Separating the Result from the Process Is Key to Moving Forward

by on September 28, 2011

Separating the Result from the Process Is Key to Moving Forward

It is human nature when you start on any project or endeavor, particularly one that might have a number of steps to it or one you haven’t done before, to be concerned about the outcome before actually reaching the conclusion of that activity.  As I am beginning to work with more and more job seekers, one of the biggest obstacles they face is to begin to take meaningful and sustained action in their job search.  Most of this behavior is driven by fear more than anything else.  There is the fear of possibly not having the right items on the resume’ or more so, not presenting them in proper format.  Fears also crop up when the interview process is considered, especially when it comes time to determine how they may want to answer questions they receive from a potential hiring manager.  And, while it is a great character trait to want to have a process go well and do it properly, or the way you believe others would expect you to do it, when it inhibits your ability to take action and move forward, that is when you really begin working against yourself.

I remember back during my coaching studies being introduced to a concept called “detached involvement.” It is not always an easy concept to incorporate into one’s life.  Basically its premise centers on putting forth your best efforts and enjoying the steps of a process you are undertaking without judging its success based on the results you achieve.  Every endeavor with which we get involved, whether it turns out exactly the way we desire or actually produces a result we did not expect, is a positive one if we continue to move forward and learn from it.  Inactivity, or paralysis in moving forward, is the enemy we must truly battle.

In working with my clients as part of their career development and job search activities, the entire process is about gaining and keeping momentum.  Whether it is taking stock of oneself through assessment, targeting potential areas of career interest, preparing a resume’ and cover letter, to the interviews themselves, an individual with an excellent job search is doing these processes continually and to levels of volume that keep their search alive.  The more volume, concentrated in each of their target areas, keeps the individual moving forward even if potential leads dry up and don’t pan out the way they hoped.

Yes, one wants to make the best moves and choice for themselves.  However, that does not happen by worrying about an outcome, being cautious about taking risks or just hoping for the best.  When a process is built on solid preparation and research, continual focus on moving to the next step, taking steps that may be uncomfortable but you know are the ones you need to take and allowing yourself to experience the result without beating yourself up over the outcome is when you make true progress.

If you feel like you have been stuck in the same place on something in your life for a very long time, or that your chances for success and achieving what you want are hopeless, examine how you are going about things.  If you find your focus is only on the situation as it is now or on the result you want to obtain but which seems so far away, ask yourself what are the steps I need to be taking to get to what I desire.  You do not have to go about this journey alone.  A coach, a friend taking a similar journey, members of a peer or support group, advice you may read or hear through a lecture are all methods of helping you to move yourself forward.

Yes, we all want the best result for ourselves.  However, if we’re able to separate the steps we are taking and the progress we are making along the way and embrace them for the gift that they are in our life, we may just surprise ourselves at the happiness and contentment we have when we reach our destination point, whether it was exactly what we anticipated or not.

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