“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. “ -Amelia Earhart
Let me begin by telling you a very recent story. When I began my journey to become a Professional Certified Life Coach, I had set the intention of earning a credential, and not just any coaching credential. To be more specific, I wanted the Professional Coach Credential (PCC), which is the second of three types coaching credentials. To earn this credential I would need to complete 125 hours of coach specific training, 10 hours of work with a mentor coach and 750 paid client hours with at least 8 different clients. I went to Coach Certification Training for the 125+ hours and had set the timeframe to accomplish my goal in 3 years. By industry standards 3 years was the fast track. (Fast is how I like to do things.) I had even powered through and completed my Coach Certification process in 8 months instead of the 2 years they gave me to complete the program. This was only able to happen because I was dead set and focused on living out my calling in life to become a Professional Certified Life Coach.
By working to earn and achieve my goal of the second coaching credential, by default I earn the first credential (ACC). Initially, I had decided to skip over the first and just focus on earning the second credential because that was my declared goal. But therein lies the problem. By skipping over what I had already achieved, I was failing to acknowledge the work I had already accomplished and was potentially thwarting my efforts for the original goal. By not applying for the ACC which I had already earned, I was not rewarding myself for all my hard work and efforts that I had already achieved. I was also leaving business generating perks and benefits on the table by not adding the alphabet soup to the back of my name, potentially making my goal of the original credential that much slower and harder to achieve.
But I am not alone in my madness; we all do this to some varying degree. It is easy to be a workaholic and goal-getter — pushing harder, faster and more to someday achieve our larger goals. But eventually if we keep going forward without acknowledgment of what we are doing and achieving, we will burnout every time. We may talk ourselves out of the goal, just because we are exhausted and mentally, energetically fried. Or we may decide that the goal is unattainable because we don’t see results. But in all actuality we just haven’t been rewarding ourselves or choosing to “see” our results. For me this was a pattern in my own life I hadn’t been able to see until this whole credential dilemma.
Every goal has small incremental achievements included in them. In order to achieve any goal, I recommend creating a plan for your goals, and in that plan you should include how you are going to reward yourself for all the incremental success along the journey of achieving your main goal. By deciding your rewards before you begin to take action toward your goal, you will prevent the potential pitfalls of burnout, self-induced failure and the false evidence of no results. As adults or parents we use rewards for children all the time, we give rewards for good behavior and take them away for bad behavior (Remember star charts and the coveted gold star?). Somehow or somewhere on our journeys to adulthood we decide that the rewards are only for children, that we have outgrown rewards. This is false thinking. I see that now and I hope you do too. Rewards are a very important key ingredient in your success (and failure). If we are running toward the carrot without looking back from time to time and patting ourselves on the back, the carrot no longer is that appealing, in fact we may just feel sick at the thought of carrots and talk ourselves out of moving forward all together.
What have you been skipping over, not seeing or refusing to acknowledge yourself for? How are you going to reward yourself for what you have all ready have accomplished?
Genuinely Cheering for Your Accomplishments Big and Small,
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