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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Why you shouldn’t focus on goals (do this instead)

A super-achiever client asked me last week: how can I relate more healthily to goals? Great question. She’s an all-round power house running a busy life in a world capital while being a global eye-surgeon. She even takes her children with her on surgical missions in Africa – and they love it. High achievers, and those living in modern work culture in general, have a traumatic relationship with goals. We love them and we hate them. It got me thinking about the first decade or so of my career. If I really did break through one wall after another on the way from immigrant girl, to elite universities and hospitals, to rubbing shoulders with the UN Secretary General and Emperor of Japan in the corridors of global power, what was the main factor? Of course, education, upbringing and hard work had a role. But what else? I didn’t cheat, lie or hurt people (not intentionally, in any case). Was it about being super organised? Was it a talent for detecting opportunities? Or was it some kind of empathetic charm that magically opened doors?... I certainly don’t remember being particularly organised – I had a general sense of a map of the things that needed to be done and focused on the next thing. The best opportunities seem to come out of nowhere. As for charm, some people really liked me and some people found me annoying. Most people didn’t care. I suspect not much has changed. After a week pondering this, I believe it comes down to one thing: I had no concept that it couldn’t be done. Yes, there was blood, sweat and tears but I don’t remember ever thinking: maybe I should give up. Or it certainly wasn’t a dominant theme. On balance, I just didn’t know that it couldn’t happen! So next time you’re struggling to find motivation for what you want to achieve or are unsure whether to even continue, check in with yourself: have you started believing it can’t be done? You probably don’t need more information. You just need transformation of this one single thought. You don’t need to add something to your process. You need to forget the stressful thought that has crept in. It may or may not be this particular thought that’s in your way. I don’t know. Only you can know by asking yourself the question. I do know that most coaching breakthroughs come from identifying the one fearful thought in the way of your flow. So if you find it, look it square in the eye and smile. Watch it vanish in the fire of your courage because… It’s always impossible until it’s done. Have a great week, Amina The Leaders Circle in London is coming back! I’ll be leading a small group of highly committed individuals through a transformational process to let go of what’s in their way and live the career and life they truly want. It’s a small group and it’s not suitable for everyone. If you’d like more information email me with this in the heading: Possibility.


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Dr Amina Aitsi-Selmi is a Transformational Coach and Consultant to here: For more information on services see here:

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