I absolutely love talking about goals. It’s a great joy in life, working with someone who is planning on achieving something and then helping them get there. Goals are a part of all of our lives. In order to live a fulfil and content life, achieving the things that drive us is vital. But I often get asked Am I setting goals that really matter? And that is where the 7 levels deep exercise comes in!
Now I’m not going to tell you that your goals don’t matter, or that that should include money, fitness and career elements. Your goals are your own and don’t need justifying to anyone else.
What I will suggest though is to reframe the question you ask yourself. Instead of asking am I setting goals that really matter, consider ‘Are these goals that really matter to me?
You see the problem if we don’t believe in our goals, is that we are never going to be motivated on a subconscious level to achieve them. It’s not just a roadblock on your journey, it’s like reaching a point where the road hasn’t even been built.
It is not enough to want to lose weight or travel extensively because you feel like its something you should do. If those things don’t align with our core beliefs and motivations you’ll find, sooner or later, you are falling into patterns of procrastination, self sabotage and ‘failure’.
If you really want to achieve your wildest dreams, we need to go deeper to a subconscious level of thought, in order to truly understand what drives us to achieve our goals.
Getting below the Surface
When you can fully explore the motivations behind your goals, you’re better equipped to assess if they are goals that actually matter to you and understand why.
Our subconscious beliefs are influenced throughout our lives by parents, friends, society and the government. The things we hear and see when we’re young form rules and expectations we live by.
In many cases, the stories we create about who we are and what we believe can cause mental blocks of procrastination, self sabotage and ‘failure’.
Using the 7 Levels deep exercise will help you unlock though subconscious beliefs. You’ll also begin to understand not only why you want to achieve your goal but where the motivation for your goals lies.
When I did this exercise with a Money goal I have, I was really taken aback by the end result. On the surface you would think a money goal is pretty straightforward – I want to earn x so I can do y.
However after answering ‘why’ 7 times, my 7 levels deep motivation turned out to be related to emulating a couple I respected.
My subconscious longed for the emotional connection my Grandparents had together and a want to be surrounded by extended family in my old age – It wasn’t actually anything to do with money at all.
It was a truly profound moment and I remember being awe struck at where the exercise had taken me. Understanding my deep rooted motivation made me more secure and focused on my goal, which was an amazing feeling when I’d previously felt a bit lost and confused bout my direction.
The 7 Levels Deep Exercise
Now it’s your turn to try the 7 Levels Deep Exercise. You can follow the steps below in a notebook or journal, or you can download my FREE 7 levels deep worksheets. I recommend doing this exercise whenever you have a new goal, desire or you want to re-align with your current goals.
The 7 Levels Deep Exercise pushes you to explore your desires below the surface level, allowing you to discover the driving force behind your goals. It is a simple technique that has profound effects.
First, write down what you want. Don’t overthink it, just journal an ambition you have at the moment. Now I want you to ask yourself why is this important to me, and write the answer underneath your ambition.
In response to that reply, as yourself why again. Why is this second level important to me?
You’re then going to repeat this 7 times, until you have 7 responses. You’ll find that it may go in a completely different direction than you are expecting.
Don’t hold back on your answers; reply openly and honestly to discover your motivations and personal stories that are influencing your desires.
You don’t have to stop at 7 levels deep either, though it is the minimum you should do. However, keep going as deep as you feel you need to in order to find the root motivation of your goal.
When you’ve completed 7 or more levels, you’ll want to take a moment to reflect on the answers that came up.
Where your answers what you were expecting or take an unexpected turn?
Is your root motivation a core value in your life, something which will drive you to get up and work on your goal every day?
What have you learned about yourself through the exercise?
Next Steps to Achieve Your Dreams
Now that you have your goal and understand the driving force behind the desire, you are in a position to start planning and getting detailed on how to achieve your dream! Check out my article SMART Goals next for a step by step game plan to pin down the details of your goal and set yourself up for reaching your dreams!
And let me know in the comments how you found this exercise!