Monday, August 19, 2013

How Unrealistic Expectations Can Undermine Your Vision

We’ve all done it. We have been right on the verge of something great, about to cross the threshold of a brand new opportunity or embarking on a promising relationship and BOOM! We blow it. Some call this personal phenomenon the act of self-sabotage; others simply chalk it up to approach avoidance. But however you label it, it is costing us more and more of our vision. I am a firm believer that it takes a vision for the future in order to get there. In fact, if you lack vision, chances are you won’t get much further than where you are now.
Years ago I heard my mentor say, “The one thing that will kill your dream faster than failure is the lack of a plan.” I wish I could tell you that I learned this lesson with minimum damage to myself but that would be a flat out lie. I banged my head upon this principle more than a few times. I think the issue was I always thought my sheer talent was enough to get me by. But that state of mind usually left me right around ‘average’. Before you get excited about my average existence, I also learned a long time ago that average was just a fancy way of say ‘best of the bottom;’ slightly better than the worse in your category. Who in their right mind celebrates mediocrity?
We all know that vision is simply the plan or outlook you possess that is governing your current actions and decisions. But once I became a student of successful people, I found a much deeper principle at work in my life. I was literally undermining my progress.
To ‘undermine’, according to the original Latin is ‘Labefactare’ and means to subvert by weakening insidiously or unknowingly; to cause decay from within. The key for me was it is done most often unknowingly. How much are we hurting ourselves by doing things we do not even know we are doing? We all have these blind spots that are responsible for where we are in life. The truly successful people hire coaches or have a circle of influence they are accountable to and also help identify where they are missing it. Without these ‘spotters’ we are left alone to our own devices.

There are (3) unrealistic expectations that can undermine your vision:

1.  Unrealistic timeframes: Wherever you are right now did not unfold overnight. In fact, it took many of us years to amass the debt, weight or bad habits that currently rule our lives. It is unrealistic to believe a weekend conference or one coaching session is going to wipe your slate clean. There is no magic pill or special offer! You are going to have to work your butt off and create a new and improved version of yourself through discipline if you want to see change.
2.  Unrealistic skillsets: It always amazes me when I am in a session with someone and they yell out in frustration “Early I am doing all I know to do!” I hear them loud and clear. I feel their pain. But that is exactly the problem. They are doing all they KNOW to do. Which means the solution is they need to learn more. Think of it this way, your current skillset was useful in getting you from point A to point B. If you want to go to another point, you must acquire newer and better skills.
3.  Unrealistic support teams: You are the sum total of the people you surround yourself with. There are only a few reasons why things aren’t working for us. Right at the top of this list is our friends. Our social circles dominate our destiny. The longer you spend with people, the more your behaviors co-mingle and assimilate. It is not an issue of trying to be better than someone else, but rather becoming strategic. We must seek out and surround ourselves with people who possess the skills, relationships and resources that match the areas we want to accomplish.
Dr. John Maxwell says, “People aren’t winning simply because they do not know why they are losing.” It’s really that simple. Your vision is a living breathing part of you. If you are not nourishing it by stimulation and exposure to quality people, it is slowly withering away. Those who we admire for their successes are those who wake up every day totally aware to the endless possibilities their vision will unfold for them.

© 2013, Early L. Jackson. All rights reserved.

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