to lose weight, or been trying for years to get that senior promotion, or been trying for years to grow your business?
What if I was telling you that this could well be because you actually do not want to achieve your goal. Intrigued? Let’s discuss some more… I know that at first glance, it sounds completely illogical, and yet, it happens more often than you think, and indeed, could be happening to you right now and, for years. I know that it has happened to me before, and upon uncovering this out, saying that I was surprised is an understatement!
This is what your mind does when you set a goal…
Remember, how I’ve explained before that (and I’ll quickly go over this again) we are conscious of very little, since our mind is split into conscious (5%) and unconscious (95%), thus why increasing and boosting our awareness is key to help us progress and move forward, right? Well, sometimes, we set a goal in our life, career, or business, and we try, and we try, and we try some more and this without success, as we keep falling short of it.
In many of these cases, the reason behind you failing again and again is that you actually do not want to succeed. I know you are thinking something along these lines: “This does not make any sense at all, why would I set a goal, but in fact, not want it? Of course I want to achieve it.” and, of course you want to, but only with your conscious mind. You see, when you consciously set a goal, 5% of your mind is actually aligned towards it. This leaves you with 95% of your unconscious mind that can either be aligned or misaligned towards it. And, when it is misaligned, no matter how hard you try, you will keep falling short of it. If your goal is misaligned, no matter how hard you try, you’ll keep falling short of it. Click to tweet!
If your goal is misaligned, no matter how hard you try, you’ll keep falling short of it. Click to tweet!
This is one of those curious mind phenomena, and it is important to be aware of it, as it can explain why you have not been succeeding at one (or several) of your goals up to now. Consciously you want it, but unconsciously you don’t, and ultimately, you end up sabotaging your efforts and failing.
This is why your mind does it to you…
Now I’m pretty sure you are wondering: “Ok, so why am I self-sabotaging on something that I want?”, right? You do it – and remember this is unconscious to you till you decide to bring it forward to your attention now – because staying the way you are aligns with your reality as you perceive and believe it. So, at the unconscious level, it makes total sense for you to fall short of your goal.
Unconsciously, your mind knows that your goal is misaligned, as in fact, you do not want it, and it helps you fall short of it. This is often referred to as a “hidden benefit” or “secondary gain”. Let me give you some examples, using the goals I’ve mentioned at the beginning of the article.
=> A hidden benefit could be safety, believing that as long as you stay overweight, you avoid danger.
Get promoted to a senior position
=> A hidden benefit could be comfort, thinking that as long as you stay in a junior position, you avoid conflict.
Grow your business
=> A hidden benefit could be friendship, thinking that as long as you stay at your existing level, you avoid losing your friends.
See how this mind phenomenon operates? In all of these cases, your unconscious would be helping you as the “hidden benefit” outweighs the benefits of you achieving your goal. The why you would believe these things does not actually matter to help you turn things around. What matters is uncovering these hidden benefits.
This is how you can change your mind…
The solution lies in uncovering your “hidden benefit”; this is how amazing your mind is. As soon as we uncover it, we become conscious of it, and can then tackle it, and often make it disappear in the process. For some cases, following the below steps will help you immediately, for others, working with a coach to support you as you uncover your hidden benefit will be needed. I’ve helped many clients get rid of their hidden benefits, and seen them finally reach their goals.
Here is my M3 Power 4-step process:
Step 1 = Set a time aside, in a quiet place, without any distractions,
Step 2 = Grab a pen and paper, and at the top of your page, write that goal you’ve been trying to reach for years without success,
Step 3 = Answer the following questions (they may seem quite similar, and yet can trigger more answers, so go through all of them),
- What are the benefits of not achieving my goal?
- How does staying [insert relevant words, i.e. overweight, junior executive, small business] benefit me?
- What are the advantages of not achieving my goal?
- What does staying [insert relevant words, i.e. overweight, junior executive, small business] allow me to be/do/have?
- What do I get out of staying [insert relevant words, i.e. overweight, junior executive, small business]?
- Could anything negative happen to me when I reach my goal?
- What benefits do I get out of failing?
You might need to repeat Step 3, 2 or 3 times, and might be surprised with the answers that come up; let these come up: remember, you are about to find out what it is that has been holding you back from achieving what you want, and that is great.
As soon as you have it – a pattern should start to emerge from the various answers you’ve written down, take a min to consciously take it in, and move to the next step:
Step 4 = Answer the following question:
- How can I be [insert your goal benefit, i.e. slim, senior executive, big business], and still [insert your “hidden benefit”]?
It is important you list several ways to fulfil the need you’ve uncovered to make this happen – this is your responsibility, and you want to be as convincing as possible. See it as your job to convince your mind. Once it is convinced, you will be in full alignment, and will be able to progress and achieve your goal.
To wrap up, I recommend saying the following statement out loud to really make an impact, as you hear yourself say it:
“Up to now I’ve been staying [insert relevant words, i.e. overweight, junior executive, small business] because I believed it helped me [insert your “hidden benefit”]; however, I now realise that not only can I be [insert relevant words, i.e. slim, senior executive, big] but also [insert your “hidden benefit”] when I [insert your ways].”
This process helps you shed the light onto what is really going on deep down, by ensuring that the benefits of reaching your goal outweigh the benefits of not reaching your goal. Follow each of these steps, and get rid of what’s been holding back for once and for all, and finally achieve that one goal of yours that has been eluding you for years.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever experienced this? Are you experiencing this right now? How excited are you that this process is going to help you move forward?
Please leave a comment and join the below conversation!
Until next time
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To your Mountain Moving Mindset,
Some of the comments received via Twitter:
@IrishSmiley Great. Very inspiring stuff.
— Reach Out Ireland (@ReachOutIRL) December 13, 2013
@IrishSmiley great post. I need to start practising the advice. Thank you
— Rytter Muzira-Kizza (@RytterM) December 13, 2013
@IrishSmiley Great read! Thanks for sharing…I really need to read this!
— MsDNICE (@msdnice08) December 12, 2013