Expectation versus Experience – failure or presence

I was speaking to a friend recently about a career change and we had a coaching conversation about this. They’ve always succeeded in what they do and rely on this results focused approach to progress in their career.

This move was a change from an company they’d been with for a while. It was time for a change and an opportunity presented itself that had to be considered strongly.

As they had always focused on results, making the jump could be perceived as setting themselves up to fail as everything is unknown compared to where they are.

We spoke about the known and unknown in this way and as always in my coaching sessions, I drew a picture to help explain the situation. I drew an image of 2 boxes. One is where this person is currently, and the other was this opportunity. I then drew 2 circles within these boxes. These 2 circles were this person, the individual, in these 2 different situations. What I was trying to show is that in any area of life, we, the individual, are the only constant. We can move to another country etc. but we, on an individual level, still remain.

When we spoke about this – it clicked with this person that they had to only focus on looking after themselves in this change rather than focus on what they were expecting in the move. Another key point though was to also not forget to support and look after themselves in the jump – the decision point – of making the move. This is where I think people can easily get distracted – focusing on the move and focusing on everything they need to know once they move rather than experience and support themselves in the present moment.

We too often focus all our time and thoughts on the expectations, instead of actually experiencing these things, and taking part in the journey rather than always focusing on the destination. It’s a cool difference, and one I know will benefit people once it clicks.

The other thing that was interesting was that this focus on the experience, rather than the expectation allowed this person to accept they may not get everything right! If you have unrealistic expectations, or realistic expectations, there’s no space for failure – which is a natural thing and one that helps the individual learn through the process.

This is one of the things I’ve written about previously here about visualising and how it can be a great tool in your kit, but that often doesn’t allow for the setbacks that come with stepping out of your comfort zone.

Experience the journey rather than expect perfection – be present during this journey and ok with failure and a few speed bumps along the way.

“Success is not final, failure not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” Winston Churchill.

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