I hate losing.
I especially hate it when it’s out of my control.
I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and the Packers just lost once again in the NFC championship game. Despite having never been a part of that organization, I feel as if I have somehow lost. I’m sad. I’m mad. I’m in disbelief.
I want to blame the refs. I want to blame the bad plays that seem obvious in hindsight. Everything seemed like it was lining up for the Packers to win the Super Bowl this year, but they fell short. I had become wholly attached to the idea that if the Packers didn't win the Super Bowl this year, it would be a wasted season.
I attached the idea of success to a specific outcome that I had no control over. That is a recipe for hurt. And boy am I hurting right now.
On the flip side, what if they had won the Superbowl this year? What would have changed for me? What would have changed for the players? In the grand scheme of things, nothing. When the season is over, they rest for a bit, then get back to work training for the next year. To do it all over again.
This is true for more than just sports. If we are outcome driven, we often find ourselves feeling that it’s all or nothing.
You either win, or lose.
Everything is a zero-sum game.
Another’s success means your failure.
I see this all the time in people joining the gym. They have an outcome in mind, and only see reaching that as a success. Anything less is a failure.
This usually leads to 1 of 2 results.
- They make progress early and end up achieving their goal. Then go back to their old habits, satisfied with having climbed the mountain. They cancel because their motivation has left, but I often get a message from them weeks, months, or years later wanting to rejoin because they’re in a worse spot than when they first came in.
- They don’t achieve their goal fast enough, and decide it’s too hard and give up. I usually don’t hear back from these people ever again. Their belief is their hand has been dealt and no matter how hard they try nothing will change for them.
There is a 3rd possibility though. One we should all strive for.
- As they work towards their goal, the process itself gives them joy. They may still have a specific goal they’re trying to reach, but it’s the process that they really love. They will likely reach their goal, then set a new one. They stay consistent because they like the process.
Here’s the secret.
They may enjoy the process, but it’s not easy. In fact, it’s a daily choice.
However, if you're not tied to a specific outcome, you don't lose. You simply learn.
If you don’t know where to start, or would like help reaching your next goal and aren’t sure what process you need to follow, talk to your coach to set up a goal review session today and we’ll guide you through it!