WASHINGTON, June 6, 2015 – Follow-through. It’s a topic that keeps surfacing whether it shows up in my work with individuals, teams, businesses or even in clients’ personal matters.
It often seems that getting past that final five percent of a task can be an elusive, frustrating goal. It may be obvious that there is only a little left to do to finish that task. But when you are in the thick of things in a complex task or project, it is sometimes hard to realize that you just need to keep moving forward to get it done.
What can interfere with follow-through? To name just a few key obstacles:
- You are overwhelmed with details.
- You have difficulty understanding the value of and expectations for the task you are trying to complete.
- You can’t seem to prioritize the remaining steps that will achieve your goal.
- The debilitating stress that’s associated with all the above.
Follow-through can be thwarted whether you get stuck in a loop, or simply quit trying when obstacles or challenges arise. Some people choose to believe they don’t really have the skill or whatever else it takes to cross the finish line. Their negative self-talk gets loud, drowning out the ability to think clearly. As in, “Why did I think I could do this?“ Or “This is just too hard!” Sound familiar?
One way to get to the finish line is by giving your “resilience muscle” a workout and shifting your self-talk in a positive direction. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “This is hard,” tell yourself that you are not going to let anything stop you from achieving the goal.
You might also adopt a positive attitude, encouraging optimistic self-talk that refuses to label the mistakes you and everyone else will occasionally make as failures. Instead, regard those inevitable mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities that allow you to correct course, thus assuring you will complete your goals.
Genuine resiliency of character, spirit and attitude is not allowing any adversity affect your productivity or wellbeing. If you try one way to complete a task and discover it does not work, step back, think it through, and try another!
What is important to realize is that although a given task or challenge may be hard, and that roadblocks will inevitably lie ahead, you should just keep moving forward in whatever way you can, refusing to accept setbacks as proof of failure.
Remember: People are motivated in different ways. Look inside and discover what really motivates you and let it become the beacon that leads you to the effective follow-through that will lead to your success.
Sports offer many great metaphors for concluding a task or achieving a difficult goal. The importance of follow-through is one of them.
How many times have we turned on the TV and witnessed a story about an athlete who never gives up? These true-life stories can be inspirational, and you can transform them into learning experiences that will benefit your own life as well.
One key take-away: a sports coach can guide an athlete and call the play. But in the end, it is the athlete that has to go in, run with the ball and get it done. Developing that kind of “run with the ball” attitude is what inspires a player as he or she moves forward. The same can be true for you.
You work hard, you prepare, you plan and you move forward…and then it’s time to score! Touchdown, home run, goal, break the tape as you finish the race. Whatever it is, you want to successfully finish that task you’ve started. That’s your goal line, and when you’ve crossed it, you’ve won.
In business the same kind of mindset is often required, even though folks won’t thrill to your heroics on network TV. You still want to reach that goal, surpass that quota, or earn a considerably above average year-end bonus. But it’s still up to you to figure out what you have to do to achieve the task that lies ahead.
You set a goal. You plan the steps you need to take to reach that goal. You move relentlessly forward, and get rid of negative self-talk along the way to the finish line. And you score!
You may be working with a team or by yourself. Sometimes you may be getting guidance from a manager, or supervisor. Regardless of the specific situation, however, you will eventually reach the point where it’s up to you to “close the deal.”
So close it. Finish up what you have started. Trust yourself. Know that if you hit a wall, it is okay to step back and look at different options to see what will work for you. Recalibrate and keep doing.
In other words, like that Nike mantra I love: Just Do It!
Complete what you have started and be proud of your accomplishment. Then celebrate the accomplishment. It’s your personal reward for seeing a difficult task through from the beginning to the successful end.
As Tony Robbins says, “Success is doing what you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.”
Just Do It!
For more Information Contact:
Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Certified Business, Life & Leadership
Focusing on Confidence & Resilience Strategies, Life & Career Transition, & Business & Leadership
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039
Ask Susan about the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT, Qi Gong, Breathing Exercises