A lesson from Shakespeare in setting goals

I recently had a new client who came to me frustrated that he hadn't made any progress in achieving his goal. This person, who I'll call Bill for the sake of this piece, is driven and determined. When Bill set his sights on something, he works hard and gets there; whatever stands in his way. As with other coaching clients, there was never a question of whether Bill had the will to achieve his goals; it was almost like Bill decided on his goal and then went on autopilot, but for some reason, this goal that related to his finances just seemed much further out of reach. So I spent some time talking to Bill about his goals and his background and over the course of an hour, I discovered something about Bill that he didn't even know. More on that later.

When you're making decisions about what you want to do in your life, or what you want to have or be, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you have to first know yourself and what's important to you and then, knowing this information, make your decisions with this at the forefront of your mind so you are being authentic. To put it another way;

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
— Polonius, Hamlet, Shakespeare

Being authentic in your decision making will give you so much more than a sense of comfort. You'll feel totally aligned to your goals, you'll be energized and won't feel like you're having to work towards anything because it feels so right for you to be taking action towards something that you are naturally inclined to do or achieve at the unconscious level.

If you don't consciously know what your unconscious values are - and most people don't because they are buried deep inside your unconscious mind - you may have trouble making informed decisions in your career, fitness, finances, health and other aspects of your life that align with what's truly right for you and you could end up expending a lot of time, money and energy in trying to get to a goal that you think is right for you but isn't authentic at the level of your unconscious mind. Taking a little time to work with a certified coach can help you uncover things that you didn't consciously know about yourself. It's always much better to make decisions on a firm bedrock of understanding than it is to make decisions and then wonder why your actions just don't seem to be getting the right results, even if you're doing all you can to get to your goal.

So, back to Bill. I worked with Bill to understand his values and as we uncovered more and more, he had what I like to call the "lightbulb moment" as all of the feelings he had been experiencing in attempting to get to his goal suddenly clicked into place and he understood why he was having them. Try as he might, he couldn't get to his goal and he gave that goal 100%. During our conversation, we adjusted a part of his goal and his eyes lit up. He was so energized and enthusiastic that I thought he would explode! Bill left that session excited and raring to go and he knocked his goal out of the park. It just goes to show that Shakespeare was right; "to thine own self be true".

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy.