One of the things I struggle with the most is looking at events and circumstances in a negative way. As I’ve stepped into the world of life coaching I have come to find that I’m not alone. Let me give you an example:
One of the men I’m coaching is trying to make a dietary change. He knows his diet could use some serious work. I’m right there with him. The worst time for him is at work. At his location there’s a nice little shop with a wall stocked with candy bars and the like. There’s also a fridge with sugary sodas and a freezer with a plethora of high calorie frozen treats. If he doesn’t have something on hand the temptation is to hit that shop and come back to his desk with a poor snack choice. His goal is to eliminate that kind of snacking from his diet. His action item was to bring enough healthy snacks in from home to support this goal.
We are meeting every two weeks so we can review goals and action items. At the first meeting after the action item was set, he was down on himself. He hadn’t successfully brought the snacks each day. He resorted to the way I typically think (and have to fight to correct): he had missed some days. As a life coach I have a different perspective, one which I was able to share with him. Prior to setting that goal, he never brought snacks in. So he went from 0 for 10 to 5 for 10. In other words, he was halfway to his goal. He had made solid progress. See the difference?
When I shared this perspective with him, I could see a noticeably positive change in his body language. He was looking for the smashing success. He didn’t get that (10 for 10), and that’s why he was down. I was able to get him to see that most things take effort and he was not going to have that overnight success on most goals. The key was for him to keep trying to make progress towards accomplishing his goals. He had done that with a sizable step in the right direction.
Are you looking at events and accomplishments through a negative filter? Try and take a metaphorical step back, remove the filter, and reassess. Have you made progress towards a goal of yours? The question here isn’t about how fast you moved towards that goal. The question is, “Did you make progress?” This is key to achieving your goals. Realize that you’ve made progress and celebrate that victory. Then identify what you need to do to keep making progress or to make progress at the rate you want (if that’s doable). We’ll look at that tomorrow.