I truly believe that there is no such thing as failure - there is only the result that you get and the lessons that you learned. The problem is that I know so many people struggle with either feeling like they are failing, or worrying about whether they are going to fail….and often then not doing the things that they need to do to succeed anyway!
So, what is failure anyway? Well, it is actually all in the perception, let’s figure out how you can change it!
Have you heard the one about perception being reality? Yep, that’s what we are dealing with here. Because what may feel like a failure to one person, may feel like an incredible success to the next person!
That’s all because the way that they are perceiving the situation or outcome is from the perspective of failure….or, more simply, it may be that just because the outcome is not what they wanted, or hasn’t been achieved the WAY that they wanted it to, then they think that they have failed.
This all really comes down to expectations. And the meanings that we attach to certain things in our lives and businesses.
For example, you might be striving to feed your family all organic food in a week. And you manage to do that for five nights, but life gets in the way and you don’t pull it off for two nights. For you, that might feel like a failure and you beat yourself up about it. But for someone else, they might be absolutely celebrating that their family ate organic five out of seven nights!
See what I mean?
The outcome of eating organic five out of seven nights actually means absolutely nothing. It is ALL about the meaning that you attach to the outcome. And what you let that mean to you, or about you.
When we attach a meaning to the outcome of something we are trying to achieve. Then we essentially stop ourselves from being able to learn all the great lessons that come along with it.
Today, I want to talk about what it means to learn how to release the expectations that we place on ourselves and our businesses and how the meaning that we attach to the outcomes that we achieve impacts upon our success.
If you’ve been reading the blog and following the show, you might be wondering why I’ve gone all woo-woo on you lately? We’ve talked a lot about mindset, beliefs, being open to opportunities and deliberate about your happiness, and how that impact your business.
I promise there is science in my madness, actually, I’m a scientist at heart. I studied biomedical sciences. And I know for a fact that there is scientific foundation to a lot of the stuff that people are talking about today, like our belief systems, how our thoughts control our actions, the thought patterns that we have that influence our success.
So let's dive in! Let’s talk about expectations and the meaning that we attach to outcomes...and why you need to learn how to stop doing that.
We all have expectations of almost everything that happens in our lives. Whether it’s a conversation with someone or something that we want to try for the first time, we always have an expectation of what the outcome is going to be (and also what that means, but I’ll get to that in a minute).
What we don’t often realize is that these expectations that we create are based on our experiences to date. How your life has gone up to this point shapes the expectations you have about your future.
The problem with that is that we usually want to create a different outcome to what we’ve had before. We don’t want to keep creating groundhog day.
The thing is? What got you here won’t get you there.
If you want a different outcome from what you have right now, you are going to have to come from a completely different place. Different expectations and different actions.
If you want your business to grow and create transformation for your clients and even your own life, then you need to change the way you think. You need to change your approach and open yourself up for new experiences and new ways to achieve the outcomes that we truly desire.
If you continually operate from a place of experience, then you will be subconsciously (or maybe even consciously!) deliberately taking action - doing things in a way that will make those outcomes come to life. Not the ones you want, but just recreating the life and outcomes that you already have.
You need to constantly focus on opening yourself to different ways of thinking, different opportunities and different ways of bringing to life the outcomes that you are working towards. Without expectation of how or what you need to do to get there. Make sense?
Attaching meaning to outcomes
Similar to expectations when we have an idea of how something would go, when we set a goal or walk into a situation, and there are several possible outcomes, we generally attach a meaning to each of them.
This is along the lines of “when I do this thing” or “when I achieve this thing”, “then that will mean that I’ve made it/am worthy/can be successful/will be happy” etc.
But it’s not true!
Those things don’t mean anything! Your worth, abilities, happiness is not dependent on the outcomes that you achieve. You get to define how you think and how you value yourself. Only you can do that and only you can fix it.
Think about it, you could experience the feeling of failure. But if you dig deeper to what you have actually done, your journey towards that goal may have actually been amazing. If you take a look at where you started compared to where you are right now and in relation to your goal, you may have made significant improvement already.
Don’t negate the learnings you gained, the better results you achieved, and the amazing outcome you’ve delivered to your clients just because it didn’t happen how you thought it would.
Attaching a meaning of failure to your outcome undermines the amazing improvement you’ve achieved. It could sink into your subconscious and make you believe that you can’t achieve your bigger goals. It can harm your courage and confidence in your ability to achieve greater success in the future.
By attaching meaning to outcomes, you are undermining your ability to learn. If you can release that meaning and if you can release the outcome and not attach all these stuff to the situation or the goal that you are trying to achieve, it becomes an experiment.
What do you think happens when you don't hit a goal that you have attached massive expectation and meaning to?
It stops your momentum and kills your confidence.
How hard is it to get up and do it again? It’s really hard, isn’t it?
Maybe we just got our timeline wrong, but that big goal is still achievable. There are just some learning that we have to do along the way in order to hit it.
How timid are you likely to be if you shouted it from the rafters and hit a different outcome?
There was a time, that If that were me, I would have been embarrassed. Felt unworthy. And would have allowed myself to have been incredibly diminished. My confidence was fragile and I would have been really, really timid about putting myself out there again. That straight away changes my ability to commit and try again to do bolder, bigger and better things in the future.
That’s why I say that you are exactly where you are meant to be in your journey and your business right now.
You are exactly in the right place for you and your business right now.
You might have missed out on the timing for your goal, but you are in the journey and you are learning the stuff that you need to learn to hit that goal in the timing that is right for you.
If you constrain how committed you are, how strongly you show up, how willing you are to challenge yourself and your beliefs, and how you strive to be more, to be better and to improve, than you won’t hit your goals faster. But if you don’t constrain these and if you just keep on going, then you will hit your goals faster. It’s all about mindset.
It’s also why I say that it is none of your business what other people think of you. What other people think and say about you, whether it’s negative or positive, it’s not actually about you. It’s just from their perspective, based on what they can see and what their beliefs are.
Attaching meaning to your outcome and minding what other people would say could have a detrimental impact on how you perform. Your beliefs define your success.
So, how do you release expectation whilst still taking massive action? How do you resist the urge to attach meaning to the outcomes you achieve?
What it really means to you is to adopt an experimentation mindset in your business. It's not over until you say it's over.
You have the power.
You are the entrepreneur.
You own your business.
You are the person who can decide what each experience, result and outcome means, what your next steps are, what your goals are and when the party is over on that particular goal.
That means you have incredible power to act and change the way that you show up and the way you’re doing things.
When you have your mindset strengthened and you are consciously thinking and readjusting your thoughts, and you apply an experimentation mindset to a proven system in your business—you can become unstoppable! Because you are releasing the outcome and you are learning to trust in yourself and your intuition.
And as a mum, you know that’s powerful! Nobody knows your child better than you do, so more often than not, you trust your intuition instead of allowing others’ expectations to influence your decisions. Why can’t we take that same intuition and apply it to our business?
When you do this in an environment of community and mentorship, constantly working on your confidence and your mindset—and trusting in your ability to create transformation for your clients—you can create massive results. You really can love. Resisting attaching meaning to the outcome means that the massive results might look different to what you thought they would.
I so strongly believe that this, mindset, releasing expectation and meaning, and knowing how to step up in your business are the things that will help you take your business to the next level.
In fact, it is some of the core elements in the framework that work through with my clients (along with how to develop a kick-butt strategy to get you there) and I teach you all about it in my FREE masterclass “How to Create a Profitable Business (with Crazy Confidence, even if you’re a complete newbie”. Grab your spot here and be sure to tell me in the comments what came up for you!
See you next week on the show my friend and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!