In order to create what we want in this world we invest two elements: 1) mental and physical energy, and 2) emotion. We write down when we want, when we want it by, how we're going to get it, and then expend a lot of both elements to gain success.
While goals are important to have, the problem for many of us entrepreneurs is we tend to equate our self-worth with our achievement. When we don't achieve the goals we've laid out for ourselves, doubt begins to creep in. We may double our efforts, or we may simply give up and tell ourselves we didn't want it anyway or we're not good enough to get it.
The problem is not with the goals – goals are very important to have.
The problem is the level of emotional investment we put into them.
There are four ways the two elements of mental/physical energy and emotion can be combined:
- Low investment / Low involvement: you don't really care what happens, and you aren't taking any action to influence the outcome.
- High investment / Low involvement: you care a lot but take little or no action to influence the outcome.
- High investment / High involvement: you expend a lot of energy and are heavily invested in the outcome.
- Low Investment / High involvement: you're completely engaged in making the goal a reality but aren't emotionally invested in the outcome – you're fine regardless of what happens.
In the past three iterations of my business I was high investment / high involvement. If I failed to achieve my goals I figured it was because I wasn't good enough at what I did to reach them, or that I had dreamed too big and had to “come back to reality”.
I got into an all out scramble to turn the situation around and began to work twice as hard. I chugged coffee by the gallon, I stopped sleeping, and I tried anything and everything I could think of to win! I just needed to win!!!
All I got was burnout, both emotional and physical.
While many will tout how awesome it is to work insane amounts of hours in pursuit of your goals, the reality is that it takes a toll on you and all those around you, if there's anyone around. And the truth is that it's completely unnecessary.
So the question is how can we create goals, work hard to achieve those goals, and not get emotionally invested? The answer is something I learned in AA:
- Understand and accept what you can control cannot control.
- Truly see that you'll be okay regardless of what happens, and that your happiness and well-being aren't hanging in the balance
Sounds awesome in concept, but how does it work?
In my live online workshop on February 1st at 7PM EST I'll guide you through a step-by-step process adapted from the work of Michael Neill for creating low investment / high involvement goals. By the end of the workshop you'll be clear on where to focus your energy to create the outcomes you really want in your life.
Download the companion workbook, and be sure to sign up for my newsletter (in the sidebar) to be notified of other online workshops and my new blog posts.
Here's the recording of the livestream: