Focus on the Process instead of the Outcome

goals habits life lessons perfectionism success Jun 19, 2023
Charis Santillie with her laptop at her dining room table
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🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #062 here.

I was listening to a podcast earlier today by Alex Sanfilippo, who is the owner of some podcast service companies and is a podcast host. He was talking about focusing on the goal of consistency instead of fixating on outcomes. And essentially, he discussed the concept of focusing on the process rather than the outcome. This is a common topic in the personal development world, yet sometimes it is a little challenging for people to routinely put it into practice.

I love the simplicity of the example he gave, so I wanted to pass it along here as an example that could potentially help you apply the concept to your own life.

In the context of podcasting, he emphasized the importance of setting goals such as the number of podcasts to be released in a year rather than fixating on the number of downloads by the end of the year. The number of podcasts released is within a podcaster's control as it relates to the process of recording and releasing episodes.

On the other hand, the number of downloads ultimately remains outside of the podcaster's control. (Yes, the podcaster can do things to influence the number of downloads, yet, they can't do anything to guarantee a certain number and truly control the outcome.) He may not have explicitly mentioned control, yet this distinction between determining what you truly have control over and what you don't, was a key piece to understanding how the heck to actually practice releasing from outcomes.

One of the principles of Fearless Living® (which is the foundation of my coaching) emphasizes detaching as much as possible from outcomes because expectations can lead to disappointment as well as prevent us from recognizing even better opportunities that may become available to us.

When we try to control and force things to happen in a specific way, life can feel more challenging and less synchronistic, and at times, it may even seem as if the world is against us.

It is much more enjoyable to live in a space where we can release our attachment to the outcome and let go of the need for things to unfold a certain way.

By shifting your focus to what things you truly can control rather than fixating on what you can't, you can change your perspective and find new possibilities for things you can do that actually could help you get the result you were hoping for, OR something even better.

Take my podcast, for instance. I can concentrate on pitching myself as a guest on other podcasts to grow my audience and increase the number of downloads. If I pitch myself to ten shows and receive responses from two, then in order to increase the number of opportunities, I need to pitch to more shows. The average ratio for results will come over time and give me a rough idea, yet no guarantee. So what I have control over is how many shows I pitch to. I can't control how many will accept me and I can't control how many new downloads my show will get as a result.

Once we recognize that certain outcomes are more likely to result from specific actions, we can focus on the actions rather than the outcomes. 

What if you redirected your focus in an area of your life towards the process and the factors you genuinely have control over rather than gripping tightly on a particular end goal?

If you can be more accepting of any outcome while fully investing in the aspects you can control, you (ironically) will have an increased chance of influencing the outcome. Focus on those controllable elements while remaining open to the result.

And a reminder: What if something better is waiting for you? I know that's not always easy to imagine, yet what if you trust the process? What if whatever ultimately happens—or doesn't happen—turns out to be way better than what you initially thought you wanted?

“Set goals not for the outcome itself but for who you get to become in the process.” 

– Jim Rohn

🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #062 here.

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