From years of experience in helping clients succeed in reaching their goals, I’ve observed that a significant amount of time is spent thinking about goals we think would make our lives better if we could only achieve them.

A huge amount of all marketing in the United States promises some form of self-improvement: quit smoking, lose weight, improve your sexual performance, sleep better, cure headaches, improve your golf game.

The difficulty, not unexpectedly, is usually found between the "dreaming" part and the "done" part of our success plans. I'll bet you already knew that. How do you get from dreaming to done? Why is the motivation to do whatever is required to reach your goals so very strong at inception and so very, very weak, most of the time, when it comes time to take productive action.

More importantly, how do you maintain that initial level of motivation  when you hit the obstacles and difficulties that have been in your way since the first time you decided to: lose weight, quit smoking, make more money, get better grades, exercise more, or love-the-skin-you're-in?

Research suggests that there are many components involved in the failure to carry out the intended actions. Sometimes people can't figure out where to start, or how to make a plan that they can follow. Others become easily overwhelmed and give up before they experience too much fear or frustration.

Some people decide that the effort required isn't worth the value of the outcome. Or, more importantly, the effort doesn't SEEM to be worth the outcome when the going gets tough. Many people have trouble delaying gratification. Others become paralyzed by the need to be perfect, or better than perfect.

The ability to delay gratification long enough to reach a desired outcome is a life skill that needs to be developed early in life. It is considered to be a major marker of maturity. Weakness in this area will prevent you from accomplishing much of anything you want to achieve in life. That’s why it is important to be aware of how well you do in delaying gratification.

Then there is the problem of having such meager self-worth or self-confidence that the sufferer doesn't believe that he has what it takes to stick it out to completion and success. This is rarely true but the idea that “belief equals reality” is an important area for exploration.

Any or all of these human weaknesses (and others) can throw so many obstacles in our paths that we give up. When we can identify the specific behavior that prevents our success, we can take the small, incremental steps required to acquire the missing skills that keep us from reaching our goals.

It is important to identify the missing skill-set and to develop that skill-set or you’ll never get from dreaming to done. When we seek help in achieving goals, we should expect that our counselor, mentor, life coach or hypnotherapist will help us to identify the missing pieces and help us to develop them.

The most important message here is that whenever you find yourself unable to achieve a goal, it is time to evaluate your plan of action to find that one tiny little missing skill-set that keeps you from achieving your goal. In other words: you are never a failure. You are always simply a person who doesn’t understand a step in the process.

At least, that is the assumption I bring into my work as an hypnosis practitioner.  As the wonderfully wise author and philosopher, Maya Angelou, once suggested (I just spent two hours looking for the exact quote, so I’m paraphrasing): “…but at that time you did not know better; now that you know better, you do better.”

Don’t give up on your dreams and goals and never call yourself a failure. Find someone who can help you see where or why you’re stuck. “When you know better, you’ll do better…”

Hypnosis provides a wonderful format for discovery as well as for successful action. If you’re having difficulty going from "dreaming" to "done," it might be time to try hypnosis.  Hypnosis works when all else has failed.

Here's to your success...

Susan French

San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles area