R is for Reality.

Stage 2 of the GROW model is the Reality statement. This is how far you are away from your Goal. It should include all the resources you might use to achieve your goals.

You can see the GROW model as a map. If the Goal is your final destination the Reality is where you are currently. You might already be partway towards the Goal. So you need to be very clear on how near or far you are to your Goal defined in the same terms as the Goal – like the coordinates of the map.

The other part of the Reality statement covers the resouces you might use – even the things that don’t appear to be useful at first sight. Don’t forget skills, contacts, achievements, enthusiasms, as well as the more obvious resources of equipment, and money. When you come up with obstacles (no money, no time) simply record them separately – they will be used in the next section. Include people you can ask who might know something helpful, and things you can borrow – they are all resources.

The danger in the Reality section is getting caught up in opinions, obstacles or beliefs before you have considered the facts of where you are.

If you find yourself jumping ahead to Obstacles or Options look at your Goal again and make sure you are looking at the facts of the situation now, not in the future.

Developing an Effective Reality Statement

Explore questions to help develop your Reality Statement, expand them to see the purpose of the question.

Is my Reality statement in the same terms as my Goal?

It is very easy to get caught up with lots of opinions and beliefs at this stage. Don’t confuse Reality with realistic. The Reality statement should be as objective and free of opinions as possible.

What are the steps I need to complete to achieve my Goal?

If you know the steps you have to complete to achieve your Goal then the steps you have already completed gives you your Reality Statement

How many have I completed?

This gives you a valuable statement of fact

Have I included facts and figures where relevant?

Facts and figures are the best kind of Reality

Have I included any assumptions?

Use when/what/where/how questions to keep yourself to the facts

How many times have I tried to reach this Goal?

Include information about previous attempts at the Goal and your feelings about those attempts – that is factual information

What happened to prevent my reaching it?

This is useful information that could make this attempt more successful – again you need to be objective. ‘There is always chocolate in the house which I eat’ is more factual than ‘I have no self control.’

How do I treat myself when I hit setbacks?

If you know you tend to treat yourself harshly when you have a setback you can plan accordingly

Is my Reality Statement free of opinions and beliefs?

Describe the facts and avoid value judgments

Have I included my feelings about my current situation?

It is important to be aware of how you feel about the current situation

Am I including information about obstacles?

Take note of information about Obstacles or Options but do not include in your statement.

Is my Reality Statement firmly based on my actual situation rather than on my fears and hopes about it?

Do not include information which you cannot verify.

What skills and capabilities do I have available that will be useful to me in achieving my Goal?

Knowing what resources you have available is useful information

What information or knowledge do I know that could be relevant?

Resources includes information and knowledge

Have I got any skills I can transfer from other areas of my life?

Resources include skills

Have I ever succeeded at something like this before?

Previous attempts at similar Goals can help prepare you for this attempt

Examples of Reality Statements

Explore some statements ‘Less clear ones’, below and then expand them to see the clarified statement.

'I know some recruitment consultants'

‘I have three recruitment consultants I know personally and who I could call up and ask for help. I know of four others but they do not know me.’

'I am overweight.'

‘I weigh 120 pounds which is about 10lbs more than my recommended weight.’

'I don't believe I will ever get a job again'

‘I have been looking for a job for the last 6 months and have only had two interviews..’

'My relationship is terrible'

‘I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and we have a major argument two or three times a week.’

'My flat is a mess and I can't seem to clear it up'

‘I have tried to clear out my cupboards three times in the last two years.’

'I am a yoyo dieter and I hate myself for it'

‘I have lost the weight at least three times in the past but I have become very angry, eaten a lot of junk food and put on all the weight l had lost.’

'No one believes I have any talent'

‘I have tried to finish the book many times but my husband and best friend tell me I cannot do it and should give up.’

Ian’s reality statement was that he had very little knowledge of IT. He did not know anyone who could offer him a job in IT. He was currently earning £20,000 per year. He had most Wednesday afternoons free, a phone and good telephone voice, a maths degree, and decent education. Under enthusiams he recorded his enthusiasm for computers. Under skills he included his limited knowledge of merchandising.