This week, I noticed a change in how I was updating friends on my progress. After listing my accomplishments I qualified them by saying things like “Nothing is certain until the ink is dry.” This is true but saying it changes my focus from steps gained to the steps to go. What an energy drainer. Why do we do things like this to ourselves?
Dan Sullivan discussed this phenomenon in his book The Gap. He said that people who measure their achievements against the ideal “will always come up short. You will always feel deficient. (Contrarily) when we measure our achievements by where we have come from, we always have a sense of progress. There is an overall experience of increasing capability and confidence. With each new success, there is a heightened sense of optimism because the future has always turned out to be better than the past.”
Claude Bristol, in his book The Magic of Believing, shared a similar insight. He said, “Our thoughts determine our carriage, our facial expressions, our conversation, for what we are outwardly comes as a result of what we think habitually. Whatever you fix your thoughts upon or steadily focus your imagination upon, that is what you attract.” Yikes! By qualifying my achievements, I have been sapping the energy I need to earn new ones.
This is unacceptable and I am stopping it now. From now on I am going to celebrate little wins. Did I mention that recently I had a promising conversation with a publisher?