Monday, November 28, 2011

Reasons or Results

I just spent this past weekend attending a training program and got caught up in the concept referenced in the title of this blog - Reasons or Results.  The general principle behind this concept is that, when faced with doing something different, attempting to introduce 'new' or 'more' into your life, you can either have the results you have achieved, or you will have reasons for not having results.  But... you won't have both.

I see this all the time in coaching sessions.  I will ask a question about a particular course of action we had previously discussed, an action step that the client had determined was critical for them achieving the success they want in their life, and I get reasons as to why they couldn't, didn't and hadn't taken that step.  Sure, they all sound reasonable...
  • lack of time
  • boss dumped more work on them
  • felt a bit sick
  • wasn't sure what they were supposed to do
  • didn't have the support, resources or knowledge they needed 
  • the dog ate their homework...
You get the picture.  Reasons.  Reasons as to why they didn't take the promised action.  Reasons as to why they didn't move forward.  Reasons for not having what they desire most in life.  Reasons why they didn't do what they said they were going to do. 

The question is not whether the reasons are justified or not.  In the minds of each of my clients, their reasons always seem like the best choice at the time.  However, often the 'best' choice is simply the most expedient.  It's the most comfortable.  Making a difference in your life though is about change.  That means discomfort.  You therefore need to be vigilant when reasons start arising that prevent you from moving forward.

Sure, those reasons may seem valid, but your subconscious mind is a tricky thing.  If it sense your hesitation and reluctance to push forward, it is going to do what it can to help you out, including coming up with reasons to stay where you are.  The reasons may sound good and solid, but they are still going to prevent you from getting what you want in your life.

Instead, you need to use your conscious mind to maintain control, keeping your eyes firmly fixed on the action that you need and want to take to fulfill your goals.  Use your conscious mind to keep a firm reign on your subconscious thoughts.  Your 'reasons' are generally the explanation behind why you are not managing to reach your goals.  Each time a new 'reason' arises, examine it, determine whether it is critical or not, useful or not, valid or not and then make a conscious determination as to whether it is truly a reason to stop moving forward or merely your subconscious attempt to maintain the status quo.

Ultimately, you want your forward movement to be a conscious choice.  you can have reasons why something wasn't achieved, or you can have results, but you will never have both.  Your choice as to which you would prefer.

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