I want to feel in control! Don’t you?
Okay, so I have to confess… I love to feel in control. Not in a freaky way (although my husband my disagree), but in a lovely warm feeling of security kind of way. I rather suspect I’m not alone, however I also rather suspect that many of us attach ourselves to the WRONG KIND of control (you know, the bossing people around in the moment kind of control).
Feeling confused? Let me explain further.
Let’s think about the future… when we have a real ability to create some sense of control over our future – and by this I mean planning, goal setting, etc – how often do we avoid doing it? It’s certainly EASIER to just pick a New Years Resolution (because, well, that’s the thing to do, right?)… but rarely ever does it come about.
Because, at the end of the day, to be in control we also have to adopt some responsibility. Responsibility to make it happen, responsibility to see it through, and if it doesn’t happen…. Well, does that say something about us too? About whether we are successes or f…… far from it? Knowing how the brain works, it probably has a lot to do with why we tend to avoid committing to goals and plans. If we don’t commit, well, you know, it’s not OUR FAULT.
Why does it have to be our fault?
And why is goal setting about someone being at fault anyway? It would seem that it’s a lot to do with our negative defaults (“I’m no good. I’m a failure”), negative blame cultures that we develop when we are kids, and perpetuate through into the workplace (“Who did this?”).
Taking responsibility feels more and more likely to equate to taking the blame.
I could go on about how we need to change our workplace cultures, but I’d rather focus on what we could do within ourselves, and can do today to make the shift.
Time to take responsibility like an adult, not like a child.
As adults, we should be able to see much more of the bigger picture and reflect more constructively on not just what we did but on everything else that is happening that influenced the outcome. To be able to separate our emotional selves – in other words, not take it personally. That could be:
· Internal barriers that we need to work through (including mindset, existing habits)
· External conditions or events that we can’t influence or foresee
· How realistic our goals may have been (for example, balancing family, work, hobbies, studies)
· Other people’s actions – not as a blame, but more an awareness of the impact
Once we’ve reflected on these, we can change or develop strategies to address these – and make it easier for us to achieve our goals (rather than adjusting goals downwards).
Perhaps that’s another reason we avoid goals – it sounds like work AND also about being honest with ourselves and what we can change and learn from a situation.
And yet, it feels SO GOOD to have a plan in place, clear goals to set (and our own “how-to” guide in place). To know what I am wanting to achieve, what I need to do to get there, and what a difference it will make to me and my future. Now that sounds like an empowering type of control!
If you need some help with setting up goals that are actually going to work for you.. I’ve got group goal-setting sessions (face-to-face + online) coming up fast in Jan (eek – best get in quick so you don’t miss out), or if one-on-one is more your thing, I’m happy to help you out there as well!!
Don’t let 2019 just slip by… make it your best year ever!