Nothing gets us moving faster than running away from something. But in my experience, as soon as the scary monster over our shoulder isn’t right behind us, we ease up on the gas and don’t push much further. To really achieve your goals, I think it’s particularly important to have a vision of what you’re pushing for. This might sound like a semantic distinction. But I swear to you it’s important. And it helps create a positive growth mindset.
I was working with a client today who had made a lot of progress in two specific areas over the previous week. Yet, when I asked her how she was going to maintain her progress and maybe take it to the next level, her answer was, “Don’t F*** it up.” In this one simple phrase she managed to wipe away the good feeling of her accomplishment this week and frame her success only in the negative idea of screwing it up again.
When I pressed her on this negative outlook, she managed to say something positive briefly and then circled back to, “not doing anything stupid.” That negative mindset born out of frustration, fear, failure, and less than stellar self-confidence was really entrenched. And this is after she had a really good week! I can only imagine how down she gets on herself when it’s a rough week.
I’m not suggesting that we should be pie in the sky optimists. But when we want to make a behavioral change, it seems to me that the best course of action is to develop a picture of what we want and work towards it slowly but steadily. Of course slow and steady isn’t a straight line. But if you pull back and look at the world view consistent progress over time is pretty much how everything gets done. But if you’re devoting brain space to thinking how you’re going to screw something up, that doesn’t seem like the best way to get it done. And my experience tells me that it’s not.
so if you’re going to do it, whatever it is, hold the vision of what you want in your mind and focus on that and how to get there. Leave the doubts and the worries behind you and start making progress.