Trust the Process: The Secret to Crushing Your Goals

Have you been achieving your goals? If not, it may mean that you need to trust the process more.

We’ve all set goals and failed to achieve them. We get excited, start to make moves, and then get overwhelmed and end up throwing in the towel. Why? Because we are setting the wrong types of goals.

Let me explain. The act of setting goals can actually create a feeling of anxiety. People think,“Once I achieve this goal, I’ll be successful.” This causes people to place an insane amount of stress on themselves. When they experience a setback, it ends up killing their motivation. The emphasis is on the result, not the process.

Results-oriented goals are focused purely on achievement. There is no time to trust or enjoy the process because the emphasis is on winning. People look for loopholes and shortcuts that will allow them to achieve their results faster.

I believe that adopting this mindset is a big mistake.

Don’t get me wrong, it is important that your goals are focused towards a specific result. Ultimately, that is what we are all after. However, if you focus solely on the end result, you are setting yourself up for failure. When it comes down to actually getting things done, there’s a much better way to go about it.

It comes down to adopting a systems mentality. With process-oriented goals, the focus is not on the destination, but on the path. With this mindset, failure isn’t a part of one’s vocabulary because setbacks are merely perceived as opportunities to grow and learn more.

Oftentimes we don’t have 100% control over whether or not we are going to achieve a result. All that any of us have control over is the process. When your self-worth is attached to an outcome, failure to achieve something can result in feelings of pain and suffering. However, if your self-worth is determined by the effort that you invest into something, the process becomes a lot more rewarding.

The process is where the magic lies. When you are too focused on the outcome, you miss the magic moments. In the words of Blake Griffin, “Fall in love with the process of becoming great.” The goals will speak for themselves.

Life, in and of itself, is a process of becoming.

The journey to achieving a goal is determined by the person you become along the way – the learning and unlearning that takes place and the skills that you acquire. Think about a goal that you have achieved in the past. Would you have ever achieved it if you didn’t go through the process that it took to get to your final destination? I’m going to guess no.

In his book, Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone’s Life, Michael Neil says that “Obsessing about goals is like playing a game of fetch with yourself, using your happiness and self-worth as the bone.”

Here’s the thing – if you want to experience real success in life, then you can’t dabble.

You need to be willing to go above and beyond. If success was easy, everyone would experience it, but they don’t. The journey to achieving goals is never a straight line. Oftentimes it is interrupted by that thing we call life.

However, it is up to us to stay on course. Masters are skilled at flowing with life, instead of resisting it. When they fall, they get back up again, knowing that failure is the stepping stone to success. The smallest steps in the right direction are still signs of progress. Don’t forget that.

Let’s explore 5 tips that will help you trust the process and allow life to unfold as it is supposed to.

1. Let Go Of Control

Sometimes we set goals that are beyond our control. When we do this, we end up fighting a losing battle. It’s all about setting and engaging in healthy habits every single day that gets you one step closer to where it is that you want to go. Giving up control is an integral piece of learning how to embrace the unknown.

For example, you can’t control when and where you are going to meet “the one”, but you can control how many times you put yourself out there and go on prospective dates to find that special someone.

Sit back and ask yourself, “How would my life change if I actually gave up control?”  More importantly, “What is the cost of not giving up control?” Sometimes consequences provide us with the fuel that we need in order to make a change.

The more open you are to asking and answering these kinds of question, the more likely you are to start letting go of control and trust the process. You may not know what that looks like, but adopting an attitude of curiosity is the first step.

Repeat these words out loud to yourself the next time your mind gets the best of you – “Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be” ~ Melody Beattie

2. Embrace The Unknown

The unknown can be a scary place for a lot of people. Sometimes it’s hard to “wait and see” what happens. Trusting that life has a bigger plan for us can be challenging, especially when we like to plan everything. Can you relate?

Here’s the problem…life doesn’t always care about our plans. Sometimes our goals will change, depending on our life circumstances. If we want to be successful, we need to learn how to ride the waves of change. At the end of the day, change is the only constant.

It may be hard to believe, but the unknown is actually good for us. Research is showing that ambiguity can be essential to brain development. The amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex are more active when people face ambiguous odds rather than merely risky ones, suggesting that ambiguity is more emotional.

Do things because you LOVE to do them, detach from the outcome, and let life figure out the rest. It’s all about learning to trust yourself more. Don’t push experiences. Rather, let them unfold in their own time.

3. Be In The Moment

If you go through your entire life obsessing about the end goal, you are going to forget what it means to be alive. The moment is all any of us have, so why not enjoy it? When people finally achieve what it is that they desired most, they are left saying, “Wait, is that it?”

Instead of ruminating about the future and looking too far forward, focus on being in the moment. It’s the in-between moments that you experience on your journey that matter the most – the life lessons that you learn, the people that you meet, and the opportunities that you create. The process is all about having gratitude for the present moment. Life will try to steer you off course. Stay steady and trust what it is that you need. Your gut never lies.

4. Reframe Failure

When we don’t achieve our goals fast enough or we give up on them all together, it’s easy to feel like a failure. However, nothing of value in this world is easy. People tend to view failure as a bad thing but it’s not the end. Actually, it’s the fastest way to come up with a solution, if you choose to see it that way.

On the road to success, you have to be willing to reframe and embrace failure for what it is – an opportunity to try again. anew. As Eloise Ristad says, “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.”

The most successful people in this world didn’t achieve their goals overnight. They had to learn, understand, repeat, practice, fall, rise up, understand, and most of all, trust the process. The biggest gains in life come from the biggest failures. If you can shift your perspective around what failure is, you are already one step ahead of the game.

5. Believe in yourself

Did you know that anything is possible? If you are questioning whether or not this is true, then you may need to do some work to develop your confidence muscle. Psychologist Albert Bandura studied the role of self-belief in how people approach goals, tasks, and challenges. He found that a person’s view of their own ability profoundly influences their success—both in achieving aspirations as well as overcoming challenges.

Without belief, none of us can achieve our goals in life. It is a critical piece on the path to success. If you don’t really believe that you can do something, then you won’t put in enough effort in order to make it happen.

The best way to build up your confidence is to start engaging in small tasks that you’ve been procrastinating on. By achieving small milestones you will believe that you are capable of taking on bigger goals. It will build up your momentum so that you keep moving forward, despite whatever obstacles try to hold you back.

Trust the process. This is the secret to crushing your goals.

If you are only focused on the end goal, you are going to miss all of the beautiful lessons and experiences along the way. Trusting the process means having faith that everything is unfolding as it should, even if you cannot tangibly see it.

In the words of Mandy Hale, “What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” When you master the process, the results follow.



This article was written by Stefan James,  an internet entrepreneur, life and business coach, philanthropist, and world traveler with an obsession for mastering every area of life, fulfilling potential as a human being and making a difference in the lives of others.

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