by Fran 🏅🇬🇧🇬🇧🏅
What is stopping you achieving your goal? Can you break down those barriers?
This is an exercise I do with the students I work with when I visit schools. One of the prompts in the "30 Day Image Prompt Contest - CLOSED" reminded me of this (it was just an image of a girl climbing a ladder) so I thought I would share it with you. It is quite a good way of visualising what you want to achieve and how you are going to move forward.
We all have goals (or at least we ought to) and yet we all find that we have barriers that get in our way. These barriers can either be concrete or psychological. By concrete barriers I mean things like other people get in the way, injuries (for sports people) or having a difficult time understanding grammar (for wannabe writers). By psychological barriers, I simply mean things like not having enough self-confidence and belief.
This exercise is really useful for realising what is actually stopping you achieving your goal and how you can break down those barriers that are getting in your way.
I have created a diagram for how this exercise should work. However, you’ve probably looked at it and thought “meh, what?”. Therefore, I will talk you through it. I know It might sound like quite a cheesy exercise to do, but I do it every now and again myself - so it cannot be that bad!
To start with you need paper, pens and pencils. Try and make it as colourful as you can - really try and bring it to life as much as possible in your mind's eye.
First of all, draw a circle or a cloud type shape at the top of your page. Make it big enough for you to be able to write down your goal in it. Now, when I say 'goal', I don't necessarily mean it has to be your ultimate life goal – it can be, but doesn't have to be. It can be something as simple as your goal for the next month or so – anything, it is up to you.
Next, you see those orange blocks on my diagram? That is a brick wall (or it is supposed to be). Each of the bricks is going to represent one of your barriers. Therefore, it is up to you to decide how big your brick wall should be. So, for example, if I was an aspiring writer that didn't known how to get going, in one of my bricks I might write something like:
No idea who to talk to
Okay, so we have our brick wall and everything is looking a little bit negative at the moment. Don't give up! This is often the problem, people have an idea of something they would like to do but they immediately think of those things that might stop them from achieving it. All too often I hear people say "I can't do that because of X Y Z" and that is the end of the story. Therefore, what people don't tend to do is take X Y Z and consider how they could be navigated around or climbed over. This is where our ladder comes in!
Draw a ladder next to your brick wall. It can be as long as short as you like, just make sure it is pointing up towards your goal circle/cloud. Each rung of your ladder will represent a way to break down your barriers. It can be one rung to each brick, or you could have several rungs to each brick - or vice versa. Just make sure all the rungs of the ladder cover every issue you put down on your brick wall.
To return to the example I gave you earlier, for the wall. In terms of finding a way to get over this barrier, I might start to realise that if I wanted someone to talk to about getting into creative writing, I would need to go looking because they are not going to just come to me. Therefore, on my ladder, I might write something like this:
Look online for creative writing websites/communities
This exercise is not going to guarantee achieve your goal. If you decide to give this a go, it is important that you keep looking over what you write and maybe even adapting it from time to time. So, for example, you have found that online writing community BUT you really cannot get your head round the website - how do you get over that barrier?
I hope this has been useful to at least one of you! That is always my goal - if I can make a difference to one person at some point, I am happy.
Disclaimer: once this contest is over this item will be moved to the following folder: