Fast forward a few years and evolutions of that system, I'd since developed a version of my own that run more over an 8-12 month period.
Within these systems, among other things, some of the things we'd record and track as a measure of progress would be what action clients did or didn't take towards their main goals, how they felt or felt different at the end of each week. Plus we'd keep track of things like new and existing clients numbers seen and money made that week.
For both women and men, within the course of tracking their progress on such things, plus feeling and having to be accountable for their own reactions in regards to their progress or perceived lack thereof, people tend to either love it or completely hate it.
It's easy to love it when you're winning (if sometimes it takes particularly women a while to get ok with doing the happy dance, particularly with others.) Regardless of gender, it's easy to hate it when it's triggering all your deepest darkest stuff about competition, insecurity, jealousy, privilege or failure and challenging all the ways (as i've blogged about previously) our self worth is being generated based on such things!
The easy route in those moments is to take the old playground "I don't like this game, i'm not playing anymore" stance. Which in adult business land, looks like, pulling away from the tribe and or considering quitting the program. Because it's often so deeply engrained and unconscious, often people will start to play it out, rather than seeking to talk it out. And very often blaming something or someone else, like
a) someone around them
b) the system
c) you the Coach/Mentor
d) the whole damn patriarchy for their outdated overly masculine ways of doing business including
e) capitalism and
f) all success systems that encourage competition and only track quantitative left brain things, and
g) don't support women to be in the feminine or
h) men to be the truest, heart-centred version of themselves
results. To, with love, dish out a little piece of truth though for a moment, what i've learned over the years is that not one of those is the actual reason things didn't go how we hoped that week and not ONE of them, in a first world country, on a planet with over 7 billion people, is really preventing us from achieving our goals and being who we are NOW. While at times it can feel very real, to play into it is actually a distraction from the real task at hand.
The real gift when all our stuff about failure and competition comes up, the high road, is to accept the challenge to look at our stuff head on and learn to deal with it in healthy ways. Ways that make us more confident and resilient and ways that bring us closer in relationship of all kinds, personal and professional. (Otherwise, if you let it, this stuff will keep messing up your insides and your work and personal connections indefinitely.)
HOW TO CREATE A MULTIDIMENSIONAL DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
There are 2 KEY THINGS that i think need to happen here to keep everybody on track to their healing, growth, the realisation of our personal and professional goals in a heart centred, new paradigm kind of way (and on a wider scale that will help create more connection than further separation) and those are:
1) Creating a definition of success that is Holistic. In other words more comprehensive than just commercial and quantitatively measurable.
Because while smashing targets is awesome (seriously, I truly LOVE it and thrive on having goals and targets, it's motivating and i do love to celebrate those moments with others, mine and theirs) life success is not just about smashing commercial targets, is it? Is it just about having a successful relationship to you? Family? Health? Friends? Enough money? Emotional Wellbeing? Spiritual Wellbeing? Purpose? A house? Any number of material things? Or external things achieved? Is it also about what two of my Coach friends would call embodiment? In other words, about BEING, as well as DOING or HAVING? Is it about how you feel now, compared to way back when? Is it about how we deal with our losses and perceived failures, as well as our wins? What qualitative aspects of success are there?
I find it helps to appraise these wider range of things along the way, or it's easy to get lost in the commercial side of things and equating our value to that.
But in truth, we are so much more THAN the sum of either our achievements or our failures alone and success has so many more facets to it, that no one can decide for US.
In fact, that's actually what Coaching was originally meant to be about, you come up with a holistic definition of success for your life and business, and a Coach or Mentor acts as a sounding board and an accountability partner in you taking action towards creating and embodying that.
2) Look at what our experience is really showing us about how we handle failure and how to deal with it in healthy ways
To continue to play into the belief that anything external is to blame for our progress or lack thereof, is a bit like when a toddler is taking that first leap from gripping chairs and couches and doing the shuffle walk along them, to the moment they get to the end of the couch and try and reach for the coffee table next to you, reach for it, lose their balance on the turn and fall down. Because you looked at them with encouragement in the middle of that, and you're a perceived authority figure, they turn and give you the biggest greasy EVER and CRY, like you somehow did this, while they were the one who fell. YOU, they believe, lead THEM to believe that they could do it/have it and it was WRONG! WRONG! And that hurts more than the shock of falling on your nappy-clad bum. But is it all them? Or is this also the perfect opportunity to feel all the feels that come when we don't make it, to learn from what didn't work and how to deal with it in healthy ways and rise again?
