I want to let you in on a little secret coaches know about how to prime the pump for breakthrough: always start with the ideal.
What It Is
The “ideal” is what you envision as best-case scenario. It’s how things would be if everything went right. We often hold back from naming the ideal because it seems too good to be true, or we feel we’re not worthy of it for any number of reasons. But we have to start by describing the dream destination if we’re ever going to end up anywhere near reaching it.
How To Name It
There are all sorts of questions you can use to help you describe the ideal. Here are a few to get you started:
If you're wondering whether it’s also important to talk about the reality of your situation and not just the ideal outcome, the answer is a clear "yes!". The critical factor is which comes first. When you start by talking about how stuck you are and what problems you’re facing, it totally zaps your energy. On the other hand, when you start by talking about the ideal it sets your mind free to dream bigger dreams. Ultimately, taking time to describe the ideal in rich detail allows you to hope.
When you start with that 30,000-foot view of the ideal, it gets you out of the weeds – out of the mud and muck – and allows you to see the whole landscape. It’s only then that you’ll have the energy and motivation you need to come back down to the reality of the situation and do what it takes to move forward.
You must first paint the picture of your desired outcomes if you want to build the momentum it will take to make them a reality. So next time you’re standing at a crossroads in life…take a page from the coach’s playbook and always start with the ideal!