Could You Be Evaluating Your Progress the Wrong Way?
When we have goals that we’re working on, it’s totally normal to evaluate our progress toward them. Unfortunately, this can also be one of the ways we beat ourselves up and get in our own way!
A while back I was interviewing for an open position on my support team at a time when I felt like I was in many ways starting over in my business after some time away. So when time and time again candidates would note how far along I was in my business in terms of the organization, structure, planning, etc. I had in place, I was surprised. You see, I had been measuring my success in TOTALLY different ways…and ones that weren’t all that flattering. Needless to say, it was quite shocking to see things from a different perspective. And yet…we do this ALL THE TIME. We are often comparing ourselves to a set of arbitrary metrics that often don’t hold the power we thing they do….until we use them as weapons against ourselves. Because THEN they are REALLY powerful.
I was working with a client who was SO goal focused that she seemed to spend most of her time comparing where she was at the moment to where she wanted to be. Because she wasn’t there yet, she kept seeing it as evidence that she’d never get there…that she wasn’t good enough, that other people were better, that there was something wrong with her, that she had too many deficits to be successful, etc. The thing is, the MORE she focused on her perceived shortcomings, the more she was creating that reality for herself! Because as she went deeper and deeper into evaluating her progress toward an imagined future outcome, the more she felt like a failure. And the worse she felt about herself and her abilities, the LESS able she was to see not only what she WAS doing well but also the wealth of possibilities that she could explore in order to be more successful.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t critically examine the progress you are or aren’t making and look for places that you may want to tweak; that approach can actually be super-helpful. But when it moves into the territory where the examination starts to focus less on the actions you’re choosing to take and how you’re showing up to take them and more on all of your perceived failures and flaws, you’re not doing yourself any favors. As you think about your goals for this week, I want you to think carefully about how you are measuring success. Are you using arbitrary metrics? Are you relying on having checked a certain number of boxes as “done?” Or are you focused instead on WHO you are being and HOW you are showing up? Because at the end of the day, when you are able to master those last 2 things, the rest will fall into place!
So today I want to challenge you: Think of one area where you have a tendency to use a progress check as a way to identify your potential flaws? How might you reframe that in a more positive way? Not sure how? My inbox is always open!