How many times have we all set goals only to set our sights on the outcome instead of the process? I know that I have done it in the past even during a race by aiming for a specific time or speed that I want to finish in (the end product), instead of looking at the process during the race. Most often than not I fail at reaching that certain time or speed.
In life we can make the same mistakes by worrying about the outcome instead of the process. If we fail in reaching our perceived outcome then it makes us more fearful of trying something new or aiming for a goal.
I have always said that when we are children learning to walk, we fall down hundreds if not thousands of times, but we always try to get back up. At that age we don’t understand the outcome of what we are trying to do and we don’t understand failure. We only understand the process of getting back on our feet and eventually we not only walk but we run. So why as adults don’t we go back to the basics and focus on the process?
I believe it is because we are afraid of failing or making a fool of ourselves and sometimes we attach our worth to the outcome. But if we focus on the process and stay in the moment our journey can become exciting and rewarding as we reach each goal. By focusing on the process even if you fail you can then say that you have learned how not to do it and change the way you move forward.
This isn’t just about sport but other goals in life. I wrote my second book last year during lockdown by focusing on each day. Concentrating on writing for 90 minutes and the process of just putting one word at a time on the page. Each day I would leave one sentence unfinished so I could pick it up the next day. The process of making my brain think about what I had been thinking and writing the day before. It was my process that led me to finish that book, not by looking at the end product.
Did I make mistakes along the way? Of course I did, but I learnt what worked and what didn’t. So I have taken this thought process into my cycling. Today was a perfect example as I had my first race in months in Queensland. I focused on the process and was successful in the outcome.
So remember to focus on the moment and the process, remember that it is okay to make mistakes, don’t worry about those things that are out of your control, break your goals into small steps and you will see progress each and every day. Before you know it you will have reached your goal.
“If you quit on the process, you are quitting on the result.” ~ Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability