Confidence and Success with CBT/REBT – Blog #4

Blog #4 Fact-finding to Achieve Your Goal

Welcome to blog number four in our series looking at how you can achieve confidence and success with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy / Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy.
In previous blogs, we’ve looked at the first step of identifying your goal, and some possible obstacles in reaching that decision. Now we’re going to share some hints and tips on gathering the information you need to start out on the journey to actually achieving your aim.

Step 2 – Fact-finding

Fact-finding is the second step after you have identified what you want. If you already have enough information about what you want then you can skip to Step 3 (coming soon!) but if you want to continue reading then you may gain further understanding of how CBT can be used to solve problems about fact-finding.

Fact-finding is about gathering the relevant information about what you wish to achieve or what you are interested in. Fact-finding helps in number of ways:

  1. You can utilise your time more efficiently and effectively
  2. You can develop new skills such as learning to think critically by sifting and sorting through the information
  3. You may broaden your outlook and gain inspiration

You can gather information for many reasons and from a wide variety of sources including some of the following:

  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Internet
  • Audio/Video tapes
  • Your own knowledge and experience
  • Your family members, friends and colleagues
  • Reports and surveys
  • Policy statements from government
  • Industry and commerce
  • Professional bodies
  • Charities and voluntary organisations
  • Academic institutions
  • Local government departments

Start with thinking about what information you want and why. You may want to think along the following lines in the examples below.

Example 1

Fact-find: Training to be a CBT Therapist

What do I need the information for?

  • Learn more about the subject matter
  • The qualifications required
  • Length of training
  • Earning potential
  • What does it involve?
  • Starter courses

Example 2

Fact-find: Marketing and selling a product you have invented.

What do I need the information for?

  • To check if there is another product out there
  • Top check for similar ideas
  • Is there a patent on it?
  • How to get a product patented?
  • Market size
  • Developing a prototype
  • Development costs

You can fact-find almost anything from effective weight loss strategies, becoming psychologically healthy to starting a social project, setting up your own business or getting involved in a humanitarian cause. The information is out there and there is a lot of it too!

You may come across interesting information and other sources of information that you may not have anticipated. This can be useful but it can also expose you to contradictory information. It is a good idea to sift through the information and the opinions you have come across and think if it is:

  1. directly relevant to what you want
  2. partially relevant or
  3. just irrelevant

Stick to your guidelines and prioritise accordingly. The simplest question to ask yourself is ‘Is this information really about what I want?’.

The objectives of Step 2 is to fact-find and gather information about what you have decided you want to do.

As we mentioned in the first blog, this series is about making small steps to achieve bigger things. Each step is effectively a goal and part of the process of working towards the overall goal to achieve what you want. If you have decided to fact-find but you are failing to do it or have given up then there is a reason for that. The reason is usually to do with feeling anxious at the thought of fact-finding or when fact-finding.

In our next blog, we’ll take a look at some of the thoughts and beliefs behind this anxiety, and how you can overcome it to achieve your fact-finding mission.

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