Don't Slow Before the Finish Line
by Linda-Ann Stewart
I don't watch much sports, but my husband and I do enjoy the summer and winter Olympics. Over the years, I've noticed something interesting about many athletes who are in speed contests. Whether they're runners, ice skaters or cyclists, when they're in a race, they often ease up as they approach the finish line. Sometimes the front runner, who has slowed down, is passed by another athlete who has kept up their pace until after they've crossed the finish line.
This isn't just true about athletes. It's also true in any kind of goal achievement. The same problem affects changing a habit or achieving a sales target. Do you have the finish line in sight and slow down or stop your efforts? Often, when someone is about to accomplish a goal, whether personal or professional, they sabotage their attempt. They'll stop putting energy towards the goal, try to coast across the line, stop just short of it, or abandon it completely just before they've reached their objective.
Some Reasons You Hold Yourself Back (and what to do about them)
There are a variety of reasons for this kind of self-sabotage. Here are a three of them, and suggestions to maintain your progress until you've accomplished your goal.
Fear of success. You hold yourself back because you're afraid of what success would bring, such as extra responsibility, criticism or envy of others. As long as you fall short of your aim, you avoid the potential consequences. For instance, you work on a project, but as you approach completion, you get distracted. Or you procrastinate finishing, because it's not perfect. If you turn in a less than stellar result, you can use it as an excuse for not getting that promotion.
If you're concerned about extra responsibility, take some extra training so you can deal with the additional authority. And you aren't responsible for how someone else reacts to your success. Don't take it personally. You are simply their latest scapegoat for their own insecurities. Just focus on doing your work to the best of your ability and take pride in that.
You overreach. You set a goal that is more than what you actually want. For instance, you state you want to lose twenty pounds, when your actual intention is to lose fifteen. The issue is that your subconscious knows your actual goal. You can't fool it. Your subconscious will support you to your true target, but not any farther. That means that as you approach your desired weight, you start eating foods that aren't on your diet. You indulge in some snack chips, then a cupcake, and your weight reduction grinds to a halt near your internal desire.
To remedy this, remember that your goal is an artificial ideal. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, shift your attention to the process that's getting you there. In this case, your attention would be on eating healthier foods, in smaller amounts, and getting more exercise. Small servings of desserts would only be for special occasions. Your reduced weight is then the outcome of your lifestyle shift.
This can be true of sales goals, as well. Spend more time concentrating on your daily task of creating and contacting leads instead of your eventual sales. Your process will result in with more sales than aiming at a target, though the target is helpful to keep you going in the right direction.
Stay in your comfort zone. You've set a goal that you're comfortable achieving. You have confidence that you can reach your aspiration without much difficulty. It doesn't stretch you and you just go through the motions to accomplish it. Once you do, you feel so good that you repeat the process so you can feel uplifted again. But you stay in the same place and don't improve.
Stop limiting yourself. If you're not expanding out of your comfort zone, that zone will shrink and it will be harder to maintain your current level of performance. Motivational gurus and coaches encourage people to choose a goal that scares them. This allows you to grow, learn and gain more confidence as you progress. What objective would make you feel a little intimidated and uncomfortable? Start taking steps, baby ones if need be, and accept the fear.
Focus on Your Steps
If you undermine your progress when approaching your goal, stop thinking about the end result. Instead, focus on the steps of your plan and your procedure for moving forward. When you accomplish one step, tackle the next one. That way, you won't be as intimidated or concerned about where you are in relation to the finish line. And who knows, you might exceed your goal and reach the stars.
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved
As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.