It is easy to start making progress and feeling good about achieving modest changes, then stop to admire the view. Starting again and keeping going is a harder challenge. Outstanding results are probably the product of a commitment to keeping going with a determination to achieve higher standards.
I was thinking about differing levels of commitment the other day as I came across the notes I wrote nine months ago on a client I worked with last summer.
My client was a woman considering career change options that would improve her work / life balance and allow her to grow as a person. After two constructive sessions I was looking forward to a third discussion about what steps she was prepared to take to incrementally progress toward her goals. From what the client said at the end of the second session she too was motivated to do more work next time.
However, for reasons unknown, my client wasn’t ready for that conversation. In fact she wasn’t ready for any further contact. I didn’t hear from her at the appointed time, or subsequently either time I offered her an alternate date for a fresh session. Her silence was eloquent in itself.
I hope, when the time is right for her, she will find a supportive helper with whose assistance she can move forward.
I contrast that level of commitment to self-development to a seemingly narrow comment about succeeding in the music industry which the song-writer Cathy Dennis made recently. Ms Dennis was addressing a music industry writers group, Basca, and The Institute of Contemporary Music in London. On reflection her comment actually has a universal applicability I think. Speaking about the inspiration necessary to get started and to keep going in the music world (and create hits for Kylie, the Sugababes, and Katy Perry along the way) she said:
‘If you believe in yourself you have to be prepared to knuckle down and put in the hours and really commit to what you want to do…[decision makers] told me I wasn’t right, I wasn’t good enough – and that was great for me because every time that happens you realise you are going to have to take control and do it for yourself’.
Perhaps it is easier to strive to attain outstanding results in a field which you are driven to operate within. If you are trying out different options – to see which one fits – it might be harder to acknowledge things are not working out. It must be daunting to hold your hand up and say, can I try something else, this isn’t working for me?.
So for me one of the three essentials on the client’s side of the coaching relationship (along with Clarity and Commitment) is Honesty. You can only begin to take steps toward getting what you want – it seems to me – if you are clear about your goal (in true Brian Tracy fashion); committed to attaining it; and honest with yourself about how important it is to you.
- Keys to Personal Power Video, Brian Tracy (realgoalgetter.com)