How disappointed are you when you don’t quite achieve something that you were working towards?
That might be something as simple as a deadline you wanted to meet or it could be a personal goal you’ve set yourself, such as climbing a mountain or learning a new skill. Within a business context it might be to launch a new product by a set date, to reach a certain sales target.
None of these things are going to happen if you don’t take appropriate action and there’s no guarantee that they will happen even if you do.
So what happens then? How do you react or respond? Perhaps more importantly, what do you say to yourself about it and how does that make you feel?
Remember that whatever you tell yourself is only your opinion, based on only your thoughts, and are not necessarily true.
For example, it would be very easy to tell yourself that you’re a failure, that it was all a waste of time and effort and that you simply don’t have whatever it takes to achieve the outcome you had wanted, that you should give up.
What impact do those thoughts and feelings have on you in terms of setting your next goal? That kind of thinking tends to close you down and makes you less inclined to try again and to set lower expectations for yourself.
How might that be different if you took a different perspective and changed the conversation in your head?
Think about what happened as a by-product of the effort and work you put in when aiming at this outcome. Are you fitter, have you learnt something, or achieved something else that you weren’t necessarily expecting?
My own example of this occurred recently when I was aiming at filling more places on the workshop I was running. As the date grew nearer, however keen anyone might be to attend, I knew that the chances of them being available on that date were getting slimmer.
Despite playing full out, I didn’t achieve my outcome. The workshop ran at a slight financial loss so it could have been very easy for me to see the exercise as a failure. However, I had several people interested in attending the next one, 7 of whom subsequently booked, plus my campaign resulted in a booking for me to take the course in-house for a company.
By looking at what I’ve learnt and what else was achieved I was able to see the campaign as a success – just not how I had originally intended.
How could you have seen or done things differently?
By staying fixed on just one outcome it’s all too easy to miss what else has happened as a result of the journey. Maybe you’ll try again for your original goal and maybe you won’t but as long as you’ve learnt or achieved something from it, then you have been successful – just in a different way.
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