For many people, the year ahead seems overwhelmingly uncertain, but looking positively towards the future, making plans, setting goals – and striving to achieve these – is essential to not only avoid feeling a sense of hopelessness and loss but to also continue to survive – hopefully thrive – and provide for oneself and one’s family.
According to Executive Life Coach, Jason Bernic, it can feel frightening to go after new goals in the face of the unknown. Bernic offers three key tools that will assist you to achieve your goals this year, and in the future:
The first step/tool is courage – being brave enough to dive in, take a risk and set off in pursuit of something that you want or need.
“Many people get in their own way, and justify to themselves why they are not going to do something or go after something – often foreseeing a possible negative outcome in their minds and then chickening out before even getting started,” says Bernic. “There is a saying that you regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. This ties into courage and going after something you want.”
However, Bernic advises that people do not just wake up one morning with courage just because they have told themselves they need to have it. “It takes time to develop courage and the best way to do so is to break your goals down into tiny steps. Ask yourself what the next smallest little action is to move towards that goal? Maybe it is as easy as writing down some to-do lists or making a phone call to a trusted friend or family member to discuss your ideas. After that you take the next tiny step and then the next and before you know it you are moving towards your goal.”
The next tool or step to achieving your goals is perseverance.
“Fundamentally, all forms of learning and progression in life require perseverance – consider what/who we would be if we did not persist with our efforts to speak; walk; ride a bike, learn a new language; or overcome anxieties or beliefs that hold us back,” says Bernic.
“Perseverance – or grit – refers to our ability to pursue something over time and stick with it. Various studies have shown that perseverance is essential for success in life. Persevering requires long-term commitment and discipline while working towards a goal.”
According to Bernic, passion also fuels perseverance as people will not consistently persevere towards a goal unless it is something they really want.
The third tool in the ‘goals-achieval toolkit’ is resilience, and this ties in with perseverance.
“Resilience refers to our ability to recover from difficulties, to pick ourselves up after we have encountered adversity and to continue persevering towards our goals. The Japanese saying, “Fall seven, rise eight” perfectly captures the role of resilience in achieving one’s goals,” says Bernic.
“Perseverance and resilience are also closely related to one’s ability to learn from setbacks. It is about dealing more productively with failure and rather than being put off by it, see it as a learning opportunity. Nelson Mandela was quoted as saying: ‘Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.’”
However, Bernic cautions that many people battle with resilience and can feel defeated by setbacks to the point of giving up before they have reached their end-goal. “There are ways to improve your resilience.”
“The first thing is to try and follow your interests – it is much easier to pursue a goal that is in line with something we find engaging, interesting and that we are passionate about. Then, you must be strategic and create processes that ensure you are consistently moving towards your goals – don’t wing it but rather be methodical and purposeful. Remind yourself why you started and what the end-goal ultimately looks like in your mind and how you will feel when you get there. Break it down once again into tiny steps and take the next one and then the next. Importantly – remove your limiting beliefs and ignore naysayers!”
“Many of my clients come to me to help them cultivate resilience from the outside. Coaching offers the support that people need to help them continue pursuing their goals and to remove limiting self-beliefs and doubts,” says Bernic.
NATURE VERSUS NURTURE AS A RECIPE TO SUCCESS
“Many believe that inborn talent is the core driver of success. I have chatted to people who have stopped themselves pursuing a goal or dream due to their own self-limiting belief that they don’t naturally have what it takes to make it a success.”
Our natural potential is one thing, but what we do with it is quite another. While aptitude, skills, and a basic degree of natural talent are important clinchers for success, they are not as significant as hard work and trying, again and again, to improve what we do and how we do it.”
For more information visit www.successcoaching.co.za