In that moment, the Toddler is possibly projecting their disappointment and maybe a little embarrassment that they didn't make it and (if they've learned already that achievements and GOOD behaviour results in love and approval being given and more love and good vibes come when you succeed) maybe also their projected disappointment that they didn't impress you like they wanted to and fear that you won't love them exactly as they are if they didn't do it right. Thus, the parent or caregiver's job for the toddler, is to show up completely in your heart in that moment and continue to love them unconditionally regardless of falling or successfully walking and help them find their way to getting back up after a fall. E.g. learn to deal with it in a healthy way. Over time, when they have the cognitive and language skills to comprehend it, you can then ask them questions that will help THEM think and love their way through the emotional side of those moments, so that they get back up faster and keep at it longer.
What comes up for each person in regards to those down moments of business is a little different for everyone. Because the childhood through to adult experiences and associated beliefs that evolved from them are slightly different for everyone. But, as grown ups here's a basic process you can follow to help navigate those "not win" moments:
HOW TO DEAL WITH "FAILURE" IN A HEALTHY WAY
AWARENESS: open a dialogue about what you/they think is happening just now and unpack what's really playing out, and what experiences and beliefs are underlying that
ACCEPTANCE: That right there will often be where we get emotional, so now you want to be with whatever comes up with unconditional love, acceptance and maybe (if appropriate) the occasional spot of humour. But either way, it's about dissolving the fear, judgement, shame and embarrassment about the faily bits and re-embracing them as entirely normal and human, along with a big psychological hug for both the child and the grown up parts that need it. (And be mindful that, if this comes up in front of others, our or people's public humiliation stuff will come into play and it pays to be very gentle in how you approach that....because it's one of the deepest of all human wounds.)
ASSESS: Time to analyse and decide wether these patterns and beliefs are or aren't serving one positively in their adult professional and personal life.
ADAPT: if they're not, it's time to reframe them. How does one want to be thinking, feeling and behaving instead in future? How would the version of me/them that's nailed this challenge do it?
APPRAISE: Here, we apply that above holistic definition of success, which is unique to each and covers numerous areas of personal and professional embodiment and evolution, in addition to one's commercial goals. The goal is to acknowledge where you/they are making progress still constantly, even if it doesn't FEEL like it in business right now, so that it doesn't hit us so hard all the time when we DO have a commercial loss moment. And
APPRECIATE: the aim is to appreciate where you/they are already making progress in and what their wider range of strengths and gifts are. The ones that are already the living embodiment of the best possible version of themselves and and are already helping them both along each moment of the journey and bringing them closer to the destinations not yet reached. Because as they say gratitude and success, breed more success. And finally, then we want to:
ACTION: Get back on the horse faster than you can find more reasons NOT to and take some type of action that keeps you in momentum towards your goals.
In a society today that's so focused on instant gratification and the quick fix too, it's worth remembering too that today is just a moment and while some victories move quickly, other learnings take their time too, and sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, there are good reasons for that, that if you could look above and see them NOW, we might be a little more forgiving of ourselves and others in the process. What's that saying again about "learning to enjoy the journey, as much as the destination?" And the one that says everybody wins sooner or later, it's just a matter of when. A little cliche, perhaps, but no less true :-)
if i can ever be there for you and help you navigate one of those moments, just let me know.
Until next time, have fun, take care.
P.S. Private Mentoring is back from Monday 10th September, for those moments where you did all the right business and market programs, but you just need a sounding board and the brain to pick of someone who knows the whole local practice building game, all the way up to the multiple 7 figure online business game and can help save you a few falls on the bum along the way. You can connect with me here if you'd like to find out more...
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.