Goals can function as a directional compass that keeps us focused on moving forward in life. We can set goals for different areas of our lives including health goals, career goals, and relationship goals. We can accomplish any goal we set if we are willing to exert the effort. Effort, though, isn’t the only ingredient needed to reach a goal. Every person who has achieved a goal has truly believed that they could reach it. A deep-seated belief in yourself is necessary to maintain the attention and effort needed for success.
Someone was doesn’t believe that the goal is obtainable, won’t put forth maximal effort. Without a strong belief, prominent thoughts appear such as, “Why bother?” or “This is never going to work.” These thoughts crush any motivation to work towards the goal.
When children are diagnosed with medical issues, parents become overwhelmed with the needs of their child. As time goes by, the chaos of a disorganized life exacerbates these feelings and causes them to sink deeper in to despair. Organization of their mind, time, and physical space becomes an important goal for combating the feelings of being overwhelmed. The parents who are able to move from despair to joy believe that they can acquire the skills to get their life in order.
Two brothers were brought to clinic by their mother to be evaluated by me for allergies and asthma. I spoke to the mom about treatments that I would recommend to get the boys’ symptoms under control. A few months later, they came back to clinic, but the boys were not doing well. They were experiencing lots of symptoms and had even needed to go the emergency room for flares of their asthma. I looked at their allergy shot chart and they had been missing shots. The boys admitted to not using their inhalers and didn’t know where their allergy medicine was in the house. As I gathered more information, I realized that the mom was drowning in trying to manage her sons’ medical issues along with maintaining life. I began to talk about a treatment plan and the mom broke down in tears, “I can’t do this. I have never been good at keeping track of things. I can’t do everything.”
We paused the treatment plan discussion and focused on what mom was believing about herself. By the time we were done, she was able to see that her pessimistic belief was getting in the way of her working towards being better about medicine and appointments for her boys. In addition to asthma medicine, we spoke about time management and medication management strategies.
I saw the boys several months later and the mom was smiling and confident when I entered the room. She told me about how she created an asthma medicine basket for each boy along with a chart to track medication use. She showed me how they were now using a family calendar to make sure the boys got to their appointments. The boys’ symptoms were well-controlled and at this visit, we had smiles instead of tears when discussing changes in therapy.
When the visit was over, the family was leaving and the mom turned to me and said, “I just needed to believe I could do it.”. Her belief and effort allowed her to reach her goal and gave her confidence and hope.
Are you believing something that is stopping you from reaching your goal?