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Goal Keeping: Dealing with Your “Dragons”

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Imagine you’re well on your journey towards completing a goal when suddenly a problem comes up – an unexpected roadblock that you don’t know how to overcome. These challenges, obstacles, or ’dragons’, as we might call them, may come in various shapes and sizes. Some are external in nature, some internal, but they have one thing in common: They always get in the way of you moving forward and achieving your goal. 

So, what do you do? Should you continue, regardless of the dragon, only to find yourself even deeper in trouble? Or do you retreat for a while to reconfigure your direction?

How come some people fail when such adversities hit and others succeed, no matter what difficulty they may face? The difference between standing your ground and tackling the challenge or letting these dragons scare you off is the difference between success and failure. In order to handle any dragon that might lurk in the background, you first need to understand how they operate.


Some important points about dragons to keep in mind

  1. Dragons are unavoidable. There will always be some kind of obstacle or challenge to cause problems along the way.
  2. Emotional reactions (anger, sadness, fear) are completely natural.
  3. Contingency plans are a good idea, yet not all challenges are foreseeable.
  4. Hiding from a dragon won’t make it go away.
  5. What really matters is how you deal with the problem.


What kinds of dragons are there?


1. External Dragons

These dragons come from outside, caused by external factors that you have no control over. For example, your dragon could be an excessive workload, or a family member that needs your time and attention. In this case, you need to give yourself time to think around the problem from different angles and take a different route of action.


2. Internal Dragons

Internal dragons are much more difficult to spot, as they come from somewhere inside your thoughts or feelings. They have often been sitting inside your mind for a long time, influencing how you perceive certain situations. Here are a few examples:

Moody Dragon:
Typical reactions to an obstacle are anger, cynicism, malice, guilt, shame, dread etc.
These will not help you to keep your goal and should thus be changed into something more beneficial.

Cynical Dragon:
This dragon infiltrates your mind with negative, limiting thoughts and antagonises an optimistic can-do attitude.
Recognising these limiting thoughts is the first step towards taming the cynical dragon.

Controlling Dragon:
This dragon has had a major influence on your decisions, thought processes and actions for much of your life, pushing away progress or success.
Long-held beliefs (e.g. “having a family means stress and no life”) that are really negative attitudes will only hold you back and thus need to be transformed.

In Nazish S. Qazi’s eBook Goal Keeping: Overcome Obstacles, Master Motivation and Get Goals, you will find many practical exercises to help you tame your dragons and effectively deal with obstacles in order to keep to your goals!


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