Steps to Success

One of the most powerful determinants of how we live our lives and the quality of our lives is Discounting. Discounting is defined as ‘an internal mechanism, which involves a person ignoring or minimising some aspect of self, others, or the reality situation’ (Schiff et Al, 1975).

We all do it, and we can think of these areas as blind spots – we can’t see them, and so are not aware of them. They may be obvious to others which is why things like counselling, psychotherapy and coaching can be really useful. Others can help us see our blind spots if we let them.

Is your life how you want it to be?

Think of the different areas of your life and score them out of 10. How happy are you in each area, be really honest with yourself

  • Friendships
  • Love
  • Work
  • Your financial situation
  • Your self esteem

Then ask yourself – How many years have I felt like this?

‘If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always got’ W.L. Bateman

In Transactional Analysis we talk about Discounting as way in which we keep ourselves in the same place. Human beings generally don’t like change, we like familiarity. However sometimes people pay a very high price for familiarity – if their situations are not nourishing and life enhancing. New beliefs, situations and life styles can become familiar and comfortable if we let them. For example, if you are someone who does not have/ has not had a fulfilling love life; it may be uncomfortable at first to allow yourself a good relationship. It sounds strange – as it may be something you really want in your life – but often we unconsciously stop ourselves from achieving things to keep our lives familiar and comfortable.

A useful model we can use is the Steps to Success developed by Julie Hay (1995). This is a set of different steps illustrating the points at which we can begin to discount.


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