My health and fitness are very important to me, so I hired a trainer. Indeed, I have three amazing trainers, so I can get coaching and support for my fitness in the three places I spend the most time. Matt is in Florida, Paul is in Arizona, and Chelsey is in Ontario.
I love getting trained by Matt, Paul, and Chelsey. I guess I should say, I enjoy the results of their training. Because sometimes I don’t love the training at all. Especially when I feel like that last rep will kill me and they are smiling at me, refusing to let me quit. I love how much they care about me and want to help me achieve my goals, but, at that moment, I kind of “hate” it, too. Maybe you can relate.
I was just in this situation with Chelsey when I had the idea to write this article. It got me thinking, how can I feel so negatively about something I know I will enjoy the results of later? Are there any other examples?
I enjoy being in the places I love, whether it’s one of my homes or a city I like to visit. I look forward to meeting with friends and colleagues to connect socially and explore business opportunities. And I especially love the opportunities I have to play in my Genius, coaching and helping others create and live the lives they want for themselves. But, I realize, I am not at all in love with the traveling itself, the hours spent sitting on planes or moving through airports.
At that, it became clear what I really wanted to talk about: loving the results while “hating” the process to achieve them. Now, I assure you that I am not in the habit of using this negative, imprecise word. I use it here to underline the opposite feelings we have towards what are in actuality two parts of the same thing and to communicate an emotional sense.
Every goal requires working a process. Athletes, musicians, and others know there is no separating the process from the results. Perhaps this is why so many of us take inspiration from them. Those of us who want to do our best must work toward this same attitude.
What I want to bring your attention to now, and encourage you to search for in your life, are the processes you don't think you have a problem with. Just as with the word "hate," I want you to uncover other words and names and feelings that may camouflage feelings for the process that sabotage your success. First, consider impatience.
Think about the goals you are working toward now. Are there goals you are impatient to achieve? I don’t mean that you are hoping to achieve them as soon as possible. I mean truly impatient. Do you find yourself saying, “I just want to get to the real work,” or “I don’t want a bunch of practice and preamble, I just want to do it”? If these words and feelings are accompanied by a suspicious lack of results toward a goal, your impatience is how you’re expressing your problems with the process.
Another bit of self-talk worth questioning is believing that having to work a process to achieve something is somehow inauthentic. Sometimes our friends or family members need us to learn to care for them differently or support them through a new situation. Sometimes unexpected feedback or interpersonal scenarios call on us to adapt our communication style. If you feel that working a process to achieve these goals is inauthentic, this is a strong indicator that you are avoiding the process despite setting its result as a goal.
On the other hand, if you aren’t consciously aware of working a process toward your goal, it’s a good indicator that you’re not working toward it at all. This is the opposite of feeling that working a process is inauthentic. This is the case of believing you’re just naturally good at something and results will follow without effort.
Lastly, there is the scenario where you fixate on how a process isn’t yours, the goal wasn’t your idea, or achieving the goal will somehow force you into being a different person. If you’re not coming from a congruent place, it’s possible that this feeling can be accepted at face value. If so, abort mission. Find a new goal.
But there is much room for self-deception here. Sometimes outside forces play the lead role in forming the object of our goals. Sometimes opportunities present themselves and you are challenged to rise to the occasion. Sometimes our doctor is the one who has the idea that we should hit the gym. In many cases, we are following steps that are dictated by the demands of the goal, not the steps that make the most sense to us. If these thoughts are prominent, and you’re not making progress, you are successfully using them to invalidate the process you need to work.
In all these cases it may be easy to see that undermining the process is the same thing as refusing to achieve a goal. Why does this happen?
When it comes to working a process, we can feel tender or insecure when results don't come fast enough. Some of us are so thoroughly programmed to avoid disappointment that we can feel fear toward the perceived delay.
If you feel that working a process is inauthentic, just remember that you went through many processes to become who you are today. Also, there is work required for any change, no matter its nature. In the cases where the goal seems to have come from outside yourself, first check for congruency. If it's congruent, it’s a matter of aligning yourself to a goal that you would want unreservedly if it had been your idea or arrived on your schedule. Besides, adapting to the demands of the world is always an element of the goals we have for ourselves.
These are some common ways we talk to ourselves and others about “hating” the process without knowing it. There are as many of these as there are people. Giving in to any of these reasons will relieve the short-term annoyance or discomfort. But it will not help you master the challenges in your life and live the life you want.
At the heart of all of these is an instinctual desire to save energy. It causes us to waste time thinking there’s an easier way to get somewhere. It’s a universal human illusion that only increases as we encounter more and more tools and “hacks” for spending less time and effort.
There’s nothing more human than trying to shortcut the process. Sometimes the shortcuts work. But if you are committed to doing your best and living the life you want to live, you must learn to see that there is no separation between a process and its results. A good coach will help you see that. It’s something I love to do. I never get tired of seeing the effect of turning the headwind of “hating” the process into a tailwind of loving it. It is a magical thing.
As I write these thoughts, I turn to you. I encourage you to create relationships, take the steps, and to work the processes to help you achieve your life’s purpose. Let me know if I can help.
With lots of love,