Personal Development

Breaking through your goal barriers

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Breaking your outcome barriers

breaking_barriersI have many outcomes I wish to achieve in my life and there are many outcomes I have already achieved. What usually happens is the outcomes keep getting bigger the more I achieve. This is a great sign that I am doing something right in my world. Over the years I have heard a lot of people say, keep it real and keep your outcomes realistic and achievable. Yes make them achievable but if it's achievable it's not unrealistic. Let me share a story with you going back to 1998:

I was elated as I had achieved my dream of making over £30,000, on paper, on the stock market. I hade been investing in shares since 1998 but I soon discovered I loved the thrill and started day trading. I lost a lot in the beginning, about £4000. I set myself an outcome of making £100,000 and focused on it for weeks. My balance started changing from being in the red to being in the black. I upped my trading game and started playing the markets using spread betting. Within the space of a few months I was getting closer to my outcome of £100,000. However as soon as I started going from a deficit to making a profit I stopped concentrating on my outcomes. The tech market was really flying and I was feeling on top of the world. I was skipping university (one of my other goals was to get a degree in psychology) to stay at home and day trade.

I remember one day I had £100,000 in shares, again on paper; I was trading on a 14 day contract. Then the tech market started falling. I panicked but thought it will turn again, this was just a blip. Pretty soon I couldn't get rid of my shares as nobody was buying they were all selling. I wouldn't sell for the ridiculous amount they were offering. Then the realisation of the market being in meltdown hit me.

Eventually I went bankrupt to the tune of £65,000 and it was not a good feeling at all. I walked out with an education in money and a degree in psychology; I managed to get my degree in 2000. That was the year that changed my life forever.

I was so low and feeling down. I started looking at my outcomes again and started to concentrate on them again. I attended a seminar by Jack Black and immediately said to my friend "˜that's what I will be doing with my life'. I wanted to be a motivational speaker. To get there I had to achieve other outcomes first. I was in a small flat in Govan, Glasgow (not the best area of town). I set outcomes to meet my perfect woman, which I have written about, be married, have a lovely house with a veranda overlooking the garden, a car, no debt, 2 children a boy and a girl, have money in the bank, have a good job. These were all outcomes way beyond what I thought I could realistically achieve but I kept at them and focused every day.

Today I have all those things (except for the veranda) and I am extremely happy with my life. I am still looking at being a motivational speaker but I am about 10 steps closer to that dream than I was.

The point of the story is to illustrate that no matter how low we are in our lives we can still concentrate on our outcomes even if it feels impossible to reach. The other point is that no matter how unrealistic our outcomes seem keep working on them as todays realistic is tomorrows standard.

Think big

That's the beauty of setting outcomes, you don't have to worry about how they will be achieved, just concentrate on achieving them.

Another huge lesson I learned from all of this is dream big. When I first started setting outcomes for my life I thought about achieving little things, and then when I achieved them I had to think a little bigger. Don't limit yourself when setting your outcomes. If one of your goals is to get out of debt don't focus on paying of one credit card at a time concentrate on having absolutely no debt and having money in your savings account?

The breakthrough method of achieving

When I used to practice Tae Kwon Do I had a mental block about punching through the boards. I was always afraid of breaking my hand and I couldn't quite hit the thickest board hard enough to break through it. My teacher saw this block and told me I was "˜hitting the board to break it'; I looked at him slightly puzzled. He told me to imagine that the board is 6 inches behind its actual position and try to break the imaginary board. I mustered up the energy and force and imagined a board behind the actual one and broke through it first time. This was a great breakthrough for me in tae Kwon Do and in life. He told me to do this when fighting an opponent, if you are aiming for his stomach aim 6 inches behind his stomach, if you are kicking his leg aim 6 inches to the side of his leg. This way I am concentrating all my energy and power on the imaginary rather than the actual and I am going through the actual board, leg, stomach or whatever it may be.

This was the single most important lesson I ever learned in Tae Kwon Do. It is the same with your outcomes. If for example you want to make £10,000 in savings this year, aim for £20,000. If you want to clear your credit card debts this year aim to clear of all your debts. If you want to meet a nice partner to settle down with aim to meet "˜the perfect' partner to settle down with. For every single outcome you want to achieve in life, aim that little higher and you will get more of what you want in life.

Now I know there will be some people who say "˜Oh you are just setting yourself up for failure' this is rubbish. Anybody who wants to succeed at something will always achieve it if they work hard enough and know exactly what they want and work on it mentally and physically every day.

Aim beyond what you want to achieve


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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.