“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire
Goal setting is critical because it helps to overcome two of the common barriers to success for potential goal-setters. One of the barrier is the feeling that "I am not adequate." The second barrier is the feeling, "the project is not adequate." Both of them if examined and challenged become belief barriers which then become stumbling blocks to success. Many people with these problems need coaching, therapy, spiritual guidance, etc. However, from my observations and interactions, I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of people can make huge, positive changes in their life by connecting their specific goals to their long-term plans. Goal-setting becomes a commitment which will help you develop a positive belief system and will harness your energies to complete projects.
Let's take a look at the story of a particular coaching client: Jessica had displayed talent as an artist since she was young. At one point it was what she wanted to go for a living. Jessica took several art classes in high school and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration and Painting at her hometown college. After college she had some offers to work in an art gallery, to work as a design consultant and another teaching art at a local elementary school. However, the jobs were very low paying. When offered a position working in an office as an administrative assistant, at an art supply company, with a starting salary that almost doubled any other offer, she accepted it without hesitation. It has been ten years since she started the office position and since then she has received three promotions (she is now VP, Operations). She has also in the past decade, gotten married and had three children.
Jessica has not been doing much art related over that time. She still has a deep passion, yet two significant challenges have prevented her from completing any projects. One, her time is very limited. Between family time and work she ends each day tired and with little energy to focus on her art. In addition to the time challenge, Jessica is a perfectionist. With her limited time and energy, she has still managed to work on two paintings. Her husband and anyone else who looks at them thinks they are amazing works. But Jessica always sees one last touch up, one small detail to improve.
After one coaching session, she realizes and acknowledges that being so much of a perfectionist is holding her back. Through further exploration she also discovers, because she is not painting for anything specific and has no deadline to meet, she has the luxury to continue "dabbling" with the painting because there are no consequences for not completing it. Through more discussion and more exploring, she acknowledges that there were indeed consequences that were having an impact on her. The consequences are that she was giving a little time to something she is deeply passionate about and which she considered a "calling." She was afraid that one day she would look back and have a deep sense of regret of the time that passed which there was no chance to recapture and the artistic gifts which she wanted to express was only a blank, white canvas.
Through coaching, Jessica commits to re-igniting her passion for illustration and painting. After discussing this with her family, they collectively come up with a plan for Jessica to have four hours of week of uninterrupted time, for her artistic expression. She committed to dedicating the time for her art. The big question was now that time was no excuse, could she bring a painting to completion. The timing for Jessica couldn’t have been better. Her husband brought home a flyer he saw on the bulletin board at work. A major corporation was partnering with a local, but the internationally known gallery that was conducting a contest to find an "Artist-in-Residence." To the excitement of her family, she decided to enter. Jessica had a deadline: three months to complete an artistic work to submit to be considered.
I'll save the suspense. The gallery- internationally known- informed Jessica that she was selected as the Artist-in-Residence. Through coaching, self-reflection and support from her family, she was able to set a goal and overcome time constraints and- even more significantly- she overcome her perfectionist tendencies to be successful.
What challenges do you face? Are you confronting low self-esteem that makes you feel that your talents are not sufficient? Do you have difficulty, with all of your other commitments, in making time for your passions? Or maybe you have finished the project, but it is sitting there waiting for one final change before it's ready for the world. What ever it is. Decide what you want. Set a goal. And start taking the action steps to reach it.
Karim Camara is a Spiritual Teacher, Speaker and Life Coach. He is dedicated to helping individuals and organizaitons reach their potential. For more information on how Karim can help you or your organizaiton reach it’s potential, write him at Karim@KarimCamara.com or visit his website at www.KarimCamara.com.